Near Death Experience
It's funny that although I had a near death experience a few years ago, I never really studied up on the idea. I guess I didn't need to know, as I was busy enough just working through the changes the experience brought to my life, questioning every aspect of myself, my motives and my intentions. I won't say that the aftermath of being thrust back into the world has been an easy thing for me, but I can say that these last few years have been the best of my life.
The most successful way I have of describing what occurred to me is that it was like I was set free in the most beautiful forest you can imagine, to frolic in the warmth and I awoke with only a couple leaves to understand the experience. The forest, heaven, vast and filled with knowledge, light and beauty and the leaves, a reminder that it exists and I am welcome. I have heard that heaven is a beautiful city with streets paved in gold, but I guess for me it is a landscape of rolling fields, crystal streams and forests waiting to be explored.
I can't remember details of tunnels and light, I remember love, warmth and my son. As I lay in the hospital, fighting infection after infection, littered with bags and tubes, I would awake from that land and cry, depressed that I could not stay. I would look at what I perceived as my ruined body and I would cry some more, but my tears were not anger, they were frustration that I had to go to such extremes just to wake up to my own sense of self, knowledge and beauty.
The changes, once I began to recover, came slowly. First, it was a realization that I had to be a better person, nicer, more considerate of others, sounds simple enough of the surface, but life had trained me to be on guard, to be a soldier, to be a victim and I had to step out of a lifetime of training. Then, I had to learn to love myself, because what I see is a reflection of me and how can I love my neighbor, when I am hating myself? Next, in what felt like an act of preservation I had to weed my garden of friends, I had to cut ties with folks that I loved, but who I felt were ultimately pulling me from the place I longed to be.
I've always had a subtle knowing of things, a knowing without knowing, if you will, but as time progressed that feeling grew in intensity and I struggled to accept a broader view of life. And I began to question. It seems so much of what I was told in life, I accepted and filed, but as I began looking over the data, I saw that I had believed in many fallacies, many about myself and if I was wrong about me, then I had to look at the whole world with new eyes. In this life we have many people telling us who we are, where we fit, what our role is, what we should be guilty about, whether or not we are saved, good or worthy and it is incredibly freeing to throw all that aside and say No. But it is also frightening, because then we have no old clothes to pull about our self as we shiver in a land of newness, we can no longer blame others for our situation or mistakes.
The greatest lessons I have learned from my near death experience is that the world and the universe is a mystical place, full of treasures, miracles and wonders. That the only thing that stops us from achieving our dreams is our thoughts and attitudes. That questioning and looking at situations from a different angle is not a sin, but our duty as spirits sent into this world. That chasing our dreams is not selfish, but what is expected of us, to do anything less is to be mired down in the muck of the earth. That pursuing that thread of creativity that runs through all of us is the greatest gift we can give.