If Love Is All That Matters….

 

 

If love is all that matters, then some lives need to be re-tuned and readjusted in heaven. I’m not saying that as a judgment, more a commentary on modern life and relationships.

Truths are often simple.  Love is of God.  All of our actions that flow from a place of love, flow from God.

Imagine heaven as a reprocessing center.  The life review is a way for each soul to clearly see what was of God and what was not of God. In heaven, a particular relationship might be sent through the reprocessing center and only a few moments might remain—a conversation about God, a moment in church, and holding hands while walking through a beautiful open field.

All the awful screaming of obscenities gets reprocessed into a calm conversation about life, details, and compromises in the physical realm, as if those moments never existed. Those moments disappear into the darkness. Abusive moments are not of God.  Abuse (psychological, spiritual, and physical torture) could never be of the light.

Maybe anyone who has suffered abuse would prefer to see karmic retribution—one’s guardian angels holding the abuser’s head under water until the ego of that person relents and knows God. But, God does not work that way. God heals through unconditional love, of course, even in the most extreme cases of cruelty.

What if you could turn your eyes to God, and simply shut the door to all negative energy that isn’t of God.  Leave it behind.  Banish it in another realm. Imagine a huge door made of iron and shove all the negativity far away behind that door.

Human beings can often create a hell of heaven, and if that is the realm that some people want to play in—leave them to it (behind an iron door).  Keep that door shut, and live in a realm of lighter things—butterflies, green grass, and happy thoughts.  What if you could love yourself the way you wished you had been loved as a child, the way you wished others had loved you?  What if you and God could do that together?

Abraham Hicks says that there is no happy ending to an unhappy journey which means you must find a way to focus on happiness and satisfaction, not on what you are missing in your life.  Additionally, it might mean that you can’t force others to change.  However, you can change your outlook and choices.  You can change your story completely.  You can turn away from all that harms you and walk into the light of God.  You can create a new story in the light. At first this might only start as a meditation, but the light will filter into the reality of your life.

Angels in the OR is as much about transforming the suffering of this planet as it is about a near-death experience. My near-death experience was a profoundly beautiful moment, but so much of what I have survived and witnessed in my physical world is in need of transformation by that light of God.  One of the main questions I receive from readers is how to transform this world with the knowledge of heaven. I think change begins with letting God’s love heal all the painful memories we hold inside of ourselves and shift these thoughts to thoughts of truth, beauty and goodness.

 

 

The NDE As A Preview Of Awakening, Enlightenment, and God-Consciousness

 

My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered.  It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love your support.  My aim is to help make near-death experiences more mainstream and to bring more healing to this world.

Many people on a spiritual path long for an awakening or feel that they are awakened and struggling toward more frequent moments of enlightenment.  What is different about a near-death experience is that the experiencer may be far from interested in spiritual matters before his or her experience.  He or she may not be on any spiritual path of any kind, yet the experiencer comes back with a deep knowledge of a spiritual reality.

To be taken from 0 to infinity in a few seconds is a life-changing experience.   For those of us who have had profound NDEs, we scramble afterwards trying making sense of our life before and after the event.

In that first year after my experience, sometimes my connection to the other side was intense and all-consuming.  Other times, I looked forward to returning to the business of my life back at college; however, I knew I would never be exactly the same.

Though NDErs are often not capable of holding on to the blissful states they experience in the afterlife, these states are memorable.  In a recent video, I saw Howard Storm discuss the importance of loving others.  Though love appears to be a “simple” mission, it is actually a VERY tough mission.  To send love and light to people who seem intent on destroying us requires us to reach new heights of patience, understanding, and wisdom. Love is sometimes simply preventing someone from continuing to harm others.  Love might be anchoring a consciousness of healing for those who have been hurt in similar ways.  Love is action and energy.

In this video, I’m not asserting that NDErs are all enlightened souls, but I am putting forth the theory that many NDEs awaken the experiencer.  What we do with that awakening depends on each life situation.

Awakening: The minute I stepped out of form and saw “behind the veil” or rather saw that my spirit form continued after death, I was in a sense awakened.  I comprehended many things through telepathic communication and simply being in the very visible presence of angels/light beings whose presence I had never seriously considered.

No matter what happened in my life after my NDE, I could never brush away this knowledge.  I could not unlearn what I knew to be true; there is much more to reality than the material world.  In fact, from that vantage point, the earth experience appears to be a place where we choose to forget our connection to divinity and focus on our individuality.  In that darkness, some of us wake up and realize there is more to life than struggling.  A NDE shows us clearly that a growing connection to the light of God is what is most important.

What is true in the spiritual realm is goodness, mercy, and love.  I took none of the pain of my life with me, and pain and struggle didn’t seem to be the point or worth remembering.  Love and kindness to others seemed to be the main point of existence.

After a NDE, many experiencers feel less fear and more love.  They become less judgmental, have changes in sleep patterns, extra sensitivities to light, taste, touch, electronics, and energies.   As those on a spiritual path struggle to make sense of their awakenings, NDErs also struggle to integrate their profound experiences into their lives.

Enlightenment:  During my NDE, I moved from a place of observing what was happening to my physical body and the awareness of my spiritual form to a growing connection and awareness of many others and the consciousness of God.   As I left the hospital, my consciousness merged with the consciousness of others. I began to lose track of what was “my consciousness” and the consciousness of God (who seemed to be leading me through this experience) and other people. This non-dual state is the real deal (enlightenment) and what so many people long for while in form.  I felt a transcendental, awe-inspiring oneness with others, nature, and God in that state.

Most NDErs are disappointed to return to our personal perspectives, our corporeal forms, and lives because in that eternal space we were connected to many other people and had a much clearer, greater understanding.  We know that returning to form will be like being born again.  Life situations will surely force us back into our individuality, our wounds, and our experiences.  Many of us would rather stay in that place of great unconditional love and connection but choose to come back for the sake of loved ones, or in my case, a mission from God.

The beauty of that heavenly landscape in the afterlife seemed all the more beautiful because I longed for nothing else.  In form, our mind and emotions often trick us into dissatisfaction, but in that place I had no dissatisfaction.  I wanted for nothing.  I believe this part of my NDE gave me a glimpse of enlightenment.  I longed for nothing other than that moment.

Returning to form largely shakes us out of this place of oneness, but to be there even for a short while is amazing.  I’ve heard people talk about enlightenment as fleeting states and something we strive for as humans.  Maybe there are certain states of mind that are associated with higher levels of our potential, and as we calm our nervous systems down we can stay in these states for longer periods of time.  In a world of irritating, triggering news stories and other disturbances, it is hard to stay in these states for long periods of time.

So, how do we deal with a toxic world?

We detach from it at times, and we engage passionately and lovingly with it more often. We send love to every human being on the planet.  That’s hard, but we can start with the easy ones and the people in our vicinity.  We are striving to have minds that are no longer focused on thoughts of greed, hatred, and delusion while living in a world filled with these things.  This is difficult, but we don’t dislike ourselves if we fall into negative states; rather, we give ourselves love and attention and heal these parts of ourselves so we might be able to show others how to heal.  We are less attached to feelings of all kind, and they tend to blow through the nervous system quicker with this type of practice.

Gratitude is, of course, also important.  That was an easy thing to do right after my accident.  I was literally grateful for each breathe, each painful step, and each bite of food.  Clearly, I was alive, and this alone seemed a miracle.

I remember holding on to grudges for a long while before my NDE.  I’m not saying this isn’t a trait I still work on in myself, but I am surprised when I allow myself to feel something completely and then watch the feelings wash away.

States of enlightenment/equanimity doesn’t mean being walked on by others or not protecting the innocence of those around you.  Equanimity doesn’t mean acting sulky or aloof.  In fact, the more jubilant states of mind are a better indicator of equanimity.  Being compassionate, present, and fully engaged is a hallmark of equanimity.  A deep love for life and a desire to make the lives who are near you better in small in large ways is an indicator of equanimity.  Instead of judging everyone, you might pray for their healing, joy, and freedom.  Freedom is something we are, a space inside of us that makes us smile, not something we try to create.

Dysfunction and drama seems to be in the very DNA of the American culture from our movies to our families, so how do we become more peaceful and less reactive?  How do we let go more quickly?  I can’t answer this in a post because thousands of books are written on this subject.  I only know that a focus on what is lovely and true can begin to undo what is not lovely and true.

In the presence of God, there is no “I’m right/You’re wrong” dynamic.  There is only love, acceptance, oneness, and beauty.

God-Consciousness:  For NDErs who journey to the presence of God, we usually feel speechless about this experience.  My heart completely opened and was completly healed in the presence of God.  There were no cracks, no holes, no darkness, only pure bliss.  The deepest form of connection with the most loving force imaginable is hard to describe.  God told me to remind others of this instant connection to source, and I wanted to stay in that place because it felt amazing.  There was nothing better, so why would I want to return?  I knew I couldn’t hold on to the power of that connection and love.  Back in form, I’ve realized that remembering the oneness with God is my true, real journey in life.

How can we possibly embrace everything as part of the divine while living this life?  It is easier to accomplish when you focus on your spiritual purpose.  If that purpose is to bring joy and happiness to others, then that is what you do.  You live out your purpose relentlessly.  In my life, I am grateful to have a platform as an educator.  I feel goodwill toward every student who walks down the hall or sits in my classroom.  I want these students to have the best possible educational and emotional experiences.  I want them to learn all that they need to learn. I see education as a form of heaven on earth.

As our nation is highly divided right now, I’ve found it difficult to extend the same goodwill to some people on social media or in other areas of life.  At some point, I stopped and asked myself, “Are you a teacher in all walks of life or just at that campus?” I decided that I want to be a teacher in all areas of life.  Much like it took some time to become a seasoned professor, this goal might take time, but my intention is to center the energy necessary for bringing greater awareness, knowledge, love to everyone I encounter.

God is pure, divine light, and God-Consciousness is living in that state of absolute divinity.  In the presence of God, there is simply love and immediate healing of anything that needs healing.

NDErs might sometimes think that spiritual paths complicate ideas that instantly manifested for them in the afterlife.

However, one of the powerful lessons from NDEs is that these enlightened states of being are part of who we essentially are, and we can access these states with faith, practice, and intention.

 

 

Sexual Assault, Rape Culture, Healing from Trauma, and Anchoring Love in Our World

birds

My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformationis available for pre-order.  It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love your support of a pre-order.  My aim is to help make near-death experiences more mainstream.

I’m excited to have a narrative piece featured in OTV Magazine about sexual assault and the need for change in our society.  Click here if you would like to read it.

Sexual assault and violence against women is sadly common.  Over the years, many junior high, high school, and college students have confided in me about trauma in their lives currently or in their pasts.  As a junior high teacher, I became a quick expert at handling CPS and police officers.  This was a part of my job that I never imagined while taking college classes and planning lessons.

Changing Rape Culture:  In the future, let’s hope more men are caught on tape calling other men out on bad behavior and anchoring a better, safer world for women, other men, boys, and girls, not bragging about assault. At the very least, these men won’t lose as many of their jobs, clients, friends, family members, and elections if they start behaving differently.

Healing:  Most of all, I hope women who have become more aware of all the assault and trauma they have survived find even greater healing. Recovering from trauma can lead to growth and a greater connection to others.  There are many different methods of counseling and healing modalities to consider.

Each journey is individual, but I encourage every survivor to keep searching and trying different modalities until you find what benefits you the most.  Here is an interesting blog piece about healing the chakras through breath work and yoga.  Life-long patterns of fear and anxiety can be unraveled and reversed.  Many people realize that the mind, body and spirit must be healed after trauma. Here is another beautiful piece about holistic healing after sexual violence. 

Love:  Most of all, I am a big believer in loving yourself enough to heal all that has happened to you.  Matt Kahn’s basic message of love as the answer is a message that resonates with me personally as an NDEr.  Our world needs love that is stronger than all the hate we have witnessed in society.

I’ll leave you with a quote Marianne Williamson recently posted.  “At a time during which the world seems to be falling apart, the antidote to global chaos is a critical mass of people within whom the unintegrated fractals of life are finally coming together. This collective mutation, this alternative to the maladaptive behavior of our species, is appearing out of the mists even now. And from this ragamuffin, international smattering of souls groping however clumsily for enlightenment, there is emerging a forcefield of love so powerful and lasting that hatred itself will fall away in its presence. It is a light that when having attained full brightness, will shine away all darkness from the world. Our task is to assume this, stand on this, and add to this, with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our might. The light is here because it is always here, but we must be its lamps.”

 

Human Trafficking: Loving This Child in Mumbai

boy in india

Love is All That Matters:  After my NDE, I think about love a lot because one of the central messages from the light was that love is all that matters.  How does a person choose to love the world in each moment?  Maybe love is not being jaded to the pain of this world.  We see so many images, so many percentages about people suffering that sometimes we feel a certain resistance to feeling or doing anything about their suffering.  Love is caring enough to do something about a problem, and any contribution toward a solution is better than doing nothing.

Human Trafficking:  While traveling through Mumbai, India a few years ago, I saw a child I wanted to rescue from the streets.  Honestly, I wanted to rescue them all, but this particular young boy came up to my window in the backseat, and I could see that he had a cold.  His nose was running.  I thought about all the kids who have mothers who take their temperatures, tuck them in bed, and read them a story.  I thought about the children who don’t have mothers, but have fathers or grandparents who do this for them.  I knew this child most likely had to give his cash to the mafia who controlled him, but the shock of coming face to face with a beautiful, abandoned child hit me with palpable force.  I’m not a photographer, but I snapped this young boy’s picture and then handed him most of the rupees in my wallet.  The locals in the car with me assured me that he would not get any of that money, but I didn’t care.  Maybe someone would be nice to him that night and give him more rice for bringing in a good haul.  Maybe they would at least give him a smile.  I could forgo one day of shopping in the markets for lovely jewelry, handbags, and scarves.

Donating:  The child reminds me that status, pleasure, worldliness means very little when children and adults are treated this way.  I am not free when millions of people are enslaved in human trafficking around the world.  I look at his picture from time to time, so that I can pray for him and remember his eyes, his need, and his sadness.  Praying for him (though important) isn’t enough, so I donate to organizations focused on liberating people from human trafficking like Polaris, UNICEF, and others.   My rule with donating is to donate to the point it hurts a little, but not to the point where it comprises saving money, taking care of myself, or working on my goals so that I can donate more in the future.

Educating Others:  Help does not always have to be monetary help though.  For me, returning to the love I had for the world as a child helps me to prioritize my energy.   For every good meal I eat, I think about how that boy goes hungry and consider what I can do to help with the energy I have from this meal.  For starters, I educate my students about human trafficking, even if it is only the occasional article or Ted Talk video.  Many students choose this topic as their research topic.  Great books like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks have been inspired by a moment in a lecture at a community college.  I have faith that one or more of my community college students might do amazing work to help end human trafficking.   My energy can be multiplied if I can convince others to care about this issue.

Become Like the Little Children:  Another lesson from the light during my NDE was that I should remember the purity of my soul during childhood and return to that place.  As a child, I was moved by commercials about starving children in Africa.  Though I grew up rather poor myself and was rather skinny, I wasn’t starving.  When I made mud pies in my backyard, I always made a lot of them and imagined that I was feeding chicken pot pies (one of my favorites) to all the starving children.  I cared.  I wanted to help.  I always included these children in my prayers, and sometimes at night I had beautiful dreams where I met with a few of them in the heavens and talked about how we could teach people in the world to love more and care more for others.

Be Open to the Suffering of Others:  I remember years later when parodies about these type commercials came out, I didn’t laugh.  I laugh at most satire and most silly skits from Saturday Night Live, but I preferred the mindset of the young girl who desired to help others.  Children feel for others, but as adults we put up barriers to feeling because to look at someone’s suffering changes us.  We know that we can help, but giving monetarily rubs up against our own worldly goals of accumulations things, enjoying services, and fine food.  We tell ourselves we work hard for our lifestyles and deserve fine things, and to some degree we do.  However, where does the accumulation end?  When do we have enough when others have nothing?

Legacy:  I wonder how many people who have been taken to the cleaners in divorce court because of a greedy spouse wish that they could transfer some of that money to starving children. I’m sure many people want the money back for themselves, but given the choice of not having it or helping children, I wonder if they would chose helping children.  I hope so.   I hope they can see the futility of amassing great wealth but not helping others.  Having wealth without helping others leaves their souls sad and poor.   In the end, what we take with us is the good we have done in the world.  That is our reward.  We don’t take our accumulations of wealth with us.  We take memories of love and kindness with us.  We relive these memories and know we have reached a place of transcendence when the majority of our time was spent helping others.

Foreign Adoptions:  For me, love is saying a prayer of thanks to all the people with the money and ability to adopt children from countries around the world.  I don’t make fun of Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Mary-Louise Parker, Julie Andrews, Meg Ryan, Katherine Heigl, Charlize Theron, or Jillian Michaels.  I say a prayer of thanks for their kindness, for having a calling to rescue a child from a foreign land, and for their ability to do what I would do given their resources.  An image of dinner at their homes makes me smile.  I say a prayer for all the other families who are not in the media and who donate their time and energy to help others or who have adopted a child domestically or from a foreign country.

Love for that child in Mumbai is never forgetting him and writing down these thoughts.  I hope others read my blog, contact me, and educate me about ways I can help in the movement to end human trafficking.  Love always wins.  It is the light that illuminates the darkness.