Ego, Empathy, and a Healthy Identity

lovenotfear

Update 1/19/19:  My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now.  It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream. 

Anita Moorjani has amazing things to say about ego and connectedness to others. She talks about how we need both–a sensitivity to other’s experiences and an ability to embrace our ego.  We need a healthy ego and healthy dose of empathy in order to function successfully.  When one is out of balance, we don’t relate to the world harmonically.

Ego: The seed for growing a healthy ego might have been planted when I survived death and existed for a few moments in the presence of God.  For the first time in my life, I felt better than o.k.  I felt blessed just to be me, exactly how I am.  I didn’t feel that I needed to change or improve anything.  I could breathe with ease in the presence of God.  I wish I could bottle that feeling and drink it daily myself and give everyone on the planet a big drink of “FINE EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.”

You don’t HAVE TO buy anything, improve anything, lose a certain number of pounds, take seven more classes.  You don’t HAVE TO do anything to be fine exactly as you are. You can simply claim it and breathe this feeling in, deep inside of you.  You can later buy, improve, lose, and take classes if all these activities give you more joy, health, and happiness, but you do not have to do anything to claim being loved.  You are loved.

Moorjani writes, “”….as long as we are alive, breathing, and expressing through a physical body, the best thing we can do for ourselves and for those around us is to engage in life fully, embrace who we are, and express ourselves authentically. To me, being spiritual, and being ourselves is one and the same thing!”

All I can say is a big, “Amen.”  Right after my NDE, nothing felt more holy and true than to be authentically me, rejoicing at being alive.  Every book I read had great significance because I was reading it.  Every single moment of my life was holy, simply because I was alive to experience it.

At my core, I know I am an expression of the divine, and so are you.  Though sometimes love and light has to wiggle its way around cavernous wounds, the light and the truth always seeks to these heal wounds.  It always seeks to make you freer.  With greater love and more empathy for ourselves, we do find ways to let more light flow through us.

Empathy:  I have always felt the feelings of others.  Empathy/being an empath is a gift but a heavy one at times, especially when I have absorbed the negative emotions of others and not understood how to disconnect and practice more awareness of my own feelings.

In worst case scenarios, I’ve let energy vampires take away my good time and peace of mind.  Luckily, there is so much information  about how to identify energy vampires and deal with them.

Ralph Smart’s video has great ideas such as blasting energy vampires with your light or simply limiting the time and attention you give them.

The idea of energetically protecting myself from negative energy never worked as much as being someone who could blast light (with words or with energy) into a negative situation and change that situation so that others might learn how to be more loving and awakened.

In some cases, I had to learn when it was time to fold and walk away/run away from situations/people.  A healthy ego allows you to draw boundaries with people and protect yourself from harm.  Empathy is sometimes what you have for yourself simply for having survived what you have survived; it also allows you to help others in similar situations.

Love:  We all have the capacity to be empaths.  There is so much joy in being wide open with love for oneself and for others, and it is the best way to live.  We all have the capacity to have a healthy sense of ego and walk through this world in a way that allows us to be incredibly kind and self-protective.

You deserve goodness, and you deserve to be the embodiment of love.  Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

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Happy Valentine’s Day 2017: Wanting For Nothing Else Other Than This Moment

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God’s Love:  Ask a near-death experiencer about love, and we are liable to talk about the best love of our lives which is God–the divine all-encompassing light, the filler of all empty spaces and sadness.  God is the true love who finally made me want for nothing else, the one who gave me undivided attention, care, concern, and compassion.

The presence of God during my near-death experience washed away all feelings of insecurity and of not being good enough.  There were no flaws or negative thoughts in the presence of God.  There was only I AM LIGHT & LOVE.

I was a part of God and God was a part of me.  God was also inside everyone else, so I felt a part of everyone too.  This divine intelligence was a love much better than the best romance.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good love story, especially ones like Wings of Desire, Bridges of Madison County, Before Sunrise, Amélie, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Silver Linings Playbook, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Annie Hall, and even The Notebook, but these stories always contain struggle and yearning.  In the presence of God, all yearning is filled with love.  There is no wish for anything because everything is complete and every desire sated.

Earthy Love:  Perhaps as spirits we choose form in order to celebrate the moment when our own spark of God is ignited again and we remember that connection.  Sometimes, we see a spark of God in another, but the real challenge might be to learn to see the spark of God in ourselves and in every moment of our lives.

Maybe we have to ask ourselves if we can we hang on to the beloved even when the spark isn’t visible and wait for it to ignite again?  Can we love someone through their own darkness until they find the light?  When do we need to love ourselves more than the desire for a relationship and separate from someone?  Abuse is a sure sign that a relationship is over.  Let that sink into everyone’s head and stay there permanently.

Chronic cheaters are also not a great gamble, but there are the random stories of reformed wild men and women.  And, oddly, some people I’ve met feel comfortable in open relationships; there are many ways to love and be with someone.  If abuse is not in the picture, consider what you both can do differently to have the love that you both desire.  Even small changes can make life more enjoyable.

If you have no pressing questions about your romantic life, don’t stress and enjoy the now. We are not promised forever.  Love your loved ones deeply.

Divine Purpose:  If you are at a true crossroads in a relationship, ask yourself what your divine purpose is.  Then ask yourself if the person in your life helps you fulfill your divine purpose.  Do they support your goals?  Do you learn how to love more because this person is in your life?  Do you learn how to communicate differently and understand how someone else thinks?  Do you give each other peace?  Are you becoming a better person because this person is in your life?

Most of all, no matter your romantic status,  love yourself immensely.  Imagine the love of God  is with you at all times because it is.  When you love yourself this way, space opens inside you to love others better and with a more open, joyous heart.

Occasionally, I get questions on my YouTube channel from people who feel despondent about the lack of love in their lives.  I don’t have many answers for these viewers, but I can say that the more peace and love I feel within myself, the better my relationships have become.  

As Langston Hughes said in the ending of the poem, “Life is Fine”, it is important to remember that life is indeed fine, grand, and wonderful in all of its seasons and expressions. Romantic love is only one part of the expression of love and definitely not something to make you want to die when you were so clearly born to live.

....I could’ve died for love—
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry—
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

     Life is fine!      Fine as wine!      Life is fine!

Your primary and most important relationship is with yourself.    Think kind thoughts about yourself and others, and love will be who you are not something you are searching for in another.   

What I think is the best part of being back in form is the attempt to love others in small and large ways as God loves us.  We fail, but when we try there is nothing better that we can do for this world.

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Takeaways from “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers”: Part I

Update on 1/19/19:  My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now. It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream.

billy  Annie Kagan’s wonderful book which channels messages from her deceased brother is a lovely description of the afterlife through an interesting, colorful, musical character named Billy Fingers.  The quote on the back cover is one of my favorite pieces of advice from Billy Fingers.  He tells his sister, “If I could give you a gift, it would be to teach you how to stay free inside that game, to find the glory inside yourself, beyond the roles and the drama, so you can dance the dance of the game of life with a little more rhythm, a little more abandon, a little more shaking-those-hips.”  I am often shocked by how seriously people take themselves.  Nothing is funnier than arrogance (even our own) when you have a universal perspective.  When you have journeyed far beyond the confines of this body and your personal drama, it is hard to get back in the body and play the game of life without remembering the oneness beyond the self and how beautiful divine love really is.

After Death Communications:  Beyond the beautiful descriptions from Billy Fingers, I appreciated the author’s candor and openness about wondering if her communications were only wishful thinking or unreliable.  For years, many of us have heard ridicule and disbelief around the topic of after-death communications.  I am glad that Annie Kagan addressed the disbelief that she feared others might have concerning her communications with Billy.  In the beginning of the story, she admits to fearing being viewed as a fraud and asks for verification from her brother.   Billy’s gifts of information to others are lovely and humorous at times.  These gifts of information seem to bring the author closer to those around her and that seems to be part of the gift.

Though ridicule is possible when talking about spiritual topics, our times are changing and the more of us who come forward and discuss our spiritual experiences, the more others feel free to discuss their experiences.  In a short amount of time, I have had lots of people open up to me about their NDEs, their communications with loved ones who have passed over, and other related topics.  I have only had two people ridicule me, but I take the occasional flares of jealousy as a sign that I’m on to something good.

you choose  I battled with discussing my communications with my deceased father, but I am glad that I did.  Reading The Afterlife of Billy Fingers reminded me to open up and ask if he had a message for me.   I thought about where he might be on his journey, several years after his death.  His perspective now seems to be even larger and farther away, and Kagan explains that process of becoming one with larger realities beautifully.

When I asked for a message from dad, he very quickly replied, “At least you are trying to access the invisible and bring what really matters to the people.  So many are not even trying.”

eternalHis words felt more profound than just those words, as if my dad exists so far away in that Universe now and is able to see the workings of this place and others in the cosmos.  He saw the world as if it were a world of busy bodied ants, driving from place to place, building things, doing things, but not thinking about the true meaning of what they are doing.  The spiritual ones are the ones looking up and wondering how everything works beyond the veil, wondering how they might access Divine Love and bring it into the world for others so that they might understand.

In my dancing and stumbling ways, I am one of the ones who looks up at the sky, goes to nature for more light, and brings what light I can into the world.  I am trying.  My efforts might be small at times, but I am one of the ants looking outward, hoping to bless others with the love I sense from the other side.  Sometimes, I am toppled by fear, by grief, and by cruelty, but I continue on because to live is to continue.  As long as we have breath, we can be of use to others to help them remember the beauty of this journey.

Dad seemed to be disappointed that a large part of the world is largely unconcerned with spiritual realities.  He likes his place in a universe of connectedness and understanding, far beyond this one.  He wishes more people took an interest in all that is possible beyond what is right in front of their hands.

Divine Love:  I’m a fan of how Billy describes Divine Love.   Divine Love was one of the most exciting parts to cover in writing my story of my NDE.

Billy explains the experience of being surrounded by Divine Love as Bliss.  He goes on to say, “Bliss is like being in love multiplied by a thousand, but it has nothing to do with anyone else.  It’s fulfilling in and of itself.  On earth you usually need someone to give you a reason to feel love, and that feeling usually has its ups and downs.  With bliss, there’s no downside—and you don’t need a reason for it.  As your soul floats through this dimension, it’s just natural to feel bliss.”

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Many NDErs miss that feeling of bliss if they get a taste of it.  I miss it, and yet nothing has changed my life more than to realize that this Bliss/Divine Love exists.  Love like that puts everything on earth in perspective.  People often live their lives as fractured parts of a whole, and many do not even know that they are part of a whole.  They believe only in the splintered part that they observe daily, obsessively comparing themselves with others.  Comparison is not what the Divine Light gives us.  It gives us complete acceptance, complete love, and complete safety.

Billy’s character goes on to address disappointment in a broader sense. “Disappointment is part of the pattern on earth.  But things change.  I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it is a secret.  Things change. When you die, you realize how much and you realize there are immortal things, things you take with you, and they change too.  The Eastern concept of Maya, or illusion, what does this mean?  It means temporary.  It means our lives are temporary.”

Divine Love vs. Romantic Love:  Life is indeed a quick journey and not nearly as long as we think it is when viewed from the other side.  Divine Love is an amazing experience, and hard to translate and experience while in human form.  You almost need the freedom of not having a body to fully understand it.  As Billy Finger’s character says, “After you die, you spend a lot of time, solo time, exploring yourself as a Universe….You are the Universe.  But society teaches you different.  Society teaches limitation, (but)…everything you ever need is already inside you.  And who you really are is far beyond your comprehension.  That’s why living squeezed into the human experience can be painful at times.”

While in form, we long for that picture perfect life to show to the world to bolster our ego and say, “Here is my soulmate/twin flame, my family, my great job, my perfect kids, and my white picket fence/condo/home in the country.”  That life rarely exists, and if it does for a while, it changes anyway.  On the other side, I wanted to see that I returned to a picture perfect life, but the message from the Divine was only that I must remind others of their light and souls.  I wasn’t promised a perfect life.  I was only told that I must remind others of their light.  As I wrote about relationships before and after my NDE, I channeled a passage and a healing statement about the search for soulmates and the occasional pain of romantic relationships.

Excerpts from Angels in the OR, “We are all looking for a missing part of souls in another person and not realizing that our own souls are the true source of happiness.  I knew this on the other side.  No one accompanied me there, but I was whole and the light was both me and larger than me.  Source was all that I needed….”

“When we forget our connection to source, we are sometimes reminded of this spark of the divine in another and hold on desperately as if God were only in that one specific person, but God is everywhere, especially inside of us.”

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Occasionally, I am given a healing statement for others.  In connection to this topic, here is the statement I was given.  Many people on a spiritual path are sensitive, and the loss of friendships, relationships, and others can be a painful part of the jouney.  It doesn’t have to be.  The pain ends so much quicker with more self-love and more faith in the workings of a loving energy larger than ourselves.  Billy Finger’s life appeared to be one of great pain on this earth, but it prepared him to be freer than some souls and merge with a universe after death.  Not every soul chooses that path.  The point of viewing his story is to learn not to judge others or yourself.  Love yourself more through every part of your journey.

Healing Statement:  You are loved.  Don’t forget how much the divine light delights in you.  You waste resources and time trying to be seen and loved when you are already loved.  You need do nothing.  You can give that love away and feel immediately in touch with the universal flow of love.

Relationships (of all kinds) are sometimes fractured and split because we have so much to learn and release.  We must free ourselves on a vibrational level when it becomes difficult (sometimes very painful) to stay with another.  Sometimes, people around you are not changing or evolving in the ways you are changing.

Don’t beat yourself up for anything.  Just center yourself.  Quiet yourself.  Listen to what you need.  You need to remember that you are already loved and safe.  There is nothing you are gaining or losing from another.  You are only sharing along the way.  If a person stops sharing, then you move on and share with others.  It isn’t complex.  We create a lot of judgement around issues that need no judgement.  If love is flowing between people, all will work out.  If it isn’t, they move on, especially if they are aware of their own connection to source and love.  Why lose out on a connection to source and love that is already exists because another doesn’t want you to have love or be love?  Why stay with someone who wants you to have less, be less, and experience less than you know you can find through a connection to source? You stay with someone who shows you how to have more, be more, and experience more because of their presence.  You stay with someone who really knows how to love and whose presence makes you feel stronger, freer, and happier.

**I realize this level of detachment and freedom is not easy for many people.  NDErs tend to love and accept others often without the usual attachments and conditions society expects.  I only know that I’ve observed a lot of needless drama in people around the ending of relationships and marriages.  In the news, we see husbands and wives who take that drama to sociopathic lengths and kill their spouses.  They forget that time is a great healer and time is relative.  There is a way to speed healing up.  Meditation, a change of perspective, and enlightened moments can take us far away from our circumstances and change our perspectives.  If we eventually get over something, why not envision what getting over something feels like and bring it into the present moment quicker? In The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, Billy learned how not to take his life or perspective seriously the farther he got away from his situation.  Like Billy, NDErs know that our lives look very different from a far-away perspective and that perspective is wonderful.   Distance and a new perspective is healing for everyone.

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers Continued….This book has been so enjoyable that I must address other topics such as Higher Beings/Angels, recovery from addiction, and the healing power of nature in another post.