Truths I Learned from Dying

truths from dying picture

Coronavirus has changed the way many of us live our lives.  In quarantine time, many people may be spending more time confronting their thinking. This is a GREAT time to think happier thoughts for yourself, to connect to the timelessness inside of you, and to grant yourself greater love and more peace. Much inner work and healing can be done now.

There is plenty of time for reading, meditation, and prayer. There are no more excuses (unless perhaps you work for an essential business).

Try not to overthink or worry about worst case scenarios. But, if you do take this time to confront your mortality, know that the the process of dying is sacred. While you live, remember to live with love and kindness.

These are the Truths I Learned from Dying

1. Love is all that matters and all that we take with us.
2. Nature can heal us.
3. We are all connected energetically.
4. Joy brings us back to our true self.
5. At the soul level, we care about goodness, honor, nobility, love, and altruistic acts of kindness.
6. At the soul level, we are more godlike than we care to acknowledge. Our light is eternal.
7. Our ancestors, guides, and angels are there for us whether we feel their presence or not.
8. What makes sense in heaven isn’t always translatable on earth, but know that beauty, love, truth, and goodness last forever in heaven.
9. God/Universal Consciousness loves us all deeply.
10. You are personally loved more deeply than you can fathom.

May you be blessed!  The audio book of Angels in the OR is on sale right now if you are interested.  Pretty good price!

Recent Interviews, New Book, and a Blog Post from Kenneth Ring

Hello Beautiful Light-filled Souls!

I was recently interviewed by Michael Sandler on Inspire Nation, and I really enjoyed talking with him about my near-death experience and memoir Angels in the OR.  Thank you for your letters and support.

Because so many readers have asked about my poetry, I will be releasing a book of spiritually inspired poetry in 2020 titled, “The Self, The Other, & God.” These short poems are meditations on moments of wonder, mercy, pain, grief, acceptance, bliss, unconditional love, and pure consciousness.

I’m also grateful to Path 11 Podcasts, Wendy Garrett, Grief to Growth Podcasts, and Karen Noe from The Angel Quest Show for their conversations.

Also, thanks for staying plugged into my YouTube channel and for watching my latest interview with near-death experiencer Louisa Peck. I have also uploaded a recent video about why I think near-death experience stories should be made into movies. Our world is in need of reminders that we are deeply loved by God and worthy to receive this love.

I’m pleased to feature a guest blog post from Kenneth Ring whose latest book is titled Waiting to Die.

Notes from the Ringdom

by Kenneth Ring

Greetings, friends, and welcome to the Ringdom.  I wish I could promise you that you will find it the realm of magic enchantment, but I’m afraid it is likely to be only a source of occasional entertainment and distraction from our dysphoric Trumpian times.  Still, I will do my best to keep you interested enough to linger a while in the Ringdom and hope you will come to enjoy our time together.

Now, as Tonio, the clown in Leoncavallo’s I Plagliacci, who introduces the opera by saying (or, rather, singing) that he is the prologue, perhaps I should introduce myself, if in a less dramatic fashion.  Some of you may already be familiar with me if you were a part of Raymond Moody’s University of Heaven crowd since for some fifteen months or so until December 2019, my essays were posted on that site.  Well, I call them essays, but of course no one writes essays any longer, they blog.  I have always resisted the use of the term although these days it seems we are stuck with it.  I shudder to think of old Montaigne writhing in his grave in posthumous despair over the fate of the form he invented, which had such a long and glorious life in the world of literature.  But I suffer enough as it is from being what used to be called an “old fogy” (someone will have to tell me what old farts are called these days; the only suitable term I can think of is in Yiddish – alter cocker).  I don’t want to risk eliciting even more derision by using terms that are clearly demodé (oops, I seem to have done it again).

But as I have apparently drifted into a confessional mode, I had best own up to one of my most besetting flaws.

I am old.

Very old.

Let’s not get too specific but if I tell you I was born in the year that Babe Ruth hit his last home run, it will give you some idea.  Suffice it to say that if I were a piece of Chippendale furniture, I would be an antique.   But since I live in Marin County, perhaps a better sobriquet for myself would be that I am an ancient mariner (bad joke, I know – I can hear the hoots from here – but I couldn’t resist).

The thing about being old, in case you have never tried it, is that you are on a very short and uncertain leash toward the future, but have a very long tail extending into the distant past.  And in my case, where I find myself in the present is really in the epilogue of my life.  You see, I have had my life; it is over.  This is my afterlife, and it is from my afterlife that I am looking back on my life.  When I look into the mirror of my life, all I see is the past.  So that’s some of what I would like to recall for you here – who I was before I became a has-been.

Some of you will know that those essays I wrote for Raymond Moody’s website were on the theme of “waiting to die.”  As you will shortly learn, I had spent a good part of my life researching what it is like to die (it’s not bad, and is actually much better than you could ever imagine).  But what I was writing about in those essays was what it was like for me waiting to die.  (It wasn’t bad, and was actually much better than you could ever imagine.)  But the thing is, in the end, I was an abject failure at it; I just didn’t seem to have the knack for it.

But I digress.

I was going to introduce myself to you, wasn’t I?

Well, suppose I start by telling you how I first found myself spending a lot of time in the company of the once nearly dead.  I was young then – in my early forties – and I was about to have the time of my life.  Here’s the story:

It all began with two little purple pills.  But they weren’t Nexium.

They were two LSD capsules, but I didn’t know that then.

I had better back up and explain.

In the early 1970s, just after I had turned 35, I was a newly appointed full professor of psychology with tenure at the University of Connecticut.   And I was discontented.  Not with my personal life, but with the field of social psychology in which I had been trained and hired to teach.  I had recently published a critique of experimental social psychology, castigating it for the pursuit of merely clever and flashy research of the “can you top this” variety, which did not make me many friends.  In any event, I was suffering from a sort of early career crisis, having become disenchanted with this domain of psychology.

In March of 1971, when my wife and I went off to the Berkshires to celebrate our anniversary, I happened to pick up a book that my wife was then reading – Carlos Castañeda’s first book, The Teachings of Don Juan.  It looked intriguing and after she had finished it, I read it.

I was then a typical Jewish professor – wedded to rational thought, committed to science and atheistic in my worldview.   I had no interest in religion and very little knowledge of mysticism.   But I was open to new experiences, and what had particularly excited me about Castaneda’s book was his discussion of what he called “seeing the crack between the worlds,” which he had apparently effected through the use of mescaline.

At the time, I had never considered using psychedelic drugs and my only familiarity with anything close was having smoked marijuana a few times.  But since I had never been a smoker, even that was difficult for me, and my experiences with it, though of the usual kind, did not have any particular impact on my life.

Nevertheless, since there was a colleague in my department at the time who I knew was familiar with psychedelics, I approached him to tell him about my interest to take mescaline and why.  He had read Castañeda’s book and knew what I was after.

I came to the point.  Could he provide me with some mescaline?   He could.

By then it was early May.  The semester was just about over.  He told me not to read anything further on the subject and just come to his apartment on the following Saturday.

That day turned out to be a rare beautiful sun-splashed day with everything beginning to bloom.   My colleague lived at the edge of a forest.   He suggested that I take the mescaline in his apartment, wait just a bit and listen to music and then go outside and into the nearby woods.

And then he gave me two purple pills to ingest.

I did not know my colleague well, and as I was soon to find out, he was not only impish, but embodied the trickster archetype.  While he gave me to believe I was taking mescaline, he had actually given me 300 micrograms of LSD.

I will not bore you with an account of the next twelve hours.  Suffice it to say that all the pillars of my previous ontological categories soon began to crumble into dust. I had the undeniable feeling I was seeing the world with pristine eyes as it really was for the first time.  At the time and afterward I realized that this was the most important and most transformative experience of my life – and nearly fifty years later, I still feel the same way.  Nothing could ever be the same.

The one portion of the experience I will allude to here   — because it eventually led me to the study of near-death experiences –- took place when I was sitting on a log near a stream in the woods.  I don’t know how long I was there, but at some point for a moment outside of time I – except there was no “I” any longer– experienced an inrushing of the most intense and overwhelming rapturous LOVE and knew instantly that this was the real world, that the universe, if I can put this way, was stitched in the fabric of this love, and that I was home.  However, again I have to repeat:  There was only this energy of love and “I” was an indissoluble part of it, not separate from it

I spent the next three years trying to come to terms with what had happened to me.

Before this, I had been very active as a young professor – I had published a fair amount, I had been promoted pretty fast and I was the head of my division of social psychology and served on important departmental committees, etc.

Afterward, I didn’t publish anything for three years.  During that time, I was engaged in a spiritual search for understanding, and there were consequences.

My wife could no longer relate to who I was and to the kind of company I was keeping, which eventually led to a very painful and traumatic divorce.  My departmental colleagues didn’t know what to make of me either.  A very distinguished clinical psychologist, who had always taken an avuncular interest in me, put his arm around me one day and said, “We’re just waiting for you to come back to us, Ken.”

I never did.

At that time, there was a graduate student in my department named Bob Hoffman who, I soon discovered, was engaged in a similar quest of his own – a search for a new identity since mine had effectively been sundered.  It was Bob who introduced me to the work of the English Theosophical researcher, Robert Crookall, whose books discussed phenomena that were, as I would only later realize, cognate to what would come to be called near-death experiences.  And in 1972, Bob drew my attention to an article by the psychiatrist, Russell Noyes, entitled “The Experience of Dying,” which recounted several examples of near-death experiences, though again that term was not yet in use.  I remember how much these accounts affected me – I think in part because I recognized that they were describing revelations similar to those that had come to me during my LSD trip.

Also in that same year, Bob told me about a conference that was to be held up in Amherst, Massachusetts, on something called “transpersonal psychology” of which I had never heard.

“I think we should go to this,” said Bob.   And since Bob was leading me by the nose in those days, I quickly assented.

It was then that everything started to come together for me.  As my LSD experience had been pivotal for me, so this conference would be.

I don’t remember all the speakers who gave presentations that day – I do recall Stan Grof and Joan Halifax, Jim Fadiman, and I think Ram Dass may have there as well, and maybe even Stan Krippner – but I do remember my feeling of joy at discovering all these eminent professionals had been through something similar to me (only of course in far greater depth and with a level of erudition that was so much beyond my ken – or Ken – that they were really intellectual heroes to me) and had built new professional lives for themselves which stemmed from their own psychedelic experiences.  And more – that I was, without having known it, a transpersonal psychologist!  I had contemplated leaving the academy and psychology altogether, but now I saw I could remain a psychologist after all.  Except I would have to teach a new way, learn a new subject and somehow undertake research in this emerging field of transpersonal psychology.

I returned to the university on fire.  I was starting over.

Fortunately, I had a fair degree of freedom to teach at least one course of my own design, so I put together a graduate course on transpersonal psychology and offered it the next academic year.  It attracted an unusual assortment of students and even a couple of professors as well as a Catholic priest.

Over the next few years, my involvement and investment in transpersonal psychology continued to grow, which did not please my colleagues, but since I now had tenure and was a full professor, there was little they could do but shrug their cold shoulders at me or look at me somewhat sourly as if I were guilty of having left “real psychology” behind as well as my senses.  They were, of course, right about that.

During that period, I made several extended trips out to California, then the epicenter of the nascent transpersonal movement.  It was then that I was able to meet and spend time with many of the luminaries of the field, including Tony Sutich, now no longer much remembered, but then venerated as one of the two progenitors of transpersonal psychology (along with Abraham Maslow).  I can still vividly remember when Tony, who suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis, was once brought on stage at a transpersonal conference, still lying supine on a gurney of sorts, and placed behind a speaker who was giving a lecture.  It was during these years, the middle 70’s, that I also met and in most cases was befriended by many others who played significant roles in the development of transpersonal psychology – Stan Grof, Joan Halifax, Charley Tart, Jim Fadiman, Jean Houston, Stan Krippner, and others too numerous to mention.

And naturally as a result of these contacts and conversations, and my continued study and personal explorations of what Charley Tart had famously labeled “altered states of consciousness,” I began to publish some articles in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, speak at conferences, the usual….

I don’t have the space here (and you won’t have the patience to read it) to continue to provide an account of my “spiritual adventures,” so to speak, and related professional pursuits over the next few years that eventually led me to the study of near-death experiences, so let me just fast-forward to the spring of 1976.  I was sitting outside my house, just after the spring semester had ended, and was reading a little book that I had come to my attention through a journal review by a new friend of mine.  The book had been brought out by a small publisher in Georgia and was entitled Life After Life.

Written by a psychiatrist named Raymond Moody, Jr., it was an anecdotal account of what Moody dubbed “near-death experiences.”

By the next year, after it had been picked up by Bantam Books, it was an international bestseller and the term near-death experience had entered the language of ordinary discourse.

I am holding a copy of the book now and I see all the excited marginal notes, exclamation points and underlinings that I made at the time.  What I remember thinking was:

“This is it!”

I knew that I wanted to find a way to do research that would help me understand what had happened to me during my LSD trip – and that my own spiritual explorations weren’t sufficient for me.  I had always enjoyed doing research and needed to find a way to satisfy that need of mine.  I also knew that I was not cut out to be a “druggie,” and that for a multitude of reasons psychedelic research was not an option for me.   And from reading Moody’s book, I could see, with increasing clarity, that his near-death experiencers had indeed encountered the same realm – and so much more – that had so shattered me.  I could learn from them.  They would be my teachers.

You see, I was never interested in death per se, much less with the question of life after death.  What animated me and drew me to study near-death experiences was my desire to understand the state of consciousness and the transpersonal domains that I had begun to experience when I took LSD.  Even then, of course, I could understand that NDEs were a kind of transpersonal experience in their own right since, according to Moody’s account of them, they clearly transcended space, time and ego.  Thus, researching NDEs, I immediately saw, could marry my spiritual search with my work as a transpersonal psychologist.

The rest, as the risible cliché goes, is history – for me the personal history going on two score of years now of studying, researching, thinking and writing about NDEs.  There’s no need to recapitulate that long sojourn in NDEland here.  All I really wanted to express was how an adventitious LSD experience was the critical turning point for me that led, seemingly inevitably, to my life’s work as an NDE researcher, which indeed has been the blessing of my life.  And for that reason alone, though to be sure not the only one, I will always feel supremely grateful for what I was able to see and understand on a certain day in May in the woods of Connecticut.

—Kenneth Ring, Ph.D. is a retired Professor Emeritus of psychology at the University of Connecticut and an internationally recognized authority on the subject of near-death experiences. He is the co-founder and past president of The International Association for Near-Death Studies

 

Conferences, Podcasts, and Poetry

I’m looking forward to meeting many of you at the National IANDS conference where I will be leading a workshop on writing about spiritual experiences and speaking on Saturday.  There will be plenty of time to talk with people in the IANDS bookstore. The bookstore will be giving away a couple of free copies of Angels in the OR and many other books by experiencers. I’m grateful to readers of Angels in the OR in my area and readers as far away as Australia.

This summer a few more podcasts on my new podcasting channel have been uploaded, as well as several new podcasts interviews from other podcasters.  You can check out my interviews on Healing Powers with Laura Power and Path 11 Productions.

I’m also pleased to share a book trailer that a former student helped produce for my book.  I love supporting their creativity!

It is strange to not be back at the campus teaching this fall, but I am on faculty leave to write a book to help college students find more success and healing while at college. The research is proving interesting. I will share more later!

For now, here is a short poem inspired by living with the knowledge of a near-death experience for 25 years.

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Photo by Mabel Amber on Pexels.com

All This Talk About Death

We go on folks….we go on.

The credits are rolling,

surgeons are packing up their tools,

loved ones are falling to their knees,

and there you are in spirit going on,

finally, aware of how your worries

shouldn’t have been worries.

 

You should have loved them more,

hugged them more frequently,

reminded them to be happier,

taken them out to enjoy the sunlight and moonlight.

 

You should have danced more,

laughed more, praised more,

and joked around a bit more.

 

You are excited though,

hovering there above your discarded body

because it makes more sense to continue

than to become nothing when you are something—

a spark of God that you dimmed

and brightened depending on your circumstances and mood.

 

And, now, you can be fully who you were meant to be,

who you too often limited in the realm of fear and time.

—-Tricia Barker, 2019

Many Thanks and Future Plans

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Many thanks to the Tattered Cover Book Store in LoDo and For Heaven’s Sake Book Store in Lakewood.  I had a fabulous week in Colorado connecting with readers of Angels in the OR

I wish I had more time with each group to walk in the mountains, meditate, and have long conversations about spirituality.  If one of the messages from the afterlife is to “remind them to go to nature,” then I long to have some events in nature in the future.  The events were blessed, and it was wonderful to meet people I know from social media who are working to bring more light to this world.  Frequency Riser is a great website and blog which reviews many spiritually themed books, so you might want to check out the link.

I am also grateful to those of you who attended The Second Annual Online Near-Death Experience Summit.  I loved those three hours with your questions and the answers from the researchers and near-death experiencers.  You can still purchase the 13 hours of interviews, and the replay link of the live stream (which was three hours).

This week I have been resting and contemplating my next project which is a book to help college students succeed and heal from issues that holding them back from being all that they want to be in life.  My next book will be more research based and focused on a generation which is completely immersed in social media.  If you want to check out an hour long podcast by Richard Grannon on the dangers of social media for this generation, you can click here.

In late August, I will be facilitating a writing workshop at IANDS  and partnering with a publisher who will be at the conference to bring you the most up-to-date information about writing and publishing your future books. I’ll also be leading a panel presentation and giving a speech. I look forward to seeing you in Valley Forge.

As an English professor, I know that reading teaches others greater empathy. I read voraciously as a child and teenager and this helped me see from the perspectives of people around the world and those living in different time periods.  As George R.R. Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies….The man who never reads lives only one.”

Or, as said another way, “When we pray we speak to God.  When we read God speaks to us.” —St. Jerome.

I enjoyed talking on podcasts recently about grief and dying.  Part of the beauty of having a near-death experience is being able to support others who have lost someone or are facing death themselves.  The Death Dialogues Project is a great podcast.  You can check out my interview or one of the other powerful interviews on this podcast.  I also enjoyed talking with Nina Impala about grief on her supportive podcast titled Tutoring for the Spirit.

I look forward to seeing you in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Georgia. I’ll announce more dates soon!  Much love and many blessings, everyone!

 

Reflections about Angels in the OR

audible angels in the or

I am a fan of Audible books, especially on long road trips, and I’m happy to hear that people are enjoying Angels in the OR as an Audible. Years ago as an English major in college, I dreamed of writing a book. I didn’t imagine that a car wreck at the end of my senior year in college would be the starting point of my future book.  As an agnostic, I never imagined angels would feature in my story either, but I am grateful that they showed up in that operating room and changed everything about my life.

People often ask me if I am still in touch with the angels. I didn’t talk frequently about this connection until many years after my near-death experience, but they are in my life and the energy they send is healing, encouraging, and loving.  Picking up on their energy is often the link to knowing their presence. I notice, sometimes after the fact, how they connect me to certain people who help me accomplish a particular goal, usually one that focuses on education, healing, and unconditional love.

Since I started blogging and making YouTube videos in 2016, I have talked with many people who have been inspired to ask the angels to help them during surgeries. At book signings, I am meeting medical professionals who are open to assistance from the other side and this is encouraging too. There are many amazing people walking this earth doing wonderful work in a variety of situations. One of the messages from the other side is that we need to make a conscious choice to acknowledge the goodness that surrounds us.  Too much of a focus on tragedy and negativity weighs down our spirits.

I hoped to spread healing and strengthen other’s faith with Angels in the OR.  While writing, I imagined that a soul who was deeply hurting might open up to a light from the heavens that would change his or her life. I understand deep grief.  Before and after my near-death experience, I have experienced situations that challenged me deeply; however, difficult situations can teach us how to use our compasses differently.  When you point your compass in the direction of God, challenges become much easier. And, when your focus is on adding God’s love to the world, your own healing deepens and expands.

This week, I have begun to change some of my YouTube interviews into podcasts. I hope you might check out some of these interviews. I have been blessed to connect with many amazing light-filled souls who shared their stories with me.

In fact, these interviews prompted me to create The First Annual Online Near-Death Experience Summit last year. This year, I have partnered with The University of Heaven in the creation of The Second Annual Online Near-Death Experience Summit.  We have a great line-up of speakers who will certainly inspire and encourage you.

 

Audible Version of Angels in the OR

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I am pleased to let you know that the Audible version of my book Angels in the OR is available.  I know many of my college students prefer Audible and listen to books while they work out.  My narrator, Leslie Howard, did a fantastic job narrating the book, and I look forward to hearing your responses to this version of my memoir.

I feel blessed to have connected with so many kind, empathetic souls who have read Angels in the OR these first few weeks since its release.  I’m also grateful for Sharon Rawlette’s book review of Angels in the OR.  She has a wonderful blog and a book coming out soon called The Source and Significance of Coincidences.

If you enjoy listening to podcasts, I was recently interviewed on B-Now Radio with Jeanie Brosius King.  B-Now stands for The Beautiful Network of Women. Jeanie asked great questions about angels and their lasting influence in my life.

Dr. Amy Robbins, a clinical psychologist, also interviewed me on her podcast called Life, Death, and The Space Between.   We talked about a lot of topics, including my impetus for starting The First Annual Online Near-Death Experience Summit.

This year, I’m happy to partner with The University of Heaven to bring you The Second Annual Online Near-Death Experience Summit.  I am looking forward to this event and hope you will join us.

 

Love is All That Matters

It is my great hope to spread healing and light with Angels in the OR  as it launches tomorrow on April 16, 2019.  I made this video on YouTube to connect with you and to remind you that the love you give to this world works to transform this world in beautiful ways.

Be sure to check out this week’s issue of Woman’s World Magazine. Diane Nichols wrote a wonderful article about my near-death experience titled, “A Trip to Heaven Taught Me That We All Have A Purpose: To Spread Love.”

Also, please check out the early responses I have already received from readers who got a copy of Angels in the OR before the release. I look forward to hearing from more readers.

Here is a new response I received today.  Thank you all for your support and for sharing your own healing journeys with me! Much love to you all…

“When my advanced copy of professor Tricia Barker’s new book arrived, it instantly drew me in just looking at the cover. I had to begin reading it immediately, and indeed it was difficult to put down once I started. It’s a real page turner.

Tricia’s writing is unique in that she takes you through the journey of her life experiences in a completely relatable way. She writes with a compassionate insight that is translated into your own personal challenges. Her transformation is a gift to the reader, uplifting, encouraging, and healing sprinkled with humor. But, the best part is her message of God’s pure love and healing essence that the reader can’t help but experience through her storytelling.

Upon completion I felt that I had finally gotten my answer to the meaning of life. It’s all about love, pure love that transcends all negativity, and is the true basis of our life. I couldn’t recommend “Angels in the OR” more highly; it connects you more with life way beyond powerfully!” — Shireen Nickel

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Angels in the OR can be purchased as a paperback, e-book, or Audible. 

The Light from the Other Side: Love, Prayers, and Ancestors

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Update 1/19/18:  My memoir Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation is available for pre-order and is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love your support in helping me make near-death experiences more mainstream.

The Light from the Other Side:  One of the most beautiful experiences while writing this memoir has been the moment I wrote about getting closer to the light while my heart stopped during back surgery.  This divine light gave me greater peace and joy than I had ever experienced while living in my body.  This powerful force of love must be why so many people do not want to come back to their earthly bodies.  Close to the light, I felt no pain—emotional, mental, physical or otherwise.  I only felt loved, whole, and peaceful.  We achieve moments of this ecstasy while on earth, especially through playing in nature and through prayer or meditation.  True loving kindness for others also gives us glimpses of this light.

Love is All that Matters:  Many people who have had an NDE have reported a similar message to what I heard.    This idea of “Love is all that Matters” seems simple enough, but the interpretation of it can be challenging, even for those of us who have heard this message firsthand.  I don’t think the light necessarily meant romantic love, though it can include that if that love comes from a place of purity and not manipulation.  Many NDEers have a great love for life itself after their experience and a great sense of urgency around their mission here on earth.  Right after the experience, they love even the simplest things like a beautiful bird singing a song in a tree.  They feel purer, like children who find beauty in so many parts of existence.  Love and gratitude for life is part of the message.  Being kind to others is a form of love.  Praying for others and wishing them well is form of love.  So much of romantic love seems to be manipulation and then anger if the relationship doesn’t work out as planned.  Though a beautiful part of human experience, it is not the only form of love by any means.

What is this Love?  Love can be a smile, a kind gesture, paying for someone’s groceries when they don’t have enough cash.  Love can be many things in action.  Service to others is a great form of love.  Making the lives of others more light-filled and joyful is a form of love.  Love can be found in enduring relationships full of deep understanding and compassion.  Love can be found alone in taking good care of one’s self and having compassion and love for one’s own heart. Mostly, we know love by the joy and light-filled feeling it gives us.  I am not an expert on love while in this human body, but I am lucky enough to have felt the most amazing form of love imaginable as I drew closer to the light on the other side.  Here is an excerpt about that experience from my memoir.

Quotes from Angels in the OR

“If I had to sum up the main lesson of my near-death experience, I would say that God, is a loving force that doesn’t want people to harm others and wants us to feel joy and happiness in our lives.  Love and kindness are the greatest gift we can give others.  We are all a part of that light, but we forget how to love because of fear.  We forget how to walk through this world as the light.  We are all closer to God as children because love comes more natural for us.   We can be gleeful about pets, a bird in the sky, looking into our parent’s eyes.  We are in love with the world, and the world is in love with us.  We breathed easier as children, and lived more extended, intense moments as children.”

“One of the most important lessons that was transferred to me by the light is that love is all that matters.  Though this seemed like a hippie slogan or a paraphrase from the Beatles, the message sunk into me on a deeper level.  Every interaction is meaningless if love is not attached to it in some way.  A prayer is meaningless without love.  A sermon is meaningless without love.  A religion is meaningless without love.”

“The prayers of those who loved me felt like wind, slowing down my progress toward the light.  Though their love felt sweet, and reminded me of my life on earth, their prayers did not stop my desire to keep going deeper into the light.  I’ve always been an adventurous soul, and this was the greatest adventure I’d ever experienced.”