Don’t you hate it when you hear someone use a saying you believe you created? I recently heard someone use a phrase I was convinced I had coined, “Live each day as if it is your last because someday, you’ll be right!” I was certain I created that line - I lived that day - three times. My three Near-Death Experiences produced five lessons. Thank you for allowing me to share them.
At the age of four, I climbed the stairs from the concrete basement to the living room of our Brooklyn based, row house in Canarsie. “My life is hurting me,” the chubby toddler told her parents. Gripping at my chest, confused and unable to catch a breath, I learned about fear and life.
Near-Death Experience #1 – The Jamaican Hell Fire Chicken Story
The first near death experience I had (also known as an NDE), was on Election Day Eve November 7th, 1988 to be exact. It was a Monday morning; I had been out with friends the night before. Always open to try new things, I had feasted on Jamaican Hell Fire chicken. Spicy puts it mildly; this stuff was HOT! How can anyone TASTE stuff that is that hot!? Apparently, it can also clear out all of the prescription medication in someone’s body. I never made it into the shower that day. While preparing to go to work, I had a major asthma attack and ended up having to call 911. They entered my apartment and the next 12 hours I was a Jane Doe at a nearby hospital.
I had been given the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Last Rites and they tried to locate family. Once off the ventilator and awake, I greeted my parents and heard of the fight to save my life. While I did remember the fear of the attack, I recalled nothing beyond that moment; only unmistakable and indescribable feelings of feeling complete acceptance and understanding and an awareness of the necessary realities of war, famine, poverty, violence, etc. Instantaneously immersed in this energy, I longed to remain and upon awakening back in my body, I felt frustration and remorse and even said something to the nurse in my room. “Next time,” he smirked, “don’t call 911.”
LESSON NUMBER ONE, FOR ME, IS AN UNDERSTANDING OF A PLAN THAT WE MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. God, the Universe, the Mother/Father energy, however we have “come to know and understand our God,” wants us to relax and trust and know all is well and going as planned.
LESSON NUMBER TWO, FROM THIS SAME EXPERIENCE, IS NOT TO FEAR THE “NOT UNDERSTANDING.” I realized that I had survived death and that I need not be afraid…. of anything.
Near-Death Experience #2 – My Son’s Birthday Party
The second experience happened years later. Seems my plan included a loving husband and children. Had I not survived my first Near-Death Experience; I would have missed all of this. It occurred a few days before my firstborn son’s 3rd birthday. I had planned a spectacular party with a magician, a clown, all sorts of fun activities, cake, candy… all of the fixings for an amazing birthday. Seems the stress was a bit much and my body was reacting. However, this time the attack came on much quicker and it was more serious. There was no time for Last Rites, and I would find out later that efforts to revive me were not successful, at first. Three minutes had passed, and my brain was telling my heart to stop. The second NDE also lacked the tunnel and the reports of dead relatives’ others always spoke about. Why were they not coming to greet me and why did I keep coming back?
LESSON THREE INVOLVED UNDERSTANDING THERE IS AN ASSIGNED TIME FOR EACH OF US. There is no way to cheat. None of us gets out of here until our appointed time and that time frame includes tasks we agreed to complete. Some of these tasks involve contracts with others. Had I departed before my assigned time, I would not only be leaving tasks incomplete, but would also be reneging on the soul contracts I had created with others. Since we are all helping each other “level up,” on the sacred spiral, leaving before our assigned time is NEVER A GOOD OPTION and those that choose this route with selfish, misguided purpose, will continue to experience suffering even if he/she destroys or kills his/her own body.
Near-Death Experience #3 – My Most Serious Event
The third near-death experience, and the one that was the most serious, began again in the morning. This time, I was home alone with my school age daughter who was just seven. She did not know how to call 911. The last thing I remembered were fingers dialing three digits and then I just surrendered. This time I awoke days later to find my entire family was gathered. Last Rites had been given again and my prognosis for recovery was guarded. I sat and thought, a lot this time, about why this kept happening and what it all meant. In dreams, my Guides would come and try to explain.
LESSON NUMBER FOUR INVOLVED UNDERSTANDING LIFE IS TO BE LIVED WITHOUT REGRETS OR APOLOGIES AND WITH DEEP MEANING AND PURPOSE. I returned this time less attached to the physical and materialistic nature of the world and more focused on experiences with people. I started to resonate with more simple views of life and love. I began appreciating handmade gifts and cards rather than store bought items. I focused on spending more time with people and actually looking at people when they spoke to me. I learned to turn off the television or put down my cell phone and focus on the moment.
FINALLY, LESSON NUMBER FIVE IS ABOUT SUFFERING AND PAIN. I had learned, as I think we all do, that pain and suffering are to be feared and avoided. I realize now how wrong that idea may be. Pain is a communication method the human body uses to signal a required or necessary change. I don’t know about you, but if I am comfortable, I won’t move. However, if I am sitting in a position that causes me pain, you best believe I’m going to adjust. Same for if I am suffering. If I am satisfied and at peace, why “rock the boat?” However, if things in my life are out of control, chaotic, etc. I am going to wrack my brain trying to find a way out.
Since my last near-death experience, I have learned to “lean into” the pain. I have learned to first acknowledge it. How does it feel? What seems to be the cause? For example, if I am in pain because I fell, I locate the pain and acknowledge it. I thank it; breathe INTO it, love it - I might even massage it! I even seemed to make a comparison about this way of viewing pain and the natural birth classes my husband and I took when expecting our children. Pain and suffering as a way to joy . . . imagine that?
Learning to live by dying…