In February 1997 I died. Luckily, there was a lifeguard nearby who gave me CPR, got my heart going again & brought me back within seconds or minutes. Incredibly, while gone for only those few fleeting ticks of the clock in the physical realm I had a soul stirring experience in the nonphysical realm which altered the course of my entire life.
As my consciousness was drifting away from my physical body, I heard a Voice – loving but firm – say to me “Do you want to let go? Are you ready to leave?” And I answered with a resounding “YES!” At the time, I was 19 and had lost all interest in day-to-day activities which would bring me Joy. I was feeling directionless & hopeless. Then the Voice says, “If you want to leave then you must let go of your legs,” so I consciously let go of the awareness & sensation in my legs. “You must let go of your arm,” says the Voice and I follow suit with each part of my body until the only thing left in my awareness is the sound & sensation of my breath. “Now it’s time to let go of your breath,” and so I do.
In the physical realm, when I started convulsing & stopped breathing that caught the attention of the lifeguard who initiated CPR. But in the nonphysical realm my journey had just begun.
Although it sounds cliche and predictable, it is my experience so I will share it. After I let go of consciousness of my physical body I became aware of an amazingly light & comfortable sensation all around me. I felt embraced by a Love I had never experienced in the physical world. I felt safe. Protected. Accepted. Understood. I had a sense of being connected to everything and everyone. It was the most beautiful sensation. The Voice repeated, “There is Oneness” many times. “Oneness….Oneness” almost like a mantra.
Then I began to see hundreds of episodes of my life play out before me like on a giant screen of my mind. The episodes were not random. Each one depicted me at a time in life when someone needed help or support or compassion or kindness but I didn’t take the opportunity. These episodes were from earliest childhood all the way up to the present moment as a young adult. Hundreds of thousands of scenes where I had the chance to be of assistance to someone but didn’t. These scenes showed me how my nonaction hurt others and how much pain I caused unintentionally. These were not intentional acts of cruelty. They were negligent, abscent-minded. Suddenly, the embarrassment and shame from my careless & thoughtless actions overwhelmed me and I wept with great sorrow for what I had done. I was pleading with the Voice asking forgiveness and saying I understood and that I see now the faults in my actions.
Then the Voice stated in such a loving way like a devoted parent to a child that all was forgiven. Then It stated that what I needed was Compassion and although I didn’t have it then I have it now. I agreed and said I understood. Then the Voice said I needed to go back to the physical realm with a lot of Compassion. The thought of this startled me and the memory of the pain and disunity and disconnect of the physical realm shook me. I didn’t want to go back and pleaded, “No! Please don’t send me back! No!” But then….whooooooooosh….I was back; I opened my eyes and saw the lifeguard’s face millimetres from my face and I was shocked and said, “I just died!” and he said, “It’s okay. You’re okay now. You’ll be okay.”
And that was the beginning of a life-long journey to develop and live Compassionately.
In upcoming posts I’ll share more about this journey in the hopes that sharing my story will inspire other like-minded souls on a similar path.