Today’s article is different than others I have written, because I want to tell you about a very personal experience that changed me forever. First of all, it’s important that you understand that my field of study, as well as my practice in life, is about helping others change. It is difficult work, and what I have noticed is that most people really don’t change. If they do, they are inspired from an inner source or a fear of losing what they value most. I guess that what makes my story even more meaningful to me is the way it has forever changed my life. I may look the same as I did, but the person I once was becomes more and more of a stranger to me in a very positive way.
I had a cerebral aneurysm that almost killed me with its burst in 2003. The details of the incident are not as significant as what happened to me and where I went during that crisis. I had a near death experience. Not only did I see the light; I went through to a more expansive lit room, so unexplainable in human terms that even the color is not describable here. My God, the GOD, the source of what I believe is all souls held me, called me by name, and told me I couldn’t stay. I thought of every human accolade I could possibly conjure up to change its mind, but it was certain that this was not my time. Its voice resonated through every sense of whatever being I had at that time, and asked me, “Let me ask you one question.” “Have you ever loved anyone the way you have been loved here?”
“NO,” I responded. “I am a human, it is impossible.” The voice stronger and more definitive said back to me, “You can do better.” I was back, hurting, loud noises, beeping, my husband shaking my arm, telling me he had to go through this legal document so I could have surgery. I saw him crying, doctors looking worried, nurses looking scared and intent on preparing me for something. I remember I told my husband, “Just do what you have to do, I am not going to die, and I just talked to God.” When I recalled telling him this after my brain surgery, he told me he thought I was hallucinating. This was exactly what I would have said prior to this experience, as I too was skeptical of patients claiming the same thing.
My life has taken a whole new path. I am a writer, psychotherapist, TV expert, radio expert, in the news with current events, and aware. I am aware every day that this is not our real home. I am aware every hour that my body is only a shell. I am aware that the camera shows only my face and shell, but it cannot show my soul. Therefore, I struggle with the conflict of helping that soul tell the truth to so many people who believe that their existence is based on what they can see. This task is arduous, and has taken my total commitment. I still sin, but when I do, I can no longer excuse it as saying I didn’t know for sure what it meant. I know well what it meant, what it means, and that I am bigger and better than what I may have done out of insecurity or fear (where most of my sins and perhaps yours originate).
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You don't need someone else to feel complete, because you are the only person that can truly make yourself feel whole. While cheesy, it's the most important love lesson Cheryl Strayed teaches.