Recently, I read a book called Dying to Be Me about a woman who experienced a near-death experience. She'd had stage-four cancer, all of her organs had shut down, she'd slipped into a coma, and the doctors had notified her family that they should say their goodbyes. From her coma state, she heard conversations about her demise even though the people were not in the same room and saw her brother flying from India to be by her side. As she slipped through the earthly bounds to the 'other side', she experienced unconditional love and realized that time is linear--in essence, there is no time and there is no judgment.
As I read this book, I thought of all my criticisms, my worries, my timelines and all of it suddenly felt irrelevant. One of the lessons in the book is that we should love ourselves as the divine does because we are loved unconditionally by those on the other side. There is no punishment, no harsh judgment, no doomed destiny.
Why is it hard to love ourselves? I have a hard time with this idea. I love my kids, my dogs, my family, but when it comes to looking myself in the eye in the mirror, I only want to criticize. I'm my worst critic, I admit that. The past few years have been a steady unraveling of the foundation that has kept me afloat. I've allowed regrets over past decisions to cripple me in some ways. Ever since my husband's death, I've been in this fight-or-flight mode, a constant battle for survival, work, work, work, and I have beat myself up without mercy for not being able to break the cycle of struggle.
I came across this book while watching Wayne Dyery's "A Course in Miracles" where the author spoke of her experience and the synchronicity of events that led to the publication of her book. I've studied all of Wayne Dyer's books and have long been a student of the Law of Attraction, yet the struggle and the sense of racing against time persists.
But if time is linear as the author of Dying to Be Me and Wayne Dyer himself suggest, then what am I racing against? A story in my own mind? A societal belief that I've adopted as my own? Where are these criticisms I have of myself coming from? My perception of a 'should' or a 'what if'?
In the book, the author wakes up from her coma, her organs miraculously begin working again, and she's declared cancer free days later. Her body that had been riddled with tumors healed, much to the shock of doctors worldwide. She returned loving everything--even cancer for the lessons it had taught her. She came back radiating love and a sense of well-being because she now understood that there is nothing to fear in death...or in life. She started speaking up for herself and only doing things that made her happy. No longer did she care much about 'shoulds' or 'time'.
I've been told that there is an air of melancholy around me and I don't like that idea. I've criticized myself for being unable to shake this air of sadness because I don't want to be seen as morose. I'm now looking at it in a different way. I love that I loved so deeply that the loss of my husband impacted me to such an extent that I write from a place of great emotion. I love that I know what it feels like to love that way and be loved in return. Yes, I have changed...but so what? I love my journey because it brought me to where I am today and the woman I've become.
In the week since finishing the book, I've started looking at my house through eyes of love. This is where I raised a family and, even if it needs repair, it's my home. I love it. I look at the people who have left me for whatever reason and I no longer feel anger at their abandonment, instead, I send them love because they have every right to live their own lives without me just as I have a right to move on from them and go another way. It's all okay.
I'm releasing judgment--not only of myself but others as well. If the other side is full of unconditional love free of condemnation, then what right do I have to be a critic?
I love knowing I am loved on the other side by angels and deceased family members--you see, I'd been worried that I had disappointed everyone in my life, including my late husband, my deceased grandparents, and even God Himself. Feeling loved is hard for me despite loving being so easily. I'm learning. I'm practicing by holding a hand over my heart and saying, "I love you, thank you, little fighter, you've done good, I love you."
Maybe you don't believe in the other side or that the author, Anita Moorjani, experienced a miraculous healing of cancer and that's fine with me. I'm not trying to sway you. I'm not even reviewing the book. I'm merely sharing the message with you because I feel it is important.
Love is all that matters--love of the earth, of animals, of people, and of ourselves. If time is linear and we have the power to create our own experiences in any given moment, then there is no reason to race or to feel as if we are behind or falling short as long as we're being true to ourselves and our highest purpose.
The message freed me in a lot of ways. Freed me from being scared. Freed me of feeling discouraged. Freed me of carrying around so much baggage.
We are always surrounded by love. We came from love. We will return to love. So why not be love while we're here despite whatever earthly circumstances/challenges surround us? We can choose love over fear and deal with whatever comes with grace.
Peace to you.
Amber Lea Easton
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, volunteers for children's literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.