I came across the following video on the interwebs, through an email that had a link, that led to another a link, and then to another…you know how those web discoveries go.
I’ve heard about near-death experiences (NDEs, as they’re called), and though I haven’t really dug in and followed any specific story, I’ve heard about some of the details, as I’m sure you have, too. They seem to have some similar threads, such as a detachment from one’s body, a bright light, an intense warmth, and a feeling that one doesn’t want to return to the physical, because the awareness of “something beyond” is rapidly increasing.
The video I watched was of Anita Moorjani’s story (the full video is posted below). She had what was classified as an “Exceptional Near Death Experience.” As I watched her talk, I anticipated what she would say she learned from the experience of almost crossing over. The story she told of what she learned in those minutes, was refreshing, uncomplicated, and accessible. It actually made me smile the whole time I was listening.
Ms. Moorjani battled cancer for four years before falling into a coma in the final stages of the fight. In those moments that were “supposed” to be her last, she had an out-of-body, supernatural experience, becoming aware of ALL, of everything. And, when she came back to her physical body, she had been enlightened with some important lessons that she shares with us.
What she learned, well, I feel it confirms what you and I, and those with whom we align ourselves are already working towards in this natural life. Be kind. Love yourself. Love your neighbors. Live life to the fullest. Live fearlessly. Laugh more. Find the joy in life. Understand that this life is a GIFT. Face your challenges. Be yourself. Love yourself unconditionally. You are uniquely you.
It’s certain confirmation of all that I feel inspired to write about. Spread love and friendship. Promote peace. Discover and experience this adventure we are all in, called life. Nurture and develop our connection to each other as human beings. Simply laugh, love, and live.
She offers a brilliant metaphor to help describe her experience, at minute 8:35. It’s about being in a huge totally-darkened warehouse, and all we can see is what’s lit up by the beam of one tiny flashlight we hold in our hand, as we use the beam to navigate our way in the dark. The experience of crossing over is like all of the flood lights being turned on in the warehouse, and you see and become aware of more than you could have ever imagined.
Below, I transcribed the five most important lessons she learned from her experience. I invite you read her words and then to view the 18-minute video for yourself.
(The following is transcribed from “Dying to Be Me,” Anita Moorjani, TEDxBayArea, Nov. 30, 2013. Starting at minute 13:35.)
“To bring it down onto a more personal level, I want to share with you the five biggest lessons I learned from this experience.
- The most important thing that I learned, the most important thing we have here, to focus our awareness on, is LOVE. That is number one. And when I say love, it’s very easy to say, we need to love other people, but one of the things I learned, is that one of the reasons I got cancer is because I didn’t love myself. That’s hugely important. When we love ourselves, we value ourselves. When we value ourselves, we teach people how to treat us. When you love yourself, you find no need to control or bully other people, nor do you allow other people to control or bully you. So, loving yourself is AS important as loving everybody else. And, the more you love yourself, the more love you have to give other people.
- The next biggest lesson I learned, was to live life fearlessly. Most of us are brought up on a diet of fear. We’re taught to fear everything. I used to fear cancer, I used to fear eating the wrong foods, I used to fear displeasing people; I feared just about everything. I feared failing. Most of us are brought up fearing everything. And, people think that fear keeps you safe. That’s actually not true; LOVE keeps you safe. When you love yourself and when you love other people, you’ll make sure that you keep yourself safe and that you keep other people out of danger’s way. Love keeps you much safer than fear does.
- The third thing I learned that is so important, is humor, and laughter, and joy. We’re born knowing this stuff, we’re born knowing that it’s important to laugh, because that’s what kids do all the time. We’re born knowing love and fearlessness. But, it gets conditioned out of us as we grow up. Laughter is so important, and humor, and finding your joy in life, it’s more important than any other spiritual activity that you can think of. If we had more laughter, in fact, if even our politicians learned to laugh, we’d have a very different world! And if we had more laughter, you’d have less people with illness, you’d need less hospitals, and you’d need less prisons, as well.
- The fourth thing I learned, is that life is a gift, it really is. Most of us live our lives as if life is a chore, but it shouldn’t be that way. And, it’s unfortunate that it’s only when we lose something that we value that we really realize the true value of it. It took me losing my life, to realize the value of my life. I don’t want other people to make the same mistake, which is why I’m standing here sharing my message. Because, I don’t want people to realize when it’s too late, the value of their life. Your life is a gift, even the challenges that come to you are a gift. When I had cancer, that was the biggest challenge I could ever have, but today when I look back on it, I feel it’s the biggest gift I could have had. I thought the cancer was killing me, but actually I was killing myself before I got cancer. The cancer saved my life. All your challenges are gifts. In the end, you will always find that your challenges are a gift. And if you’re in a challenge and it doesn’t feel like a gift yet, it means you haven’t got to the end yet.
- The fifth and final thing, which is so important, that I learned, was that, the most important thing for you is to always be yourself. Be as you as you can be. Shine your light as brightly as you can. Embrace your uniqueness. Just, realize who you are, get to know who you are, love yourself unconditionally, and just be yourself.”
Luke 10:25-28 (NIV)
- On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
- “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
- He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”