This is a heavy subject for a second blog that is intended to be more lightweight. I feel compelled to write about it, as this coming week is the anniversary.
It is my fortune to die twice in this life. The first time was six years ago, over Thanksgiving weekend. The long and the short of it is that I suffered a near-fatal drug interaction, “speed balled” my brain and had a small stroke. I lost more than I am willing to share with my readers, but I want to share a few of the things I gained from the experience.
When people try to tell me that there is no afterlife, I have to argue with them. I have been there and I have seen it, first hand. It is a beautiful place where there is no judgment, but the most amazing sense of peace and understanding that it is beyond human words to describe. I have often felt that I live with one foot in this life and one foot in the next. There has not been a day in the past six years when I do not wish that I had died, and not a single day when I am not grateful that I did not. I know that the other side is there for me and I will return to stay, but there is a reason I am not there now. The past six years has been my personal quest to bring to this life what I understand of the next.
The most important lesson I learned is the meaning of life: Love and relationship. Love for everyone and everything, and relationship, not just to other people, but also with every living thing. The second most important thing is that I learned to accept being loved. Prior to this time, I refused to let anyone love me, believing myself to be unworthy. I had been told I was unworthy of happiness and good things in life often enough to have internalized it. The message from the beyond is that everyone is worthy, everyone is entitled to love. The only impediment any of us has with regard to happiness is ourselves. We either allow happiness, or we don’t. I have learned to allow it, to allow myself to accept love from those whom I love.
In the time since, I feel as though I have become a concentric force of nature. I find my pretenses gone and expectations of others diminished. My life is incredibly full with a successful career in a traditional sense and as an artist in my so-called free time, and full of love, friendship and relationship. At the vortex of my life is a great deal of self-acceptance and self-respect, even self-love. I am no longer afraid of drawing people toward that center where my heart resides.It is not easy to share the most significant event in my life thus far, nor it is easy to share that I returned to this life to find that I was ill and would always be ill. As it turns out, SLE is the greatest gift I have ever received. It made me slow down and take the time to smell the roses of life. Because it is such an unpredictable disease course, I have had to relax and take each and every day as it comes, for better or worse. There can be no expectations and it is difficult to make plans of any kind…I have to accept the will of God from one moment to the next, to live in Grace, and believe the best is yet to come.