Choosing to live


Spiritual counsellor, dreamworker, healer, retreat leader and the author of six books, including 'Bardo of Becoming', a unique journey of life after death.

(Submitted by the author)

I was 9-years-old when I was given the great opportunity to experience death for the first time. Up until that point I'd been quite ambivalent about being in a body. At the age of three, I would spend most of my then wakeful nights praying to God, pleading with Him to take me home. I felt that there was no real point in being in my body. This despair lessened a little as I grew, but the yearning to be somewhere else, where I thought God was, continued to burn within me.

Six years later, I'd changed a little, but was still somewhat superficial in my attitude to life. I was allowed for the first time to go with a small group of children to the local swimming baths. I was so excited about the whole event and about getting into the water, that I ran to the edge of the pool still wearing my white ankle socks and wristwatch, along with my new bathing suit. I completely forgot about the others I'd come with.

There was no knowing how deep the pool was. I knew that swimming pools had a shallow end and a deep end but didn't know which end was which. I thought, "Just jump! If it's the shallow end, you'll be okay and if it's the deep end you'll either automatically swim or go “home.”

So, I jumped, and it was the deep end. I sank to the bottom and automatically arose. I did not swim. Then I went down again. This happened a few times until I knew I was not going to get to the surface again. As I finally let go, sitting on the bottom, everything around me began to dissolve and grow lighter and a luminous pair of scenes opened up on either side in front of me: to the left, I saw my mother and father opening their door to a policeman telling them the tragic news of the drowning of their only child. To the right, I saw myself running towards them and felt their joy as they greeted me. But the pull was towards the scene on the left where my mother was collapsing in grief, crying, and my father’s face was white and distraught …

My heart felt as though it would burst as I watched their pain. I was deeply affected by their grief. I did not want them to suffer like this. I wanted them to be happy, as in the other scene where I was running towards them. I awoke, with water pouring out of my mouth as I was being resuscitated by the edge of the pool.

My heart chose to live. Now I knew its purpose - Love … there is nowhere else to go. God resides in all of our hearts. A heart that cannot be limited by existence, time and space and yet is the essence of all life and death.



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