I now live my life from joy instead of from fear. This is the one very simple difference between who I was before my near-death experience (NDE) and who I am today.
Before, without even realizing it, everything I did was to avoid pain or to please other people. I was caught up in doing, pursuing, searching, and achieving; and I was the last person I ever took into consideration. My life was driven by fear — of displeasing others, of failing, of being selfish, and of not being good enough. In my own head, I always fell short.
Since my NDE, I don’t worry anymore about trying to get things right or complying with rules or doctrines. I just follow my heart and know that I can’t go wrong when I do so. Ironically, I end up pleasing more people than my old self ever did, just because I’m so much happier and more liberated!
Seeking Outwards for Approval, Answers, and Guidance
Until my NDE, I’d always been searching outward for guidance, whether it was seeking approval from my peers or bosses or simply looking to others for answers. I followed the opinions, advice, teachings, and laws that were laid down by other people, whether they felt good for me or not. Often, I adhered to the rituals and teachings out of fear, just in case they were right and had information that I didn’t.
During my NDE, I discovered that in listening to all these external voices, I’d lost myself. Doing things “just in case” means doing them out of fear. So these days, I don’t follow any established methodology, order, ritual, dogma, or doctrine. For me, life is a spiritual experience, and I’m changing and evolving all the time.
From Negativity to Acceptance
Although I strongly believe that the best thing I can do for myself and others is to consciously keep myself uplifted and do what makes me feel happy, you may be surprised to learn that I don’t advocate “positive thinking” as a blanket prescription. It’s true that since all of life is connected, keeping myself in high spirits has a larger impact, as it is also what I’m putting out to the Whole.
However, if and when I notice negative thoughts creeping in, it seems best to allow them to pass through with acceptance and without judgment. When I try to suppress or force myself to change my feelings, the more I push them away, the more they push back. I just allow it all to flow through me, without judgment, and I find that the thoughts and emotions will pass. As a result, the right path for me unfolds in a totally natural way, letting me be who I truly am.
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Sweeping statements such as “Negative thoughts attracts negativity in life” aren’t necessarily true, and can make people who are going through a challenging time feel even worse. It can also create fear that they’re going to attract even more negativity with their thoughts. Using this idea indiscriminately often makes people going through seemingly tough times feel as though they’re bad for attracting such events, and that’s just not true.
The Most Important Barometer: How Do You Feel About Yourself?
If we start to believe that it’s our negative thoughts that are creating any unpleasant situations, we can become paranoid about what we’re thinking. On the contrary, it actually has less to do with our thoughts than with our emotions, especially what we feel about ourselves.
It’s also not the case that attracting positive things is simply about keeping upbeat. I can’t say this strongly enough, but our feelings about ourselves are actually the most important barometer for determining the condition of our lives!
I allow myself to feel negatively about things that upset me because it’s much better to experience real emotions than to bottle them up. Once again, it’s about allowing what I’m actually feeling, rather than fighting against it. The very act of permitting without judgment is an act of self-love. This act of kindness toward myself goes much further in creating a joyful life than falsely pretending to feel optimistic.
Letting Go of Self-Judgment
I feel it’s so important not to have judgment and fear toward myself. When my inner dialogue is telling me that I’m safe, unconditionally loved, and accepted, I then radiate this energy outward and change my external world accordingly. My outer life is actually only a reflection of my inner state.
It’s not important whether I’m having a bad day or a bad week. It’s more important how I’m feeling about myself while I’m facing this day or week. It’s about trusting the process even as I face a difficult time and not being afraid to feel anxiety, sadness, or fear, rather than suppressing everything until those emotions pass. It’s about allowing myself to be true to who I am. Because of this, the feelings will dissipate and occur less and less frequently.
Honoring Who You Truly Are: Allow Yourself To Be In Your Truth
The key is to always honor who you truly are and allow yourself to be in your own truth. As much as possible, I try not to carry any emotional baggage from one instant to the next. Instead I try to see each moment as a clean slate, bringing with it new possibilities. So I do what uplifts me or brings me the most pleasure and joy at that time — and while that might mean meditating, it could just as well mean that I go shopping or eat chocolates, if that’s what I feel like.
Living more in harmony with who we truly are means being and doing things that make us happy, things that arouse our passion and bring out the best in us, things that make us feel good — and it also means loving ourselves unconditionally. When we’re flowing in this way and feeling upbeat and energized about life, we’re in touch with our magnificence. When we can find that within us, things really start to get exciting, and we find synchronicities happening all around us.
*Subtitles by InnerSelf
©2012 by Anita Moorjani.
All rights reserved. Excerpted with permission
of the publisher, Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com
Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
by Anita Moorjani.
About the Author
Anita Moorjani was born in Singapore of Indian parents, moved to Hong Kong at the age of two, and has lived in Hong Kong most of her life. Anita had been working in the corporate world for many years before being diagnosed with cancer in April 2002. Her fascinating and moving near-death experience in early 2006 tremendously changed her perspective on life, and her work is now ingrained with the depths and insights she gained while in the other realm. Visit her website: www.anitamoorjani.com