When I was 15 years old I died. It was an experience I will never forget. I have never written about this before, until now….
It all began on a very regular day. Nothing was out of the ordinary. We woke up and had tea and I ate a tiny bit of breakfast. I never had much of an appetite back then. My father read the morning paper and my mother rushed around finding all our paperwork.
We were applying to become permanent residents of the United States. My parents had filed the paperwork when I was 5 years old, and now, ten years later, we had received a letter stating that we had been accepted, pending all medical testing. The U.S. wanted to make sure we didn’t have any diseases before we were allowed to enter the country. I felt a little bit like a lab rat.
As we headed to the doctor’s office, I remember feeling a little nervous. Mainly because I hated needles, I hated the doctor’s office, but above all I hated my blood being drawn. You see, I was anemic for many years as a teenager and on several occasions I was known to have a little fainting spell after the blood was drawn. Looking back, I still think the fainting was 60% anxiety, 40% anemia.
When we got to the office we learned that each of us would be going in separately. My father, followed by my mother, followed by me. I hated this idea because it meant that I had to wait even longer to get my blood drawn. Sitting and waiting was torturous. The more I thought about it, the worse it became. My palms were sweaty, my heart was thumping, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the image of a big needle covered in blood out of my mind.
Caught Up in Fear
By the time it was my turn I was already in a cold sweat. The doctor was very nice, she asked me to disrobe and put on a paper garment. She checked me up and down, asking me a slew of questions. I felt violated, scared, and alone. I wondered what America was really like. Was it like this? Then she said she needed to take some blood. This was the moment I had been dreading. I closed my eyes and prayed that it went by fast.
As she started to draw the blood, I remember telling myself it was ok and it would be over soon. But the more I thought it would be over, the more she kept drawing my blood. I had never given this much blood before. It was usually just a vial or two. They needed as much blood as possible to run all the tests, she told me. She knew I was anxious so she tried to calm me down with jokes. I tried to laugh but I was so caught up in the fear.
Finally it was over and she told me I should rest a moment and then I could go.
I lay for a moment but I was more concerned with just getting out the door. I had no interest in being in that office any longer. So I stood up quickly and walked out the door. I believe going from a laying position to a standing up position, coupled with the fact that I just had a lot of blood drawn, coupled with the fact that I was anemic, was what did it to me.
For the last thing I remember was my parents faces as I walked out the door and then quickly collapsed.
Heading for the Light
The next thing I remember was a warm, orange light. It felt like my body was covered in a honey, warm and gooey and comforting. Memories of my childhood began to flicker through my mind. Happy times, I was laughing and singing and playing with my parents. I continued in the warm orange light and soon the light began to turn white and I was heading for the center of the light. As if I was being called to it. I was happier than I had ever felt in my life. There was no fear, no pain, no anxiety, just pure love. It was like I was going towards something more beautiful than I had ever experienced.
But before I got to the top of the light, something stopped me. I felt a sudden awareness that maybe I shouldn’t go forward. I stuck my hands forward but then I looked back. Instantly I was back in my body with a thud. I looked up to see my mother and father holding me and screaming. My mother was crying and my father had my head in his hands. They told me that I was convulsing and shaking. My body had just shut down. The lack of blood flowing to my brain had caused a lack of oxygen. I had technically died, but no one had knew it yet.
As I lay there a sense of calm once again came over me. My parents rushed to get my tea and a snack to bring up my blood sugar. As I sat there sipping it, covered in a sweatshirt, hands still cold as ice, I was in awe.
What was that place I had experienced? Does everyone experience that? If this was dying, then I had nothing to be afraid of. I felt the anxiety melt away from me and sipping on that warm sugary tea, I reminisced on that warm glow I felt over my body.
From that day on, I cherished each day. I slowly began on a quest to release all fears and just live.
Finding My Light, Again
Years went by and although I thought about that light, I never saw it again.
Then one day, I saw an ad for a Reiki massage and reflexology treatment. I had never heard of Reiki before, but I figured I would give it a try. Traveling down to old New Castle, one of the oldest cities in Delaware, I met with a woman who led me to a room filled with incense and candles. She relaxed me and told me to lay down.
Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing technique that involves the placement of hands to guide energy through the body. The Reiki principles are:
The secret method of inviting blessings
The spiritual medicine of many illnesses
For today only, do not anger, do not worry.
Be grateful. Honestly do your work. Be kind to all people.
In the morning and at night, with hands held in prayer,
think this in your mind, chant this with your mouth.
The Usui Reiki method to change your mind and body for the better.
As she placed her hands on me and I felt the energy flowing through my body, I suddenly was aware of a slight light. It was right between my eyes and glowing slightly. When I tried to focus on the light, the light was gone. But then when I relaxed again, the light returned.
I told her about my experience and she said this was common. She also told me I had a strong aura and that I needed to help people. “This lifetime for you is not about making money,” she said. “This one is about healing people, helping people, guiding people. You are a spiritual teacher.”
I felt flattered. She was not the first person to tell me this. I had heard it from strangers, psychics, family and friends. It seemed no matter where I went, people would stop and talk to me about their faith. Even when I was a child.
Sadly, I still did not heed her message. Instead I tried to “fit in” to society by trying my hand at some more conventional jobs. I worked 9 to 5, I bought professional clothing, I networked with other professionals, I worked in a conventional office with a window and a door. But the more I tried to make it fit, the less it fit. Like trying to shove the circle block through the square hole.
I wondered why each job failed. I wondered if something was wrong with me. Perhaps I was just made to fail?
And then something miraculous happened, I saw an ad on courses to become a Reiki master.
Reiki was the only thing that had brought me closer to the light. I signed up and met with another lady named Joanna a few weeks later. Joanna taught me the principles of Reiki and what it means to train to become a Reiki master. “To heal others,” she said, “you must first heal yourself.”
When she performed my first Reiki attunement, I saw a brilliant purple light that radiated across my body. It was beautiful. As I trained to become Reiki 1 certified, I found that the more I meditated and practiced Reiki, the more I was able to unlock that purple light.
I had finally found my light again! I had always thought I would never see that light again unless I passed over. But now I see that the light- the radiant etherial energy that is divine love – can be harness at any time and by any one. Anyone can find their own light.
It was one of the reasons I started this website. To share my journey and to encourage others to share their journeys too.
Because when we let go of fear and accept love into our hearts, we are letting the light shine on.
And boy, does it look beautiful.