We can agree, I’m betting, that this is one of the top scariest statements any human can hear.
Call friends and family. Your loved one has hours to live.
Also some of the hardest, most traumatic words we never want to deal with.
I haven’t had to face this one–either as a cancer survivor or a family member. Thank God. But Anita Moorjani and her family did.
They gathered. She went into a coma. Death was imminent. And then …
She came back.
She not only came back from certain death caused by her metastasized cancer: total organ failure followed by a coma, she returned with an extraordinary message. And within days of her return, the tumors and billions of cancer cells in her body were completely gone.
Anita had a near death experience (NDE)*, in which she experienced a number of things common to such events: unconditional love, multi-dimensional awareness, meeting with passed loved ones, and the choice to return.
Eventually she wrote a book about this miracle, Dying to Be Me.
This was the first inspirational book about having cancer and healing that I read on my own journey. I found myself resonating with her revelations, especially her clarity around what her cancer had to offer her.
I had received similar knowing following my diagnosis, but in the surgical trauma and chemo hell that followed, this knowing receded somewhat into the background. Reading her book reminded me that, though the gifts of my cancer journey would continue to unfold, I ultimately knew the message that my body desperately was sending to me:
Please stop hating yourself, never feeling good enough, being so afraid of life! Please change, so we can live. Please love yourself, finally, so that you can be who you came here to be.
Saturday I had the honor and pleasure to participate in a workshop with her in Denver, to understand what she had experienced and how her wisdom might change my life. In case you haven’t heard her speak or read her book, I’d like to share what my takeaways were, because I feel that her message is central to anyone’s emotional, physical, mental healing.
Anita asserts that the only work we are here to do is love ourselves. It’s that simple. So simple, in fact, our minds, addicted to complexity and struggle, can’t really take it in at first.
Though she spoke to us for several hours (interspersed with meditation and inspiring music and videos), the unifying message was that we are unconditionally loved, all of us, and that there is no other reason to exist other than to love ourselves, fully, joyfully, and completely.
Yeah, yeah, you might say. Fine, but give me something I can do. Some tricks and techniques I can use.
Those of us who are personal growth junkies want to know about karma, and why we’re here–in terms of a calling, or work we’re supposed to do. How are we supposed to serve? Survive? Be abundant, prosperous, successful, with good relationships and health? I know, myself, that you can use any modality to create complex answers and pathways to achieving the best and fully lived life. Complexity is meaty. Offers lots of chew toys for the brain. Many things to do. And of course, these modalities are all fine.
Could it really be so simple? Could it really be that loving myself–loving oneself–is the only REAL thing I’m here to learn/experience/do?
The more she spoke, the more I relaxed back into my own knowing that this is why cancer visited my life. Not because I was a bad person who manifested it, but because my entire mind/body/spirit organism had come to this last desperate act to wake me up, to save me. And as I realized that–crazy as it sounds–that cancer was in service to me, I wept. I cracked open with a level of self-love, self-forgiveness and compassion that I had never felt before.
I’m not saying that this is what cancer, or any disease is to anyone else–though I suspect it could be–just that this is my experience. The unwrapping of the gift.
Now, Anita is not a person who is engaging in the spiritual bypass, or the tyranny of positive thinking. She’s a realist who has experienced the miraculous, and is using her extremely challenging experience of being so ill (for years) to illuminate the human experience.
Loving ourselves is a decision. It’s a practice. And though it’s simple, obviously it isn’t easy.
She spoke about many things, from our attitudes around money and fear to how to relate to our loved ones who are “on the other side.”
Whatever the context, the message was clear. Love yourself. Make decisions from love, not fear. Money decisions, relationship choices, career … all of it. Though we have most of us been trained to choose things out of fear, we can begin, step by step, to live another way. It may not be easy, but really, the concept is terrifically simple.
Be Who You Are, and the Universe Will Rise to Meet You
The other big takeaway for me was the concept that we don’t have to chase after our destinies. Along with loving ourselves, Anita learned that the Divine just wants us to be ourselves. She asserts that if we just focus on being ourselves, or the person that we desire to be, the Universe will bring to us “all the things that are already ours.”
Again, my mind initially says butbutbutbut . . . and, as soon as I just relax and allow myself to entertain the concept, it feels like a relief. And true. And loving.
As many iterations of the Law of Attraction assert, we don’t have to worry about the how. My understanding of what Anita is saying means that if I truly just am me, and move toward more me-ness, the how and the what will be revealed. It certainly worked that way for her.
Please, if you get a chance, take in the wisdom that Anita brings. You don’t have to be ill, or have had the big C knock on your door.
And I’d love to have some discussion about what you think about all these ideas. Connect via email or facebook so we can chat!
*A near-death experience (NDE) refers to personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light. These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or has been very close to death. With recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques, the number of reported NDEs has increased.1