Just Dying To Live…

Just Dying To Live…

Not long ago, a DJ on the radio brought up the spine-chilling topic of near-death experiences. The discussion really sank deep with me, because just that week, a family acquaintance’s life had been tragically cut short in a road accident, and so death was already kind-of on my mind.

It was a fascinating radio show to listen to, with people calling in and sharing their own personal experiences. Although each person experienced leaving their bodies in unique ways, there were some common threads that strung the stories together into an eery tapestry of the afterlife. Some of these commonalities were:

  • I saw my Dad / Mom / someone I love, and they were dressed like…
  • Someone spoke to me and said, “I’m not ready for you, son.”
  • I saw my body lying there and I understood what was happening, but I felt incredible peace. I didn’t feel any fear at all.
  • I was surrounded by a warm feeling and sensed a presence of peace and love.
  • I didn’t want to come back.

Now, I’m not here to write about ghosts and lights and pearly gates. On the contrary, I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens here on earth in those final, fleeting moments before being called home.

I can’t help but wonder if the final encore that a person performs on earth is tragically their most powerful one. You hear it from people who narrowly escape death: they realised in that moment what was important all along. Read more

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Strong.

Strong.

“Strong”
I read the words with some measure of incredulous disbelief and dismay.
I know my friend isn’t cruel enough to be joking with me, but I cannot fathom where she draws her conclusions from.

I read the kindly-worded text again: “I’m really amazed at how strong you are, fitting all that you do into a 24 hour day, and not falling apart!”

Tears prick my eyes.

You think you’re plodding along unnoticed, your efforts unseen by the people you’re desperately making efforts for… and someone on the outside looking in says something like that.

I am strong, I ponder to myself. I whisper it aloud, wondering if I will believe it more if I hear it. “I am strong.”

The words sound empty and ridiculous and my inner critic scoffs and chokes down a laugh.
“Others are stronger!” She accuses me. “You are falling apart at the seams. Maybe you can put on an act, but you are not strong!”

She’s a real bitch, that one.

I find myself in my homeopath’s consulting rooms, using pregnancy pains and hormones as a ruse… I try to mention it ‘in passing’, disguising it as an innocent afterthought: “I’ve been feeling a little low lately. You know… Just blue. Hormones, I guess, tired….?” I shrug, the final touch on a futile disguise.

She continues to write notes on her pad and asks a string of odd questions, including ‘What colour is the feeling?’ and ‘Where is it sitting?’ I suddenly feel foolish. “This is not a counselor’s office,” Inner Critic chides. “You’re so lame!”

A few moments of furious scribbling and the good doctor lifts her head to me. She looks me square in the eye and speaks in direct response to the bitch behind my eyes: “You think that everyone else has it together. You think that all other women have their lives in perfect control, juggling work and family and self. In this office, I’ve seen it all and I can tell you with certainty: it’s not true! There is nothing wrong with you, for feeling this way. You are not alone.”

I leave with an inner silence so intense, I think part of my soul has left me.

Good riddance.

I lift my head in defiance and feel a tiny spring in my step… the battle half-won.

Are Christians the new Pharisees?

Are Christians the new Pharisees?

Throughout the gospels, Jesus challenged the Pharisees and religious leaders of the time. He challenged them particularly on one major point: they had lost sight of what God’s heart was all about: people. They had gotten lost in religion and rightness and what Jesus openly termed “human rules” and forgotten about God’s love and passion for humanity.

As I read yet another scathing article this week, where one church leader and his entire congregation was targeted and essentially given that burning label, “false prophet”, my heart broke a little as I realized that so many in the christian church have taken up positions as modern-day Pharisees. I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of shame, wishing I could stash the contemptuous blog away, and hide it from the eyes of those still searching for their Creator. I wouldn’t want them to find this version of God, the un-loving and condemning one. The one that ranks judgment above love.

My plea to writers and bloggers is this….

Stop public bickering about doctrinal issues.

~Mark 9
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.”
Read more

The Problem With Blind Faith

The Problem With Blind Faith

I’ve been thinking a bit about Jesus’ instruction to us to have faith like a child. All my growing years, I understood that to be blind faith, believing everything – without question.

Kids will believe just about anything. I tell my daughter that Mr. Moon is happy today because the crescent moon looks like a smile. And why shouldn’t I? She soaks the story in, and waves gorgeously at the moon, who in return smiles back at her adoringly. When she’s a tiny bit older, I’ll undoubtedly tell her that Mr. Moon is actually a great big Cheshire Cat, grinning widely at the whole world. And why shouldn’t I? There is enough time later on in her life to face realism and learn to balance her beautiful imagination with cold hard facts. Read more

Dear Young Lover – On Marriage & Life

Dear Young Lover – On Marriage & Life

…Things I would tell a younger me…

Dear Young Lover,

I want to tell you something about love, marriage and life. Sit with me, let’s talk.

I hear you say, “What could you tell me? You’re only 32 years old!” Even at 32, Young Lover, years of sunshine and smiles have begun to etch faint crowfeet beneath my eyes, and years of frustration and crying have begun to carve deep furrows between my brows. Sit now, let’s talk. Read more

The psychopath who just needed some rest

The psychopath who just needed some rest

I’ve had a month from hell.
(actually, about 6 months, but the last one was particularly hell-ish)

We launched the month of March with a crisis at work. That same week, I got sick. I stayed sick for 3 weeks. And then got sick again on two separate occasions thereafter. And through all this, I could not really take any time out, because a crisis needs handling, and my team and managers needed me.Then I’d come home, and my child and husband would need me to be ‘present’ and functional too.

I’ve just felt as though I’ve been tossed back and forth, chewed and spat out several times a day Read more