When Did You Die?


Too many people have come to accept death as an ordinary way of life. We expect people to lose heart, lack enthusiasm as they age but dying in the middle of your life is not natural. I know, because I talk to people whose energy seems dead all the time.

As a spiritual leader, people often come to me in search of a different or new way of life. My first question is usually the catalyst from where this process usually begins.. Simply stated, I ask When did you die? When did
your soul stop expressing your authentic self?

These are powerful questions because they address our biggest fear and our greatest loss. It’s important to think before you answer, because it’s not your “near death” experience I’m interested in. I want to know about your “near life” experience – the times you did not bring all of your life and vital energy to an experience. These are the times you almost saw the light.

I started dying when I was a little girl. At the age of five, I had my first mystical experience. I knew God loved every body all the time and that I would be the one to bring the world this message. True, I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain metaphysics, and I hadn’t yet discovered my favorite mystic Rumi. But I had a knowing, and a powerful vibration erupting from deep inside me. So, I began to tell people, I wanted to be a minister. This was a daring dream for a young girl in a small southern Baptist town where women were not allowed to have leadership roles, much less become ministers. And little by little, people began to take my dream away from me. This was the tumultuous 1960s when fear ruled the world. My early beliefs were heavily influenced by the conflicting tides of the times. There was the Religious Right and there were also Civil, Women’s, Gay, and Animal Rights. Guess which side I was on and what that manifested.

A favorite aunt disgraced me for not agreeing with her. A teacher shamed me for wanting to be original. My 7th grade peers turned on me because I welcomed the black kids coming to our classes. I became afraid to be me, so not long after discovered the affects of alcohol. I could secretly believe what I wanted without having to feel the consequences of my thinking, and so I continued to drink for the next 13 years. It was a deep and painless sleep. I was unconscious and without dreams.

According to Jungian psychology, first we must realize we are asleep, then we wake up, then we die so we can be born.Think about it. You cannot be born until you die and you cannot die until you wake up. In the spiritual sense, dying many times is crucial to our growth and well being in this lifetime.

Like Carl Jung, cats have always known this. These highly evolved creatures sleep about 15 hours a day. I think its because they like to dream and if we pay close attention, they’ll lead us beyond this world and back. Because we must open up to the reality that we’ll have many deaths in this lifetime.

In order to open up we must rid ourselves of fear. Have you ever almost reached a goal, a dream, but closed back down, afraid of the unknown, the uncertainty, that mystery of not knowing? Like the moment you almost become vulnerable to love and held back. The promotion at work you could have received and didn’t go for because of fear of rejection (the holding back of anything when you almost saw the light).

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, says fear is the dust that gets in our eyes. It keeps us from seeing what we
need to see. When we let go of that fear and make peace with that fear, we make it our sacred friend. Then, we can
become committed and when we commit we begin to live fully as these lines attributed to Goethe demonstrate.

“That the moment that one definitely commits ones self Then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin now! And like the cat who licked the platter clean, you’ll live a very authentic, very satisfied life.”



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