What's the consensus?

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canadian1000
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What's the consensus?

Post by canadian1000 » Wed May 25, 2016 9:42 pm

Hi everyone!

I am new to this forum, but I have read quite a few NDE that have been posted on the website from people around the world. I hope I don't get into trouble by posting this question here, but I was hoping to get some input from those of you who have a deeper knowledge of NDEs.

I am 28 years old and I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life. It began when I was a child and I witnessed quite a few deaths in my family in a relatively short period of time. Since then, I have battled to overcome my anxieties, one of which is a terrifying fear of death.

I am Catholic but I struggle with the traditional idea of St. Peter waiting at the pearly gates, admitting believers into God's kingdom and sending sinners away into the abyss. I think the biggest issue for me is not knowing what will happen when I die and, coincidentally, part of my anxiety consists of not being in control. When I am not in control and when I can't see a clear path from point a to point b, when I am forced to deal with uncertainties, I am enveloped in anxiety.

Anyways, here is my question:

For those of you who have read extensively about NDEs, do you believe wholeheartedly that there is an afterlife? And if so, what do you think a person will experience when they die? I guess I am simply looking for some inspirational reassurance that whenever my life ends, I am not going to suffer an eternity of terror and torment (I know that no one can guarantee me anything, but I do like to hear what others think because it helps me to re-evaluate my feelings on the subject.)

I should also note that I often times feel like a lost cause in terms of dealing with this anxiety over death. I look at everyone around me and I know they don't have the same worries that I have. I constantly think of the terrible things I have done in life (sins you may call them), and I feel like nothing I can do will ever make up for these things. Every day of my life, I live with the guilt and regret of a laundry list of "sins" and they weigh me down horribly. The most ironic part of it all is that I have a very compassionate heart, but I can't seem to direct any of that compassion towards myself.

Thanks so much!
R



Precaud
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Precaud » Wed May 25, 2016 11:16 pm

Welcome to the forum, R. I just wrote an entire response, but the board software timed my login out and the whole thing was lost. This is one really crummy aspect of the forum software. I'll try to rewrite the response tomorrow.

ano1
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by ano1 » Wed May 25, 2016 11:40 pm

R-
Yes, there is definitely something after this life.
I can only tell you from my own experience that death is not to be feared. I was very much loved. In fact I was directly told that everything is about love.
I did not feel any anxiety there. Nor, did I need to be in control of anything. There was a loving presence in charge.
I was loved and accepted. All was known about me and I was still loved. I knew all things by just thinking about them.


Your quote:
I should also note that I often times feel like a lost cause in terms of dealing with this anxiety over death. I look at everyone around me and I know they don't have the same worries that I have. I constantly think of the terrible things I have done in life (sins you may call them), and I feel like nothing I can do will ever make up for these things. Every day of my life, I live with the guilt and regret of a laundry list of "sins" and they weigh me down horribly. The most ironic part of it all is that I have a very compassionate heart, but I can't seem to direct any of that compassion towards myself.
It sounds to me that you need to quit beating yourself up. You are just as worthy to be here as any of us. I believe you are here because you are supposed to be here. Not many people go though life without difficulties. All of us have made and will make mistakes---that is how we learn and grow and transform; mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's called being human. I have lived long enough to know that through mistakes, I have learned my most valuable lessons. Treat mistakes as a springboard of opportunity to change, improve, etc. It's a positive, even though at first, it may feel, not so positive.

As a Catholic you are Christian. In being so you know that Christ died to atone for your missteps. All of them. In accepting Him you do not have to attempt to make up for anything. He loves you. He knows every detail of your life, and he still loves you. Accept that. This love is a free gift. Reach out and grab it! When you do, I think you will find your anxiety disappears.
You see, none of us is in control, we never were and never will be. And the best thing about that -- it's okay.

ano1
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by ano1 » Wed May 25, 2016 11:44 pm

Precaud,
I'm sorry that you lost your response. That has happened a few times to me too. I can never seem to quite capture the original message, the second time around. Very dis-hearting.

canadian1000
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by canadian1000 » Thu May 26, 2016 1:18 am

Ano1,

I am very grateful for your thoughtful words of reassurance and to Precaud for responding in spite of the glitchy system. I am constantly reminded by those around me that I am too hard on myself. As a young man who has lost out on most of his youth due to these feelings of self-pity and anxiety, it's hard for me to comprehend the love that God has for me since I lack the ability to love myself. Ironically, while I cannot understand why God would continue to love me with all of my faults and inadequacies considered, there are many people in my life, friends and family, whom I love so dearly that I would sacrifice my own life for them. I know this manifestation of unconditional love towards others that dwells within me is God's work, but why is it that I cannot find that same unconditional love for myself? I know that you cannot possibly answer this question nor do I wish to put a weight on the shoulders of others in trying to help me cope with this anxiety, but I fear that one day I will die from a horrible disease (yes, my anxiety also comes in the form of hypochondria) without having lived and therefore, having wasted the precious gift of life that was given to me.

This is all truly very distressing to me and as someone who has the tendency to over analyze in an exceptionally critical way, I just cannot seem to pull myself out of this rut. Venturing onto this website and eventually into this forum, I admit, was just another act of my overly anxious mind trying to seek some assurance that, if I do die young, everything will ultimately be okay and I won't feel horrible regret or lonliness for the rest of eternity.

The last thing I want to point out is that I have sought professional help but it doesn't seem to break down the wall that surrounds me. If you knew me in real life, everything I have just said would come as an incredible shock to you because I have learned how to internalize it all without showing any outwardly signs of distress. It's now starting to show as the burden has just become too heavy for me to carry. Alas, at this point, I am probably making little sense, so I will leave it at that and once again, I truly appreciate your response.

Precaud
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Precaud » Thu May 26, 2016 9:21 am

R,
ano1 touched on several of the points I was going to make, so I'll just add a few things, even though the original sense of it is lost. Sigh.

I can very much relate to your situation. I had it too. Most people would just bury these feelings and try to pretend nothing is happening. You are a very thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent, strong, and articulate person. You have what it takes to free yourself from this anxiety. There are several factors coming together at once to bring this crisis to a head, part spiritual, part personal, but mostly developmental and psychological.

The NDE aspect of this is pretty small; it's more a symbol of what you face. Is there life after death? Yes. But, but it is different. Who you are, your individualized sense of self, ends when this life ends and the body dies. As ano1 said, one of the natures of this new state of being is Love. All your cares, fears, woes will disappear. Love heals all. But you don't want to wait until then, do you? Just as It loves you, you must find the love for your self and heal it. You have some catching up to do on the self-love part.

So this is the great challenge. It probably feels selfish to you. It's something you have to learn to get used to.

You are right to question the Catholic fairy tale about life after death, and many other things. Like the premature emphasis on sacrificing yourself in order to save others. I would guess that one or both of your parents were in on this too, nagging on you without mercy.

27-29 is a time when most of us are at a crossroads, to stay attached to our past or move forward into a new life. Right now you're in the grips of attachment to the past, attached to a self-image that isn't working and feels bad and that you hate within yourself. It feels like you're going to die without having lived. And that's an apt description of what it feels like.

But it is not a fear of death; it is really a life crisis, a fear of living. A fear of letting go and becoming a new person. This thing inside you that you hate is not you. You didn't create it. It is the creation of your upbringing and conditioning, handed to you and planted in you with great sincerity by people who didn't know better. You are the innocent recipient of this misguided nonsense, and feel trapped by it. A part of our identity becomes attached to it. It is not easy to let go of this, to get it out of our psyche, and establish a new identity. As you said, the burden is great. So let it go. It is difficult emotional work. It will take time. So you must be patient and above all be easy on yourself. Start by separating yourself from the internal critic. Just recognize it and observe it, as if it is someone else. See it for what it is. Soon it will become clear where it comes from.

Ours is not to question why,
ours is to learn to cry
for the things that we do to each other;
cry, for the things that we feel but we never think of one another;
cry, for the things that we feel inside;
cry, for the Us that we're all trying to hide.

It's also important that you not try to do this alone. Find others who can relate to what you're feeling, and help each other. People who have never faced this will not understand it. If you seek professional help, ask them directly if they have faced this crisis and how they solved it. If they say no or can not be open with you about it, say thank you and find someone else. You want to work with experienced people, not those with just opinions and book knowledge.

The social workers developed a system called Parts Work, or "Inner Parts Work". You may find it helpful. There is plenty of info and videos online about it. Since you already have a "laundry list" you've made a start on it.

It is an amazing opportunity you have before you. You have my complete empathy and support. I hope you will open the door and walk through it.

Peace.

canadian1000
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by canadian1000 » Thu May 26, 2016 7:53 pm

Thank you Precaud for your wonderful and insightful response. I have a lot of thinking to do and I know this won't be easy. One thing that stood out to me the most in your response was your comment about this not being a fear of death, but in all actuality, a life crisis or a fear of living. This stands out to me because I think you may be correct in your analysis. Next week, I hope to begin CBT and hopefully that will help me get the morbid thoughts under control; thoughts which I believe are the underlying trigger of my anxiety. I will keep both yourself and Ano1 updated on my progress as I really hope that my experience will help others who may be dealing with a similar issue.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond to me, I can't emphasize how grateful I am. =)

Precaud
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Precaud » Thu May 26, 2016 11:16 pm

Good luck with your process, R. You're fortunate to live in a country that will actually provide such health care for its citizens. I think you'll do well with it, you have a lot of the needed skills already developed. Thoughts are just things, they aren't you. They thrive on attention. You can choose to empower them or ignore them.

I look forward to hearing back from you when you feel like it. Be easy on yourself.

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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by ano1 » Fri May 27, 2016 11:24 pm

R--
I agree with so much of what Precaud wrote. I too, had a bit of a 'fear of living' at your age...but, don't give up... the best is yet to be.

Another thought has come to mind. I have a good friend who struggled with guilt over having had an abortion while in college. Then twenty years later after she had several children, the abortion pulled on her so much that she could hardly take it. She decided to have a conversation with God. She asked for forgiveness. Over a period of time she said she actually felt forgiven. Yet, the guilt continued... until she realized that if God had forgiven her but she did not forgive herself... it was as if she did not trust in God's forgiveness... and how selfishly arrogant she was being to not accept forgiveness. Once this thought sank into her, she forgave herself and has had a sense of freedom and peace ever since.

I know that is an awful run on sentence, I'm too tired to re-write it. Hope it makes some sense.
I wish you all the best.

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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by DennisMe » Mon May 30, 2016 3:34 am

Canadian 1000,
glad to read that you will be starting CBT soon. It is a very effective way of decoupling thoughts from feelings. This way you will certainly get more control over the way you feel, I know its an invaluable asset to me as well.
From your story I understand that you have a false belief that you are "unworthy". You may want to try the Lefkoe method (named after a wonderful and very loving man who recently passed on to the brighter side).

What has helped me A LOT is reading and reading NDE experiences.
You will soon realize that God really is unconditional Love. Like a new mother loves her new born baby unconditionally; even though it only just caused her a world of hurt to be born! I know what it is to come from a religious background. You may feel like a traitor for doubting the churches teachings or official dogma. What are you gonna do; blame God for giving you a brain?
I have studied theology and if it has reinforced one thing into my mind it is that all theology and all church dogma are merely fallible human concepts. They are only (albeit sometimes very clever) attempts to put into formulae concepts which transcend human capabilities to understand. It is logically sound to say that that which transcends logic cannot be formulated logically! To expect otherwise is a fallacy. The church itself is caught up in a web of its own weaving and that is one of the reasons its in such a pitiful state these days. Notice how the present pope is deliberately distracting attention from dogma to people in need! He knows it and is trying to tack the ship before it strands in the rocky shallows of theological "profundity"...
What also helped me is always keep in mind that God is Love. Reject anything that makes God a murderer, a liar or a thief. Such teaching is contrary to what I'm sure you must know deep down is true. A little study will often reveal fresh new perspectives and ways of framing that are much more helpful.

dinah
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by dinah » Mon May 30, 2016 11:21 am

God is not about religious personalities or dogmas, not about fear and guilt, not about anxiety and expectations, not about ego construct, not about judgement.
All the above are what we carry inside due to our upbringing.
During NDE´s there is only knowledge, wisdom, love because that is what our consciousness is or should be.

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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Giulia » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:26 am

Precaud wrote:Welcome to the forum, R. I just wrote an entire response, but the board software timed my login out and the whole thing was lost. This is one really crummy aspect of the forum software. I'll try to rewrite the response tomorrow.
So sorry about that, Precaud! All that work lost ... I know the feeling. The one trick I can think of, as I use it to prevent my own work from being deleted as a result of computer problems I have had in the past, is to type everything on a separate file and then post it when I am finished.
Hello from Italy - How I found out about NDERF - A Strange Experience

Precaud
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Precaud » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:30 am

Hi Giulia,
Yes, writing in a separate editor is one solution. Another is not to write such long-winded replies! :D

Cheers.

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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by DennisMe » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:13 am

No Precaud, I love your long winded replies! Cutting them down would be a great loss.

Precaud
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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Precaud » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:06 pm

You're very kind, Dennis!

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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by David » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:01 pm

I will look into this problem.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

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Re: What's the consensus?

Post by Giulia » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:48 pm

Hi, Canadian1000. Welcome!

I am so sorry you are feeling so anxious about death. Having been raised as a Catholic myself, I must say I used to have the same sort of fears. When I was your age, I was just starting to challenge all the inconsistencies about a loving god who can inflict eternal damnation to its own children, but amazingly, reading about NDEs, and also about spirit communication through mediums about what happens when we die, had an unsettling effect on me to start with. I ascribe this to the fact that I had been so well indoctrinated with these simplistic beliefs which were not to be questioned, that the very fact of finding out that death is indeed a reawakening into our real Home, made of love and happiness, took me quite a long time to process.

I did have the added benefit of experiencing spontaneous and then deliberate out-of-the-body experiences, as from the age of 29, and this helped a lot, because I realised first hand that my consciousness was not the property of my physical body, and that while my body was asleep, the physical world was no longer solid for me and I could expand my awareness and also meet with the so-called “dead”, receive information from them that I could later validate, and convey messages to their relatives.

I very much agree with Kevin Williams who, based on a huge number of NDE accounts, states that it is us (the so-called living) who are actually dead, compared to the way we will feel when we reawaken from this dream called “life”.

Speaking about NDE accounts, I was especially touched by the words used by the late Dr. Dianne Morrissey in describing her NDE in 1977 ("Do you remember how it felt, long ago, to be held and rocked in your mother's loving arms? Take this to the hundredth power and you're still light years away from the feeling of total peace and comfort that surrounded me. I felt the love of every mother in the universe being poured inside me for now and for all eternity”.) and by Kathi Beasley in her 2004 experience (“It's like all the love in the universe from all the mothers of all time focused on you").

Now, how could such LOVE have anything to do with the notions of a judgemental, impatient, vindictive God? I have drawn the conclusion that this is an entirely man-made idea, designed to monopolise the topic of what happens after “death” to trigger a fear-based attitude in people and keep them in check.

I have also come to the conclusion that, since most if not all world religions have at their core principles that are very similar to “Love thy neighbour as thyself”, these are indeed all coming from the same source, and if the followers of the various religions all acted on their core principle, there would no longer be wars, and this would be an earthly paradise.

I hope this helps.
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