Lessons Learned from Almost Dying

If you missed this post “How Self Hypnosis Saved My Life,” read it first as this refers back to it.

From childhood, I remember many bedtime stories that were teaching tales. They were to help you grow in wisdom by providing you with the moral of the story. Well, there are many lessons that can be extracted from my earlier post. If we scrutinize not just our own experiences but that of others, especially the ‘bad’ ones, there is much that we can learn. So the real point of my post is not about me, but how it can help you.

What I was trying to illustrate and to warn about is that when your life force drops due to on-going discouragement, overwhelming problems, upset, hopelessness, lack of joy, etc., poor health or illness follows. Or as local Leonard Orr, father of the Rebirthing Breathwork movement, when you life urge decreases, you death urge increases.

Throughout the stressors in our lives, there has to be a way for us each to sufficiently recoup our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual strength so that we can maintain our balance. But the problem is that when you are in crises, there is frequently NO TIME to do that even if you know what would or might help. You are just too busy struggling to stay afloat.

Once the worst of the crises is over, you are focused on doing catchup of everything that went by the wayside in the interim. Then, you just move on with life and do the best you can, probably glad to put it the past behind you, not wanting to think about it, and so probably not revisiting it in order to resolve and release any residual trauma. But what is not processed sits in the background adding to the rest of your pain pile and any new stress coming along. Eventually, it is too much and you break down.

One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to get enough sleep and to make sure that you eat. Sleep is for me is the lynchpin. Then next in importance is to get emotional support–someone to hold you and comfort you in your challenge–and if you are truly blessed, someone to make you laugh. We know that people who have emotional support do better in healing when they get ill. But the reverse is also true–people who have emotional support are less likely to get ill. And perhaps we know of people like Patch Adams, MD that use laughter for healing. 

What happened to me was that I had gotten divorced, my son who was the joy of my life had moved away, and many of my family members had died or also moved away. And a major part of my social life and feeling of purpose came through my business, which was now closed in preparation for the big move to the West Coast.

These are common problems for many people. Statistics show a correlation of men dying within two years of early retirement. And while changes in diet and lifestyle factor in, I would argue that losing your daily routine and the network of everyday interactions with coworkers, plus perhaps recognition and approval, also has to play into it. Also known, is that stress is involved in every illness. For example, many people develop cancer within 6 months to 2 years after the death of a loved one. Many vehicle accidents occur soon after a separation or divorce. 

A problem for many caregivers is that they may have traditionally gotten their emotional support from the very person for whom they are now a caregiver. Because they don’t want to further burden the sick person, they hold their problems inside. Finding adequate emotional and physical support from others to replace what is now gone takes time–something in scarce supply for anyone in that position.

Having multiple self-help practices such as self-hypnosis, prayer, meditation, Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique, and other stress management tools make a critical difference. But even if you know how to deal with stress, it still takes time and commitment to do so. It has to be a priority. In my case, sleep not stress management was the priority. I was too exhausted to do anything else. And forget about being able to get away to get some help for myself even if I knew who to call and had the funds to spend.

Another point that I brought up was that thoughts carry a train and connect to thoughts of similar events. So that taking care of my mother reminded me of what my mother went through to care for my father during the many years of his 14 cancer operations, and three heart attacks. Luke’s death reminded me of Rodney’s and my father’s and that of both my grandmothers. If any of your similar events were not adequately processed either because you did not have the time or the skills to do so, what was undone will be brought to your attention now to deal with it as an extra load to any new issues that are occurring. 

Another weird thing was about the shrimp. I have always had an irrational fear of scorpions–so much so that I would never consider living in scorpion territory. They represent danger to me–something that you might never see coming that could hurt you. The similarity between the appearance of a scorpion and a shrimp was not lost on me. Already still traumatized from 9/11, my mind made a connection between scorpions and shrimp and my body overreacted.

In mentioning Nelson’s getting let go just days before 9/11, I hoped to illustrate that what looks like a terrible thing (eg. losing your job) can be a blessing in disguise. On Friday, all those 40 people were upset, wondering what they were going to do next. And on Tuesday, they realized that if not for losing that job, they would have been dead like all their other co-workers.

Not mentioned was that I realized that my mother’s many health issues that arose immediately after I announced that I was moving away. I felt that this was part of secondary gain. For an explanation on this psychological dynamic, see my previous article here. Then you could interpret her falling and shattering her arm as “giving her right arm” to keep me with her. If I am right, she must have felt desperate.

Finally, in mentioning Luke, it is good to remember that we never know what the day will bring. And in our last moments, take the opportunity to connect with someone you love.

Copyright by Roxanne Louise. However, this article may be shared in free online sources only if this copyright notice and link to http://www.roxannelouise.com and http://unlimitedpotentialhealingcenter.com  are included with the content.


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