The Power of Love: How Dying Taught Me About Living

A few years ago I had an experience that brought me into a very full realization that I am here to embody divine love, to channel it into all that I do, and that this is the potential of all human souls.  It is often said that love is the greatest force on earth, and I would have to agree. Love is what the journey is about here, the experiencing of love, the unfolding and expansion of it, and the embodiment of the very same. 

This week, I feel to share what I wrote to friends on Valentine’s Day of 2008, after a dream that changed my life. While I did, also, once have a true near death experience, this dream remains one of my most powerful moments, a great teaching about what life is truly about.


I am going to be vulnerable here, as much as I can, so it will be all I can do to get this out of my system -- let alone make it “pretty”... but most of you are used to my oftentimes-kooky writing!  I also warn you that there is an unpleasant moment that I will describe here, but it is part of what makes this all so... soo.. something.

So... you know I feel living is a journey of love, one that is perpetually traveling inwards and spiraling outwards... merging and increasing internal and external love.  And in the last year in particular I have done a lot of questioning of love in all its facets... including questioning the place of male/female relationship, male/female love, feeling a lot of vacillation/ambivalence about it... and particularly in the last year, doing some odd dances around the subject, mostly ones that involved getting away from men...

For some reason the night before Valentine’s Day I did not sleep well.  It was one of those rare nights where I kept waking up hot, tangled in the covers, disoriented, thinking about numerous school projects. Then, I finally fell into a deep sleep and dreamed one of the strangest dreams I’ve ever dreamed. (And I will preface this by saying: I do NOT watch the Sopranos, so this was not particularly related to that show...)

The first portion of the dream involved being hunted down by Italian mobsters and having my throat slit while some of my girlfriends had to watch.  

I didn't really run from the men in fear, nor did I put up a real fight (which you all know I would do in real life)... but I did not simply surrender to them either.  It was a dream; it was odd.  

I could feel the slice, and the heat of my blood, and I could see it from the outside as well... from some place up high I could see my body held from behind, my head tilted back...  there was something strangely sacrificial about it.

So then, there I was - dead, my spirit detached from my body, looking at it all from the outside.  I was able to communicate with my friends, and they understood that I had simply changed form, but were angry at the way it had happened.  

Simultaneously, waves of thoughts and feelings came.  There was an initial “oh no! I’m dead!” and then a peace and a gratitude for the beautiful life I had lived, for the fullness I experienced…  "I had a great time!  Wow!"

Then there was this agony... and I still feel it so strongly as I write this... this agony... this sadness... "I could have loved more deeply... I want the chance to love more deeply...  I want to feel and be more in that body…" in this body.

Ok this is hard for me to write...

I became painfully aware of how profound and deep our capacity to love is, but how rarely that potential is fully lived.

I became clear that I do want love of a male/female sort, very clear about it...

And that I just wanted to love, want to love, love everything and everyone... deeply, quietly, openly, as I learn to do with the children and horses, with nature...

Then in the dream I became aware that I was dreaming and a huge rush of relief came over me -- I still have this chance!!! 

I am still here in this body.

Then, I 'actually' awoke.

We all have this chance, but it is so hard to do.  Why is it so hard to love?  Not just others, but ourselves first?

That’s what we are here for.  To love.

I am quite certain of it.  The rest is secondary.

Somehow this dream had a profound impact upon me and opened my heart... more.  But I am not quite sure what to do with it.  It is hard to stay open.  Yet, I do see the power in openness, in vulnerability and I remain committed to this path, no matter how much I may stumble and scrape my knees.

It is a never-ending, challenging journey, this one of being alive.

I also feel that loving has little to do with words--words are an extension of feeling, but they can also be thrown around.  Our communication can move without a sound, without a letter.  Certainly animals can teach us this.  The shape and form of love is not so important... and I am learning it has a lot more to do with a personal commitment that extends outwards, rather than... a false sense of duty... or decorum.

I cried when I re-read this. It is such truth, and thinking back on this time, it is amazing to sense how far I have come, how much I have blossomed into myself and into this ability to not only love but surrender into that love that I always most easily found with children and horses. I am committed to openness, to the path of vulnerability, and to fiercely loving myself first always. For me, I also see that while male/female love will be a part of my overall dance in life, it is something that must come through this path of self-realization that I am currently walking, and must come through equal partnership with one who is committed to this path as well.

Love is most certainly my religion--it is what guides me from within, and I have learned and am still learning to listen, lovingly, to myself first. Like all things it truly is a never-ending journey of expansion, one with no end point. Whenever I connect with a dearly departed loved one, or peer into soul dynamics, interrelationships, and so on, I see this search for love. It doesn’t always look pretty on the outside (life is just messy), but it is true without fail. It is universal. In a way, you could say that earth is a school of love with a wide range of classes, and our souls are here for a kind of study.

Enjoy the journey to your hearts dear ones.  Surrender, little by little, into the truth of who you are. And, whatever is going on in your life, share love with yourself. Embrace who you are, right now, without apology.

You are loved beyond measure. I love you always. I am here for you, in love.