Many of us have fears that, for whatever reason, we don’t share with others (even the ones we love). Our secret fears. Last week I talked about my secret fear: the fear of death (see The Gift of Fear: Becoming Friendly with Your Fear), and how I was able to overcome the stranglehold it once had on me.
Today I’m going to talk about how I actually overcame my fear of death. And I’ll just warn you right now, it’s a rather woo-woo (out there) story. And so I’ll offer this disclaimer: If you are not open to the possibility that your soul may have passed this way before (i.e. reincarnation), you may wish to stop reading here (but I hope you don’t).
It began like this. In January of 2009, as I was meandering through the country roads on my way to work—the same roads I’d been driving for seven years at that point—I passed a pickup truck towing a trailer (not an unusual or significant experience), and a shiver of fear passed through me like an electrical current. And just as quickly, the feeling passed.
Until the next time.
Over the course of the next two months, every time I passed a pickup towing a trailer, my fear intensified. It got so severe that when I saw one coming, I’d grip the steering wheel with both hands and hold my breath as it passed. When my carpool mate was driving, I’d clench my hands, hold my breath and close my eyes.
And with each passing day, I began to experience the sensation of a head-on crash. It began with a vision of the crash. Then I began hearing the sound of glass breaking. Finally, I began to feel the glass and metal as it crushed my body.
On the last day, I felt my breath leave my body, and I knew I had just died.
It took only a split second to regain control of my senses and, fortunately, we were only a quarter of a mile from work. I pulled into the gas station at work, glanced over at my friend (who was happily clicking away on her blackberry), and FREAKED OUT.
My hands shook so badly I couldn’t grip the door handle. My breath came in rapid gasps, and tears streamed down my cheeks.
What the hell had just happened to me?
I spent the morning, unable to speak (to anyone), wondering how I was going to tell my husband that I was going to have to quit my job because I was too afraid to drive to work anymore. No matter how the conversation went in my head, I could see no way of escaping hospitalization. In a psych ward. Because, even to me, I sounded crazy.
At around 3 o’clock that afternoon, I called my carpool mate (and good friend) into my office and told her what happened.
“I think I had a premonition,” I said after telling her the whole story.
She shook her head. “No, I think you relived a past-life experience.”
After talking some more, my friend asked me if I needed for her to drive home. “No, I’ll be okay,” I said, not entirely sure I would be, but the amazing thing is? I never had that fear again!
Up to that point, I had never really considered the idea of reincarnation. But I certainly liked the idea that I’d had a past-life experience better than the thought that I’d had a premonition of my death. And that night I pulled a book from the shelf that I had purchased nearly a year before (The Instruction, by Ainslie MacLeod) after seeing the author on Oprah’s Soul Series, and began reading it.
As I mentioned last week, I’ve read literally dozens (if not hundreds) of books on spirituality, but none resonated with me like this one. Perhaps it was the book, or maybe it was the timing of this particular book in my life. Either way, everything I read about soul levels, soul missions and past-life fears made perfect sense to me.
The following year, I had three sessions with Ainslie MacLeod (he’s a spiritual psychic, specializing in past-life experiences). I learned about many of my past lives and came to understand many of the phobias and quirks that I have in this lifetime. I learned that I did in fact die in a car accident in a previous life and that, when I had the experience the year before, it was when my soul incorporated all the lessons from that previous life.
“When something like this happens,” Ainslie said, “a significant shift occurs in your present lifetime. Did you notice anything profound change in you as a result of this?”
“Yes,” I told him. “I am no longer afraid of dying.”
Call it a past-life experience or déjà vu. Call it whatever you’d like. The bottom line for me is that I am no longer afraid to die (okay, maybe a little afraid of the physical act of dying, but not about what happens afterward). I no longer imagine myself stuck six feet under the ground for all of eternity.
I’m free to live my life, and when it’s over, I know that all my loved one’s who have passed before me will be waiting for me. And then we’ll all be onto our next adventure.
What spiritual belief’s help you cope with the fears in your life? I love hearing from you. And to prove it, for every comment you leave, you’ll be entered into a drawing. At the end of the month, I will draw a lucky winner who will receive a $10 gift card (your choice, Amazon, Starbucks or iTunes). Winners will be announced in the first post of the following month.