THE LESSONS OF VILLA AMARI
Life is a non-linear continuum, which explains why story-tellers may sometimes have difficulty in finding a beginning. Death is usually perceived to be the most final ending, yet it is my beginning for this story.
“God … please let me really die this time!” This was my “prayer”. The infinite which is God was most clearly expressed, for me, by the word Love, as in “God is Love. He who abides in Love, abides in God, and God in him”. I had “died”, or at least left my body, two times previous to the experience I’m writing about … once at age 7 and again at age 22 … each time during heart surgery. Two months previous to the experience the doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center told me I could die any day.
“I know I’ve wanted to die before … and it was to escape. This time You just have to let me die because I know that love is the answer to all the miseries and mysteries … and I’m not making love work … so I’m part of the problem and Earth will be better off without me … because I know the answer … and I’m not making it work … so I’m part of the problem … so this time You have to let me die … please …”
I’m not sure that too many people could understand why one would be pleading to die. Rather than bring myself fully into the memory of what would bring me to such an unusual prayer, I will explain that a pain which had begun in my heart soon became so great that I could not seem to locate any physical place in my body that wasn’t pain. I was also in mental and emotional torture … agony … despair ….
There is something in such a moment that makes it seem eternal … the misery seemed to begin somewhere before memory began … and seemed it would last beyond the foreseeable future …. At some time in that night of pain and pleading, I opened my eyes which were then looking in the direction of the sky through a window in my bedroom … and my attention was so completely captured by a star (or light) that I no longer had awareness of the unendurable agonies of the previous moment.
Words are lacking to me … none seem to exist to explain this next series of events … nor have I a way to measure or express the time involved … so I ask you to open your heart and mind, dear reader, and perhaps you’ll be able to read between the words and lines and get a glimpse of what occurred. Perhaps there are even long forgotten memories that will awaken within you.
This attention filling star-light seemed to be getting bigger or brighter as I stared at it. I blinked … quickly … hoping it wasn’t going to disappear … yet trying to make sure I was seeing clearly … it was indeed getting brighter AND bigger … then I realized it was getting closer … or I was getting closer to it … I reacted by rolling over, burying my face in the pillow and pulling the covers over me ….
A communication then began … it wasn’t in words ….
We would be with you
“NO!” … fear … panic … then a feeling of a withdrawal of the other … “Suzanne,” I told myself, ” you dummy, fear is nothing but the unknown … face it … know it … with love … and it won’t be fearful … “Wait!” I said to this “other”.
I rolled over and looked out the window … the star-light was larger, or nearer, though now it wasn’t moving.
You are invited
“NO! (Suzanne! … you’re doing it again!) … WAIT!” Again at my fear-response I had sensed a withdrawal … at this time I would say a withdrawal of energy, of presence … and when I said “wait” each time, it seemed to cease withdrawing … then this communication would happen … only this time it didn’t …. I now realize that they were doing exactly what I had requested … waiting …. In my thoughts I timidly said “Could we meet somewhere in the middle?”
Instantly, though without shock, I was elsewhere … seemingly not in body … perhaps my body was dead, though I guess it is now said all body functions ceased ….
I felt safe … protected … as if a stronger, wiser being had an arm around me … and it was as if he/she were gently chuckling as I received the next communication:
Yes, love is the answer, however, you don’t know what love is
It didn’t feel like a reprimand … there was no judgment … just a simple expression of the problem … and then the solution ….
(The first part of this was hard to write because of remembered pain. This next part is difficult because the experience was so complete that it seems to defy description. It was truly unique … I hadn’t any previous conscious experience to compare it with, nor had I heard of anyone’s similar experience … so I had no adequate word-labels to attach ….)
I experienced … Love … its essence … its beauty … its being … its knowledge … its power … its generosity … and its humor …. The lessons, if they can be called such, were interrelated … there were seven … yet they were one.
I like learning … and when I get the rush of wonder and excitement at encountering something new that improves my view of life dramatically for the better, I had sometimes feared not remembering the gem of wisdom so I had wanted to write it down … and that wasn’t applicable in this elsewhere … so I put words on the experiences to help me remember.
This all happened in a timelessness with the qualities of the eternal … no feelings of impatience or hurry or delay …. God it was perfect!
The words that I chose to put on the seven aspects of my lesson of Love are:
Be Here Now
Have Fun / Enjoy!!!
Now if I could give you the experience from which I came to understand that love does work and is the answer to the apparent miseries and mysteries of life, then I would certainly do so … and writing this wouldn’t be necessary. Actually you may have already had such an experience … when all that seemed chaos was seen to be in harmony … when all the limitations were realized as opportunities … when barely experienced faith, or a yearning for faith, became total trust … and when there were no words, no labeling, no judging … only the experience of peace and joy at once and feeling eternal. Do you remember a moment like that when there were no doubts or fears … when you were at your best and it was better than all your dreams put together?
Perhaps something in the recounting of my experiences and the way I perceived them will help you remember and/or feel such a renewal as I did.
“I know you will die for me … will you live for me?”
Those were the only words I heard during this timeless moment in an elsewhere place … and I said “YES!” … and instantly awoke in my body, lying on my own bed and looking out the window at a star … or was it a light?
The first impression after my “return” from “elsewhere” was the silence … the quiet. The last time I had occupied that body it was noisy … raucous from the pain and the mental screaming, pleading and raging at God … at life …. And now I looked around me through body-eyes and noticed the stillness … and that I hadn’t died …
Would I remember? Would I somehow make life work now? Love had new meaning … and it had felt so real, would I remember and would I be able to change my life with what I had experienced? It had seemed so possible, so easy, so right and wonderful just a few moments before when I was … when I was … where had I been? … Had I indeed been anywhere?
At this point in time I would say that one’s attitude and perception of the possibilities and/or limitations makes up the experience of life that one has. Even knowing that doesn’t mean I always experience perfect joy and peace on a feeling level … and if I did feel that way, I might be labeled insane.
That was a new beginning … a re-birth … and I’ve doubted its occurrence, I’ve questioned my sanity … and occasionally I’ve remembered … and found that I wasn’t alone … that the energy, or presence is with me … guiding … reminding … and most often making it all very clear and a lot of fun.