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Musings and sketches to inspire. Changing the world one pixel at a time.

A fear of death and How a book kick-started my spiritual journey

Jess Kirkman

I have to start this story by giving you a little background into my headspace a few years back. I was extremely afraid of death to the point where I was having panic attacks just thinking about the idea of it. When my grandmother passed, it made the issue even worse. I wont go into details, but it was really bad. My fear of death would manifest itself as heavy anxiety in my everyday life and it hung there. I was always rushing or panicking about being late because I didn't want to waste time. I was running through life to make sure I got in as much as possible before I died. And in thinking that way, all I did was focus on my death, not my life.

There are a few key moments that stand out to me when I look back on my spiritual journey to track it's path. The first big one is when I met my husband (but I'll go into that another time), and the second one comes from this book: Many Lives, Many Masters. The most beautiful thing about a spiritual journey, especially the beginning of one, is that often times you don't know you're even ON one. This is the book that changed all that for me.

To give you an overview, this book is comprised of actual transcripts from sessions between Dr. Brian Weiss and a patient of his from back in the late 70's - early 80's. He used hypnosis on her and she ended up recalling past-life events. Even more interesting was when she began recalling the 'space between lives' where she was given advice and insight into some of Dr. Weiss's extremely personal matters. 

At first, after reading this book, I became obsessed with the idea of my past lives. I wanted to know who I was, what I did, how I died, etc. It was all I could focus on. I did have some experiences regarding my dreams and past lives, but that story can wait as well. So in my obsession, I talked about this book to anyone who would listen. A friend of mine gave the book to her husband and he ended up going to a regression therapist to help initiate a past life experience through hypnosis. His experience with the therapist was fascinating, and so this led me to think about the book even more. I do have to say that in thinking about the book, it took away some of the space from my 'death thoughts' (which is good). 

I was sitting alone on my couch one day, just reflecting on why I was so obsessed with the idea of past lives. Did i really care about who I was? Was that the fascinating part to me? The idea of reincarnation was something I believed in growing up, but somewhat blindly. I just liked the whole idea of it. But this book made that idea a little more tangible. It applied to a real person, and that made it easier to relate the concept to myself. And although the thought of having past lives seemed to calm me somewhat, it wasn't what pushed me into my spiritual awakening. As I was sitting there on the couch thinking about this book, in one single instant...it hit me. It wasn't the idea of past lives that I was really focusing on, it was the 'in between' that stuck in my brain. The idea that there is something else out there to believe in. Something beyond lives, and the living, and the known. The idea of there being something out there that I believed in, yet couldn't explain, opened my eyes for the 'first time', instantly relieved me of my fear of death, and introduced me to the true meaning of faith

And that, my friends, is how it all started for me. I saw something I hadn't seen before, and felt something I hadn't felt, and it was beautiful, warm, bright and good. Why would I choose to be scared, afraid and anxious if I had this whole new direction to try. I had no choice other than to follow this path to where it would lead me and where it led me (and is still leading me), is down a road where I am aware and in control of my thoughts, fears, actions and reactions. I look at my issues them head on and decide to tackle them instead of suppress them. And in doing this, I've changed my life and only look back to see how far I've come.

And one thing 'Many Lives, Many Masters' truly taught me is that if you don't tackle your problems now, you will tackle them later. And I don't know who I will be in a future life, but I know I have the capacity to improve my souls journey NOW. And that's all I really know. 

So to wrap it up, I did know my fear of death was pretty much gone. The anxiety attacks went away and were replaced with questions about spirituality. I focused on my own awareness and the power it gave me instead of death. And trust me, it's a whole lot more enjoyable. And don't get me wrong, I learned quickly that the only way to keep the good feelings, and to keep the faith and awareness is to practice every single day and do the work. So take back control, read interesting books, meet new circles of people that understand and push you further, and create a healthy environment for your soul to thrive. 

Namaste.