Vital Signs

Psychotherapy From A Near-Death Perspective

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Work and Career

Revelations from NDEs can have a profound effect on our values. The view from the other side is that you take nothing physical with you. What you take is how much of the kingdom within you—namely love, compassion, courage, honesty, responsibility, discipline, wisdom, and faith—you have developed. As revealed in some of the reported accounts (George Ritchie, MD, Ordered to Return, pages 33-46; Barbara R. Rommer, MD, Blessing in Disguise, pages195-199), these qualities of character you take with you may determine, to a significant degree, what you experience on the other side. To paraphrase one of my favorite accounts from an NDEr, it did not matter how big your paycheck was, how beautiful you or your house were, how many degrees you’d earned, or how much fame, fortune or position you’d achieved. It didn’t matter how important your job was, how many lovers you’d had or how small your waist and hips were (thank God!). What mattered was how much you had loved. Life is love’s gift to us, and many are asked at the end of their days on Earth what they have done to return the gift of love back to life. I have witnessed many times that, as clients come into the broader understanding offered by the NDE (as well as by many spiritual paths), their values transform from materialistic to more humane, spiritual values.

This change in values can transform our work life from simply having a job that pays our bills to doing work or service that we love and that makes a contribution to life. It can also give a greater meaning to the latter part of life. Mid-life and later can be a time for greater spiritual growth and service to society, a time for giving back for all that we have received. As we come into this larger view, many find soul purposes and passions stirring, as they seek to find how deeper gifts and abilities can meet the needs of the community they live in. Yet to know our deeper purpose, we must first know this greater self. To help my clients move into this greater perspective on themselves, I suggest that they imagine they are more than their body, that they are a soul with a body of light, who came to earth to realize this true self and make a contribution. Connecting to this deeper self and asking what you find most meaningful and fulfilling in life holds a key to discovering important directions in one’s life, work and service. I was fascinated to read so many NDE accounts suggesting that we are each here for a special reason, and have something unique to contribute to life (Betty Eadie, Embraced by the Light; Suzanne Boehm, Beyond the Tunnel). I was fascinated to read that some who were very reluctant to return to earth during their NDE were shown their purpose for being here, and remembered how they had made a promise that this time they would not forget: they would remember who they really are, why they are here, and would give their life to service.

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