By Marc Lerner
Have you heard the saying, “A light shines brighter in darkness?" Is it possible to take the darkest moments in your life and use them to deepen the quality of your life? As you approach death, it is easy to find the darkest times in your life. Ironically, this is the best time to have a deep spiritual experience.
The main resistance to having this experience is the fear of death and the chaotic thoughts associated with death. You can focus on what is wrong in your struggle or you can focus on how you can benefit from the situation . . . it is your choice.
Approaching death is traumatic in anyone’s life, but there is an opportunity for spiritual growth within every struggle. This growth provides the best way to approach death. It can force you to grow. I choose the word "force" because I felt forced to surrender, which was my biggest growth. My only real choice was what to surrender to.
I could have surrendered to my illness, to my doctor, to the latest new-age approach for dealing with the threat of death, or to any belief system. Being forced, I landed in the silence beyond the creations of my mind. This gave me an ideal state of mind to face death. My mind was quiet; my heart was full of love and I was surrendered.
As I actively participate from the best part of me, I creatively explore a wonderful spiritual life in the silence beyond my thinking, beyond my habits. I can easily ignore that part of me when I focus on my thoughts, but silence empowers the best parts of me to deal with the threat of death.
This blog accompanies my essay in Crazy Wisdom Journal #58, "The Beauty of Approaching Death Consciously." Please comment and share your experiences about how you would approach death consciously. I am also interested in your fears of death and what holds you back from a conscious approach.
Marc Lerner, age 62, has had multiple sclerosis since 1981. A Michigan State graduate in psychology, he worked for 25 years with cancer and AIDS patients, veterans with PTSD, and the mentally ill homeless. In 1982, he founded Life Skills Institute and began writing and giving seminars. His books include A Healthy Way to Be Sick, The Positive Self, and soon, The End: A Creative Way to Approach Death. All are available on Amazon. His website is lifeskillsinc.com. Marc can be contacted at (734) 913-0868.