Is what I am doing good enough?
QUESTION:My question has to do with my near-death experience back in 1979. I was shown what I should be doing with my life and told what the purpose of my life is. The problem for me is I am not doing what I was shown I should be doing, and I always hope and question that what I am doing today - is that good enough? The purpose of my life is tied to what I was shown, but I still feel that I am accomplishing that or at least partially accomplishing it with the life I lead today. Do you, yourself, have a response to this?" -- Scott
P.M.H. ATWATER: "Scott, this is a question that strikes at the heart of every near-death or near-death-like experiencer. There is no absolute here, for the issue is a spiritual one between the experiencer and his or her relationship with God. You were at least shown your purpose, Scott. That means you know what it is. Many were never even given a clue. There is tremendous comfort in knowing what it is. Yet, as you indicated, sometimes that knowledge is not necessarily helpful. What if you can't or won't fulfill your task? What if there is a "glitch" in the program somewhere, a gap between knowing and doing? Questions like these lead to alternatives, options, other ways of accomplishing your life's purpose - besides what you were shown or told during your experience. Eventually, the big question looms (as it has for you): is what you are doing now enough?
"I have had the same advantage as you: I was both told and shown my purpose (for me it was researching what I had just been through - the near-death phenomenon - and testing its revelation). My mission, however, completed itself last year after 26 years of holding forth. That doesn't mean I am forever through with near-death studies, but it does mean my initial fieldwork is completed. For that I breathe a sigh of relief. The research I did all those years was a lot of work and disciplined effort. I'm not off the hook, though, as I have yet to complete my theoretical model.
"How do I feel about what I was shown and told to do versus what I actually accomplished? Both grateful and sad. Maybe because I feel this way, I can pass along some insights that might prove meaningful to you in deciding how you feel about your own dilemma.
I am very grateful that I chose to "walk out on my life" and do the work I did. It was a scary thing to do, and make no mistake about this - I was scared. There were no models, no path I could follow, no resources, no one to turn to for advice. Nothing! The only guidance I had was what came to me from prayer, meditation, and the power of silence. I had to rely on my expanded abilities to keep me safe and lead the way. I had to practice what I preached and what I knew to be true. I came to discover that for me, the left hemisphere of my brain was now the equal of the right hemisphere. I was becoming "whole brained." I began to call myself a "psychic analyst." And the energy that coursed through me, enough to climb Mt. Everest (or so it seemed), was there every day, every hour. I had become what I needed to be to do the work, and with a skill honed as a child that enlarged even further - the ability to conduct my research using police investigative techniques for my protocol (what my police officer father had taught me beginning at the age of nine). A dynamo was needed to accomplish my task, and I had become one.
"I am saddened by the choice I made then "to do the work," as it meant leaving my beloved state of Idaho and the canyons and the deserts and the sage brush and the mesas and the mountains, and all that meant. And it meant walking out on a substantial reputation, quitting my job on the very day I was to receive a major promotion and pay raise, saying goodbye to my parents and siblings and relatives and friends, selling a house I had just bought, shipping one daughter to Spokane to live with her father (she wanted to go), helping a son join the Coast Guard (other options eluded him), and leaving the other daughter in the hospital after major leg surgery (she insisted, saying she could never grow up with me around). I cried the entire length of Nevada, as I drove from Boise to Escondido, California to attend Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' Death & Dying Weeklong Intensive. My heart felt as if it had broken in two. The pain was almost more than I could bear. It was only after Elisabeth's Intensive that I had the courage to continue.
"Looking back from the vantage point I have now, I can see how my having left when I did created many difficulties for my children. Even though two were grown, all three ran into roadblocks that would not have occurred had I been there to provide safe haven and a mother's touch. They wear "scars" today that to my way of thinking shouldn't be there. Still, in all honesty, I cannot say whether or not they might have faced the same difficulties had I remained in Boise, made the same mistakes, and wound up with the same "scars." None of the three regret my having left. I recognize the same situation with my parents and family of origin, and find myself sometimes lamenting "if only I had stayed." Also, I have yet to recover financially for the choice I made. In 26 years of doing original fieldwork, study, research, writing books, I have netted around $30,000. I would have made a fortune by comparison just clerking at a Wal-Mart.
"So you ask - is what I am doing now enough?
"Ask your heart. See what surfaces for you. Let it fill your being and touch your soul.
"Few experiencers make the radical choices I did, nor do I recommend such action to anyone. But I do know this to be true: we all have a purpose in life, a reason for being, and we must be about that purpose. We must live it, or we will never find peace. To what extent you decide to carry out your mission is up to you. There is no right or wrong in how to do it, no judge to adjudicate your actions or decide whether or not you failed or succeeded. The answer you seek lies within your heart.
"Since I have "retired" (not really), I have found a greater peace than I could have ever imagined. Perhaps that's the criteria to use - not what makes you happy, grateful or sad, but what brings you peace. Do that, and feel good about yourself." -- PMH
P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D.
ANNOUNCEMENT: "Forbidden Religion"
|ANNOUNCEMENT: "The Global Inspiration Conference 2006"|
|July 14 -19, 2006 - Nelson, British Columbia, Canada|
Energized by seven days of conscious breath, the 13th Global Inspiration Conference will feature inspired speakers, dynamic workshops, spiritual teachers, dance leaders, entertainment, artists and healers from over 25 countries who will converge for seven days on the sacred mountain shangri-la of Nelson, British Columbia. Using the theme “We are the ones we've been waiting For: A Time for Quantum Change.” we will come together in transformational ways with the leading edge of some of today's greatest thinkers. This will be combined with some of yesterday's time-honored ceremonies, led by inspired Indigenous teachers. Throughout the seven days we will be carried by the infinite power and authentic presence of the breath.