Posts Tagged ‘generosity’

Well-Being with Whitney: Near-Death Experience Lessons: Part 4

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Near-death experience (NDE) survivors return from the afterlife prioritizing the compassion they experienced in heaven. We can learn a lot from them about how to develop compassion and put it into action through kindness and generosity, which are vital aspects of well-being.

After people who survive NDEs leave the afterlife and return to their earthly bodies, they experience many significant life changes. One key way they change after an NDE is by developing more compassion for others, which leads them to become more generous helping people in need through volunteer service, charitable contributions, and simple acts of everyday kindness.

Learning that Love Matters Most

During an NDE, the key lesson people learn is that the most important value of all is love. God is love, and since love is the Creator’s essence, love is the most powerful force in creation. So angels focus on love when they communicate with people during an NDE, the being of light that people encounter exudes love, and the life reviews that people go through as part of the experience highlight how well they either have or haven’t really loved God and other people in their lives so far.

“‘Have you learned to love?’” is a question faced in the course of the episode by almost all NDEers,” writes pioneering NDE researcher Raymond A.

Moody, Jr., M.D. in his book The Light Beyond. “Upon their return, almost all of them say that love is the most important thing in life.”

Finding the Motivation to Reach Out

NDE survivors are compelled by the love they now feel deeply for other people to take action to help people in need. They no longer languish in apathy as they may have before dying and returning to life. Instead, they’re motivated to reach out to do what they can to help others during each new day of life that God gives them.

Coming back from death powerfully inspires people to be compassionate toward others who are going through suffering in their own lives, writes NDE survivor Don Piper in his book Heaven is Real: Lessons on Earthly Joy – from the Man Who Spent 90 Minutes in Heaven. “We learn compassion when we’re ready. We learn to care when we’re open to God’s instructions. … If we’re teachable, we become divine instruments in the world. That may sound like a grandiose statement, but I believe it. It’s not whether we help two people or two million. What is important is that we change and then use the change in our lives to reach out. I can think of nothing more God’s people need today than compassion. For me, compassion means an awareness of another’s pain accompanied with a desire to do something to alleviate it.”

People who come back from NDEs often feel a sense of urgency to maximize how well they use the rest of their earthly lives, knowing that they could die at any time, and wanting to help make the world a better place while they can. “‘Sense of urgency’ is a phrase that comes up again and again when I talk to NDEers,” Moody writes in The Light Beyond. “Frequently, they are referring to the shortness and fragility of their own lives.”

Changing Their Priorities

Those who return from NDEs also overcome whatever confusion they may have experienced prior to their NDEs and about their life purposes. Since they learned during their visits to the afterlife (either heaven or hell) that every act of love actually does have eternal significance, when they come back to their earthly lives, they focus on expressing love to others however they can do so best, according to their God-given talents.

They no longer focus on what they can do for themselves (such as acquiring wealth); instead they look toward others and what they can do for them. “Money and material things are not particularly important in the scheme of things. Helping others is what counts in life,” write Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino in their book Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience.

Since the being of light people encounter during NDEs emphasizes the importance of love, people try to make love their highest priority when they return to their earthly lives. Moody writes in The Light Beyond: “Many people are asked by the being, ‘What was in your heart while this was going on?’ It’s as though he’s telling the NDEer that the simple acts of kindness that come from the heart are the ones that are most important because they are most sincere.”

Prior to going through an NDE, they may have lacked discipline for how they used their resources of time, money, and energy. But after returning, they give generously of all their resources to help other people.

In her book Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story: What They Teach Us About Living, Dying, and Our True Purpose, NDE researcher P.M.H. Atwater writes that her studies have revealed that “between 80 and 99 percent” of NDE survivors become “more generous and charitable” as a result and “50 to 79 percent” of those who have had an NDE become “convinced of [their] life purpose/mission” and more “service oriented” afterward.

“After the NDE, value changes came,” Ring and Valarino quote an NDE survivor in Lessons from the Light. “I felt that the materialism and external stuff that was a big focus before just didn’t matter anymore. My priorities in life took a complete turnaround. I felt there was a purpose for my life, even down to the smallest detail of being kind to others spontaneously and freely…”.

They interviewed another NDE survivor who told them: “I became very generous with all of my time and material things. I joined several school philanthropy groups and spent time working in several soup kitchens.”

NDE survivors continue to expect miracles to happen through their lives as they say “yes” to God when he gives them service opportunities. Letting their newfound compassion fuel their work helping others invites God to keep working miracles out of their experiences.

Piper writes in Heaven is Real: “… that’s one of the great miracles of getting over it – we never know what God will do with us or through us. Sometimes I reflect on others who have moved beyond their pain. None of them chose their form of helping others. But if it hadn’t been for their tragedies, they would never have been exposed to the needs that they can now help alleviate.”