Dying To Be Me
“When I was born into this world
The only things I knew were to love, laugh, and shine my light brightly.
Then as I grew, people told me to stop laughing.
‘Take life seriously,’ they said,
‘If you want to get ahead in this world.’
So I stopped laughing.
People told me, ‘Be careful who you love
If you don’t want your heart broken.’
So I stopped loving.
They said, ‘Don’t shine your light so bright
As it draws too much attention onto you.’
So I stopped shining
And became small
Only to learn upon death
That all that matters in life
Is to love, laugh, and shine our light brightly!” (Anita Moorjani)
Chances are high, especially if you are a Hay House fan, that you know who Anita Moorjani is and have likely read her book entitled DYING TO BE ME. Anita had a near-death experience (NDE) in 2006. After fighting cancer for close to four years, tumours the size of lemons throughout her body, Anita’s body began shutting down as it was being overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system. Anita entered a coma and her husband and family were told she had only a few hours to live. Danny, her husband, was told, “There’s nothing we can do for your wife, Mr. Moorjani. Her organs have already shut down. She has tumours the size of lemons throughout her lymphatic system, from the base of her skull to below her abdomen. Her brain is filled with fluid, as are her lungs. Her skin has developed lesions that are weeping with toxins. She won’t even make it through the night.”
How Anita came to be this ill is detailed in her book. Born in Singapore, Anita’s origins immersed her in three cultures and three languages simultaneously. As part of a traditional Hindu family Anita says “gender inequality is rife in my culture.” At the age of six Anita overheard a conversation that imprinted in her that to be born a girl was a “problem” and she vowed that she never wished to be such a problem to her parents that they would wish she had been born a boy. As Anita’s memoir unfolds we watch her being pushed and pulled by religious and cultural customs as she struggles to follow her own path while also trying to meet everyone else’s expectations of her.
While Anita does not come to the conclusion that everyone’s cancer is caused by fear – she does come to the conclusion that hers was: “Before, without even realizing it, everything I did was to avoid pain or to please other people. I was caught up in doing, pursuing, searching, and achieving: and I was the last person I ever took into consideration. My life was driven by fear – of displeasing others, of failing, of being selfish, and of not being good enough. In my own head, I always fell short.”
While Anita lay in a coma from which she was not expected to return she became detached from her physical body and entered a different realm. “It didn’t feel as though I’d physically gone somewhere else – it was more as though I’d awakened. Perhaps I’d finally been roused from a bad dream. My soul was finally realizing its true magnificence! And in doing so, it was expanding beyond my body and this physical world. It extended further and further outward until it encompassed not only this existence, but continued to expand into another realm that was beyond this time and space, and at the same time included it… love, joy, ecstasy, and awe poured into me, through me, and engulfed me. I was swallowed up and enveloped in more love than I ever knew existed. I felt more free and alive than I ever had… the overwhelming sensations were in a realm of their own, and words don’t exist to describe them. The feeling of complete, pure, unconditional love was unlike anything I’d known before. Unqualified and non-judgmental… it was totally undiscriminating, as if I didn’t have to do anything to deserve it, nor did I need to prove myself to earn it.” (pgs.65-66)
Anita went as far as one can go into this other realm and then was faced with a choice to continue to cross, or return to the physical world and her physical body. She made the choice to return when she realized that she had been healed and therefore would return to a body that would be cancer-free. Within five weeks of her NDE every trace of cancer was gone from her body and she left the hospital after some grueling medical tests were done to try to find cancerous cells that no longer existed.
“What was I afraid of? Just about everything including failing, being disliked, letting people down, and not being good enough. I also feared illness, cancer in particular, as well as the treatment for cancer. I was afraid of living, and I was afraid of dying.” After her best friend and also an in-law was diagnosed with cancer Anita began to focus on this disease. “Slowly, I found myself terrified of both dying and living. It was almost as if I was being caged by my fears. My experience of life was getting smaller and smaller, because to me, the world was a menacing place. And then I was diagnosed with cancer.”
Anita’s answer is self-love. Anita realized that she had never in her life been encouraged to cherish herself and neither would it have occurred to her to do so. But her NDE taught her that self-love was the key to her healing. “When I was in the NDE state, it all became so clear to me because I understood that to be me is to be love. This is the lesson that saved my life.”
Anita nowadays is a well-known international speaker and author because she became aware in the other realm that she is magnificent. She tells us we are too. Maybe we do not need to cross over to dis-cover this? “I wonder whether it is easier to make money selling medication than it is to bolster people’s sense of their own divine magnificence!… If I’d known the truth of who I actually am, I wouldn’t have gotten cancer!”
Last year I listened to an on-line discussion with Anita and an interviewer. She reminded us that our Western medical model is fear-based. She advised us to not “buy into the fear.” She also reminded us that all of our choices in life come from either fear or love. Anita wants us to live fearlessly . Let’s make all our choices from love.
Join the discussion 2 comments
Gillian July 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm
Ooh, I bought Dying To Be Me a few years ago and it’s one of my “go to” books when I find myself getting down about the so-called shared reality of this plane. Thanks for the reminder–I must pluck it from the shelf again!
hayley July 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm
Thanks for sharing and synthesizing Anita’s story! This week I’ll work on laughing more and fearing less 🙂