We’ve been taught all the wrong things.
This is the overwhelming realization Anita Moorjani had while in the other realm during her near death experience (NDE) in 2006, after a four-year struggle with cancer. In that expanded state, in a realm of unconditional love, she could see clearly that we’re not supposed to suffer with cancer or other illness. She realized that the medical community’s perspective of disease as an enemy to be conquered is completely misguided.
She could also see that we’re not meant to struggle with our finances, work or relationships. We are meant to live joy-filled lives. We are meant to experience heaven on earth. She understood that it is when we are unaware of our true worth and magnificence that we experience pain or struggle.
She saw that the beliefs we hold about ourselves, many of which have been fed to us through our culture from a very young age, prevent us from being fully aware of who we are, which is love. She understood that only profound self-love could restore that awareness and bring us to a place of peace and joy.
She wanted to shout her message of self-love from the rooftops. She wanted to help us see that our bodies aren’t meant to be battlegrounds for fighting the “enemy” of disease, and our souls aren’t meant to be punished after death for making mistakes. She wanted us to stop hiding our true selves out of fear that that there is something wrong with us. She wanted everyone to become aware of their magnificence and to know this fear-shattering, life-altering truth:
“When you love yourself and know your true worth, there is nothing you cannot do or heal.”
That powerful, elegant statement is offered in the introduction to Anita’s second book, What If This Is Heaven? It is the foundation for the many insights, inspirations and suggestions she generously provides in the following chapters. It is also, at a fundamental level, the reason she wrote a second book.
Following the release of her first book, Dying To Be Me, Anita sometimes struggled to reintegrate into a society whose worldview was so vastly different from the understanding of reality she’d gained in the other realm. She sometimes found herself compromising or suppressing who she was in order to win approval, and that’s when she would start feeling disempowered. Her sense of being the invincible creator of her life began to crumble as old thought patterns and habits crept back in. When she allowed concerns about disappointing others to dictate her choices, she became fearful and anxious.
During that time she also received an unexpected avalanche of letters from readers, many of whom were in deep pain. They were struggling with serious illness and other life challenges and didn’t know how to heal them. Anita could literally feel their pain – after all, she had experienced it herself during her four-year struggle with cancer – and wanted so much to help them. But she wasn’t sure how.
So she took herself to the ocean one day to quiet her mind and listen for guidance. In the book she shares the poignant dialogue she had with her own voice of wisdom, the voice that reminded her of the profound truths she needed to remember.
The voice told her that she couldn’t help people if she, herself, was lost in the pain and problems of the world. It reminded her that her only work was to love and value herself, and to fully embody the truth of self-love and self-worth so that she could be love in action.
Going to the ocean that day was, itself, a profound act of self-love. And in giving herself the time and space to reconnect with her true worth and magnificence – and her true voice – she was ultimately inspired to write a second book.
Anita knew that if people could wake up to the distortions of truth that enslave them as they once did her, they could be liberated from them. They could begin to live from the truth of their own worth and magnificence…without having to die to get there. And her book could be a catalyst for their awakening.
Which is exactly what her new book is. Through her clear and elegant writing, Anita dismantles ten of the most pervasive cultural myths that prevent us from experiencing heaven on earth – myths such as, “We get what we deserve,” “Loving ourselves is selfish,” “Health care cares for our health,” and “Spiritual people don’t have egos.” The range is broad and the exploration is deep. At the end of each chapter she offers other possible truths to replace the distorted myths, as well as exercises, tips and questions to stimulate deeper reflection and a healthy commitment to self-love.
In our conversation we didn’t have time to discuss every chapter, but we took a deep dive into several areas. I want to share with you here the element of our conversation that I think is the most clarifying and catalytic for people on a spiritual path who may be struggling with a significant life challenge – and who believe that our thoughts create our reality.
Many of us understand that we’re living in a vibrational universe. Everything is energy. And that includes intangible things such as our beliefs, thoughts and feelings. We’ve been taught by a multitude of wise teachers that we literally create our own reality through our thoughts. We’re told that when we think negatively about ourselves, the vibration of those thoughts is out of sync with the vibration of love – which is who we really are – and that discordant vibration can give rise to unwanted experiences because of the magnetic/attractive property of energy.
But what is often misunderstood – and what Anita brings to light so powerfully – is that thoughts, themselves, are manifestations. They arise from our awareness of who we are. When we are aware of our true worth and value, thoughts of self-judgment and self-doubt do not arise.
If we simply aim to change our thoughts without intending to cultivate genuine self-love, all we’re doing is pasting over thoughts with other ones that we don’t really believe to be true. But of far greater significance is that the very act of pasting over our thoughts reinforces the core, false belief that “there is something wrong with me” – in this case, the negative thoughts. In judging our thoughts as wrong and trying to change them, we hold ourselves apart from love.
This is especially important to understand if we’ve been dealing with a troubling situation for a long time, or if it is a recurring pattern. Anita says that people will often say to themselves, “I’ve read all the books and gone to all the workshops. Why am I still dealing with this? What am I missing? What is wrong with me?”
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not at fault if you’re currently experiencing pain or struggle. The assignment of fault is an act of judgment, and judgment is the opposite of love.
Following is one of the more powerful quotes from Anita’s book. She’s speaking about physical illness, but her clear message applies to any kind of pain we may be in:
“I want to be crystal clear about this: Our bodies are not war zones, and we must stop treating them as if they were. There are no battles to be won – or lost – and no enemies to destroy. Getting cancer or any other illness can either be a gift or a curse, depending on how we look at it. These diseases are not ‘evils that need to be wiped out.’ They are not the result of ‘bad karma from a past life,’ nor are they the result of our negative thoughts. Rather, illness is our body’s way of communicating with us and showing us a better path.”
You can feel her passionate commitment to getting this message across when you read the book. I could feel it in her voice as we spoke. She is lovingly and firmly emphatic that we need to get away from any thought of there being something wrong with us. Our job is to release all judgment and stop blaming ourselves for being in the situation we’re in.
Anita says we need to go beyond our thoughts and focus on how we feel about ourselves. She offered the example of how we adore our babies and pets, and how that adoration is a feeling, not a thought. That’s the feeling we need to cultivate about ourselves.
She observed how often we watch our thoughts and judge ourselves for having fearful or negative ones and believe the thoughts are making us ill – but what really makes us ill is when we stop loving ourselves. When we love ourselves we don’t judge our thoughts at all. We let them pass.
In my experience of working with clients to create lives they love, I’ve found that becoming aware of the direction of our thoughts can help us see more clearly how we really feel about ourselves, and that awareness can be the call to consciously cultivate genuine self-love. The key is to not judge ourselves for having fearful thoughts and, instead, offer deep compassion to ourselves. As I have said countless times, and will no doubt say again, self-judgment will never, ever take us where we want to go.
Anita agrees. She says that true healing begins only when we start saying to ourselves – and meaning it – that, “I have to treat myself as someone beloved to me, to nurture myself and make myself feel safe.” Making that choice is the one thing that changes everything.
And once we do, our job is to keep asking ourselves what more we can do to love and support and nurture ourselves, what we can do to help ourselves feel safe and empowered. Only then can we begin to see what Anita calls the perfection of where we are, which is calling us to a better path. And as we see it, our job is to allow ourselves to be taken on that journey.
Anita has allowed herself to be taken on that journey. It is a journey of being willing to experience heaven on earth, right here, right now. Her very presence is a loving force that calls each of us to do the same.
Are you in??
Click here to listen to the full interview