In the End, Only Love Matters

Life lesson 20,622.

Some of my blog readers know that seven months ago, I experienced a serious health emergency due to rheumatoid arthritis and/or RA drug induced complications (click here to read).

The events that occurred on that day as well as the two months that followed turned into a life altering experience that I haven’t shared much about.

I’m ready to share now.

The story goes like this: In 2009, I realized that while it was true that I was breathing, I wasn’t really living. For years, I wasn’t engaged with Life. On the outside, I went through the motions doing the things I had to do each day. On the inside, life was hard, full of disappointments and burdens. There wasn’t much about life that impressed me.

Something had to change. Being stuck in the drudgery was no longer an option. I had to find a way to live happily engaged to loving Life.

So, I began this blog in 2010, called it “Grandeurvision” with the sub-heading “a woman’s journey to a meaningful life” and set out to change my life.

Throughout 2010, good fortune came my way. I was able to experience coaching by a couple of really great life coaches. I attended some very empowering workshops and met some really awesome positive people (including blog neighbors).

Headed in the right direction, life was changing. I felt enthusiastic about living.

Unbeknown to me, the best was yet to come.

The best was the serious health emergency that occurred seven months ago. That’s when the “full monty”, “the whole nine yards” came to light.

The shock, at first, felt like I ran into a brick wall. My world suddenly stopped. There was nothing to do, except lie in the hospital bed. It was the closest I’d ever come to death.

Funny thing is, I lived most of the years prior not really wanting to live. Now, I had a close to death experience. It called my name to say, “Pay attention here, Marianne, this is really important.”

So—I was lying in my hospital bed in the cardiac ward unable to sleep at 4 a.m. when the man in the bed next to me began talking in his sleep. I listened intently to hear what he was saying, but disappointed to realize it sounded like gibberish. In fact, it sounded totally alien, like he was having a bubbly conversation with a being from another planet. His pitch rose and lowered in a melodious kind of way.

It seemed like his conversation went on for a really long time. Eventually, the night nurse heard him. She went to his bedside, called his name several times while gently nudging him. Still dazed, he mumbled something about the bathroom. He wasn’t able to stand up, so the nurse called other nurses to help sit him on the commode.

The nurses had him half out of his bed when he collapsed into unconsciousness. A code blue alerted hospital staff and within seconds  a team of  8 or 10 health care workers arrived with equipment to resuscitate him. It took an awfully long time to stabilize him. Then, they moved him to the intensive care unit where his needs would be cared for better.

Throughout the entire time, I was in the next bed, shaking and praying to God, “Please don’t let him die.”

This is where the “attention” part came in.

Within a handful of days, two serious life and death situations  presented; one that happened to me (hence the reason I was in the hospital in the cardiac ward) and one that I witnessed (the man in the next bed).

It was as if Life would make sure I wouldn’t miss this lesson. I was afraid that I would die and I was afraid the man in the bed next to me would die. In the grip of the fear of death, a  gift emerged. It was a clear realization that I wanted to Live and I wanted the man next to me to Live.

The experience opened my eyes to view Life differently.

Life is no longer about having stuff, doing stuff or being a “somebody”. Life is about the fact that I’m being Life Itself. I’m not Marianne living Marianne’s little life. I’m Life acting out Life through a physical body experiencing events. I’m experiencing Life living and being Life. It’s the most sacred thing I’ve ever felt.

On a sensation level, the shift in perception is huge. On a thinking, writing or speaking level, the shift can hardly be explained.

It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or what I’m having. It doesn’t matter whether this body is diseased or healthy. All that matters is that I’m living and loving in this moment. That’s all that matters.

By pleading and praying for the man in the bed next to me, I was loving him — a man who was a total stranger. I wanted the same for him that I wanted for myself — Life. I wanted Life for both of us.

Microsoft Images

While we are here, experiencing Life in this body, it is a privilege and an honor to spend time with others, to share, to give, to help.

In the end, when faced with death, all that really matters is how loving and kind we were to ourselves and to others.

Is it really possible to live with the awareness of this truth in each and  every moment?

39 thoughts on “In the End, Only Love Matters

    • It was a beautiful and inspiring revelation, Kathy. I value living as something sacred and I’m okay with dying now too (although I’d prefer to continue experiencing Life as I know it now for a while longer).

      Thanks for your support, my friend. Hugs to you. 🙂

  1. “On the outside, I went through the motions doing the things I had to do each day. On the inside, life was hard, full of disappointments and burdens. There wasn’t much about life that impressed me.” — Yep, that sounds like me. I feel like I’m always waiting for something else. I always have plans for sometime in the future. Oh, I’ve experienced being in the moment and enjoying life — that’s when I’m finally doing what I’d being planning. In between, not so much. I shall have to work on this. Thank you for a powerful post.

    • You’re welcome, Nancy. Thank YOU for sharing, my friend.

      Before this experience occurred, I couldn’t stand doing bookkeeping (which I have to do to make a living). Every time I had a file to work on, the feeling of dread came over me. I wanted to do something else. Something that I was passionate about. Begrudgingly, I did the work, all the while trying to talk myself into liking it. It didn’t work. I can’t talk myself into anything.

      Now, when I do bookkeeping, all that matters to me is that I’m Living. Yes, it’s a means to an end, but I’m not abhorring doing it any longer. And…the client is so grateful to have a person that will do it for them so they can run their business. I could have never talked myself into taking this perspective on. I tried. It had to come from an internal perspective shift.

      Wishing you “being in the moment and enjoying life” in the “in between” times. Will hold you close to my heart and send good thoughts, Nancy. 🙂

  2. This is a huge shift in perception. This is a gift! I know the package wrapping wasn’t pretty, but the gift beneath it was immeasurable. Feeling like I should read every blog you’ve ever written to learn more about you. **smile** I hope you’ll be kind to my forgetful mind and share everything even though you’ve probably already written it and I’ve already read some of it.

  3. I sometimes wonder why it is that we have to live through life in order to gain the wisdom that we need when we are younger. Do you know what I mean? If we knew back then what we know now, what different choices would we make? And would we enjoy life more when young, if we realised we needed to live our lives and not be in such a rush to reach the next superficial goal?

    This is such a beautiful post Marianne and I thank you so much for feeling you could share your deepest thoughts with us. Sending hugs.

    • Yes, Joanne, I know what you mean. I think that even if I knew these things earlier I would still have lessons to learn, although they may be different lessons. Now, I view Life as a continuation that includes every single one of us. We are one Life thinking we are separate little lives. There is no hurray in me anymore because there is nothing to hurray toward. Everything is exactly as it is supposed to be, I know that now. Life is unfolding Itself through each and every one of us in Its unending nature. We are Life and Life never dies, it just gets reborn. We have all the time in the world.

      I feel honoured that this post touched you Joanne and I thank you so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate your support!

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  5. Reading about your life-altering experience was very moving, Marianne. I like how you described your sacred shift in perception: “I’m Life acting out Life through a physical body experiencing events.” It’s amazing how physical experiences can lead to such deeply spiritual transformations…

    • Thank you for your comment, Barbara, what you say is true. With this new perception, I suddenly felt remorseful for treating my life with such disregard. I now know the true meaning of, “Life is precious.” Thanks for visiting and hope you have a great day. 🙂

  6. “All that matters is that I’m living and loving in this moment…” Wise words indeed, and just what I needed to read today. I suffer from an autoimmune disease as well. (Lupus) I could sit and let the frustrations and physical pain limit me both mentally and physically. Or I can take each day, each minute, as it comes and find the bigger picture in the beautiful little things God’s grace has allowed me to see, hear, touch, experience, and be a part of today. Many well wishes to you. Hope you’re feeling okay.

    • So sorry to hear you have an autoimmune disease as well. These diseases are challenging. I’ve come to the point where it doesn’t control my life any longer. I still deal with it, I’m just not attached to all the emotional and mental suffering around it. Now, I’m focused on living and loving in this moment. I love what you said about, “God’s grace has allowed me to see, hear, touch, experience, and be a part of today.”

      Many blessings and thanks so much for visiting and commenting. 🙂

  7. Hi Marianne,

    This was a truely amazing post. The experience you had in the hospital and the impact it had on you is profound, and sounds like a strong sense of enlightenment.

    I believe that is possible to live every moment like this but it takes a lot of work and effort. However, even a little step on the road to emotional freedom is well worth it.

    • Thank you, Hiten. Yes, it certainly was a moment of clarity for me. Thanks for visiting. I really appreciate your comment. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  8. Oh I wish we could all have these enlightened moments without having to go through the crisis. I’m glad you AND the man in the next bed survived. Thanks for sharing your experience…maybe the rest of us CAN learn a little without going through it ourselves. (I came over from Kathy’s blog…hope your conversation was good!)

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting, Dawn. I had a lovely phone chat with Kathy. It was so great to hear her voice. Now when I read her blog posts, I’ll hear the voice behind the words. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  9. Hi Marianne,

    Love this post! It is very inspiring. When we are faced with life and death, it does get our priorities in order in a short amount of time. I have felt that I was floating through life for years. When addiction entered our family was when I realized changes needed to be made and they started with me. We all have different reasons for making a change, but isn’t it great that we became aware of what we needed to do. I enjoyed reading your post.

    • You’re right, Cathy, it is “great that we become aware of what we needed to do.” I’m a firm believer that good always appears in what seems to be terrible situations. Thanks for reading and commenting, Cathy. Hope you have an excellent weekend. 🙂

    • Hey Grant, it’s good to “see” you. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Once you get your blog up and running, you’ll be a! 🙂

  10. You have certainly found the silver lining in a difficult time. Very inspiring..thank you for sharing the events and the emotions that you experienced.

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