Life is Like a Vacation

Life here on earth is meant to be a vacation.  I watched a documentary called After Death, which featured a woman who had a near-death experience as one of the interview subjects.  She said she realized from her moments in heaven that this earthly existence is like a vacation, where we come to this world to learn, love, and grow.  It’s like a holiday, where we leave paradise temporarily to explore this lower realm, ripe for learning.  And I’ve seen other near-death experiences stories where people said that we choose all our sufferings, disabilities, and hardships before we come to this existence.  They are part of our life missions, and our ultimate purpose is to arrive at a place of selfless, unconditional love for every being: that’s how we come out winners in this grand vacation.  It’s simple yet profound.

With that in mind, forgiving and loving everyone instantly is imperative.  I like to say, “If I can’t forgive this person I love, then who can I forgive?” I even say to myself, “If I can’t forgive and love this person who harmed me, how can I show unconditional love for a demon if I’m banished to hell?” It’s extreme, but I genuinely believe everyone is a spark from the divine, and everyone eventually arrives at a place of love.  To expand on this, I’ve heard stories of enlightened Buddhists who said that if they were banished to hell, they’d show great love and forgiveness to all beings there.  But I believe there is nothing to forgive.  It’s just a constant karmic wheel intended for us to grow closer to a place of love.  I feel amazing when I demonstrate instant, unquestioned forgiveness and unconditional love.  And so do the other people in my interactions.

Also, I like to see if I have ever performed a similar wrong at any time; if so, I can find deep empathy for the person.  If not, I can still aim to identify with the person’s point of view, as every action is logical and understandable from the viewpoint of the person performing the action, even if it’s not the best choice, even if it’s completely depraved.  In other words, if we were to see through someone’s eyes, we’d understand and empathize with 100% compassion.  I aim to see through other people’s eyes to empathize with them but hold myself to a high moral standard where I take full accountability for any conflict.

I don’t want to make anybody feel bad.  Therefore, if I think someone wrongs me, I must not retaliate in the slightest way.  I must not withhold love or service but instead act with kindness.  A near-death experience video featured a fellow who reacted negatively to people’s negative actions toward him, which caused suffering for hundreds of people directly and indirectly impacted by his retaliation.  And, then, I heard in near-death experience videos that, during our life review, we feel all the grief we cause others but tenfold.  So, no matter how negative I perceive someone might be to me, I must always find that place of love.  In sum, part of what makes this world a fulfilling, rewarding holiday is the constant refinement of the skill of instantly letting go of animosity.

Another part of the beauty of this holiday is learning to rise above the extremes of suffering we undergo.  I know that when my parents pass on to the next realm, I’ll likely be numb and barely functioning, but I intend to do so in a state of happiness.  Mom’s death will be tragic, for she is set to leave this world hating me, and I can’t seem to repair it, although I love her dearly.  My Dad’s death will be insurmountable, as he has always shown high emotional intelligence, and not once did he raise a hand to me.  He is my hero, rescuing me even in nighttime dreams where I’m lost and afraid; he always shows up to take me safely home.  So, I aim to learn how to endure the suffering from parental losses with a high state of happiness.  That’s part of this world’s vacation experience: learning to bear extreme loss with great love and joy.

As stated earlier, I believe we chose our wounds, disabilities, and hardships before we came to this world.  That’s the fun part of the game of life, like running a triathlon.  We planned our challenges to win, or in other words, to come closer to that euphoric state of unconditional love for all beings!  Love is the quest we are all on, starting in the mother’s womb.

But there are also the delightful, exciting parts of this world.  For instance, I want to develop knowledge, skills, fitness, health, and anything I can use to help others.  I want to spring into the air as I do fast shuffles across a soccer field.  I want to swim in the cold water.  I want to kick and punch a belly pad and get kicked and punched back to master martial arts technique.  I want to cycle on a highway at speeds close to what the cars are clocking.  I want to wrestle with an Olympian, eat the healthiest foods, and read the books that profoundly change lives.  I want to see what God means to people all over the world and how God touches each soul in unique, revelatory ways.  I’ve done most of these things, which’ve been joyous.

But mostly, I want to see only the best in everyone, no matter who they are or what they’ve done, as it’s all part of their life missions.  They chose their hardships in advance for profound reasons, which I want to empathize with and understand.  I want to experience everyone’s light, as we are all pure, unconditional love despite existing in this supposedly lower realm.  This world is meant to be experienced as a joyful vacation, so let’s explore it with joy and love, whether it storms or shines.  It’s all our gift for growth.