The Life Review

There is a destiny which makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.” – Edwin Markham

Many people, including myself, believe that when you die you go through a life review.  It’s like the post-mortem concept in video game development.  When the project is done, you take some time to review it and see what worked, what didn’t, and how you might improve upon the process the next time you tackle it.  A life review works the same way.

Your life review is not just about kicking back with a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie of your life.  It’s more in depth and intense.  You get to see the impact you had on others, even though you weren’t aware of it while alive.  You get to feel the happiness you instilled in others.  You get to see people’s actions and reactions to you even when you weren’t physically present to see them.  All the compassion and kindness you showed to others, and the ripple effect it caused, you get to see and feel.

You also get to feel the pain you inflicted on others so you understand how they felt by what you said or did.  Notice I said “get to feel” because this is actually a gift.  If you were physically abusive towards another human being, guess what?  You get to feel what they felt when you were beating them to a pulp.  If you were emotionally abusive to someone, guess what?  You get to feel your self esteem get squashed and stepped on.  No, it won’t be pleasant.  This part of your life review is probably what most people refer to as Hell.  You cause pain and suffering to someone in this life, and you get to feel and experience it yourself during your life review. 

Is there judgment?  No.  Just understanding and growth.  Many people fear that when they die they will be judged.  This isn’t so.  You judge yourself and your own actions.  And then you decide if you will forgive yourself for the pain you caused others or if you will beat yourself up for it.  The purpose of getting to feel the pain you caused others in life is not punishment.  It’s designed to help you understand and grow. 

A while ago I had a dream that I died and went on to the afterlife.  This is a common occurence in my dreams, but in this one, I got to go through my life review.  There was a female energy present who assisted me in going through my life review.  After I saw and felt my life’s impact, I was given the option of making changes.  Yes, making changes, even after the fact.  I was excited.  Like a lucid dream, I was given full control of the circumstances of my life.  I went back and played the good parts and then I went back and changed the bad parts.  Yes, changed.  I made different choices once I understood the negative impact I’d had, and how I’d hurt others with a careless word or an intentional barb.  I asked the female energy how long I could play in this manner.  She told me I could relive all the parts of my life as long as I wanted, that everyone could, but that she and others like her were there to remind us that eventually we needed to stop replaying our lives and cross over fully; to disconnect from our previous life, taking all the growth from the experience as we could.

I asked her what happens to people who don’t want to disconnect from their lives and fully cross over.  She said they often get stuck replaying aspects of their life over and over again and refuse to release.  In some cases people cannot forgive themselves for the pain they caused others and they end up dwelling in the land of self-inflicted punishment.  Instead of changing the negative, they relive it over and over again, continuing to punish themselves instead of learning and growing. 

This whole experience was fascinating to me because I’ve seen the deceased in varying stages of crossing over and releasing from their lives.  In one case that I’ve written about in the past there was a woman who suicided.  When she got to the other side she was so filled with shame and guilt for what she’d done that she continued to relive the experience over and over, never forgiving herself.  Her angels were there trying to get her to release the guilt and shame and move on, but she could not forgive and continued to punish herself.  Eventually, the angels were able to take her back to a time in her life when she was at a higher vibration, one of joy and happiness.  It was in this state that they were able to get her to forgive herself for the depression that eventually led to the suicide.  Today she has released and crossed over and is enjoying the peace that comes from understanding and growth.

There’s a great movie that depicts the life review, Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.  Check it out sometime and you’ll get the gist of what I’m talking about.  Another movie, What Dreams May Come, comes close to depicting what happens when you take ownership of your suicide but don’t forgive yourself for it, instead wallowing in the dark energy of guilt and shame.

Knowing you will eventually get to feel everything you inflicted on others (happiness and pain) doesn’t it behoove you to begin acting now the way you’d like to feel later?  When you get to the afterlife, what will your life review consist of?  Will you see joy spreading through others like a pebble ripples the pond?  Or are you dooming yourself now to a life review filled with hate, anger, resentment, and fear?  Can you forgive yourself now for causing pain to others?  Can you move ahead from this day forward into a life of joy, happiness, compassion, mercy, and empathy?  What pain might you be inflicting on yourself?  The pain you caused others isn’t the only pain you get to re-experience in the afterlife.  You also get the opportunity to forgive yourself for choices you made in anger and fear. 

Your life is like a video game.  You are not your character, but you use your character to have experiences.  You get to choose the experiences you have so you can learn, grow, and understand.  When you’re done playing you get to see where you did good and where you went wrong, and you get to decide what kind of experience you’ll have the next time you play.

To anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of pain, abuse, and trauma I have this to say … the person who inflicted this upon you will eventually feel it themselves.  In reality, it’s the person who inflicts the pain who owns it.  Are you carrying around that pain still?  Why are you holding on to it?  It’s not yours. 

Do not seek revenge, hurting those who have hurt you, because you own and bear responsibility for all the pain you intentionally cause others, even if you feel it is justified.  During your own life review you will experience all the pain you caused others, even the people that wronged you first.  Let them bear that burden, not you.

You’re going to reap what you sow, whether that is happiness and joy, or terror and misery.  It’s your choice.  Before you take an action ask yourself if you’re willing to be on the receiving end of the consequences, because someday you will be. 

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