FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD AND ISOLATED:
Changing One's Life
processing the loss:
C. Disorganization & Despair: A minority of NDErs may cycle downward into a deep depression to the point of becoming non-functional in everyday life. They may have difficulty concentrating, being present for family and friends, and focus on what God wants them to do upon their return. These people strongly need intervention.
D. Reorganization: Reorganizing one’s beliefs about life takes time and work. Counseling or mentorship can help. But whether the NDEr does this on his/her own or with help, a process needs to take place:
1. The experiencer needs to accept their experience and integrate it into their life. Instead of rejecting themselves as flawed or crazy, their experience work towards embracing their experience as a meaningful and wonderful gift to be used for good. As explained in module one, IANDS groups, books, video and websites can help make this shift in perspective by normalizing the experience.
2. The NDEr needs to fully process the experience. Every aspect needs to be reviewed with the support of a person and/or group. Each aspect needs to be understood and integrated into the whole experience and then applied to life. It is the application into life that needs to processed in depth. Thus, if someone is told, “You have more to do” on earth, than the person needs to ask, “What is it I need to do?”
3. The feeling states during the NDE need to be identified and processed. In particular, the intense experience of love in heaven needs to be explored. The experiencer will feel a profound loss from the separation from that love. He/she needs to be supported in that they will feel that love again when their mission on earth has been completed. Also, they may be challenged how to find and generate some of that love on earth.
The experiencer will best incorporate and apply their experience to practice by developing a mission orientation. After all, experiencers are returned to their body to accomplish a special purpose. Although this is not always expressly described, usually it relates to learning what they lack in love as well as acting in love. The experiencer would do well to explore what their mission entails, perhaps with a therapist.
A. “What do I lack in love?” This is the central question for the experiencer to ask him/herself. Several follow-up questions can be asked: “What problems have they had during relationships? In what ways have I acted selfishly prior to their NDE? What activities have brought me transient pleasures versus what activities have brought life satisfactions?”
B. What are the short term and long term goals in developing love in life consistent with mission. Short-term goals may be to self-educate and find support. Long-term goals might include finding a new career, strengthening relationships, or volunteering. Once the NDEr starts on this path, then they can grieve loss in a healthier manner. Living on school earth has less of a sting knowing that there is an important purpose behind coming back to earth.
A. Suicidal Ideation: Note that wishing to return does not necessarily equate to suicidal ideation. Someone can love their life, without feeling depressed, and still yearn to return to the bliss of heaven. The therapist must realize that these individuals are coming from a unique perspective that should not be generalized from other clientele. True suicidal ideation is rare. If it does occur, crisis intervention and hospitalization may be necessary.
B. Psychiatric Medications: Medication is not preferable when depression stems from loss. Going through the stages of grief are part of the healing process. Medications only numb the process. However, certain complicated grief reactions may occur. Based on individual situations, psychoactive medications may be indicated.
C. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy may be a preferred way for the experiencer to process his/her experience and apply it to life. However, a good fit between experiencer and therapist is necessary. The experiencer needs to select a therapist who is process-oriented in their approach and open to spiritual explanations/growth possibilities. The materialist therapist would probably disregard the experience and label it a hallucination. These type of judgment reactions do more harm than good.
Transforming lives is a slow but rewarding process. In fact, it will take more than a life time to master. The NDEr must be patient and realize they may still feel lost during a period of transition. This may even take years. But in the end, they have the opportunity to live more happier/fulfilled because of as a result of this loss and temporary feelings depression. Their depression may actually be an uncomfortable state which serves as a voice to change and motivates them to make changes.