When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to write about what incarceration is like here in the U.S., and I strive to stay true to that at all times. Today I’m going to share with you something very personal. Since my experience while incarcerated has influenced what I am about to tell you, I present it here.
Have you ever wondered, “Why are we here? What is our purpose in life?” How about the age old question, “Is there an afterlife?” I pondered these questions for years before I found the answers, but before I tell you how I came to understanding, I want to tell you a story.
When I was a child I had a friend who was always kind to me. When I was afraid he’d comfort me, and when I was sad he’d lift me up. Sometimes though, when I wasn’t expecting it, he would show me wonderful things. On very rare occasions he showed me evil things, but only because he wanted me to be aware. Most importantly, I knew what he was and I never questioned it. He was what we would call an angel.
It wasn’t until I grew older where I became aware that this wasn’t normal. None of my friends talked of similar experiences, and whenever I mentioned this to my parents they always told me I had a vivid imagination. When I was a child I took these occurrences in stride as I thought it was normal to see, hear, and talk to angels. I thought everyone did.
My encounters ended sometime when I was 12 years old. When the last one occurred I knew it was the final time. There was always an unspoken communication, and the last one was specifically to say goodbye. It was a traumatic moment for me and it was a goodbye that I struggled with for a very long time.
From that moment onward, darkness seemed to come into my life. Slowly I began to question the existence of God. What type of God, I wondered, would show a child a glimpse of heaven and then abandon him? When I looked around I began to see all the things I never saw as a child. I saw hatred and anger in people, and I saw pain and suffering everywhere. By the time I was 18 years old I had become a staunch atheist and was in full rebellion against the world.
When we were children, all of us saw the world differently than how we do now. If you watch and listen to children, you discover that they are willing to love you unconditionally. Why is this? It’s because children are naturally attuned to God and loving others. For them talking to God or angels is nothing out of the ordinary. There are tomes of works that attest to this. Hollywood has even made a number of movies about the experiences of these children.
It took a near-death experience when I was 20 years old, followed by years of introspection, before I came to understanding. We all share a common destiny, and now I understand why the angel’s goodbye was necessary. It was so that I would discover on my own the answers to these questions, because with discovery comes understanding and spiritual growth.
So then, why exactly are we here? We are here to discover our purpose in life. This is the underlying core of our existence. If this is so, then what is our purpose? Our sole purpose in life is to find God, and through discovery we learn that all of us are part of the same great family. Every major religion in the world has at its core one purpose: to help us find God. Think about it. It’s true. It doesn’t matter which faith you follow, because at its core this is what its all about. Is there an afterlife? Definitely, and this is found through personal discovery. Some of us discover this as children through interaction with angels; some discover this after experiencing a near-death experience or through great sickness; still others discover this by talking to those who already have.
How can I be so sure I know the answers to these questions? I know because I’ve experienced everything I just wrote about. Amazingly, my experiences are not unique. Some of you out there already know this because you too have experienced similar things. But for those of you who are unsure, I say to you I speak the truth.
No matter what you believe or where you are from there is a path offered to us all. It has but one destination, and it is solely up to you to discover it. To discover is to see, and to see is to understand. With understanding comes enlightenment, and with enlightenment comes peace and happiness.