One of the hallmarks of near death experiences is the life review. Every account I have read includes some type of the following:
Heading toward some type of bright light
Beholding being(s) of glory
Overwhelming sense of love
Near death experiences also change those who experience them. Their priorities change and they become less materialistic and more spiritual. They realize that there is nothing to fear in death and this deeper understanding helps them live life fully.
When I consider the common characteristics of a near death experience, I’m inclined to ask, “what, if any, of the above commonalities, can those of us who have never “almost died” experience?
I’ve felt moments of incredible love. Those moments were impactful. I also conduct “Life Reviews” regularly. In fact, I grew up doing a form of a life review every New Year’s as I examined the prior year and set goals for the year forthcoming. Each Sunday, as I partake of the sacrament, I think of my actions during the week and consider ways I can improve. And daily, before I retire to bed, I examine my day and look for areas I was less than stellar. I also look for times when I did myself, God, and others proud.
I’m a firm believer that we don’t have to wait till the day we die to examine our lives. We can enjoy the peace and improvement life brings when we play judge and jury daily–even hour by hour and minute by minute. Self-awareness improves behavior best. When we look inward to uncover motives and seek to understand why we engage in certain behaviors and why we feel certain ways, we will create opportunities for change within ourselves. Today was a good day. I am already conducting a life review. I was able to handle some pretty intense professional and personal conversations in a mature manner. I was able to spend some quality time with my family, and I had a total blast playing basketball with my friends. I can think of a few areas where I could have done better and I’m exploring my reactions now so I can do better next time. I don’t think I will go so far as to claim that the “unexamined life is not worth living,” but I will say, “an unexamined life has little chance of improving.”
Here’s to conducting a daily life review.