I have faced many challenges in this life. Some massive, and wide reaching, and some much smaller, and relevant only in so far as my own personal development. And I hold my hands up and admit, that I haven’t always handled them very well. And at times I have chosen not to learn from the obstacles which have littered my path.
However, I now believe ultimately, it is the way that we work through our challenges, often re-visiting them over and over again out of necessity, that defines us in our humanity, as well as in our spirituality.
And I would like to share my recollection of a near death experience, which I had when a routine operation went wrong, and I nearly died. I was in my mid-twenties at the time, and had been having problems conceiving, having being diagnosed with ovarian cysts and endometriosis a few years earlier. And I had been told that because of this, and in particular, because of the damage to my left ovary, then the chances of me ever conceiving were extremely slim.
During the operation, which should have been routine, given that I had several similar operations prior to this without any difficulties, there were problems in anaesthetising me.
And I can still remember clearly going down a long and winding tunnel towards a brilliant white light. And as I drifted closer towards it, all I could feel is love.
There was no anger, no fear, no sorrow.
And then, when I was maybe halfway through the tunnel I was stopped by a child. And the boy told me that I wasn’t to go any further. That it was time to turn around and go back, and that I wasn’t to worry because he would follow me back.
And I remember turning, and looking back over my shoulder, and feeling happy that the child was smiling. And then the next thing I remember, is waking up, and trying to rip the oxygen mask off my face. And then after a short while in a recovery room, being taken back up to the ward, and seeing the relief on my parents faces.
And then, within twelve months of first meeting him in that tunnel, my son was born. And I will never know if it was the procedure which was carried out during the operation that paved the way for his conception, or whether it was the fact that in the immediate aftermath, I was so grateful to be alive that I relaxed and stopped obsessing about becoming pregnant. All I know is that it is a mistake to take fertility for granted, and that my children, for I had a daughter seven years later, they were both meant to be.
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