Lessons I learned while Dying

February 14th, 2006

There are life changing events in your life, and then there are events that give you birth.   While many people consider their birthday, the day they rocketed out of the womb, screaming into a magnificent scary world.

The truth is that they are moments when you are truly born, and you’re aware of them. Painfully and joyfully aware of them. For some people, this enlightenment is a slow process and takes them through various iterations of their lives.

For me, it all happened on Feb. 14th, 2006.  That was the day I almost died.  I considered the rest of my time after this, well, a complete gift and blessing.  For the simple fact that as you read this, I SHOULDN’T BE HERE.

I won’t go into the deeply personal way this came about.  It was a health issue, and well, the details are not as interesting.  But, I will give you ten lessons I learned from my near death experience:

1.  Never Judge a Book by its cover:

My sister brought me  into St. James Hospital, in Newark, New Jersey on that Valentine’s day, I was half conscious.  I had already been at the emergency room three times that week, and each time the doctors would send me home with new medication and a new mis-diagnosis.  My body had gone toxic, so I was vomiting my insides, this incredibly yellow vile that just kept coming up.  I remember my mom cradling me in her arms.  And the Nurses behind the station, ignoring my cries.  After all I had been there three times before that very week.  In walk, four thugs, i mean, thugs in the way they look.  I was at that moment judging their cover.  They came in with a friend, who had broken his arm.  They wore street clothes, they looked like they were ready to take out a convenience store, and they are the people you completely judge as less than you, for simply being who they are.

They saved my life.  Because, it took them only ten minutes in that waiting room for them to start the revolt that would get me into the E.R. and into an operating table.  Within minutes, while seeing me throw up all over the waiting room floor, one of them walked up, past the security guard and banged on the window, and screamed, “This kid is dying out here!”

The security guard came, but that only made another one of them get up, and then the other one, and then, soon enough all these people had gathered around me to save my life.

the people who saved my life were not the doctors, sure they cut into me and did their job but that’s what they trained for. My saviours that day, where people who saw a situation that was being ignored by the people in power, and they rallied, and they screamed and they SAVED ME.  I will never forget that.

2. You don’t have enough time to change the world. You have enough time to love it:

The world will change with or without you, we are always in the state of evolution.  And while it may seem that there are people out there changing the world. Their goal is not to change it. People who change the world, don’t have in their goals list.  TODAY I’m going to CHANGE THE WORLD.  No, they wake up and they do what they love, they fight for what they love, they live their lives with love.  And somehow they change the world, but if they don’t, they have lived a full life.

3. Listen to Your Body:

Your body knows everything.  What’s going on in the inside and what’s going on the outside. Truth be told, I knew something was wrong in my stomach a full two years before I landed in that hospital.  But I didn’t trust it.  I was tired, I was angry, I was emotional, hell, I wasn’t even digesting correctly.  But we lie to ourselves all the time, we try to rationalize our internal physical feelings and give them emotional colors.  I was depressed, of course I was depressed, I was dying!

Two years ago, I was meeting someone for coffee, I met this person at a book store on 72nd, and for the most part I was running late.  But, I walked into that book store, and my entire body responded. I got the wind knocked out of me, and I had what I can only describe as a “Christmas” feeling.  My body was telling me something, two years later, this is my bestest friend in the entire world.

Listen to your body!  It will know when something is wrong and when something is right. It will tell you when something is good for you, or when something is just not what you should be doing. It will even tell you when someone is lying, manipulating,  and also being completely honest with you.  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, and treat it well.  It’s a feeling machine, exercise it, give it water, turn IT into not just a temple, but a way to connect to others and a way to feel out every situation.

4. Respect other people’s journey.  and while you’re at it, show a little RESPECT:

Everyone’s journey will be different.  Don’t judge other people’s journey.  Don’t even worry about it, unless someone’s journey is completely interfering with yours, why sweat it.   It will cost you a lot more precious time, gossiping, and criticizing what others are doing than you would expect.

Just walk your path every day. Smile, be respectful, and don’t involve yourself in the criticism of others.

Also, put a distance between yourself and people who just find it necessary to talk about others. You will not believe how lighter the path becomes, when you don’t burden yourself  with caring about how others are leading their lives.  As one of my favorite quotes of today say:  What other people think of me, is none of my business.

5. You have one specific purpose, one reason for being here above all others.

FIND IT and then don’t let anything dissuade you from it:

On February 14th, 2006.  I had one moment that defined me more than any other.  I felt my spirit leave my body.  Not only did it leave my body, It watched my body from across the room.  It was the scariest experience of my life.  But it was only second to the moment before I passed out, when I saw my entire life flash before my eyes, it does happen that way, what no one tells you is that, it also flashes before your eyes EVERYTHING YOU NEVER GOT TO DO, and guess what, those seconds felt like a life time.  A FUCKING LIFETIME.

I knew I always wanted to write, I knew I always wanted to work on what I’m do right now.  And now, no one can dissuade me from it.  People try to get me to do other things, they do, they sometimes try to tell me what’s good for me.  Or that I should do this, or that.  But that’s not true, you get one chance, you get one life, and you get a certain number of years.  It’s all so finite, we are a second, our lives are a flash.

FIND WHAT YOU WERE BORN TO DO and DO IT, EVERYDAY.  Don’t waste a single second.

6.  Fall in Love and when you do FALL HARD:

I had never been in love.  I have liked people, I have slept with a whole bunch.  But LOVE, to me was an idea.  And most of the time I wanted something from the other person. I loved them because they thought I was brilliant, or funny or  good-looking. Or I loved them because they fit into what I thought I wanted.  Or they gave me a sense of security.

No, that’s not the way it works at all, keep your heart open and a person will come into your life that will change it, it will inspire it, it will make you focused, and make you a better person.

Love, is love, it’s not sex.  It may not come in an ideal package, or an ideal situation, it develops from trust and friendship, and then one day you fall hard.  LET IT HAPPEN.

7. Don’t Lie or Betray:

Tell the truth.  It may be harsh, it will sometimes be hard to tell and most often it will be hard to hear. But it will not keep you up at night.  It will get rid of all anxiety.  it will liberate you and set you free.  All the cliches are true.  You will not have to deal with the little extra things you have to do when you lie.  And you will not have to treat your relationships with the extra care that you do, when you live in the fear that the person may find out the truth one day. You see, you will have so much less energy when you lie.  Tell the truth, and use that energy to do something more positive.

8. Learn to Bend, Walking away is always easier:

We all love to win a fight, or an argument.  But at what cost.  I bend, someone tries to convince me of something that I don’t even care about, I bend, let them win the argument, I walk away and knock out ten pages.  No argument is worth winning if it’s gonna WASTE YOUR TIME.

9.  Objectify your Depression:

Sad moments will still happen, life will not be easy and you will often meet great defeats. Objectify it.  I used to get knocked out for days when I was depressed.  Then I objectified my depression.  I gave it a name, Solomon, and now when Solomon comes for a visit, I talk to it, I take it out for a jog, take it to the gym, and sometimes I very much listen to what it has to say. Because, while depression can be mental, it can also be physical.  I used to think i was crazy, but you know what, now i often find I’m just dehydrated.  Objectify your depression and make it a friend, most often than not, it will tell you exactly what is wrong and most importantly how to bid it goodbye.

10.  Say Thank you for everyday.  EVERYDAY COUNTS.

You will not believe how limited your time on earth is.  The only way I know, it’s because, I saw it flash before my eyes, and it was over so quickly.  Life is a precious gift.  But it does indeed have an expiration date.

You have your life, minus the time you sleep, minus the times that are spent getting and going to places, minus the time you spent arguing, minus the time you spend proving that you are right, minus the time you spent cutting down that person down that wasn’t even in the room, minus the time you spend wanting what someone else has, minus the time you spend in fear,  minus the time you spend on facebook.

You have a very limited time.  To find your life’s purpose and get to it. Why, oh why would you waste any single second of it.

I almost died 5 years ago today.  My life prior to that, was different from the life I have today.  The life I have today has a lot more love, a lot more passion, a lot more people I love in it, and a lot more successes.  Actually, if you look at the sum of my life, my major successes came in the last five years, of those last five years my biggest leaps forward only happened when I fell in love.





The rest of it, it will go so quickly, you won’t even know what hit you.


5 Responses to “Lessons I learned while Dying”

  1. Trisha D Bellah Says:

    You are a miracle, and you make me laugh and think.

  2. […] AMZ Creative AMZ Creative LLC, enhancing the human experience. « Lessons I learned while Dying […]

  3. This is so beautiful Mozz! Thanks for sharing and thanks for being “born”!!

  4. Thank you for posting this. Love you!

  5. Absolutely beautiful!!! Love it.

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