I began investigating the afterlife after the passing of my father in 1997. Because I was skeptical about life after death and had little spiritual foundation or understanding of it (despite my Catholic upbringing), I became curious about what happened to my father after his passing. So I decided to use my skills as a private investigator (my career at that time) to investigate the afterlife.
My father's passing was the beginning of a 15-year journey that would teach me as much about life as it would death. To be clear, I'm an investigator -- not a psychic, medium, or channeler. I'm also not a scientist. I'm an investigator who draws conclusions based on an examination of the evidence using logic, reason, and pragmatism. I begin my investigations without bias or expectation and draw conclusions only after gathering and examining the available evidence. In other words, I look at the evidence first and draw my conclusions second.
In the last 15 years I've had the honor of interviewing thousands of people in this field, some very well known such as James Van Praagh, Anita Moorjani, Dr. Brian Weiss, Dr. Eben Alexander, and others of whom you've likely never heard. And while I can say without a doubt that I started in this business as a skeptic, I have now seen and learned too much to say I'm still one.
Here are the 5 most important lessons I've learned about life by investigating the afterlife:
1. Challenges In Life Are Expected
So many folks believe that something has gone wrong in their life when they experience disappointment, tragedy, suffering, loss, or pain. But no one promised us only positive experiences in our human lives. We learn just as much, if not more, from our challenging experiences as we do our more pleasant ones.
According to my experiences with mediums, our souls choose a human life in order to have experiences that we're unable to have in the spirit world. Because there is no death, fear, illness, or hatred in the afterlife, our souls choose a physical life to know these experiences and, thereby, more deeply understand the love, joy, and inner peace that we know as spiritual beings. Consequently, we learn from the dichotomy of experiencing the opposite sides of what we know in the spirit world.
2. It's How We Respond To What Happens To Us That Matters
People who have had near-death experiences teach us that experience is what happens to us, but it is our free will that gives us the choice of how to respond to what happens to us. Take any experience that most people would consider negative, and we can find someone who reacted to that experience as a victim and someone who reacted to that experience by making the best of it. The latter inspires us, of course, but even more these stories exemplify the power of free will and the human spirit.
3. Our Actions Create A Ripple Effect
Near-death experiences and life-between-lives regressions teach us that upon our return home to the spirit world, we as spirits experience what's called a "life review." What's most amazing about this life review process is that we get to know and feel the physical, emotional and psychological impact we had on people in response to things we said and did in our lifetime. This insight inspires us to be better human beings. Knowing that our behavior in life has a ripple effect that potentially touches the lives of countless people is encouraging to be more mindful of how we behave and interact with others.
4. Forgiveness Is For Our Benefit
By studying after-death communications, mediumship, and channeling, we learn that forgiveness is actually less about letting the other person off the hook than it is relieving ourselves of suffering. When we carry the weight of blaming someone with contempt, it is actually our burden to carry. But when we release them of that blame and contempt (while maintaining healthy boundaries), we release ourselves of holding that negative energy inside us, which raises our overall vibration of love.
5. There Is An Evolution To Our Truth & Knowing
We all have our own truth. This is not to say that there isn't a single truth--one universal truth--but being human, we can only know truth from our own individual filters. Our brain functions, past experiences, beliefs, and education all filter our present experiences in a manner that affects our interpretation of each experience and, therefore, our ultimate knowing. That doesn't make one person right and another person wrong, of course; it makes your knowing and my knowing both perfect, even if they are miles apart. This also means that your truth today might change tomorrow if you have new experiences that add to your knowing. It doesn't make yesterday's knowing wrong; it merely adds a new layer to it, a layer that deepens your understanding at the knowing level.
My investigation of the afterlife has given me a greater chance for making the best of what happens in life rather than falling into victimhood. Even in my daily life, I live with less fear and greater inner peace when faced with challenges. My understanding of why bad things are allowed to happen to innocent people--children included--helps me to focus my compassion on their suffering rather than get paralyzed by blame, fear, and judgment. And it is this understanding that I wish for you and others.
In the end, rather than take my word (or anyone else's) regarding life or death, I encourage you to become your own afterlife investigator, gather your own evidence, and then draw your own conclusions. After all, this is your life experience. I merely share my own to help you recognize the possibilities.