The following essay was written by my dear friend and scheduling assistant, Lynette Setzkorn, after the passing of our mutual soul sister, Brenda Bollmann Baker.  I have been in near-daily contact with Brenda across the veil.  Read Lynette’s amazing and important words about how we can make the most of our time here and live a life on purpose …

I asked Suzanne if she’d heard anything from Brenda about her life review. It’s such a common thing with near death experiencers and shows up over and over in books and articles about what comes after. It’s seemed to be a mandatory part of moving from here to Here (there’s no “there,” no other world … Brenda’s been adamant on that point).

And you know how it goes. We take that last breath and we’re immediately ushered into a kind of movie theater or we just see it all playing out before us and we re-experience our entire lives in an instant. All of the feelings we had about this human experience, every emotion we encountered, our own or someone else’s, everything we did and how that impacted our fellow travelers.

We get to re-feel ALL of it. Every experience of interacting with people, those we loved deeply and those we never recognized as Love in its most unlikely incarnation. We feel it. Intensely. What was done to us and why. What we did to ourselves and why. Everything having to do with the meat suit life is put on instant replay.

Wheeeee! Amiright? Who wants that? Once was enough for me. I’ve worked my ass off in 12 step programs, have done major MAJOR forgiveness work (of others and — especially — myself) to get free of all of that. Rolling the film of this life again? Not an inducement to want to hurry across the (“incredibly thin”) veil to Here.

So I was a happy woman to read Brenda’s experience of the life review, which was that it’s been a sort of a slow rolling occasional thing. No formal, intense surrounded-by-angels-to-catch-you-when-you-fall-out-in-devastation viewing of all of it at once. Just a gentle look at those opportunities where there could have been more room for Love, and seeing ourselves, when we’ve been less than Love, with the greatest compassion, my own personal lifetime struggle. Free indeed, my Brenda.

So here’s Brenda in her own words via Suzanne. Read it and be happy. I was:

“So as for reviewing (she brushes a hand aside), it’s ongoing, but in a totally understanding way. No judgement, and since I no longer judge myself, there’s just total compassion for my story. Total. What a gift, Suzanne! What a gift! You all can give it to yourselves right now, if you want. Review your life right now and see every little foible, every little mistake, and yeah, the big ones, of course. We all have ’em. See them for what they are: absence of love. Ignorance. You know all that. So let me just say that you only need the life review if you don’t get it before you pass. Otherwise, it’s just an ongoing taking a look at how life works when you’re in a meat suit.”

People: we are DOING the work now! Freedom doesn’t have to wait. It’s here. Little “h” here. I know all of you know this and I know it too, but I never quite made the gut level connection between what we do to work through our human messiness right now and how that can get us on the express train to utter freedom once we quit breathing. I can’t write that without thinking of my indoctrination with the church’s never good enough version of sin and punishment, a hopeless prospect at best. And I’ve found immense freedom right here from clearing up the wreckage, as I know many of you have.

But even in this state of awakening, it always just seemed like the untidy work of slogging through this human state would end and anything that came after was kind of unrelated. This roller coaster of a life with all of its twists and turns and heart stopping plunges into such pain was just a life. Over and done and, really, kind of pointless.

But that’s not the case. The work I’ve done — we’ve all done — on making the connection to spirit, clearing up my own messy life, every bit of time spent dealing with old hurts and losses has ramifications not only in this version of here, but in the next one, real Here! And we don’t have to be perfect at it! I’m not even close and our sister BBB still had her own BS to deal with. But what she did was enough and I think that’s so cool. More junk carved out of my psyche and thrown on the trash heap. Hers too. All of us, filling up the dump with the gunk picked up in this lifetime. We’re doing it now, not in some get-it-right-this-time repeat next life. Freedom here, now. Before we quit breathing.

(If you enjoyed this essay, please leave a comment if you’d like to hear more from Lynette, who clearly has a gift with words, great spiritual understanding, and a huge heart.)