Although there are many views about what happens after this life experience is over and we leave our physical body, one common belief is that heaven is our final destination. It is important to remember, however, that each of us is creating our own heaven, or our own hell, right here and right now. With each thought we think and decision we make, we move in the direction of love (heaven) or fear (hell). Viewing heaven solely as a place we go after transitioning out of our physical body can distract us from the co-creative power we have to create heaven on earth right now.
Sadly, some organized religions use the afterlife (especially the concept of hell) as a way to control people with fear. When people are afraid, they are more vulnerable and are more likely to give away their power to some external source that offers a remedy for the fear. This very topic came up recently as I was talking with a client who expressed her fears about hell and the devil. She wondered what hell was like and what a person could do to avoid it.
After looking at this fear together and considering the possibility that the concept of hell is used to frighten and disempower people, our conversation shifted from focusing on the fear about going to hell, to the ways in which so many individuals experience a living hell in this life experience. A body and mind weighed down with shame, guilt, self-judgment, and self-hatred is a living hell. Instead of being afraid that a devil figure may be waiting for us in the afterlife, we discussed how it may be more helpful to realize that we are living in either heaven or hell, in each moment, depending on the state of our mind.
Since we have the ability to create heaven or hell in each moment, how can we consciously choose to manifest a life aligned with love? One way is to claim our creative power in this life, this instant, this breath. If we are waiting for the afterlife to experience heaven, we are missing a precious opportunity to consciously bring heaven to earth for the good of all, right now.
This is part of the soul mission for every human being ~ as above, so below. As within, so without. We are here to create heaven on earth while inhabiting our sacred body temples. There is no need to wait until we transition out of our bodies to experience this state of grace and connection with Love/God. Each moment that we choose love, forgiveness, acceptance, and compassion (for self and others), we create heaven within our very own hearts. This heavenly state of grace then blesses our family and friends, our larger community, and the world.
In addition to recognizing and claiming our creative power, we can also shine the light of love and awareness on any part of our being that is holding onto fears about the afterlife, the devil, hell, etc. The voice of fear, self-judgment, and separation that comes from our own mind is what contributes to our experience of hell. By directing our awareness inward, we can find the places of fear and separation within, that create suffering. Shifting our attention inside, instead of focusing on an external hell or devil figure, empowers us to create the life we want here and now.
Ultimately, we are blessed with an opportunity to choose. We can choose to release fearful beliefs that disempower us. We can choose to look inside instead of outside. We can choose to be a full participant in this precious life experience. And, we can choose to claim our power to create heaven on earth.
With love & gratitude ~ Erin Stohl