A woman’s healing journey through trauma and physical pain

This is the true story of Renu Arora, a young British actor, singing coach, and theater director in London, who in 2017 had a traumatic accident that changed the course of her life forever.

In the evening of March 29th, 2017, Renu was heading home from work to her apartment to have dinner with a friend. First, however, she needed to stop by the local shop to buy some grocery. Because the queue in the shop was exceptionally long that evening, she wanted to make sure that her friend was not waiting outside her apartment. So, she left her grocery basket in the queue and hurried out to check if she could spot her friend further down the road. As she leaned out from the sidewalk to try catch sight of her, she put her foot a bit too far into the busy road. Not hearing the sound of the large London bus approaching, she didn’t realize that the bus was just behind her. In the blink of an eye, the bus caught her boot. Her leg was pulled and twisted underneath the four-ton heavy bus and the foot got crushed underneath its wheels. The following is the personal account of Renu, as shared in a candid and heartfelt interview with Tricia Barker in January 2021. The full interview can be heard via Tricia Barker’s Youtube channel and podcast. (This article contains selected transcribed parts.)

As the story here begins, Renu has just left the grocery store to try to catch a glimpse of her friend further down the street. Standing on the edge of the sidewalk, for some reason she didn’t hear the large London bus approaching right behind her. Suddenly, her boot is caught by the bus wheel. In the words of Renu:

[As I realized what had just occurred], “I went into a complete panic mood… I could see my lower leg and foot being caught under, and it was disappearing underneath the wheel, so I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh how much of my leg and foot, and how much of me is this bus gonna take? Am I dead, am I a gonner?’ And I remember thinking, ‘Have I done enough good in this life? I don’t think I have’.”

A divine message from the other side

Renu continues: “So, at that point I did float up. And actually, a couple of realities was starting to take place. I felt there was an imprint of me still standing up on the pavement… still vertical. And then of course, the other reality ejected my body, and I started to float up. And I remember floating up higher and higher, to the point where I could see the top of the red bus.”

[As I was floating in the sky], I felt one with everyone and everything. I felt like my thoughts were everybody else’s thoughts. I felt like we have one eternal heart. It was just absolutely…. There are no words to describe experiences as profound as this. The more I floated up, the more this physical world started to fall away in my perception. And I remember, as I floated up higher, I remember seeing and being surrounded by beautiful charts of light, of twilight, and this light was just beaming into my heart from every single direction, like a star. And it was beaming into me, and bathing my heart, and I felt like it was purifying my heart, my spirit, every aspect of me. And I felt like I was filled up to the brim with love.

“I wanted to stay there forever. I felt like I had come home. I felt like I had never felt such a sense of security and home. Up until that point, I had never felt at home in this body. I had never felt secure, and safe, and at home, and okay. At that moment, I felt okay, and home, and more loved, and love-filled, and loving than I had ever experienced in my life before that point.”

Everything was perfect… Everything was and is and was gonna be perfect. There was no time in that space, as we know, so it felt like it was all complete perfection and divinity, and I felt like I was in the presence of God, in those moments.” – ”I felt like I was bathed by Oneness, by God, by Light, by Love, by Divinity itself.” – “Then I felt like my heart was literally taken out of my chest. You know, when you go to the car wash and you get your car washed and it becomes sparkling clean, I felt like my heart was literally polished to the point where it became sparkling clean and built up with love and then put back in. And I remember, when it was put back in, it felt more whole than I ever ever ever felt, and so full of love. I could feel the divinity of the love, I could feel it was not a human love. It was an ever-present love that would never be depleted, that filled my whole being.

“It is interesting….. I never felt that before. I was searching for it, constantly searching for it. And I had moments of beautiful spiritual experiences. But they were moments. Because my way of being was so disconnected that, clearly, those moments just couldn’t last, because my body was so anxious and so fraught, and it wasn’t in a space to hold that. So I had no concept of the divinity that existed within me, and that Oneness and that lack of separation which I felt within the NDE.”

[After the NDE], “my heart feels so very different to how it was before.” – “I feel so very different. And I also feel like, because my pace of life has completely changed, because my mobilities are different, it has allowed me the space to both heal from the illnesses that I had before the accident, and to keep a hold of that beautiful feeling in my heart and the divinity that I experienced during the NDE and which I feel so grateful for.”

“Actually [during the NDE and] just before the life review, I did actually hear a voice, and I could also see the voice. It was on the right-hand side of me. Oh no I couldn’t see the voice, I saw words,… So I saw words on the right-hand side of me and they were black. And the voice said: “Love is all there is”. [The words came one at a time, each word faded away before the next word appeared.] – “The words just literally boomed or reverberated through the whole of me. It felt like, even though it was separated from me in some sense, it was also me.”

Tricia Barker asks how this experience has this affected Renu now?

“I try the best I can to give love every day. And I wake up with the thought every morning ‘how can I give more love today?’. Sometimes that may be to myself, as well as to other people too, because the more love I can give myself the better able I am to give love from a place of fullness, and health, and wellbeing, and then I can be as authentic, and as real and as transparent as I would like to be in my life.” – ”I felt like my soul transcended 25 lifetimes in that space… I feel like the mission is to bring it back and to spread it within the physical world here, within the medium, within the art forms that I have, and with the skills that I have to offer in the world.”

Making friends with the pain – some profound lessons

Tricia Barker here asks what Renu wish to tell other people who are suffering from physical and/or emotional pain.

“I was in a really negative spiral before the accident. For me, what I would say now, is ’Gratitude breads gratitude’. I was clearly not in a place to learn this and to know this before the accident.”

For several months after the accident, Renu didn’t give much thought to her near-death experience (NDE), due to the trauma and intense pain that she experienced. In fact, for five weeks after the incident, Renu was not given the medical treatments (as extensive operations of the foot) that she needed. Eight bones had been broken in many pieces inside the foot, and the arch ligament that was holding up the foot had also been crushed. So, in the first five weeks, she was in excruciating pain, trying to survive moment by moment, alone and at home in her apartment. Renu shares:

“I didn’t really give the NDE much thought for a very long time, because the trauma of the situation and the injuries just literally took over my whole experience for quite some time. So there were sort of a few months before I even were able to allow myself to think about it and to start journeying and processing and really feel into that beautiful place that I had accessed. So, that was a few months…”

[In those first five weeks after I had come back from the hospital without treatment], ”I had to make friends with pain. And I feel like a lot of my spiritual journey took place in those five weeks, because there was no place else to be but in my body… I was in this body, and this body was in excruciating pain, and I just had to find a way to get through it, moment by moment. And I feel so grateful for that now, because it kind of set up the journey for the next couple of years, because I learned to really be present.”

Finding herself in this excruciating pain, many times, Renu just wanted to dissociate from her body and leave her body completely. But she couldn’t because it was too painful and there was just too much going on in her body. ’How did you make friends with that level of pain?, Tricia Barker asks. Renu answers:

I talked to it [the pain] every day. I would ask it what it needed. I felt like my brain had moved into my foot and my leg during those first five weeks. So I would literally see it as a being, and I would talk to it, and I would say, ‘What do you need at this moment in time?’ Because, actually, my experience for those five weeks, was literally broken up into moments. It was literally moment to moment. I would breathe until I could take the pain no more, and then I would change position. And I would breathe once again, until I could take the pain no more. Probably every ten minutes, and then change position again. And that is all I would do for five weeks until I could get the treatment I needed.

Renu continues: ”So, I would talk to the pain all the time every day, and just ask it ‘What do you need, what do you need, what do you need?’. I would hold my leg in my hands just to give it healing and give it warmth, and say ‘I love you’. Because I could feel myself disconnecting and disowning my foot. During those five weeks, if someone had said, ‘We’ll take this foot off or this leg off’, then, [I would have said], ‘Yes come and do it, I can’t do it, it is too painful’.“

Some months after the accident and those first weeks of excruciating pain, gradually she learned to be present and stay in her body and heart. And, she came to realize that:

“This is home [holding her hands on her heart]. Whilst I thought that that beautiful place was home, and it is and it will always be, it is HERE [in the heart], and THIS is the place where I can access it now.” – “When we are fully present, we are fully in our bodies, and when we are fully in our bodies, we can’t be in our minds and in our heads, so those anxiety patterns that I used to run can’t be there, because we are fully in our bodies.”

At the end of the interview, Renu shares some final words of insight from the accident, her NDE, and her pain:

Love is all there is…. Love does heal.

More information

The whole interview with Renu Arora by Tricia Barker is generously made accesssible for free on Tricia Barker’s Youtube channel via this link. See: “NDE Experience Renu Arora Episode #60”, posted on January 15th, 2012.

For more about Renu Arora, see the website of her upcoming podcast series, called ”The Burgundy Book”, at: http://www.theburgundybook.art/. Renu Arora can also be contacted and followed via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(Photos: Bus picture by Dave Kim and Sky picture by Jeremy Thomas, both from Unsplash.com; photo of Renu Arora sourced from her Twitter account.)

Acceptans, Läkande kärlek, Nära-döden-upplevelse, Se gåvorna, Spirituellt perspektiv, Värk och smärta
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