Sherry Marie Gideons.Rugie Street was like any other street in San Jose, California, except that it was the street my Dad and I used to race on. It wasn't far from Piedmont Middle Junior High School either. And, even though I had lots of dreams like lots of children do, my real dream was to be a world-class athlete. A gymnast, a track star, and even a bodybuilder, it didn't seem to matter at the time, but I knew I wanted to compete physically. My Dad knew too, that's why we raced up and down Rugie Street, he was challenging me, developing me physically, supporting my real dream the only way he knew how. He supported me in everything I did. Even in Speech recitals, he wrote most of my speeches and would coach me as I recited them, another one of my child hood goals. Still, at twelve, my speech skills were being developed along with my athlete coordination.
When his mother died that year, I lost his support. I lost him. I don't know why. Maybe it was the way she suffered from lung cancer. Maybe it was because her death caused him to reflect on his own life. I loved her too. She was my friend and my grandmother. Hindsight is never gratifying and it doesn't make any difference. Our family life went downhill and within months my parents divorced. I lost my grandmother and my Dad the same year. I never raced up and down Rugie Street again.
My hopes and dreams seemed to disappear. The loss of my grandmother and my parent's divorce created a void and sickness within me that I would not be able to correct for many years to come. I thought that all this had something to do with me. So in order to deal with my pain and loneliness and disapproval of myself I found my outlet through food, outside I struggled with the same old feeling of wishing for acceptance, love, to achieve my dreams and goals, to be liked and thought of as athletic, beautiful and popular like the other girls, the road to perfection. Inside I tore myself apart calling myself fat and ugly. I began to gain weight rapidly over the years using food to replace the pain and sorrow I felt inside.
At 15 I found an answer to achieve some of the outward appearance I was looking for. I met a girlfriend at work who loved food as much as I did. She said let's just eat as much as we want and throw it up. So started my years of Bulimia. During these years I fought a battle I did not think was possible to overcome. I dreamed of being like everyone else and wished with all my heart that it would be possible to eat whatever I wanted, like so many of the girls I knew. It seemed that if you were pretty and thin, you would get all the cute boys and find total happiness.
When I was 18 I met my husband to be, who was a good looking, avid athlete and bodybuilder, whom I spent the next 10 years of my life trying to reach the level of perfection and acceptance he thought I should be at. He was not really willing to give me guidance and show me the right way to accomplish these goals. His answer was that I should already be there. At 21 my husband was stationed in Germany on a military tour. It was here I started the quest for status; I was approached one day by the coach of the army powerlifting team whom asked me if I had ever considered weight training. Had I ever, I replied that I had wanted to with all my heart but my husband just expected me to know how. The next couple of years were spent off and on the army powerlifting team and having a baby.
After I had my baby my food habits did not change and I found myself constantly fighting the battle of confusion between what I saw on the outside and what I felt on the inside. It did not help that my husband had now given me an ultimatum (TO get my fat in shape in three months or he was leaving) I struggled with this for many years until I found myself pregnant with my second child and going through a divorce. I decided while I was pregnant with my son I was going to achieve my dream. I did not understand the first step I needed to take was to ask myself whom was I doing this for (myself or acceptance from society) so I surrounded myself with people I thought would help me achieve this status. I wanted to be loved and thought of as beautiful so bad that I was willing to do whatever it took to reach this level of perfection. The trouble was that I didn't question my values, so when people said jump I said how high. I searched for the answers by what every one else told me was real. I was told drugs and steroids were the only way to achieve this level, so I believed what I was told. I had never really experimented with drugs or steroids before so my answer was to try whatever they suggest. What I didn't realize is that they didn't really know either. It was all about ego. So I blew up and got bigger; all I wanted was to be beautiful and thin, then I would be loved. I couldn't seem to reach this level of perfection.
So I was introduced to a drug that would make it easy for me to never eat if I didn't want too. I now had brought Methamphetamine into my life and moved forward on my quest for perfection by never eating at all. I was going to achieve fitness status. This phase of my life had brought a new understanding of how the world views each other, by what they see with their eyes. I was hooked! My perception and reality of life was distorted because I lived through the worlds eyes and not my own. I was so obsessed with thinness that I stopped eating at all. My game became harder and harder to keep up with. In the mirror all I could see was fat but in reality the world saw me as slipping away. I could not get thin enough.
I remember my mother saw me once after not seeing her for about three months; she starting crying her eyes out! She said, Sherry Marie, you are a skeleton! What are you doing to yourself? What has happened to you? I became very angry and told her that she did not know what she was talking about.
It was just about this time when I had made a decision to move to Las Vegas Nevada. I just knew I was going to be famous. I was going to go out there and be discovered. Now, I had been competing and doing some magazine photo shoots at this point but as fast as I achieved the status I lost it. I felt very lonely and empty inside. My passion for life began to dissolve into a darkness I could not seem to escape from. I started to get very sick; my tolerance for small circumstances in life became harder and harder to deal with. My children didn't understand what I was going through and every time I looked in the mirror I saw the image of a fat girl. I had walked over the edge of life and began to beg to die. What was this world about? Why are we here? Does happiness exist? I hate life! People are out to destroy each other! This is the dialog that started to run through my head.
There were experiences and events that began to happen that all I can do today is share with you. These events and experiences were very real and began to open me up to the reason for us all being here. I mentioned that I no longer wanted to live. I was not able to interact with the world any longer. I could not stand to be in another person's presence. I could not even stand the sound of my own daughter's voice. I very rarely left the house these days and every window and curtain in the house was closed.
When it became time to leave the house because I absolutely had too. The children needed food and whatever I had to get, I started to have experiences that I can only describe like this; it did not matter where I was at the grocery store, the gas station, or the gym. People would come up to me and tell me that God told them to speak to me. It started to happen so often that I thought I was going crazy. I began to beg God more often to kill me.
It was not much longer that I started to experience the visitation of spirits. How can I describe this other then to share it for what it is, the truth! I had had a best friend who had died the year before of drug overdose. Scott was very close to my children and me but he had begun to escape the pain of the world through drugs. Scott' s spirit began to visit me everyday and often. Scott's spirit would plead with me, not to let happen to me what had happened to him. He would share with me my inner beauty and love for the world. He would tell me that I had much to share with the world.
It was not long after this when another spirit would visit me and share the same simple wisdom. I was here for a reason. I could not give up! Her spirit had once been a powerful figure in the world of the physical, but she too had been overcome by her own self-destruction. This spirit was that of Marylyn Monroe. At this point your mind might be thinking how could this be possible? I tell you this is true. I can only share with you the reality of my experience and the effect that it had on me. So strong was her spiritual influence on me, that she would visit me all hours of the day for those weeks before my NDE. It did not matter which room I was in at the time. She would speak to me through the TV, in the kitchen, stairway, and my room. When I would go to the turn the television on, there would be a documentary about her life on the TV.
What she would share with me was her wisdom from life. She told me that my life was very similar to her life. She told me that she too searched for love and acceptance through the world's eyes and through their acceptance. She too lived through the darkness of being surrounded by high powerful people in Las Vegas and other parts of the world. The world of darkness and the status that beauty can bring surrounded by high powerful men. What she began to share with me for the next couple of weeks was her wisdom of life. She told me that love was the only way. She told me always hold on to the love, never forget the love. For Love was our only answer for survival as a human. She told me not to let happen to me what had happened to her. She said that I still had a chance. She told me that Joe Dimaggio had been the love of her life in the time of her human experience. Once again she would share with me her love.
I am sure there will be much to be said about what I have just shared with you. I can tell you this; at this point I thought I was going insane. The events that happened next were two weeks before my NDE are what I still hold dear to my heart until this day. Some of this you might not grasp, but that is ok. I know what is part of me.
It was super Bowl Sunday 1997. I had spent a lot of my time in Las Vegas attracting High Powerful people from New York. They would travel to Las Vegas and I would hang out with them for dinner and company. I had recently started to experience another event in my life that I could not describe. I could read people's thoughts. I could stand in a room with these men and telepathically read their minds. I could hold a conversation with one man, and hear the conversations of the rest of the group throughout the room. This confused me and I did not understand it at he time.
One of them men in the group that weekend asked me to visit him in his penthouse; he wanted to talk to me. When I arrived at his room he opened the door and asked me to sit down. He stared at me in the eyes for a few minutes, which made me uncomfortable. He then said to me; Sherry, it's all in your eyes how much you love and care about people but you're a scared little girl. You don't even know who you are, do you? You are a bright star! You search for fame and fortune from the world. But until you can hold your head high and say; I don't care what the world thinks! You'll never be a star; you'll never be anything. Because, you will always care about what the world thinks! Be yourself! I looked into this mans eyes and I could swear I was looking into God's eyes. I could swear that God was speaking to me himself. Two weeks later the answer I found was self-destruction.
On February 13, 1997 I was given a wake up call, a second chance. I nearly lost my life due to bulimia, anorexia and drugs in which I experienced what we would call a near death experience. I like a lot of people who have told similar stories, was shown and told I was being given a second chance to finish my purpose. I was given a gift that no words can ever be spoken to tell you how grateful I am for the chance to share my story with you. I hope that my message will reach out to the people who need to hear it most.
I had found LOVE! I watched my spirit leave my body and release itself from this world of flesh. I could see myself traveling through a tunnel of light that was a freedom it is hard to describe in physical terms. I was moving freely at a high rate of speed, like a bird. Ahead the light became brighter and brighter until it overtook the darkness and left me feeling like I was in a fairy tale of brilliant light. This was the brightest light I had ever seen, but in spite of that. Unlike the pain one might feel when walking into sunlight from a dark room, this light was complete love and soft to my eyes.
It was everything all at once, love, freedom, release, and the oneness of all that we are. Suddenly I was in the presence of powerful spirits and love. I could feel them comforting me and preparing me for what was to come. Their love was that of complete serenity.
Then there was off to my left the source of all power. A powerful Being of Light was in front of me. As I gazed into its essence I could see all shades of color, as if a rainbow had exploded. I thought I was hugged with such a powerful source of love. Like a child held in its mother's arms.
I felt comfortable in it's presence, a knowingness that made me believe this energy had felt every feeling I had ever had. Looking at this Being I had the feeling that no one could love me more, no one could have more empathy, sympathy, encouragement, and nonjudgmental compassion for me than this Being. This being Was Love!
The source that was before me knew the pain I had experienced, knew that I wanted nothing more then to help others.
It was there that the source of God communicated with me. The communication was not that of what I could describe the way that you and I communicate here on this planet. But that of power. The knowingness of communication telepathically. I could hear everything through the senses. Spirits whom had lived my life with me in the physical flesh and had passed on before me were there to comfort and love me, as well as a group of spirits, guides and teachers whom all had been there with me to complete my journey and purpose for being on the planet.
Suddenly I was told by the strongest source of energy and love that I had much work to still do on earth. That I had not yet finished my purpose that I was being given the choice of destruction or that of my dreams and goals, my purpose. I was then shown what I can describe today of my life review. Everything that I had experienced in my life as a human up until that point. What I now believe to be what the bible speaks of as judgment day. It is not the brim and fire that seems scary in the bible, but that of an experience of you judging you. The reliving of all your choices, love, hate, anger, infliction on others. The difference is that in those moments that you created pain for others. You relive it as if you were inside them. You feel what it was like to feel the pain from their eyes. I was then given it seemed like a time of reflection on the events of my life. Some time to decide which choice to make.
I was then told that I was being given the choice to stay or to be given a second chance to complete my purpose. I was told that my purpose was a big mission. I was then told that I was being given a blessing to be shown that which I had not yet finished. At this point I could feel this group of beings eliminate or pull from me the negative energy of my life in the physical world and feel me with love beyond what I can describe I remember the scene was shown to me in a fairy tale city and setting. Somewhat like I had always wished for in my life while alive. It was so beautiful, How could I not try? She was so kind and beautiful. I could feel her heart.
At this point I watched a future that began to pass before my eyes as if it were a movie made to describe a fairytale and all that the princess ever wished for was granted. I was told that I was meant to lead that I was a healer sent to earth to pave the way for others to live. I was shown a movie of a woman who came to earth to help people find their own individual greatness. She would become very well known in life for helping people to discover their own uniqueness, movies, TV, publishing, changing the idea of how the world looks at women, opening up spiritual schools for children, helping the world to understand death, the importance of our internal power. I would become a trendsetter, travel to third world countries and open up humanitarian foundations for the homeless and people in tragedy and need.
My greatest creations would be that of opening healing centers for women and children. I would speak all over the world to large groups of people on topics like anorexia, bulimia, drug abuse, sobriety, and how to discover that unique power within.
This whole time I was comforted by the enormous love of the other beings. The spirit of my grandmother was also there. When she was alive, during the last year of her life in physical form. I had been afraid of her. I watched her go from a beautiful woman into a lifeless skeleton. She had died of lung cancer. During her last days, I was afraid to be around her, because she was not the woman I had known. She was frail and scary looking. After her death I had dreams for along time, as if she was haunting me. At twelve years old I had to sleep with my parents. I was sure she was haunting me for me being afraid of her. In my moment of awakening, she was there too. She communicated this memory to me by sharing with me her reason for being there. My grandmother's spirit shared with me that she was watching over me and protecting me.
The next version the beings showed me was that of a man that was part of my life during these days of darkness. His name was Phil; I was told that I was to share with Phil possibilities that would happen in his own life. Phil was given the same choice as I here in the physical world.
I was then shown, why we are all here. We are here to experience the human experience. I was told if it were religion, we would all be hoping the religion we chose was the right one. We are not here to kill each other. We are here to help each other rise to the higher level of love. I was told I would leave a lasting impression on the world that the world would never forget. My whole life I was taught that sin and Satan was going to come get me if I did something bad. I was old that the sin and Satan we live is that of our own creation. That we are the true essence of God. That we are God creating God. "Ye are Gods." God lives within us and through us. God experiences it all right along with us. This is called free will that the greatest gift we were ever given was to create our own reality. To experience the biggest, grandest version of ourselves.
Teach the world to play, teach them to rediscover the children in themselves, teach the children to love each other and find the power of using their unique greatness together. I obviously chose to try again. I heard in my head that I had made the promise to return and share with the world my story. I was told to tell. I also remember the beings continually spoke to me through the words I AM. The last thing that happened was when I watched my spirit descend back into my body. I could suddenly see myself lying on my bed. I could feel a light coming through the window that was so powerful beyond words. As I watched my spirit return to this body on the bed. I could hear the last words spoken to me; "You must help the world to understand, that they must give of themselves freely without expecting and love is all there is!
When I recovered the people I had surrounded myself with no longer understood me, nor were they willing to grasp the connection we all have with each other. Phil called me crazy and now began to call me Scary Sherry. I was shown that Phil would leave me but that he would come back someday, sometime, and somewhere. One month before a court case of Phil's I described to him what would happen in this court case. Guess what? It happened just like I said it would. This only made Phil more afraid of me.
So as painful as it was I took responsibility for my actions and myself. I lost my hair; I went from 100 lbs. to tipping the scale at a whopping 190- lbs. I did not realize that I would not have these promises happen that day. I truly thought the promise the source gave me; that if I came back, all those events would happen that day. I was also told that I would become a very wealthy woman one-day, and that when I was, I would know exactly what to do with the money. I was told by one of the beings that I would never have to worry. That all the right people would come into my life at the right moment to help me move forward. A promise was a promise! Never did I expect to experience the opposite of this vision first. The world deserted me, laughed me called me crazy. I can only share the pain that I felt from this, but I had been given a blessing that no one or no thing can take away. So I decided to let go. I had suddenly recovered, lost all my possessions, my hair fell out from lack of nutrition, I gained almost 90 pounds in two months and I was currently homeless on the streets because my family and friends said; You made your bed, you lie in it. I did not like what I saw or, what I felt inside.
What I felt after kept me going for awhile. The state of absolute bliss I experienced was a feeling of oneness with all things. Once again, the negative energy from the experience of this world was eliminated from in the light. I was filled with love. How do I describe the feeling? Other then to say it is kind of like the movie the Highlander. I am everything, I know everything, and I am one with everything. From the day I recovered and up until now, my gift has been to experience the mystical. The blessing to be in tune with the almighty source of all things. I experience the mystical or my own description of it, is events that occur in our lives that are not easily explained. It could be something as simple as meeting someone in the moment and hearing them say things to you as if God were speaking to you directly through this individual, or hearing people's thoughts in your head. Another thing I experienced after is I could be in someone's presence and know what level of love he or she was at. I would know if they were lying or insecure or full of hate. I would have this prickly intense energy shoot up my neck.
An event I can describe in detail is of an experience I had six weeks after my recovery. I had a fitness event to attend in Palm Springs. Now, I had hardly any money left to attend this event but I went anyway. The promoter of the event gave me twenty dollars for gas to drive back to Las Vegas with. I stopped to get gas and realized I was not sure how to drive back to Las Vegas. I asked a man I saw standing on the side of the road if he knew which route to take to get to Las Vegas. He told me to take highway 10 back to Las Vegas.
Now in this day, I was still very new to all this, and in a sense a baby reborn. I drove for quit awhile lost in my own thoughts, when I saw a sign that read Arizona. I thought Arizona! I looked at my gas gage at that moment to see that I was almost out of gas. I knew that I had no money in my bank account and wondered what I was going to do. I pulled over at a gas station just to try and use my ATM card anyway. It read insufficient funds. So what did I do? I started to share my story with people. Yes, many thought I was crazy! I was still very thin at this point. Some people would throw 67 cents at me or 2.00 at me. I would of course put this in the gas tank. I still could not seem to get the right directions from anyone to get back to Las Vegas.
During this experience, I could hear the spirit speak to me and share with me great things I would do in the future. That I would help a lot of people to discover there true selves. I had now been lost for about 10 hours in the desert and seemed to be getting more and more lost. When I came to a gas station in which I heard in my head, try your ATM card. At this point I had just had a man throw 4 dollars worth of quarters at me and tell me I was tweaking! I said to the man, I was tweaking once but now I am high on life. I walked into the gas station store to a least try my ATM card again. I handed the clerk my card to discover that the card gave me $13.00 worth of gas.
I once again got into the car and traveled a distance when I came across a gas station out in the middle of now where. There were two old men sitting outside on lounge chairs in front t of the gas station. I pulled up and started crying. I told one of the men that I was lost, hungry, tired and could not seem to get the right directions to get home. He just stared at me for a moment and looked right into my eyes and said; I was sent to give you a message and the message is, "Tell your story, tell it lightly, don't be pushy, but leave an everlasting example and the world will never forget you." I started to cry again and did not know what to think of all of this. I could share many stories of these types of events in my life but this small description is just a simple story of what is going on all the time in our lives that just pass us by, or we neglect to see as reality.
I realized the denial, the blame, and the procrastination had to end. I needed to take control of my life. I had been given a gift, that gift was a second chance. It was about making a personal commitment to myself.
During the next 4 years I experienced adversity more then I can describe. The anger I felt at this source of energy I felt was enormous. I thought, I could I have been shown this to come back and experience ever loving hell. But, just when I was feeling these emotions some message, a person or an experience would happen to give me hope. What continued to drive me was the promise. The possibility of what I was shown. I wanted to be her. She was beautiful and loved people for who they were.
There are two motivating factors that drive us: Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. This is the underlying picture that drives our attitudes and behaviors. A new life plan was in order. Your perception is the agent that will either hinder your growth or promote it. I needed to wake up and take a good look at myself. There was a whole world just waiting for me to enjoy. It was time for me to start really living and enjoying life. I began to look at my situation as a challenge. Many people think of change as too troublesome. They believe it's a negative aspect of life. Motivation means movement! Motivation means going places, not standing still.
My real challenge was to stick to my goal. When you look at life and it's many challenges as a test, you begin to see each issue you face as an opportunity to grow. I began to make decisions based on personal growth rather than in response to fear or necessity. I spent hours in the library researching religion and trying to understand why there were so many. I realized it doesn't have to take a miracle like I was given to make a change. It takes a little faith, willingness to trust you and the commitment to try something new. We are destined to grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you convince yourself that change is bad, you are poisoning your future.
I have worked very hard to learn to love and accept myself for who I am on the inside. It has not been easy; it takes hard work! It takes allowing yourself to be human. It takes knowing that you are able, possible and willing. I would tell myself I could be victorious over weight or anything else in life. It has all been done one step at a time. My dream is to be a true role model to women and children and help people realize that anything is achievable at any age when you create from your heart and believe in yourself. When you are ready the teachers will come. The teachers have come one at a time.
I always ask myself; what example do you wish to represent in society? If you were to leave us today, did you accomplish what you set out to do? So here I am, Sherry Marie Gideons, finally here again 5 1/2 years later. I lost 70 lbs. two years ago and competed in my first all natural body building show in which I placed first in the Ms. Fitness model search and won the pro World Natural Ms. Figure 2000, along with many other dreams and goals.
I have finally learned to be myself at all costs, to trust my higher power to guide me in all circumstances and to surround myself with light like people who are stepping out to take up the important mission of role model in the next millennium to help create a world of unlimited potential full of love. I have recently decided to begin my project of opening women's healing and rejuvenation centers that will target all levels of fitness and brings a variety of fun and challenge to the spirit.
It is definitely 5 1/2 years later and I am following my heart. I now know that all this has been for a reason. How could I have been that beautiful woman that day of recovery? She had to experience, heal and grow to share the message. I realize today, I am not here to convince anyone of my reality or what happened to me. I am here to offer hope, spread the message and teach others of what unlimited opportunities live inside them.
Sherry Marie Gideons