As Personal As It Gets

Time to get personal. It’s time to finally tell this story.

This past summer, about a couple of months before I came down to Los Angeles, I had this series of events. I’m going to interchangeable call them events and experiences because well there aren’t many other words to describe them. At times I may call them dreams, but really they happened as clear as day. Even thinking about writing about this is giving my goosebumps.

For months after I graduated from school I stayed in a little cottage style house about 300 ft from my parents house. Little kitchen, bedroom, living room and a bathroom. When I moved in, it was stuffed to the ceilings in every room with things that had been left behind from my grandparents, sister, and family who just wanted to store things away from the main house. I guess you could actually call it more of a storage bin than anything else.

This little place became my home.

I could figure out exactly when this happened, but it doesn’t really add much to the story to have the exact date here. I have never asked this of anyone, but I would like for you, if you are reading this, to respect this story and take it for what it is. I don’t have an explanation. But I do have thoughts on this subject and I need to get them out.

The first of three.

I woke up paralyzed, looked out into the middle of the dark room, and there it was. I have never been more frightened in my entire life. The hair stands up on my arms as I write this and tears are coming down. It approached, and my body unable to move felt like it was at the will of whatever was about to happen…and then it was gone. I remember this wave of emotion came over me and my mind seemed to go through a massive set of flashes of colors and light and then it was all over. It was gone. But I was there in bed, I can’t remember how long for, paralyzed and frightened beyond belief.

If you’ve ever seen “The Ring” and the little girl who has hair over her face, dress tattered and torn…it was what I saw. That image is branded into my mind and even all this time later, it still tears me up inside.

I hid under my covers that night. Morning came with a sense of relief.

The second of three.

It took me a while to sleep easily again. What I experienced was nothing short of, well, one crappy experience. We all get scared from time to time and have visions etc. so I just passed it off as nothing. I read up a bit on what it possibly could have been. Sleep paralysis. Apparently it happens to a good chunk of people and they have the same experience. Phew. I thought I really was in for something bad.

Well, about a month later, it happened again. But this time…it was really different. I woke up again, but not to something in the room, trust me I checked…but to this feeling of the greatest force imaginable pushing me down into the bed. I felt like I was being crushed, and while I could still breathe properly, I was becoming part of the bed. And then it happened. The feeling went away, and I felt as if something inside of me was being lifted, as if there were two fingers gently pinching and ever so softly lifting a sheet up off of a bed into the air. I felt as if I was being “separated” from myself…and that was completely okay. For a split second I was given a birds eye view of everything that was happening, and I saw myself separated from my body. A spirit, soul, or whatever you want to call it, was being lifted.

Then, I snapped back into the bed with great force. The bed seemed to spring back and forth…but not a sound was made.

The third of three.

That morning, I read up again on sleep paralysis, and there were reports of people having “other” experiences. I began to become interested in what was going on. I have never experienced anything like this before… and now twice in two months?


What was about to happen would change my entire life.

There’s no other way to tell this story than to just tell it. I will never forget this. I can’t call it a dream, well, because it wasn’t one. I was asleep yes, maybe? But in reality, I never was more awake.

I was at a 49er’s playoff party with my two good friends J. and J. and I was slightly removed from the situation…just laughing and watching those two boys flirt and dance with girls in the other room where everyone else was. It was a modest sized house, the interior covered with gold and red party balloons and plates…and yet everything else in the house was pretty basic and white.

I’m not exactly sure why I decided this, but I said “I’m just going to go lay down for a bit and relax.” I turned around and walked to the room right behind me…and went to lay down on the bed and ever so nonchalantly had the thought of…”Oh, there is God.” So I put my feet up on the bed and rested my head on the nook between his chest and his right shoulder and had this overwhelming sense of warmth come over me. There was no face. There really wasn’t much besides this undeniable energy and light that wasn’t blinding, but at the same time you couldn’t see anything but a body covered in white cloth.

So I just laid there for a while.

And then…I started to ask questions out loud.

“So you mean to tell me there are demons?” He responded in a very easygoing way, “Yeah, they pop up once in a while, but we try our best to keep them under ground.” In that moment he answered, there was a flash of the scene that happened when I was in my room terrified because of what was in the black in front of me. I calmly nodded my head in agreement as I understood what had happened.

“So you mean to tell me there are miracles?” He looked at me and said, “Evan, I think you know the answer to that.” Again, in that moment, I was shown the experience I had when I was being lifted like a sheet from myself. I nodded again.

I paused for a while.

“So you mean to tell me there are angels.” He said, “Of course there are.”

And for a while I continued to sit there against his chest quietly, not a thought running through my head.

And then, in my mind, I asked every single question I could. I asked, he answered. Everything and anything. Events from the past. Questions in general. Everything became crystal clear. These questions went on and on and were answered almost in a blur.

The room became sharper and sharper. Everything was impossibly clear. My vision became the sharpest it had ever been. I continued to lay there on his shoulder, overwhelmed with warmth…

And then I woke up.

My hands were shaking. I was in tears. But not tears of sadness. I was crying because I was overwhelmingly happy. Quickly I knew I had to tell me close friend and I tried texting as fast as I could but my hands kept shaking.

I just knew I had experienced something special.

I’m telling you this tonight because I believe in something. This is the first time I have, in over 3 years, talked about my faith but it is time. I believe in something. At this point in my life, I really don’t know what that exactly looks like, but I know there is something. With the experience I had above, with the conversations I have during the day, the feelings I have run through my as I run into the wild to go fishing alone and hear the voice coming from inside, and the events that have happened in my life, I know that there is indeed something.

There is certainty in my mind.

I cannot possibly define what I have experience because I believe it is undefinable. I can only tell the story and know what is warm in my heart. For months, I have thought about these series of events every single day and tried to figure out how they were going to fit into my life. And then this evening I let everything go that was restricting me and put my faith into something that I cannot see, but oh I can feel.

For months I haven’t dreamed. I have had two dreams since this summer, and both were around very big questions of what to do – and both times – I woke up with answers.

Faith is a very interesting thing. But I know that faith was actually what I was missing from my life. Faith in myself and whatever may be above watching to see what we create with the gifts we have been given.

Love. Passion. Never Quit.

– Evan Sanders

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  • kristic90
    April 25, 2014 at 12:39 am

    So good, Evan. Thanks for sharing. At the beginning I wasn’t sure where this post was going to go, which is probably a speck of dust in comparison to how you felt after that first experience! But I been reading long enough to know there would be more to it. So glad I read to the end. Keep seeking and listening and being the awesome person you are.

    • thebettermanproject
      April 25, 2014 at 1:26 am

      You are so very welcome. Thank you for reading the whole thing. Really appreciate it 🙂

  • BloggernKY
    April 25, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I’ve experienced sleep paralysis many times and have also had several o.b.e. since becoming a lucid dreamer. Instead of going to a supernatural explanation, ever considered giving our minds and consciousness more credit?

    • thebettermanproject
      April 25, 2014 at 1:29 am

      As I wrote in the article, I am explaining the experience. Call it what you wish. I think if you read over my past 800+ plus blogs it would answer your question of if I have ever considered giving my mind and consciousness credit.

  • Janie
    April 25, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Thank you for sharing. I have had similar, but not so detailed experiences. It tends to scare the poo out of me so I do not open myself to those experiences anymore. Maybe I need to rethink that.

  • mamawithtrainingwheels
    April 25, 2014 at 6:49 am

    That is some experience! Not everyone gets to have something like that happen to them in their life. I think recording and documenting it is a great way to remember it. It’s hard to remember spiritual experiences. I find that I struggle with faith in a higher power a lot, but every now and again I get moments of complete clarity and certainty. I hope that this propels you find out more about what faith can do. Thanks for sharing this special experience. 🙂

  • Khai
    April 25, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Wow, I have heard of obes, ndes, sleep paralysis… and have you ever read the Shack? It appears that your personalized visit from God isn’t unique either.

    I wish GOD (whatever that is) would do it for everyone though.

  • Marsha J. O'Brien
    April 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I think you hit the jackpot Evan. These kinds of experiences don’t happen to everyone, but for sure they happen. I had an out of the body experience in Oregon when I after an accident – no drugs – couldn’t get out of bed. Left my body and settled in right over the pasture where I could see the mountains and the entire valley…then after a time, I was back in my body. Also have had the less positive experiences with the other-demons. They are as real as it gets, but there are also guardian angels and you have one! I am not religious, but very Spiritual. I know the evil ones can scare the hell out of you, but they cannot hurt you unless you give in to the fear. I have said, in the name of Jesus Christ, go away – and they do. I also did a smudging for a neighbor who’s house was full of evil spirits. We all prayed and told the evil to leave the home. Actually they have not had a problem since. I think it is all a matter of FAITH – it comes to that place where each man has experiences and chooses what he believes. I am so happy for you because people go all their lives and that place in the heart reserved for the “unseen” is sometimes denied even after “experiences”. You are a good man – it has been reflected in your work!. I believe you do have a guardian angel-and you won’t let the evil in! Congratulations-you are loved beyond what we see here on planet earth. Thanks for all your good work!

  • Nancy Pilling
    April 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I am not of a religious persuassion but I am a very spiritual individual. There is an engery that surrounds us, that infiltrates our being and in my mind that is ‘god’.

    When the desire to find my truth kicked in I had and continue to have some very remarkable experiences.

    This is open to everyone. I think quite honestly though is that it’s not something you can go out and seek. Just be open. We have an energy body that extends some 25 ft. around us that is comprised of about 7 layers.

    A few years ago I was highly suspect of such thiings. Experiencing my ‘miracles’, and yes, they happen every day, has certain opened my eyes to so much that needs to be explored.

    Keep in mind too, that miracles do not have to be some magnanamous event. For me given another day is such a reward.

    So be open to these things Evan. Know that just as there is light, there must be darkness, just as there is good there is bad and so on.

    Fear can strangle and faith can restore.

    And while we as humans try to isloate and capture, try to categorize and hypothosize the why and there wherefore of such things, perhaps we should just accept.

    Be open, be free Evan.

  • roughwighting
    April 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Yes, I know exactly what you’re talking (writing) about. And I think you’re very brave to do so. These experiences are so ‘wild’ to so many people, that when we relate them, we are looked upon with skepticism and doubt (and a few rolled eyes and maybe a whisper or two of how ‘weird’ we are). So most times, these ‘events’ or experiences are left unsaid.

    I applaud you for writing about them, and then exploring them further with joy, not fear.

  • ARoyzle
    April 26, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Evan, I too have had an enormously transformative and personally transcendent experience. It was awesome, shattering, incredible. I struggled with the implications for years, how do you go on with a normal life after something like that!? A big part of my answer came in the form of a very helpful book by the author Jack Kornfield. It’s called “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.” Check it out. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me. Best to you.

  • NebraskaWheatie
    April 26, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I knew it!!! I knew from your previous writings that you were a believer. But never acknowledged it. I started losing interest in your writings because you were trying to logically figure things out and not calling it out for what it is. God has given you a gift – now use it and call it for what it is!! Thanks for sharing, Evan.

  • djdfr
    April 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    “whatever may be above watching to see what we create with the gifts we have been given.”

    He is hoping we will create a better world, recreate Eden. That is the crux of His message given in Arès, France, called “The Revelation of Arès”.

  • thelifemeblogger
    April 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Wow! I am glad that you have come to a place of believing that there is a God, or something out there as some would like to say. The hardest part about being a believer is trying to conceptualize something that is far to big for us to understand. Keep on believing and being open to understanding life. It takes a lot of courage to share spiritual matters online. Thanks for sharing and keep being honest in your writings about what you are experiencing because it is definitely going to help someone.

  • Christa Sondag
    May 8, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Chills…for multiple reasons. I was raised in a religious home…grew up very devout myself…but somewhere in my young adult life I just sort of…lost the meaning of it all. I recently had a similar experience…what you described as you resting your head on God’s chest…that warmth and comfort….I felt that for the first time in years. I felt real love there…and peace…I felt acceptance. I know in my brain that there is a God…and I believe it…but feeling a presence is something different entirely. Undeniable proof through personal experience.

    The other thought I have is “Seek and ye shall find…” Whenever we open ourselves up to seeking the truth…regardless of what it may look like…Truth comes and finds us! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing Evan!
    BTW…you liked one of my pics on instagram…found your website…what a pleasant surprise this blog is…will definitely be coming back for more inspiration.