5 Kids Who Recall Having A Past Life

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Reincarnation is a fascinating topic. It gets even better when we hear about children who not only claim to have had a past life, but who remember intimate details about it that make you wonder how they could have such knowledge. Often, when a child claims to have been someone in a past life, research confirms that the person once existed.

It would make sense if these children only claimed to be someone famous whose existence we can easily prove, but it gets strange when they can accurately recall details of a life of some obscure person nobody knows anything about.

The stories we’ll read in this article give us hope that consciousness survives after death, but despite this, they’re a little unsettling. They’ll certainly make you think: is reincarnation possible, and did these children live as other people before dying and returning?

I can’t answer those questions, but the topic sure is fun to read about. With that said, here are five stories of children who say they remember their past life. Continue reading

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One More Light: Loss, Grief, and Love for Life

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

This one will be rough.

Today, we’re looking at the song One More Light by Linkin Park. You probably know this band for the nu-metal style of music they became famous for – heavy guitars with rapping, scream-singing, keyboards, and turntables – or the tragedy that befell them in 2017.

Despite the criticism the One More Light album received for containing less hard rock and more pop-centric songs, Linkin Park’s music has always crossed genres. Take for example this song they wrote for their first album.

Hybrid Theory, the name of their first album, is what the band called themselves before they settled on Linkin Park. It’s a reference to merging different music genres to create a “hybrid”. The band has never stuck with any one style of music, although their first two albums Hybrid Theory (2000) and Meteora (2003) were similar in style and sound.

New Sounds

With their next album Minutes to Midnight, released in 2008, they decided to change things up in a bigger and much more noticeable way. In this album, they experimented with a less restrained form of hard rock as well as an acoustic and driving softrock sound in place of the heavy distorted guitar. Their lyrics also included social commentary. Although the album was a lot different from their first two, this experimentation is in line with how they’d always intended to make music.

Their effort to make genre-bending music continued up to their latest album, One More Light, released in 2017. After Minutes to Midnight, the band released A Thousand Suns in 2010 (a concept album that in my opinion is their best), Living Things in 2012 (an album that, in sound and style, was like a sequel to the previous), The Hunting Party in 2014 (a heavy album in which they exchanged soft rock and techno for a harder sound with driving guitar and a lot more screaming), and their most recent album, the title track from which we’ll discuss here: One More Light.

One More Light is much different in style from the previous album; The Hunting Party features hard rock whereas One More Light is more of a pop album. It’s worth a listen regardless of your musical preference, as the songs are very well done and the band uses them to address many meaningful, personal issues.

Credit: http://tichyodpor.blogspot.com

The title track to One More Light is a mournful song reflecting on what a person feels when dealing with the loss of someone close to them. It addresses how the living wish they could’ve helped the deceased, how grief hits you in small yet devastating ways at unexpected times, and how every life is valuable no matter how insignificant it may seem.

The term “all lives matter” doesn’t do justice to what the guys in Linkin Park express in this song. My interpretation of it is that by highlighting how important every life is, they are mourning the dead while celebrating the living. The music is soft with an appropriately gloomy sound that expresses the band’s grief and contemplation on death and life.

The subject matter is obviously sad, and it was inspired by the group’s experiences with losing people close to them.

Before we discuss the lyrics, check out the song.

(Note: Due to copyright issues, you have to go to YouTube to watch the videos in this article.)

Lyric Discussion

Now, we’ll discuss this song’s lyrics and overall message. The lyrics are in the video above, but you can also find them here.

The first half of this song’s first verse seems to reference the feelings one might have after a friend or relative takes their life. The second half suggests a sense of closeness with someone who’s passed away, with the end being a sad, contemplative reminder that human life is temporary (“there are things that we can have, but can’t keep”). Some people won’t always be in our life, and while their loss will hurt, it’s one of many reasons we should value the time we have with them.

The song continues into the chorus, with lyrics that express reverence for life and sadness at death. The point of the chorus (and the song itself) seems to be that all life is valuable. On a planet teeming with living entities, we should forget nobody and leave nobody behind. We should care about every living thing no matter how seemingly insignificant it is. A life might be insignificant to you, but it means everything to the one living it.

The second verse will hit close to home for anyone who’s been through a tremendous loss. It touches on the fact that when dealing with loss, grief is continuous. It comes in many forms at many different times and strikes when you’re the most vulnerable. Mike Shinoda – who raps, composes, plays guitar, keyboards, and does vocals for Linkin Park –  would later touch on this in his solo music.

Simple reminders can be torturous, and as the lyrics state, you have every reason to be upset.

My interpretation of the last line (“just ‘cuz you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there”) is that grief and depression can be present regardless of how happy a person seems; especially when dealing with loss. You never know what someone is going through. We all wear a mask, and the happiest faces often hide the greatest pain.

Chester Bennington’s Death

Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park. Credit: Berkely B-Side

The world learned this when Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, died by suicide on July 20, 2017. This was just two months after the band released the One More Light album. Despite the sad tone that pervades so much of Linkin Park’s music, close friends and family say Chester was upbeat and hard-working. But in his personal life, he fought a harsh battle with addiction and depression.

Four days after Chester passed, his bandmates released a statement via social media:

Dear Chester,

Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.

You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda [Chester’s wife] and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you.

Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.

Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much.

Until we see you again,

LP

Visit Chester.LinkinPark.com

Chester Bennington’s struggles inspired the lyrics in many of the band’s songs. The song Crawling, for example, deals with addiction and an inability to escape. The One More Light album was different; not in the sense that it didn’t express sadness, but that it expressed the desire to see the light when you could instead give in and let the darkness take you. This is a message the band had been building over time with each album, with the songs Iridescent and The Messenger being testaments to this.

The theme that runs through most of the songs on One More Light is that in the darkest of times, there is hope and the possibility of redemption.

Chris Cornell’s Death Two Months Prior

Tragically, just as the One More Light album was set to debut in May 2017, a huge loss rocked the music community. On May 18, 2017, legendary rocker Chris Cornell died by suicide. Most of us wouldn’t know it until Chester passed two months later, but he and Chris were close friends, having toured and played shows together. Chester was even the godfather of one of Cornell’s children.

Chester Bennington (right) on stage with Chris Cornell (left). Both singers, who were close friends, died by suicide within a couple months of each other. Credit: Alternative Nation

After hearing about Chris Cornell’s death, Linkin Park dedicated the first song of a televised live set to him, playing One More Light instead of Heavy as was planned. Mike Shinoda later noted that when rehearsing and playing the song live that day, Chester struggled to get through it. You can watch the emotional performance on YouTube:

Chester passed away on July 20th, the day that would’ve been Chris Cornell’s birthday.

Aftermath

In the aftermath of Chester’s passing, his bandmates noticed that fans were using the song One More Light, which they’d written to show solidarity with those experiencing loss, to pay tribute and comfort them in their time of mourning. As a result, a couple months after Chester’s death, Linkin Park released a music video for One More Light dedicated to him.

Teaming up with other well-known bands and artists, Linkin Park put on a show at the Hollywood Bowl for their fallen bandmate in October 2017. The concert was called “Linkin Park and Friends Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington”.

During the show, Mike Shinoda debuted a song he wrote for his bandmate. Looking For An Answer, which deserves an article of its own, centers on similar themes as One More Light. But this song is specifically about Chester.

Additionally, Mike Shinoda released three songs of his own in January 2018. In these songs, known together as the Post-Traumatic E.P., Mike touches on the anger, sadness, confusion, and loss he’s felt since his friend’s death, as well as the hurdles he had to overcome putting together the tribute concert while dealing with grief that hits you out of nowhere (as One More Light explored). He also expresses the feeling of not knowing what to do and the fear that his work could be over.

Check out the videos for the three songs on YouTube.

Concluding Thoughts

I was one of the many Linkin Park fans hit hard by Chester’s death. Sadly, I had not heard any songs on One More Light (except Heavy) until after I’d heard the news. When I did listen to the album, I found a collection of songs that, while not rock, contained the same energy and passion but with a twist: the band was touching on more personal issues than before.

Linkin Park songs have always been known for lyrics that exemplify a struggle for happiness that often feels hopeless. But with the One More Light album, the band explored new territory by addressing specific personal struggles in the fight to see the light. As they put it, for this album, they “let the lyrics come first” and built the music around the central message the lyrics contained.

It’s tragic that Chester Bennington left us so soon, and especially so soon after the band released this album, because it’s one of his greatest accomplishments.

We miss you, Chester. Rest in Power.

Credit: Pinterest

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Featured image credit

5 Benefits of These 5 Teas

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 277th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

Often recommended as an alternative to coffee, tea is not only delicious, but healthy. Although you’ll find similar benefits in most teas, some of them have their own unique effect on the body.

The teas we’ll learn about here can help with everything from bone health to cancer prevention. If you don’t think this beverage can help the body in such important ways, you have a lot to learn. I did too, but after researching this article, I realized tea is somewhat of a miracle drink.

The following are 5 health benefits of 5 different types of tea. We’ll start with green tea, one of the most well-known variations. Continue reading

Vaporizing: A Healthier Way to Use Cannabis

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

When it comes to cannabis, smoking has been the norm for a long time. Although people have used the plant in various forms for centuries, the first thing you probably think of when you hear the word “marijuana” is somebody smoking it. But these days, modern technology is helping us get more out of the plant than ever.

Here, we’ll explore the health benefits of vaporizing cannabis and the downsides of smoking it.

I should give a disclaimer that this article is not intended to provide medical advice or encourage the use of a drug that’s still illegal in many places. I just enjoy researching interesting topics, and the purpose of this article is only to shed light on a healthier way people are using cannabis. Continue reading

5 Pitfalls of New Age Thinking That Can Actually Help You

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 273rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The new age movement has produced a lot of interesting ideas, many of which have been criticized for being zany or outrageous. But beyond the zaniness, some truth exists in new age philosophy that can help us if we choose to see it.

How we approach these ideas will determine what we get out of them, and here, we’ll look at five common new age ideas from a different perspective.  Continue reading

Sea Turtles Stunned by Cold Weather Rescued in Florida

 

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Credit: USGS (public domain)

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

You might have heard that this winter, temperatures in Florida have been so low that iguanas have fallen out of trees, seemingly frozen. But did you know the cold weather has affected other animals in the state?

The low temperatures have particularly hurt sea turtles, “freezing” them to the point that they can’t swim or move. Fortunately, rescuers have saved, treated, and released roughly 1,000 affected turtles, helping them in a time when the cold would’ve killed them. Continue reading

5 Reasons to Push Past Your Comfort Zone

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 276th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

If you want to live your purpose, the first thing you should do is leave your comfort zone. Although it’s, well, comfortable, staying there can squash the dreams of anyone looking to pursue their passion. Especially if you want to succeed independently, choosing comfort over hard work will most certainly land you back in the rat race.

Obviously, it’s good to stop once and a while to rest so you don’t burn out. Everything has its place and time; but spending too much time resting will effectively prevent you from working hard or succeeding.

The following are five reasons to get out of your comfort zone before it’s too late. Continue reading