Atheist Overdoses, Meets God and Sees How She Picked Her Own Life

Atheist Overdoses, Meets God and Sees How She Picked Her Own Life
Catherine Yang

Betty Guadagno is a recovery coach, helping others overcome their addictions and heal toward a more authentic and whole version of themselves.

It’s work she approaches with gratitude and experience, having once “reprogrammed” herself out of a victim mentality “by the grace of God.”

“It’s really amazing just to be able to hold that space and give back,” Guadagno told The Epoch Times. After all, her own recovery could be called miraculous, and a gift from the divine. Guadagno had once hit rock-bottom and then experienced an encounter with God which transformed her completely.

Atheist to Devout Believer

Guadagno’s parents were addicts who committed double suicide, orphaning her at age 23. Their parents were addicts who had taught Guadagno’s parents how to use drugs, and her parents in turn taught her when she was very young.

Life to her was a bubble of suffering, poverty, abuse, trauma, and addiction. It was hard for Guadagno to believe there was anything outside this bubble, in life or beyond it. She didn’t just shy away from belief, but took up a radically atheist position, arguing at length that there was nothing beyond death but oblivion.

Then Guadagno had a near-death experience herself, and beyond the veil of earthly experience met her Creator.

Near-Death Experience

After an overdose of drugs, Guadagno felt her body convulse out of her control. Then the experience shifted. She felt a rush of energy run from the base of her spine to the crown of her head, and then “my spirit shot out of my body.”

Guadagno’s spirit landed in a “space of eternity,” and then realization dawned on her—heaven was real, not a fantasy, and this was it.

She was blanketed by an experience of unconditional love, the feeling of coming home, of reunion.

“It was like I had woken up from a dream, like Earth was the dream,” Guadagno said. Then she came face to face with God, who she hadn’t even believed existed a moment ago.

She was not alone with God; she sensed in this space many, perhaps hundreds, of other beings to whom she felt connected. And sitting at what seemed to be a long table were beings who seemed to be “in charge” of arranging her life and mission. They told her she needed to return to her physical body, at which point Guadagno said she rebelled the way a small child would throw a temper tantrum.

The guides showed her that the adversity in her life was not punishment, that she had chosen it of her own will and there was purpose to it.

The moment she was given this knowledge, it was “like two tons of bondage had been released from me, because I was no longer a victim of my circumstances. I was actually a divine co-creator of my experience.”

“And, well, I was very happy to have this information, but I was still like ‘no, thank you,’” Guadagno said. “So they took me further into this planning process.”

Why Would We Choose Adversity?

“It was like this grocery store of life,” Guadagno said. In this memory, there was another guide, a man in a hat and plaid blazer, who was guiding Guadagno through the store with her empty cart.

“It was aisles full of boxes of life experience,” she said. “He said, ‘OK, pick your life,’ and I picked my parents, I picked where I would be born.”

Guadagno saw that she herself picked the abuse and trauma and addictions she had experienced—and that she even did so together with the perpetrators of her abuse, and with those she had in turn abused in her life.

She realized that there was a group of soul beings of which she was a part, and that they had together been co-actors in the drama of human life before, taking on different roles. The divine universe sought balance, and that’s what she and her community souls were doing when they together chose the adversities Guadagno experienced in her life. These were events to not only even the scales, but to elevate humanity’s ability to experience and understand the unconditional love Guadagno felt in that space.

“Like with addiction, it’s not only for me, but it’s also for the bloodline I chose to be born into—I chose to come in and transmute that energy,” she said. “As I heal my own wounds of addiction, I healed it for the future generations in my family, the past generations in my family, and I also heal it for the collective as well.”

She and another soul would together pick up the cereal box labeled “sexual trauma,” Guadagno said. Two orbs of light would come together and form a contract, and there was a split second of feeling what the life experience entailed, but with no human emotion in heaven, Guadagno said it was like she hadn’t realized what it would entail, how heavy a task it would really be for her human self.

But then she saw herself picking all of these boxes of life experiences that hadn’t happened to her yet: recovery, overcoming, triumph. She was told she was a spiritual warrior, and she had a mission in this life on Earth.

She was an addict and sex worker, and a liar, manipulator, and thief—“all the things that would not get you into heaven,” she said. The experience completely upended her understanding of what it meant to be human.

Guadagno saw that the spiritual awakening she was having right then was an experience she chose too, and it could have happened many other ways. It also could have happened gradually, but Guadagno had missed the other “exit signs” in her life of addiction, and this was her very last chance.

This still wasn’t enough to make Guadagno want to go back. She felt she had been dealt a hand far more challenging than she could have realized, and, knowing now what she did, she could not go back into her drug-addicted physical body.

“I said, I can’t go back into that body, like she needs way too much healing, there’s no way to accomplish it,” Guadagno said.

Her guides told her that she could choose to be reborn into a new body, and showed her that baby. Guadagno could see all of her “stats,” her parents, ethnicity, where she would be born, her personality profile, and so on. She realized that all of what she was meant to do in her current life still needed balancing, which meant she would still need to experience it in this new baby’s life, which would be even more adversity ridden than what she had already lived through.

With these options, Guadagno chose to return to her body.

“But it was about balancing—it wasn’t like a punishment to come back,” Guadagno said.

Healed and Led to Recovery

God, spiritual awakenings, heaven—these were things so far from Guadagno’s reality that she initially wrote off the entire experience as drug-induced psychosis. She doubted her experience and continued to abuse drugs.

“And then the universe stepped in and made itself known in this very loud, tangible way, so that I had no way of mistaking that this was a real experience,” she said.

She had, in a way, continued to co-create her reality when she deemed her physical body too damaged to carry out her mission.

Addiction had been the center of Guadagno’s life for two decades, and that was what she clung to. So when all of a sudden, every drug dealer Guadagno knew decided to change their lives and stop dealing drugs, she was at a loss. Heroin withdrawal kicked in, leaving Guadagno feeling sicker than she had her entire life.

On day three, sweating, vomiting, writhing in pain, and welcoming death, Guadagno heard a voice that told her she could request what she wanted fixed. Scoffing, she made an “overly-intellectual” request for her pain receptors to be fixed and to no longer be physically dependent on heroin.

To her surprise, that was exactly what happened. She went from a sick mess to feeling physically perfectly fine, and there was no mistaking that God and the heavenly beings she had met in the experience she wrote off as a delusion were real, and still in her life. She fell to her knees, humbled.

The miracle motivated Guadagno to make that future she had planned before coming to Earth a reality. Following an intuition, she boarded the subway where she felt a calling to follow someone to a 12-step recovery program, and was put directly in the path of a woman who led a recovery center. Guadagno joined that rehabilitation center, where she stayed for a year and a half.

“When I was in that rehab, I just started reading, I had this insatiable thirst for knowledge,” she said. She read all the sacred texts she could get her hands on, and learned to dial into her intuition and wisdom, to call on the divine for guidance, and realized these were natural human gifts all people could manifest if only they remembered their connection to the Creator.

Months after Guadagno left the recovery center, she had terms for what she had experienced. In the East, a Kundalini awakening is when lifeforce energy activates all the chakras, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. In the West, it would be the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

She also discovered the International Association of Near-Death Studies, which connects many people who have had near-death experiences and spiritually transformative experiences not unlike Guadagno’s own, which gave Guadagno a sense of connection and validation and the knowledge that such experiences are real, and they are not uncommon.

“If transformation is possible for me, it’s literally possible for anyone,” Guadagno said.

Catherine Yang is a reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York.
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