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Immaculée Ilibagiza, Author of Left To Tell
Wayne Dyer talks about this inspirational true story
I’ve read thousands of books over the past 50 or so years. The book you hold in your hands is by far the most moving and poignantly significant of the vast library that comprises my lifetime of personal reading.
You’re about to embark on a journey that will undoubtedly change the way you view the power of faith—forever. A single phrase from the scriptures reminds us that “with God all things are possible.” I’ve quoted this passage frequently in my lectures, often adding the rhetorical question: “Now what does that leave out?” The answer is obvious to all: “All things means all things.”
You’ve read that pure faith, devoid of all doubt, can move mountains and even project a camel through the eye of a needle. But even with your own unshakable faith, the mountain has probably remained stationary where it’s always been, and the eye of the needle is too tiny to welcome even one camel’s eyelash—let alone the entire creature traversing a minuscule opening. Well, I’m happy to report that when you’ve completed your first reading of Left to Tell, you’ll have a new perspective on what the field of all possibilities looks like. As you bear witness to Immaculée Ilibagiza’s transcendent experience in the midst of a holocaust too horrible to even contemplate, you’ll also understand how the limitless power of pure, undeterred faith can indeed work to create miracles.
Despite the hideous display of humans’ inhumanity to each other that was taking place only a decade or so ago in the country of Rwanda, this is truly a love story in the purest sense of the word—a story of the triumph of the human spirit, a story of one woman’s profound faith and determination to survive (against literally impossible odds) in order to tell her tale and to be an agent for ushering in a new spiritual consciousness, and a story of a love for God that was so strong that hatred and revenge were forced to dissolve in its presence.
I have come to know Immaculée very, very well over the past year—in fact, we communicate on a daily basis. She’s traveled with me, speaking on the same stage and telling her story to audiences that number in the thousands. We’ve talked privately for hour after hour about her experiences in the holocaust and her ambitions today, and I’ve spent time with her and her family. I’ve spoken with her co-workers and even her fellow genocide survivors, and she’s spent a great deal of time with my own children. I’ve conversed with her during long plane and train rides between lecture stops, and I’ve seen her stand before audiences large and small. I’ve come to know this dynamic, powerful woman so well that I count her as one of my closest friends. In fact, I’ve come to love and admire her so much that I’ve dedicated my latest book, Inspiration, to her.
I reveal my own personal relationship with Immaculée here in the opening pages of this extraordinary work because I want you, who are about to be immersed into an experience that will change your life forever (and I believe is destined to change the world for the better as well), to know firsthand what a phenomenal human being Immaculée Ilibagiza is in my eyes. In all of my countless hours with her, in this multitude of private and public settings, this transcendentally spiritual woman always—and I mean always—shines a light that captures everyone within its boundaries.
When she converses at a dinner table, all who are present not only listen, they’re magnetically drawn to her; and in large audiences, you can hear a pin drop as she speaks from her heart with so much conviction. There is something much more than charisma at work here—Immaculée not only writes and speaks about unconditional love and forgiveness, but she radiates it wherever she goes. She lives at an elevated level of spiritual consciousness, and by doing so, she raises the energy level of all those whom she encounters...including myself.
The very first moment we met, I knew in an absolute flash of insight that I was in the presence of a uniquely Divine woman (something that will be evident when you complete this book). We briefly spoke after a presentation I made in New York City for the Omega Institute, and after only a second or two, she was gone from my sight—but in those few moments, I was captured. I sensed her exceptionally high energy, similar to the way I felt after having been with Mother Meera (an Indian woman who’s thought to be an incarnation of the Divine Mother) many years before.
Immaculée didn’t seek me out for assistance in having this book published—I was the one who did the seeking. That inner glow of joy and love that I felt in her company wouldn’t leave me, so I asked my daughter Skye, who had exchanged e-mail addresses with Immaculée, to please make every effort to contact her. Days turned into weeks, and there was still no communication. Each day I’d ask Skye, “Have you heard from the woman from Rwanda?”
Finally, Immaculée responded to my daughter’s inquiries, and I telephoned her immediately. I asked her one question: “Would you be willing to write your story of survival? I feel compelled to help you get the message to the world.” It was then that Immaculée told me she herself had already written down every detail of her ordeal as a Tutsi woman in Rwanda who was being hunted and marked for certain death during the genocide of 1994. She told me she felt that this was the reason why she’d been spared, but that her efforts in being published were unsuccessful, largely because English was her third language and she needed help in getting the essence of her story converted to a more readable format.
It was at this point that I asked her to send me everything she’d written, which turned out to be about 150,000 words in which she’d painstakingly recorded every detail some five years after leaving Rwanda. I made one phone call to my friend Reid Tracy, the president of Hay House, and arrangements were made to have writer Steve Erwin help Immaculée tell her story in the way that it’s written on these pages. I told Reid that I would support this project in every way possible: Not only would I write the Foreword, but I’d also help bring Immaculée and her story to all of my public appearances. In addition, I’d travel to Rwanda with her and her family and help her raise money to fulfill her mission of aiding the many orphaned children left behind when the killing finally stopped.
In addition, I told Reid that I wanted to include Immaculée in my Public Television special on Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, and that I’d do everything in my power to bring this spiritual woman’s saga to the public eye. And all of this was done because of that feeling I had when I first met her, at the back of a room full of people, for only a few moments.
It has been said that the laws of the material world do not apply in the presence of the God-realized. You’ll come to understand these words directly by the time you finish reading this book. Time after time, Immaculée’s pure, God-realized “Inner Beingness” allowed her to erect invisible barriers so that killers with machetes who were only inches away were blinded to her physical presence. As her faith deepened, the miracles became even more astonishing. Her visualizations became so real—and all doubt was banished from her mind—that she was indeed at one with God. She knew that God was with her as she saw a cross of light bar her and her companions from certain death. Angels of love and compassion seemed to emerge out of nowhere as Immaculée intensified her communion with our Creator. She was able to stare down a determined killer and watch in certainty as he dropped his weapon and became immobilized as his contempt was converted to kindness.
And finally, as she abandoned all of her feelings of hatred and revenge toward the killers—and despite what once seemed an impossibility—she merged into Divine union with God by offering her tormentors not only compassion, but total forgiveness and unconditional love as well. Yes, she became one with Spirit, where she remains today.
Her story will touch you deeply. You will feel her fear, you will cry, and you will ask yourself the same questions that we as a people have been asking forever: How could this happen? Where does such animosity come from? Why can’t we just be like God, Who is the Source for all of us? But you will also feel something else most profoundly: You will feel hope, a hope that inch by inch, we as a people are moving toward a new alignment—that is, we’re moving toward living God-realized lives.
To me, Immaculée was not only left to tell this mind-blowing story, but more than that, she’s a living example of what we can all accomplish when we go within and choose to truly live in perfect harmony with our originating Spirit.
I am honored to have played a small role in bringing this staggering story to the attention of the world. I am honored to join hands with Immaculée and assist in her vision of love and compassion—not only in Rwanda, but in all places where hatred has resided for so long. And I am deeply honored to write these few words in this book that you, the reader, are about to immerse yourself in. I assure you that as you do so, you’ll move to a place just a few inches closer to living in oneness with the same Divine Essence from which we were all created.
I love this book, and I love Immaculée Ilibagiza.
Immaculée, thank you for coming into my life.
Reprinted with permission