Still reeling from major life story changes and trying to make sense of the world I’d created, I jumped at the chance to spend a quiet long weekend in the North Carolina Mountains at a spiritual retreat. One of the services offered was a guided “past life regression”. I had eagerly opted for an energy healing and guided meditation, but the past life regression was not much more than a curiosity.
As the time came closer to my scheduled appointment I found myself to be so nervous I considered cancelling it several times. I waffled between not really believing in past lives at all to worrying it would be found that I was some sort of terrorist or mass murderer in a past life and had no idea. In the end, I felt obligated to keep the appointment and so I showed up wringing my hands.
The healer was kind and gentle and understood my fears but dismissed them without making me feel ridiculous. She assured me I would remain in control of the whole session at all times. She explained that I wouldn’t fall into any sort of trance like some scene out of a movie, but that it would be more like the level of consciousness you’re in when you are on automatic pilot, like when you are driving to a familiar destination and once there you don’t really remember half the drive because your mind had wandered somewhere else.
Appeased by this explanation, I agreed to give it a try. She told me to relax, which, again is not something I typically do well or comes easily, but I agreed to do my best. I closed my eyes and allowed the healer to guide me. I imagined white walls like a long corridor and lots of rooms with closed white doors. I opened a door and went inside and there was nothing. Frustrated, I tried another and then another. Still, I saw nothing at all. For someone who could generally pride myself on my creativity, all I could imagine were plain blank white walls without windows. No details were available, no story which could be told.
Now the fear of remembering I had been some kind of terrible tyrant was replaced by a fear that I would fail at this task and not be able to remember any sort of past life experience at all. I began to think either I had no past life at all and I was some sort of newbie on the planet or I was just never going to be able to remember anything. Desperate, I started just making something up. I looked down at my feet and imagined sandals of some kind and dirt and then foliage. My instructor seemed pleased we were finally getting somewhere and even though I didn’t believe any of the imagery was anything more than my imagination finally playing along, I was relaxing into it enough to keep going if for no other reason than to have this adventure not appear to be a colossal waste of everyone’s time.
So my past life body walked along and now I was pretty sure I was a boy and I remembered going to my mother, who appeared to be busy weaving or something. I went to her and she smiled at me in a way that I felt more than I saw. I felt like she was busy but still, I was safe and protected and so I walked onward. I looked up and the sun shone through immensely tall trees and suddenly the imagery I had been struggling to put together no longer mattered at all because the emotion that poured through me was unlike anything that I had ever felt in this lifetime EVER. I was suddenly flooded with a sense of being completely connected to every living thing and there was such a strong pulse of love in everything that I started to tear up.
It only lasted for a couple of minutes because as soon as I realized I was basking in this powerful sense of love and security and confidence and connectedness, I became angry with myself. My God, how could I have forgotten THIS? If I was indeed experiencing some sort of past life then how could I have gone from being this confident and connected being, completely as one with everything at once to feeling identified as the weak, disconnected person I felt I was in this lifetime. Then, even as the love poured through me, the imagery of being an Indian boy fell away and the session came to a close.
The healer was thrilled with how the session turned out and I wandered out of the small quiet room back to my cabin still trying to make sense of what had just happened. To this day, 3 years later, I still well up with the memory of that emotion of complete love, complete strength, confidence and oneness. The power of it felt so unlike anything else I could ever remember. I was sure it came from somewhere outside myself in this reality. I thought at the time that maybe it was either truly some sort of past life memory or maybe some intensely spiritual connection to Source.
Now, as I look back and still try to shore it all up into terms I can comprehend, I think maybe both of those possibilities are true. More importantly, I have come to realize that Source or God, or Goddess, or whatever you feel most comfortable calling that Presence… that that is not something outside of myself at all, but an integral part of my own spirit. That past life emotion isn’t necessarily something in the past at all, but the truth of our existence. We ARE connected to everything at once, we ARE a part of every living thing, we ARE the embodiment of power, of confidence, of all encompassing love.
I think what I received that day was an immense gift to be able to feel the true Oneness, even if just for a minute before my mind tried to take over again. It’s not easy for me to think of myself in those terms, to not worry about the details, to let go of the fear of inadequacy that has always been such a big part of my identity. What I do absolutely know beyond any shadow of a doubt is that while the imagery of that memory may or may not be genuine, that I may or may not have been an Indian boy in a past life, the emotion of love and connectedness was real, is real and I try to carry it with me at all times.
It doesn’t matter that I am not the physically most attractive person on earth, or the most successful, or the most talented, or the most or best of anything.
I am love.
You are love.
That’s all there is.
I can tell you as one who has felt it powerfully course through me. That truly is all there is, and that is enough.
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I am a 42 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast