I have wrestled with the concept of past lives for years now. When I went to college the topic actually came up a lot and when I studied Clinical Hypnotherapy even more so. This past year I read the book, ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Brian L. Weiss and it resonated with me although I still feel inner resistance to the idea, probably because of my upbringing. When I took those classes and had my own regression sessions however, I had what felt like memories come up even though I was a skeptic (to say the least). This is my story and I’m not trying to convince you of anything but rather wish to engage in a dialogue around this topic.
When you are under clinical supervision during Hypnotherapy it isn’t a game or a joke, you are remaining conscious while exploring your sub and unconsciousness. Like a flash I could see myself wailing in agony. I was grieving. I was an Egyptian man in ancient Egypt, wearing a white shendyt and a white and gold nemes. As I lamented I could see myself vow to never love so deeply ever again. I swore at the gods for taking the woman I loved from me. The memories came back all at once but fragmented as most memories can be. I remember seeing her body on a slab surrounded by a bed canopy as she was being prepared for funeral rites which pushed me beyond my breaking point as I ran outside filled with rage and pain. We were young, late twenties I believe, and not yet married. I knew she had died from an illness and that our love had to be a secret prior to her death which had something to do with her family but the details remain unclear. I knew that unless I found her again I would never be able to completely give my heart to anyone ever again.
When I came to full, present awareness after the session I was in a bit of shock. I had seen my life, this lifetime, pass before my eyes. I saw my failed relationships lined up in front of me. I saw how I would use sex as a way to distance myself from anyone and to keep them from getting too close. I knew love but only out of necessity and a part of me was always guarded, always holding back. Prior to this hypnotherapy session I had discovered that this lifetime was meant for me to clean up old karma from past lives, specifically around romantic relationships. I could find a psychological reason for my patterns all I wanted but until I accepted that I was dealing with past karma, from another lifetime, the patterns would repeat. I needed to learn a lesson from a former lifetime. Regardless of how much I believed in past lives, I couldn’t deny how odd it was that I had such unhealthy relationships when I came from a loving home with devoted parents and no emotional abuse or trauma as a child to explain my behaviors and choices throughout my life.
From the moment my mother became pregnant with me I resisted this life. She was gravely ill the entire pregnancy and was in an accident. I was nearly two weeks late and my mom had life-threatening labor as I screamed inside her womb fighting the delivery, my body twisted upside-down, bottom first. I had significant physical traumas from childhood into adulthood and all the times I came close to dying I never did. Then my son was born and he became my greatest teacher. I had a friend tell me once that my son was very likely an important spiritual teacher for me in a former life and he came into this life to help me continue to learn. No one else would be able to push me to fight for my life and my overall health like the love and devotion I had for my son did. I wanted to show him consequences and I wanted to show him that people can change and that hopefully, karma works out in your favor when you put in that effort. My son has always been a bit of a Sage though, he understood things on a deep level at a very early age. He taught me so much about the wisdom of youth (before adults influence them too much) as well as perceptions as his were always very profound albeit different than my own.
I had done so much work on myself I had let go of the idea of knowing a healthy relationship, in this lifetime anyway. I was most recently single for four years, dedicated to becoming healthy and learning a way to help others do the same. I was devoted to clearing my karma, regardless of which lifetime it was from. Then one day someone I had a crush on for eight years appeared to me in a dream after we hadn't interacted for quite some time. Something, my higher self perhaps, kept telling me to reach out to him even if I hadn't thought of him in a while, so I used the dream as an opportunity to reach out. I had forgotten about the past life memories that came up nearly seven years prior to this until I took the time to really open up to this man. I had always felt connected to him, from the moment we met eight years ago but I couldn’t explain it logically. I resisted looking into his eyes for too long whenever we would interact. Once we started seeing each other I remembered the love that I had lost in that other lifetime and I remembered my vow, condemning love. Now this man’s love saves me and it feels familiar, like the woman’s love had seemed to save me in Egypt, except this time, I have done the work on myself to make sure that it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to make me happy, to make me know love, to define me or how I see myself in the world. Now I open up and allow myself to be vulnerable (all while maintaining healthy boundaries) and I remember feeling such a deep love before except now I know that even if I lost love (in the form of this committed relationship) again I wouldn’t curse the gods but I would thank them for letting me know this kind of love again, to bring us together (again perhaps?) so we could know how expansive this kind of unconditional love, free from unrealistic ideas or expectations can be. I have learned a tremendous amount about gratitude and remaining present and knowing that love doesn’t define me, it IS me as it’s all of us when we choose to step into it.
We are often told that once your heart has been neglected, abandoned or broken that it will carry scars but what they don't tell you is how comfortable you can become with those scars. In the journey of healing, you become aware of your scars and through healthy self-love, you learn to stretch your heart around them. People come into your life, bursting your heart open in ways you never dreamed and you remember what love can feel like. Tears fall as the scars are stretched because you feel something you had forgotten you were worthy to feel. The simplest, sincere act of compassion and love can expose how terribly vulnerable you still are and you feel it in those scars. You begin to accept that this is part of what makes you who you are and it helps you connect to others in a more meaningful way so you treat your embarrassingly vulnerable expressions with the compassion you know you deserve.
As you become more adept at the process of transmutation, no longer seeing yourself as something that needs to be healed but instead someone with gifts to offer others, you will be sent people and circumstances to push your development further so you can step further into your truest potential. It's easy to become comfortable in our aloneness where it's safe and constant. Solitude predicates transcendence and transcendence can become addictive but once it is an addiction it's no longer transcendence. One of the many paradoxes of spiritual pursuits. The continued need to transcend can become a way to avoid what we are on Earth at this particular time to do. It can lead to disconnection when not in balance. When something happens to make you feel uncomfortable, to test your resolve, that is your lesson to unite heaven and earth within yourself and demonstrate it in all you do.
What we aren't told is that sometimes, the deeper the love that comes along, the more uncomfortable it can be but in the best possible way. The best kind of love shows you the atrophied pieces of your heart buried in adhesions and brings it to life again. There's a pain that comes with this, a pain that reminds you of how these wounds came to be, simultaneously showing you how the past can still, ever-so-subtly affect you. If you want to keep growing you will have to let your heart stretch through and around everything that has kept it restricted. You will begin to forget why the adhesions came to be and only care about lovingly working through the pain of massaging and stretching them, knowing that doing this is to expand who you are and what you are capable of.
This kind of love doesn't feel like falling, it feels like a mindful, intentional surrender to each of your greater good. This kind of love comes along to challenge you to decide if you want to remain comfortable and settled in how things are or if you are ready for an adventure that will change you and those you influence for the better if you allow it. Honor the past with reverence in all it had to offer you and release what is no longer helping your (or anyone else's) greater good. Trust yourself and trust the process as you explore love in a wise and profound way. Feel your heart guide you, your body doesn't lie. Learn the difference between your body warning you and your body ready to embrace something wonderful if you allow it to.
Photographer: Ted Scanon of TedScanon Photography from a project we did together titled 'Becoming'
With one brush of his hand, the past falls away like a silk slip delicately tumbling to the floor. You have asked for this moment in a thousand little specific and non-specific ways. You have asked to be confronted with all the work you have done, with how far you have come. You have asked to be faced with your progress and your limitations. You have asked for a safe space to witness every experience that has shaped you up to this moment, to have it reflected back to you and then to witness it leave you, no longer adding value to your life. You are completely reborn in this new moment, the past integrated and now nothing more than a tired dream you can choose to forget or recall on a whim.
In this moment you are fully present and aware because you promised yourself that much. You promised to embrace an opportunity like this as the gift that it would be. You have learned what unconditional love is and promised yourself that to be in that state you would need to be fully present, free of expectations, open to learn, to raise a new awareness, to go deeper into your self and to share that experience with just the right person; someone that would allow you to be safe and completely vulnerable without compromising themselves but instead stepping more fully within themselves along with you. Boundaries and needs are understood and honored so that unrealistic expectations can’t accidentally slip in. There is no past and there is no future, just this moment. Intention is a powerful thing and when two people create an agreed upon, mutual intention, magic happens.
Moments like these show you that the deeper the love is that you have for yourself, the more you can trust yourself and your judgement. You can be patient because you know your worth. You can release expectations because you are already fulfilled. The right people will ask to be invited into that space and will command the same for themselves. You can both experience freedom and vulnerability because your faith is that strong, in yourself and how you connect to all things. This moment will shape you, bringing you closer to who you are striving to become if you simply allow it.
Never before have I completely surrendered. My mind always clouded with impressions of past pain or fear of an agenda but this time would be different. This would be my first time completely present and vulnerable. An intimate dance played out energetically, physically and spiritually as we were able to explore our selves and each other in new ways. I witnessed my own fear-based impulse for control, explanations, or any other form of power and realized that I no longer need to get caught up in power plays and those impulses evaporated before they could even become. This wasn’t about a power struggle based on lack, an over-compensation or an escape. This was an empowering and healing dance between two people exploring the ultimate, healthy, divine masculine and ultimate, healthy, divine feminine and what that meant for our selves and for each other. There was nothing to prove. Our egos were laid to rest, if even for the moments we shared and that was our ascension.
Over time, the deepest part of my self that I had to face was being challenged in a new way of what unconditional love truly means. Agape seems easier to come by when someone hurts you because you can relate to their pain on some level and sometimes empathy can be a bit of a crutch, but unconditional love also applies to the most exquisite interactions as well. Allowing something or someone to remain undefined so you can witness the unfolding is, in itself, a sacred act and an act of unconditional love not just for someone else but especially for you. Fear tries to make us think… well, think! Dissecting or defining something doesn't always make it more beautiful... manageable perhaps (and necessary at certain times) but not more beautiful.
You allow the levels of and types of love you believe you're worth so as your self-worth grows in your own mind and heart, when you can make your own spirit soar, the various forms of love that enters your life is almost unfathomable. You have to step back in awe as you witness the expansiveness of true, soul-filled love and acceptance of people. Of course, the reality that perhaps no one can love you the way you can love you may be jarring, but the great thing is, that love is reflected back to you by the people you begin to align with. People rise up to meet you. They see and honor their own ability to love and accept another person as well. What if all love was simply a reflection of your own love? If everything is connected and everyone is a reflection, the love you're capable of offering is also the love you're capable of receiving... why shouldn't that begin with you?
This image captured for me, that moment of deep, sacred reverence for the honor of being invited to share the space and the most intimate types of experiences that two people can share and all that it has done for me.
The spiritual laws and how they relate to physical laws and how they effect us and what we want vs. what we need. Look up Charles Eisenstein here: https://charleseisenstein.org/
"The cure for the pain is in the pain." ~Rumi
How can I attract emotionally available people if I don't first learn how to be emotionally available for myself? This question has nagged at me for days after a friend / therapist / psychic prompted this question in me. I exhaust so much energy trying to understand the 'why' of something I don't allow myself the space to feel something, no matter how old or painful. I know I do this and have worked hard at it but sometimes something old that I once thought was resolved creeps back in to my subconscious and I get all frustrated and judgey of myself, reprimanding myself for 'not being over it already'.
It's easy to not feel safe in our emotions. Sometimes it feels as though our emotions have the better of us whether it's sadness, anger or even joy - because constant joy can be a sign of an imbalance or be used as an avoidance tactic as much as constant anger can. There was a time when understanding offered a sense of safety for me. Understanding something (or someone) on a deeper level helped me make important and compassionate decisions remaining an observer of my experience. However, this mentality, this belief of the value of remaining detached to a specific outcome, remaining an observer, almost got to the point (and probably more often than I realize) of disassociation. Logic allowed me the space to forgive, to let go of pain, to survive. Logic made me a warrior and a victor. Somehow I got lost in logic, almost as though I believed that my emotions would make me a victim again, so I would stuff them down or judge them in fear of wallowing. Wallowing makes me frustrated and angry so if I found myself moving into wallowing I would call myself out on it. After knowing abuse, it's not uncommon to fall into unhealthy, even self-abusive patterns you've adopted from others.
The thing is though, some emotions return because we haven't given them enough space to be processed. Certainly we can be swallowed by imbalanced emotions and getting professional help in balancing our minds and bodies is critical but we also need to give ourselves permission to feel. Stifling our own emotions only causes them to become imbalanced and subsequently "rule our lives" later on, forcing us to address them anyway. It's easier to do it in the moment but sometimes we don't have (or make) time. Sometimes it isn't safe yet...
Now I reflect on the people I was drawn to when I didn't feel safe. I was drawn to people who were familiar even though familiar doesn't necessarily mean 'safe' but those people who remain a sort of constant offer a sense of stability, of safeness so we cling to them when everything feels like it's spinning. Why though would I cling to people that are always the same if I am intent on evolving? Why would I cling to people who were once drawn to me because of the chaos that was my life, because we resonated with one another at the time but as I strive to transmute everything I can they remain in old chaos... Chaos has its place, it's important for new beginnings but I'm talking about constantly digging and clawing their way into looking for reasons to be a victim, to complain, to pretend they have no power, no divinity. These people are emotionally unavailable for themselves and now they can no longer be emotionally available for me.
I feel great empathy for people in pain, who struggle, who are trapped in their own shame, patterns, etc. This is why I have had so many people like this around me. My reflex, my ego's reflex, is to help but after a year, or two or three go by and the cycles remain the same I have to look at my own unhealthy patterns or trying to rescue people who don't actually want help (and no one really needs rescuing), they want to complain, they want to stay addicted and trapped in their own drama, their stories, always looking for new ways to justify their chosen path of self-torment. People who want help ask for it and take what is offered and run with it, you can see them evolve, learn, grow and even begin to do their own alchemical process, whether they realize it or not.
Last night I dreamt I intentionally consumed parasites with the goal that I could purge things I needed to let go of physically and all it did was make me sick with the parasites AND what I was wanting to eliminate. If that isn't telling of my past patterns demanding to be recognized now I don't know what is. I don't NEED anyone else to help me purge my past, not anymore. I have grown into having the resources within that I need and I have a solid support system of people who do not become overly attached to me or their own dramas. I have people who refuse to become enmeshed in the past but instead fight to learn and grow, seeing pain as an opportunity to see what it can become with some TLC. If I am to truly become emotionally available for myself I need to not get distracted by the "woe is me" stories that come at me from those who seem to almost beg the universe for the next opportunity to reach out with another story of woe. I need to end my pattern of falling in love with potential regardless of whether it's a friendship or romantic encounter or the potential of a relationship of any kind. That isn't remaining present which is one of the keys to emotional availability. The most important thing I realized *for me* is that safeness includes emotional availability. Healthy vulnerability creates beautiful bonds and opportunities for growth. Healthy vulnerability allows... free of control, judgments, attachments, agendas. Healthy vulnerability holds space for the uncomfortableness to move and evolve into whatever it's meant to. If one or both parties doesn't feel comfortable being open and vulnerable in a healthy and productive way, free of criticism or judgment from one's self or another how can that truly be a safe relationship?
I found this excellent article that explains how to spot emotional unavailability early as well as to check in with yourself to make sure you aren't also the one that's emotionally unavailable: 10 TIPS TO SPOT EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABILITY
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.