Enough Already – Past Life Recrimination
Since nothing can be done to change a causal incident (in life) after it has occurred, feeling guilty about what we have or haven’t done is basically useless. Unfortunately, manifestations of guilt transference from one lifetime to another are all too common. Brought into the present, unrequited guilt can undermine one’s sense of self-worth, causing a person to feel undeserving of happiness or success. Guilt often causes one to unknowingly practice self-sabotage in the form of walking away from opportunities instead of taking advantage of them. Consequently, until they are released, these unconscious feelings of guilt will continue to undermine and undo one’s current-life attempts to improve one’s self-esteem. The tragedy of this is that quite often the guilt is totally unjustified and, therefore, an unnecessary burden to bear.
The insidiousness of past-life guilt is that it manifests itself in so many bizarre and unpredictable ways. For instance, a man who, in this life is a wonderful person and wouldn’t harm a fly, may discover he was a rapist in a past life. At soul level, to prevent himself from doing such a thing again, he may cause himself to be impotent. A barren woman may discover she abandoned or killed an unwanted child in another life; consequently, her soul makes sure she’s unable to conceive in this incarnation. Frigidity in this life is often the backlash of promiscuous behavior in a former life, especially if the person suffered as a result of that behavior.
Among many peoples of the world, both past and present, personal survival nearly always supersedes moral standards. When you’re starving and the only way to get food is to steal it, the fact you are breaking a commandment or law is the least of your worries. First you must live, then you can worry about your sins. When it comes down to it, concerns about morality usually are reserved for those lucky ones who have full bellies. During regression, clients often discover they were, in fact guilty of nothing. Still, I find many of them will continue to needlessly punish themselves for having committed some infraction of a moral code, which may not even be applicable in their present lives. The following stories are examples of misplaced guilt, which negatively influenced the person’s self-esteem and life.
I was shocked to see Shannon as she entered my office. She looked like a skeleton covered with skin. I doubt she weighed 100 pounds although she nearly was five foot seven. Her cheeks were sunken and her eyes had a hollow, empty look. She admitted she had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. She told me the reason she decided to be regressed was to discover if some past life was behind her compulsion to be “thin”.
Sure enough, the causal past life took place over 350 years ago when, as a nun, she belonged to an order, which equated self-sacrifice and pain with being spiritual. In that life she always was cold and hungry because there was no heat and very little food. One of her many duties was to clear the tables after the meals, and put away any leftover food. One day, because she felt so hungry , she slipped a thin crust of dry, brown bread into the folds of her habit. Safely back in her tiny cell, she quickly devoured it. But the guilt she felt about stealing arid eating the bread began to consume her thoughts. She knew she was a sinner and knew God surely would punish her for her awful sin.
Throughout the remainder of her life, she continued to feel guilty about stealing the bread. Eventually, she withdrew into herself, only leaving her room to perform her duties. Because of this, none of the other nuns were aware when she became ill. As a result, she died alone and without ever being given the last rites. According to her Higher-Self, it was her unreleased feelings of guilt about stealing that single crust of bread, which was the root cause of her present condition. Unfortunately, her guilt was buried so deeply, she was unable able to bring herself to release it. At some level, she still felt guilty. As a result, she continues to have eating problems, although they are not as severe as they once were before her regression.
Misplaced guilt was also the basis of another young woman’s problems who, one night in a past life, had an argument with her fiancé and angrily sent him away. The next morning she discovered he was robbed and brutally murdered soon after leaving her the previous evening. Because she blamed herself for his death, the guilt plagued her throughout the remainder of her life. “If only I had allowed him to stay a few minutes more, his death may have been avoided,” she lamented. Even when she was about to die, she still felt responsible for his death and brought that guilt with her into this life. In her present incarnation this buried guilt has caused her to feel undeserving of any man’s love, thus all of her relationships with men have been disappointing, at best. After her regression and the release of her long-buried guilt, she informed me that her relationships with men dramatically improved.
Another similar case was that of Cathy, a successful career woman in her late thirties whose main issue was being uninvolved with someone special. She wondered why she never had found someone to marry. She had been engaged twice, but when it came time to set a wedding date, she always broke off the relationship, and then felt guilty about hurting the other person. That led to her having a low self-image. During the pre-regression interview she said she was sick and tired of feeling guilty about everything. Everyone, including herself, always seemed to blame her when things went wrong.
She opened her past life as a man describing the scenery. “I can see the farm where I live. It’s surrounded by green rolling hills. I can’t believe how sweet and clean the air always smells. I can hear my children laughing in the distance. Feelings of love and happiness are flowing through me as I watch my two sons tumble around on the ground with their new puppy. On her way into the house, my wife scurries by, carrying fresh-picked vegetables in her apron. She stops and kisses me on my cheek and tells me she loves me. Today everybody is very busy.
“Suddenly I feel a tug on my pant leg. Glancing down, I see a small face with big blue eyes and braided hair looking up at me. My baby girl asks, ‘why do we have to go, Pa?’ My wife now is standing beside me and gently grasps my hand. I tell her we are going to a wonderful new place; a place where she can make a lot of new friends and be able to go to nice schools and have lots of pretty things.
“I have been offered a government job in the Colorado territory. The wages for one month are more money than I got for last year’s entire crop. I know my wife doesn’t want to leave. She loves the farm and her family lives close by in the small, nearby town where she was born and raised. I feel, however, I can do more good for myself and my family elsewhere. This is our big chance for a prosperous future. My family deserves more than the country lifestyle we have here.
“The wagon is loaded up with all our stuff. Pots, pans and bags of dried food hang from a wooden peg at the side of the wagon. We sold the farm and all of the livestock so we could buy the wagon and supplies we need for the journey. The children are in the back of the wagon with their pup, and my wife is sitting up front with me. We’re all really anxious to get started.
“After checking to make sure everything is secure, I lead out with my horse and notice tears in my wife’s eyes as she looks back at the farm we’d built with our own hands. I know she doesn’t want to leave, but she trusts me. My horse is restless as we are about to get going. As we begin to leave, my mind is cluttered with thoughts of my new job and of our new life. Dawn is beginning to break as we leave the small community where we’ve always lived.”
Let’s move forward to the next significant event.
“The days drag into weeks. The excitement is long gone. My wife and I are totally exhausted but we have to push on. The children’s play now mostly consists of pestering each other. The pup now begins to trail behind me instead of staying in the wagon. My wife tries to keep our kids occupied with songs and games as she steers the team, but the strain of the past few weeks has taken its toll. We both are physically and emotionally drained.
“Soon we come to a river I know we’ll have to cross, but I decide we should stop on this side of it for a short break. My wife throws a blanket on a grassy area under a near-by oak tree. The sky is clear and the sounds from the rushing river are calming. After enjoying the first leisurely meal we’ve had in days, I stretch out on the old worn blanket for a short nap. I can feel the sun on my face and hear the sounds of the children playing as I begin to drift off to asleep.
“I wake up to the sound of a soft giggle and something falling on my face. I open my eyes, and see my daughter dropping leaves on my face. She giggles with joy when I grab her and hold her up above my head. As I sit up, I quickly realize my short nap has turned into long one. It’s almost sundown; too late to cross the river today.”
“The sky is filled with beautiful purple, red, and orange clouds. The wind is stirring slightly. My wife has cooked a rabbit stew for supper and we all are eating while enjoying the changing colors of the setting sun. Although my wife doesn’t say much, she really needs a break. She gets the children ready for bed, tucks them in, rejoins me on the blanket and snuggles in my arms. Soon we’re both asleep.”
Let’s move on to the next morning.
“It arrives sooner than I wish. Although I know the trip is going to end soon, I’m getting anxious about reaching our destination. I can’t wait until we get our new house, my new job and new opportunities. I sit up and gently nudge my wife. She rolls over trying to ignore my annoying demands to get up. We need to get going. The good night’s sleep has done wonders for me.
“The younger of our two boys, asks me if we could stay a little longer because he was having so much fun trying to spear the frogs in the river with a long stick. He doesn’t want to get back into the wagon. Without answering him, I begin reloading the wagon. The rest of the family is moving a little slower than I’d like, but we finally manage to put everything back into the wagon and get underway just as it begins to sprinkle.”
What happens next?
Look around. What do you see?
“Because of the changing weather, I know we have to cross the river as quickly as possible. As I lead my horse into the water, I can feel the swift rushing current around my legs. After reaching mid-stream, I turn to motion my wife that it’s safe to cross. Just as she maneuvers the horses into the water, I hear a strange noise. Looking up river, I can see a solid wall of water crashing down upon us. My horse panics and lunges toward the safety of the far embankment. Then just as we reach safety, he rears and tosses me onto the ground.”
Are you hurt?
“No, but I’m unconscious. I don’t know how long I was out before the feeling of rushing water against my body awakens me. There is an eerie silence. Suddenly, I remember what was happening just before I was thrown from my horse. Oh my God! I can see the overturned wagon in the river and our stuff is strewn to hell and back. ‘Where is my family?’ As I wade toward the wagon, a foreboding feeling of terror surges through me. When I get closer, I can see the arm of my oldest boy sticking out from under it. I frantically pull his lifeless body from the wreck and carry it over to the river bank.
What are you going to do now?
“I rush back into the water in a desperate attempt to find the rest of my family. I can hear a faint bark down river and quickly head in that direction. I can see our pup pawing at something. As I come closer, I realize it’s my youngest son lying face down near the water’s edge. The pup is whimpering and trying to lick his face. Sadness overwhelms me as I carry his body back to where my other son lies dead. I need to find my wife and daughter but I feel I just can’t leave my sons alone.
Let’s move forward in time a few minutes.
“I salvage what I can from the wreckage. After burying my boys, under the big oak tree, I slump down next to their graves. The pup tries to lick my face but I won’t let him. I do my best to block out everything that just has happened. I eventually fall asleep. I wake up to the cries of a child. But I soon realize it’s only a bird. After placing markers on my boys graves, I take one last look around. Then I walk down river in hopes of finding the rest of my family. The pup follows close at my heels.
“After walking about a mile, I finally come to a clearing where I see a young boy about the same age as my oldest son. The scarf tied around the handle of his bucket looks familiar. When he sees me, it’s as if he recognizes me. Without a word, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small, gold locket. It was my wife’s. I squat down next to him. My size and height usually intimidate children and even some adults, but not him. I ask him if he has seen the lady standing beside me in the picture inside the locket. ‘She’s here with a little girl,’ he replies.”
“Where are they now?” I ask.
“The boy looks toward the sky, and in a small voice says, ‘My pa says they’re with God and the angels now.’ I feel a huge empty space in the pit of my soul. I know what the child meant, I but don’t want to accept it. Just then a man comes into the clearing and moves alongside the boy. He puts his arm around him and looks me in the eyes and says, ‘I knew someone would come lookin’ for the two of ‘em, sooner or later. The lady already had passed on when we found her, but the little girl was still alive. Then I guess God must’ve wanted her to be with her ma,’ he continued. ‘Come to the house; my wife’ll make us somethun to eat. I know you must be hurten.’ I tell him I want to see where they’re buried. The pup and I follow the man up the hill where he points out the two mounds of fresh dirt. He tells me they had a proper Christian burial.
“After supper, I thank them for what they did, and head back to the river, leaving the dog with the boy. The river has washed away everything I’ve ever lived for. Now the job I was headed for in Colorado means nothing to me. I’m wandering around in a daze for days, like a man without a soul. Time passes, but the emptiness inside always is a part of me. I often wonder what I did to deserve losing my wife and children. Vowing to never marry again, I become a drifter with no purpose. Just living off the land and hoping to die soon, so I wouldn’t have to go on suffering. I just drift from place to place for about ten years until I finally die, alone, of a chest infection. As I’m about to die, my thoughts again turn to my family. If only I hadn’t insisted we move, they’d never have died. If I had just let my boys play a little longer in the river, they still would be alive. It’s all my fault. I ask God’s forgiveness for what I’ve done. The last thought I have before dying is how much I loved my wife and kids, and how much I have missed them.”
As the tears rolled down Cathy’s cheeks, I asked her if she would like to release her feelings of guilt and grief, which she did, and the session ended. Several weeks later she called to tell me she felt much lighter and freer. She also said, without feeling guilty, she told her mother to stop trying to run her life. The point of this story is, if you don’t want to get hurt by losing someone you love, don’t allow anyone to get close enough to love. At soul level she had created a protective barrier against loving or being loved. It was now her choice to either keep it or drop it. I don’t know what she decided to do, but I do know that she was at last free to make one.
Another interesting problem with a past-life cause was a case of writer’s block. George, a professional writer, was feeling desperate by the time he came to see me. He told me that almost overnight he developed a writer’s block. Since his livelihood depended upon his ability to write, he was feeling quite despondent and more than a little afraid.
Much to his surprise, he regressed into a lifetime, which took place during the Spanish Inquisition. It was my job to write down the names of all supposed heretics, which he then gave to the head Inquisitor. This he did in a matter-of-fact manner without any thought or feeling of concern about the consequences of what he was doing. One day, while in a bureaucratic trance, he inadvertently entered his best friend’s name on the list. He didn’t realize what he had done until he learned his friend was about to be executed. It only was then he realized the gravity of what he was doing to earn a living. Never intending to hurt anyone for whom he cared, he had been living in total denial about what was happening to the others.
After this incident, he not only blamed himself for his friend’s death, but realized the part he was playing in the horrendous deaths and torture of countless innocent people. At the time of his death, he was overcome by his guilt and feelings of remorse about what he had done with his life. Naturally, when he reincarnated this time, he brought those feelings with him, where they now were causing his writer’s block, a block that was triggered when he reached the same age in this life as he had been his Spanish life when his friend died. This was his soul’s defense for preventing him from ever again being responsible for harming anyone because of something he wrote. After understanding what actually had previously happened, he quickly was able to release his old feelings of guilt before the session ended. A few weeks later he called to say he was back on track with his writing. This is a classic case of the old adage, “if thy hand offend thee, cut it off.”
Excerpt from Exploring Our Forgotten Lives
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