Friday, January 20, 2012
Who I Was, Who I Am.
I hope this post makes sense. And I won't ask anyone to believe it, because I know how that goes.
I remember past lives.
I don't just trust or believe in reincarnation - it's beyond academic for me, and into the very real, very spiritual, personal, and often visceral realm of reality for me. I have remembered lives that span thousands of years. I remember people I know now in some of the past lives, though they hardly ever remember me (I think this has happened twice, ever). I have never undergone hypnosis, this is not borne of suggestion. I don't know how to explain how I remember, or even where to begin how to tell others how they could. I just do. I trust that I remember the lives and the times within them for a reason. To learn something.
This admission on my part is usually met with some level of disbelief, either outright accusations of lying, or some reason how I'm misunderstanding what I remember and feel. Everything from "you're just trying to make your own life more interesting", to "we don't have individual reincarnated souls, it's 'genetic memory'." Any combination, mutation, personal take on these ideas, I've likely heard. I'm not here to defend my own understanding of my experience to anyone. I accept that I could be wrong. I am still learning, after all.
I just know that since the first memory came to me, I knew that I was myself and not myself at the same time. Of course I wasn't the same person I am now, but some part of me, something deep and inner, was within that woman who had a husband and lived in Spain in the 1940's. Same for the prostitute in early Renaissance Venice, the farm girl in Bronze Age China, etc, so forth.
Whenever I do remember, depending on the strength of the memory, my mind can be split for days. And a memory recently did surface this week - and I believe it was particularly strong, because I remembered with someone who was there. We only met briefly in that life, but it was strong enough to throw me into a state of mental limbo for days. I forgot how to start my car, I slipped in and out of English on the phone, I basically felt like my mind/spirit has been stirred, like a jar of sake, and all the sediment that had brewed to produce who I am now, was floating to the surface, clouding the present.
And this brew is strong, and bittersweet.
Any idea that I dream up past lives because they would be better than the present, I can say, right now, that is false in my case. These were painful memories, and not just for me. I wasn't anyone famous (no Cleopatra or Napoleons here). I wasn't a rich woman, a princess, I didn't have a torrid love affair. If anything, I lived in shame, in pain, and died with little note.
I am still working out why it is useful for me to remember - if it was just to remember with my friend, that would be good enough for me. We now share a very strong bond, and I treasure that.
I also know that it is of little use to dwell on these memories, so I am doing my best to let them settle. To remember, and to not re-live it. I think I had to for a little while, but that is only to integrate part of myself into my present consciousness. And to remember the good things, the kindnesses, and take lessons from the rest.
While I fully believe in these memories, I remind myself, and also believe, that this life is the most important. Anything in the past is just that, in the past - while it has helped form the present, and I can learn from that, the only thing I can affect is now.
So I will remember who I was, learn who I am, and make who I will be a full person.