That’s not me in the photo. At least I don’t think so.
October, 2000. I am on the therapist’s table. She leads me to a relaxed state of deeper consciousness. She asks me to look at my shoes. I do.
They have buckles, and my story flows forth. I am 14 years old, living with my parents in a place that’s cold with a dirt floor. I have just gotten what Mother calls “the Curse.” It frightens me at first, the blood.
The therapist guides me to the next significant event. Now I am 19, and my parents and the community are gathered at my wedding. The groom is a kind, balding man with spectacles. My parents have chosen him for me. The therapist asks what I think of this arranged marriage: “It’s what we do.”
Another scene. My son is 7. Josiah has piercing blue eyes and brings me joy. He is out with my husband (his father) one day working the fields. A horse is spooked and kicks Josiah in the head.
For 14 years I take care of my once-vibrant, bedridden, now simple son. I blame my husband for this life lost, even though I know it was an accident. We don’t have another child because to me, children = pain. I am called “barren.”
Despite my ministrations, Josiah dies as a young adult.
I live a numb life.
The therapist brings me to my own funeral. It is in a bleak church with no color — only shades of earth. There is nothing remarkable about my passing. It is a relief. The mourners are there because “it’s what we do.”
The therapist alerts me to some beliefs I carry:
- Life is bleak
- Children bring pain.
- There is little room for self-direction. We are carried by the thought, “it’s what we do.”
Once I am aware of these beliefs, we release them. Ethel, the therapist, is an energy worker, and she brings me to a decision point where I can choose to carry or not carry these beliefs with me in my current life.
I get off the table and ask for time to journal. She concludes our session with a huge glass of water to help move the energetic debris we dislodged.
So, was this an actual past life or not? Or was it just another way — like Freudian free-association or Jungian dream interpretations or a Rorschach test — to glimpse the unconscious beliefs I carried and that thwarted my desired to be a mom?
And does it matter?
I felt immediate relief after that session. I was lighter, unshackled, empowered. I can tell you that from that point on, we had smooth sailing.
That week we chose an adoption agency and resolved to complete the HUGE application packet by the first of the year. Right after New Year’s, we turned it in.
Three months later our daughter was born. Because, among other things, I cleared the way.