Not long after I met him, my husband Paul, mused that we must have been together in past lives. He was only 22 but he shared a sense of knowing and recognition that felt ancient. Not only did he feel that he had known me before, he even felt that a part of him had been missing me his whole life. As I listened to him explain, something inside me awakened. I felt the same way, and I loved this idea of lives beyond this one. It opened up my mind to other possibilities. What else was out there beyond what I already knew, beyond what I couldsee, touch, or hear?
Some time later I was in a near fatal car accident. I was badly injured and it would take some time for me to fully heal. For a few years after, as I tried to make sense of why my life and my body had been shaken in such a dramatic way, I came across the concept of karma. What might I have done in a past life to cause that car accident? The more I inquired, the more I saw myself as flawed. I began to believe that my soul needed to pay its debts.
This inspired a healing adventure that was very much focused on fixing what was broken in me. My identity was tied to that limited self, tied to a law outside of my control and awareness, subject to the cosmic forces that controlled my destiny. I knew I had a certain power to influence my healing, but I also felt I couldn’t change the hand I was dealt. I was healing, quite rapidly as I was tapping into my body’s ability to move old stuff at quantum speed, but it was hard and, most of the time, not super joyful.
Fast forward to my first shamanic experience. One day, out of the blue, I had an experience where I lost all sense of time and space and found myself on the other side of the veil that separates the world of spirit from what we commonly call reality. I didn’t will it to happen; the experience found me. I felt how incredibly fearless and powerful I actually was. I realized that I was not witnessing an external god, but that I was god. In this one eternal moment, with no past nor future, I realized I didn’t have to do anything to be safe. I was immortal. Just being me was enough. On top of that, just being me was all I had to do to experience the peace and the fulfillment I longed for. I was already perfect. I was the creator.
My understanding of past lives and karma changed. I realized that beyond our temporary human lives exists our true essence, and it remains intact through everything. I realized that my true self was neither flawed nor incomplete, and I did not have to suffer for any past sins or deeds. Importantly, I realized that holding this limiting belief was keeping me from knowing my true essence, my divinity, here on earth. Energetically, my beliefs had kept me separate from this intelligence, when in fact I was that very intelligence.
Unexamined beliefs can keep us small, no matter what they are. Even an expansivespiritual belief, like the concept of karma. A spiritual belief can be a box, if we allow it to take some of our power away.
Once in a while, what I call a past life memory comes to my awareness. Either in a dream, in a meditation, or in a deep conversation with spirit. Instead of trying to identify the lesson, I simply witness the memory. That is enough. There is only this moment so my job right now is to simply be present with the memory and to any experiences and feelings within myself. What I have noticed is that they are often tied to memories in this lifetime, reflecting an energetic pattern that has carried into this life. Once I bear witness to them and invite them to move freely inside my body, I heal, I find more peace. But I don’t need to work at it, I don’t need to find the reason, or figure anything out.
We don’t need more reasons to be tough on ourselves or to keep ourselves smaller than we truly are. Society and culture give us plenty of opportunities for that and we tend to shrink and compromise without much convincing. Spiritual concepts can do the same if they separate us from that divine intelligence that we are.
We are so much more magnificent than we know, but it’s up to us to know this truth within ourselves. Once in a while we get glimpses, tastes, and hints of this magnificence. Our job is to lean into that knowing, feel it, and engage it – especially on those days when the world doesn’t mirror it back to us and it feels like we are alone in what we know. Discovering who you truly are is the spiritual path. And when you find yourself, never compromise. Make it a priority. That deep inner knowing will invite your true essence to express and manifest through your being. And when it does, you know you have come home, right here, right now.