Freed from the Past
A Past-Life Memory Helps Resolve a Present-Day Problem
Married to a wonderful man and planning to build our dream home, I should have been happy and excited about my future. For the most part, I was.
But there was always a nagging worry that I would somehow lose my husband. I felt as if our happiness was on borrowed time and heartbreak waited just around the corner.
At first, I tried using a mental approach to figure out why I felt this way. I dissected difficult past relationships and analyzed my feelings, hoping to get some insight into this troubling state of mind.
When that didn't work, I tried another approach. I attempted to crowd out my dark thoughts by focusing on love, gratitude, and positive affirmations. This deepened my appreciation of my life. But the feeling of impending doom continued to haunt me.
Finally, I asked the Mahanta to help me. I asked him to show me what I needed to know to resolve these irrational fears.
A short time later, I had a dream.
I'm a young peasant woman fleeing through a woodland bereft of leaves. It's a cold, gray fall day. I'm wearing a long, dark skirt, striped blouse, and woolen jacket. My breath clearly visible in the air, I have a large knit scarf wrapped over my head and shoulders in an effort to keep warm.
As I run, I can hear soldiers and rebels engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the woods. Battle cries pierce the air, along with screams of the wounded and dying.
I don't want the fighters to notice me. Pulling my scarf over my face, I hunch my shoulders and affect a bent-over kind of walk. Maybe they will think I'm an old, withered herb woman and leave me alone.
Anxious and upset, I'm searching for my husband and son. We've been separated during our attempt to flee this battle, and now I can't find them. I want to go back and look for them.
But the bands of fighting men make this impossible. I push ahead, feeling great guilt and despair because I know I can't help my family. I can only try to keep myself alive.
As night falls, I arrive at a small village, and a kind family takes me into their home. They apologize as they offer me hot, weak tea.
"It's all we have left," they say. Then they ask about the soldiers and rebels moving toward us. Gratefully sipping the hot tea, I tell them everything I've seen.
As I watch their terrified faces in the flickering lamplight, a bone-deep tiredness washes over me. Still, we all stay alert, silently listening to every night sound.
Suddenly we hear approaching fighters, and the man of the house motions silently to one of the younger men. We don't wait to find out if the fighters are rebels or soldiers. Both spell danger.
The young man opens a trapdoor in the floor leading to an underground tunnel. We quickly climb down into the passageway, the last man carefully closing and bolting the trapdoor after us.
Through the long night, the battle roars above us as we sit silently in the darkness beneath the house. I pray we remain hidden from the invaders.
Finally, it becomes quiet outside. But we stay huddled together until morning light seeps through the cracks in the trapdoor.
As we climb from the tunnel back into the house, devastation greets us. The doors are torn from their hinges, furniture is overturned, and the family's few belongings are scattered throughout the vandalized house.
Outside we find death and carnage truly horrible to behold. Stunned into silent grief, I take my leave from the family that sheltered me.
Despair clogs my throat as I realize there is probably no way I can find my husband and son in the midst of this violent chaos. But I push on, willing myself to survive as I try to find my family again.
I woke up shaken to the core. The experience was so vivid and compelling, I knew at once it was a past-life recall. I also knew that my husband and son from that past life were also my husband and youngest son in this life.
When I told my husband about the dream, he held me close and said, "Well, Honey, you found us again. And this time we'll have a much better lifetime together."
Now I realized where my fears came from, and I was able to let them go. Freed from the past, my heart quickly opened to the gifts of this life.
Because I asked the Mahanta for his help, I had been given a glimpse into a past life that held the key to a greater spiritual understanding.
This dream not only confirmed that I had lived before; it was just what I needed to resolve a distressing impasse that blocked my way forward emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
This dream was a gift of love from the Mahanta.
As I reflected on this experience, I realized that every life I've ever had is a gift from God and the Holy Spirit to assist me in my spiritual unfoldment and growth.
I may never have another flashback to a past life, but it is enough to know that no matter how great or small, happy or painful those lifetimes may have been, they had a single purpose: they taught me more about myself as Soul and eventually led me to the ECK teachings and to the Mahanta in this lifetime.
For that, I am forever grateful.
Excerpted from the 2010 Eckankar Journal, copyright © 2009 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.