Saturday, August 8, 2009
This is a tough thing for me to talk about. I consider myself a good Catholic Christian person. But, I believe that there are more to our memories than what has occurred in this life. And of course, in order for this to be true, we would have had to live previous lives. The Catholic Doctrine does not teach us anything about living more than our one life on Earth and then our life in Heaven after we die. We are not taught that we can come back to live and die again, and perhaps if need be again and again...
Have you ever had an anxiety or panic attack? Everyone at some point has felt anxiety about something in their life. It usually comes out of nowhere. Your palms sweat, your heart races, you can't breathe, and sometimes you feel like you are having a heart attack. I've been there! My brother started having panic attacks a year ago out of the blue. They began when he approached bridges. As he would get closer and closer to the bridge, he would panic more and more. He said he could almost imagine himself blacking out and driving into the water or traffic below--depending on what the bridge was over. He got to the point where he could not drive over bridges anymore. He couldn't explain it. Nothing ever happened to him on or near a bridge, and nothing ever happened to anyone he knew on or near a bridge. So why is he so fearful of bridges? Why the panic attacks? Was it just a phobia? Is there such a thing as "just" a phobia?
As I have talked about before, negative thoughts tend to stick over the positive thoughts--or negative words last over positive words. Well if these negative thoughts, words, and even experiences are so pronounced in our memories, then many of them cause our fears, phobias, and anxieties of today from what happened in our past. Well, what about stuff that we know did not happen in our past, at least not in this lifetime? Obviously, it seems likely that some of those memories could remain imprints in our mind from previous lifetimes. Some experiences that caused negative memories in a past life, may emerge in this lifetime because of an event that triggers the memory. My brother, for example, may have been pushed off a bridge in a former life, or he may have had a seizure and drove off a bridge and died in one of his former lives. Perhaps he died in a former life driving off a bridge at age 28 or 29. He turned 29 last August, but began having these panic attacks at bridges just before he turned 29 years old. Maybe his age triggered it. Who knows?!? The thing is that it isn't relevant to his life now. It is a negative fear from a past life that is no longer relevant to this life now. What has to be done to keep the soul safe is to release the negative fear from a past life.
I believe you can and should explore these past memories--from this life and past lives. You can investigate by analyzing your memories to see what you have learned from them. But you also have to neutralize any negative memories and release them. This turns negative events into opportunities for positive growth. By embracing the very thing that haunts you from this life as well as from past lives, you stop the soul from growing. We are expected to make mistakes, but it's how you fix your mistakes that really matters. It is not easy to pine over painful memories from your life. Next time you find yourself focusing too much on these painful negative memories, ask yourself this question: Do you want to see yourself trapped by these negative memories, or do you want to see each memory as one moment in your life, no matter how painful, that you were able to grow as a person from and become stronger--to become who you are today?
It is true that the difference between a negative memory and negative thought is that you cannot just swap it for a positive one. You cannot replace that memory. It will always be there. A thought can be changed from a negative one to a positive one though. What we have to realize is that a memory is just that, a memory of an event or a time. When you take a balanced look at the positive and the negative events in your life, take pride in what you've overcome and what you've become because of the sum of the total of all your experiences. In Sylvia Browne's book Lessons for Life, she says to ask God to help you to replace any negative feelings that are attached to bad memories and pray: "It was only a learning process. I have been loved, and I can love." She also says to do an exercise by writing your painful memories on one side of a paper and your positive memories on the opposite side of the paper. At the bottom of the paper, write down your conclusions. What did you learn from these experiences? Ask your soul and God to give you insight into why you suffered. "When life gives you pits, I'll plant them and grow cherry trees."