I remember snippets of many many past lives. I am not exactly sure what 'past life' means I only know my experience of them and that we, someone, has given them the name 'past life'.
A couple of years ago I was on a journey to heal shame. I wasn't aware of any feelings of shame in particular but I wanted to look, to explore, to see what I was holding that could be affecting the way I was experiencing life, to be curious. Shame was a buzz word at the time, largely due to Brene Brown's work around it and my teacher Eric Lipin had asked me to reflect on my shame before meeting with him and share what came up. He asked me to "open up about how you feel about yourself, let yourself be vulnerable and feel what is supremely uncomfortable. It will take some reflection as very often we have had this shame for as long as we can remember, so it seems 'normal' and thus not easily visible (in addition to simply not wanting to deal with it)."
"Shame is often associated with guilt, but they have a striking difference. Guilt says, "I made a mistake arriving to the meeting 30 minutes late." Shame says, "I am a bad person/something is wrong with me for arriving so late to the meeting."
He said "Shame is the feeling that I find the hardest to pin down, the hardest for people to connect to." This is the sentence that ingnites the fuel, my curiosity, the part of me that is unwaveringly committed to self healing. Of course we may know logically that we have no need to be ashamed, we are all doing our best right? Yes, we are, and that does not stop our feelings, and even then as we negate our feelings of shame, ie no need to feel that as I was only doing the best I could, that then the feeling gets stuffed down, unexpressed, locked in, creating a block to the flow of energy, of life, of experiencing.
On our meeting after this proposition I had not been able to connect with any feelings of shame, so I shared this with him and also my intention to connect and transform any shame that I was holding. That very same day, as I lay on the massage table, using the conscious breath to guide me into the doorways in my body that the Amanae practitioner was holding I had a subtle sense of something rising up from somewhere within me, somewhere deep and dark and I immediately wanted to run, to push it back down. Remembering my intention and encouragement from the practitioner next to me is what kept me in a state of allowing no matter how uncomfortable and as the energy rose I began to feel the shame in all of it's intensity. The words that came were 'I feel so ashamed' as the memory of being ousted from a village in France where I lived when I was accused of bringing the plague into the community. The belief of 'how could I have done this?' and 'I am a bad person' had carried with me into this lifetime, only now, with deep commitment showing up to be seen, healed, transformed.
Alongside the feelings I experienced myself walking along a path away from the village, looking back, knowing I would never be a part of that again. I had the sense I had been on a journey and had returned with this disease, bringing it into the community. On being ousted I felt like a leper.
I see now how those patterns had repeated in this lifetime in a bid to be healed and I forgive myself for the unconscious actions I have taken, and I honour myself for having the courage to transform them so I no longer have to repeat the same round and around.
I still find shame so uncomfortable to feel, this sort of squirmy, yucky, sticky feeling, a wanting to curl in a ball and hide. I don't want people to see that, to see that part of me and yet there is a longing to be seen, to be loved and accepted just as I am. And when I am willing to see and feel those parts of myself, to love those parts of myself, I no longer need to look outside of myself. And herein lies freedom.