Past Lives and Spiritual Healing
by Arn Allingham
A lot of the work I do with my clients involves “past lives”. And a good many of my clients hit a snag with past-life work in that they are unsure whether they completely believe in reincarnation. Or whether they believe that the past life stories that they have found are beyond doubt. Very often my clients tell me they want to heal but they don’t want to mislead themselves with false flights of fancy about past lives.
These are real and honest concerns from people trying to do right by their own souls.
I have worked through these issues, one on one, with each of those clients and found a way forward that assisted them. And now I think it might be helpful to share my perspective on the whole “past life” thing with you. Perhaps you will find it useful at some point on your journey Home.
To begin with, I wish you to understand that everything is a story. Everything. Think back on yesterday. What you did, where you went, who you met, etc. As you engage your memory, you are telling yourself a story.
Yesterday is a story. Memory is an act of creative story telling. You are retelling your story of yesterday.
And if you think back on a traumatic event in your childhood, what you are telling yourself is a story about a story. Because we all do this: we kind of “mythologize” the extreme events of our lives. We build up meaning and get attached to a perspective about each story. “THAT was how I was abused,” we tell ourselves, “and THAT is why I am still hurt like this today.”
When we eventually do healing work on those traumatic childhood issues, especially deep work such as with hypnotherapy, what happens is that we come to a new perspective on those events. We develop a new story about the story. Perhaps we are then able to say, “THAT was where I learned compassion for others who have experienced abuse which is why I eventually became a healer myself.” Or something similar.
So our stories are just that: our stories. And each time we retell them, we are likely, in the telling, to change them just a little. Usually because we come to some new perspective upon them. Or because we come to some new perspective upon ourselves in the retelling. But the point is that our stories are not fixed. They change as we do. Even when we believe they are a true reflection of what really happened.
So, for this reason, I think it is not useful to get too attached to our stories. Deep attachment only means that it is painful to allow a story to change as it eventually must. And even more painful to let go of a story when it ceases to serve a purpose. As it eventually will.
And what I’d like to point out to you now is that the person reading these words… the person whose name is listed on your birth certificate… is also a story. This person, with this name, with these attributes, with this body, with those relationships, with those memories, with those skills and talents and abilities… ALL of that is a story.
Just as Arn is a story that I am telling myself… so is your present life a story that you are telling yourself. I am not truly Arn and you are not truly that person that you have told yourself you are. YOU are an eternal, immortal, creator-being. And as a creator, you have created many stories. With each story you have discovered yourself anew. Told yourself something different about yourself. And that is what you are doing now.
And this all being so, I find it quite unproductive and unuseful to ask if this or that story is “true”. What does that even mean? Yes, I AM telling myself this story right now. But that does not mean that the limited perspective I am currently holding on this story will be eternally valid! I will certainly not always think or believe as I currently do. I will eventually come to such a radically different perspective that I will think upon Arn as just a little dream that I once dreamed. Just a little story.
Because Arn is a story.
So, instead of trying to answer the question of “is this story true”, I prefer to ask more useful and productive questions like: What does the story of Arn really mean? Why am I telling myself this story? What am I learning about myself and about Life through this story?
And perhaps I might even find myself ready to own the story enough to ask: How can I heal this story? How can I love this story more? How can I use this story to love myself, others and life itself more? How can I use this story to serve the greater good?
You see the eternal, immortal creator beings that we truly are, would not tell ourselves any old random story! We are carefully crafting stories to take ourselves on vast journeys, story by story, into deep, deep forgetting and then back out again into full magnificent remembrance of Who We Really Are.
When we head into forgetting we use stories to create beliefs that allow us to forget. We use stories to teach us that we are not powerful, god-like and magnificent. We tell ourselves that we cannot create our realities. That we cannot trust ourSelves. That we are not worthy of love. That we are not worthy of respect. That we are disconnected and alone. That we are small, fragile, mortal, powerless and victims. We sing ourselves a sad lullaby of fear and pain. And then, because we believe these stories we are telling ourselves, we find ourselves carrying beliefs in our psyches that block us from your own divine light.
And when we have forgotten that deeply, THEN we are ready to be born into duality. As everyone on this planet has. Everyone born here arrives believing that there is nothing god-like within themselves. They are born in a state of total forgetting of their own Light.
Most spend a good few lifetimes in such a state of darkness of the soul before they are ready to begin to remember again. But something confusing and problematic happens here in duality. Because we have forgotten to look inside of ourselves for the Light of truth, we have learned to look outside of ourselves for it. And because the only thing you can find outside of yourself is story, we teach ourselves that these stories are “true”. We learn to believe that the illusory, transitory things which exist only as perspectives are real. We believe they exist independent of us. Which they don’t.
The problem with this is we then hold too tightly to the stories. Which means we are unable to let them change and grow and morph. We are unable to play with them. To use them to serve our own development.
And so here is the point of this whole blog post: This is all an invitation to you to begin to hold a little more lightly to all the myriad stories that you are holding in your mind. The stories that you see around you. The stories of this world. The news, the politics, the dramas that others are creating. Hold lightly. They are just stories. Don’t get too attached or too involved.
And just the same with the stories that you see inside of you. Your journey, your past, your childhood, the ideas you have about who you are, about your place in the world, about what you do… all of these kinds of stories. They are just stories. Instead of getting attached and believing these stories to be the eternally unchangeable truth. Which they are not. Use them to serve your continued growth. Use them to understand yourself better and to heal and grow. And when they get in the way of your continued spiritual evolution, ask yourself how you can better serve love and the greater good by relaxing your grip on some part of your story and allowing it to change. How can you come to a new perspective on that story that better serves your life?
And when it comes time to do really deep soul-work remember this too. Your “past lives” are also all stories. Every one of them. They are the stories that you told yourself when you were finding your way down, down deeper and deeper into forgetting. They are the stories that encode your beliefs that allowed you to find yourself into duality. And as such they have much to teach you. So if you can hold lightly you can tease out the wisdom that they hold for you. You can extract the lessons of love and compassion that they contain. You can gain a great deal from them.