I studied archaeology and anthropology in college, I volunteer with my local Historical Commission and my favorite novels are historical fiction. It should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of history and learning about the past.
A couple of months ago, I received a copy of Ann C. Barham's recently released book The Past Life Perspective: Discovering Your True Nature Across Multiple Lifetimes. The non-fiction, written by a licensed therapist and certified regression therapist, shares client experiences with past life regression work and delves into how one can take those experiences and apply them to their present personality and life. I've heard of past life regression, but I was a bit skeptical and hadn't done tons of research on it.
Upon opening the book for the first time, I was anticipating an entertaining story outlining peoples' personal experiences where they were famous historical figures who lived lives of grandeur... isn't that what we'd all hope for?
Pleasantly surprised, and incredibly impressed, I instead read the stories of people just like me who pictured very normal and often emotional past lives. Men and women were brought back to lives as soldiers experiencing the turmoil of war, daughters living in huts with strained parental bonds and spouses who were forced into marriage too soon in time periods well before ours.
As someone who considers herself an amateur historian, I was immediately impressed with these completely regular folks who were able to place themselves in particular years and provide detailed accounts of their surroundings... possibly without ever having learned of those places or being able to point them out on a map. They had an understanding of how different cultures lived from what food was on the dinner table to what their parents did for work.
The stories were riveting, and it was really quite moving to read along as these clients went through their regressions and were able to connect experiences to their present life. This, the connection to the psychology of it all, might have been the most interesting.
Many present day injuries or scars were related to some sort of cause of death or injury in a past life and often clients were able to overcome phobias and fears afterwards because they were able to place themselves at the utmost root of the issue. There were couples who were having trouble understanding one another and the past life regression helped them to better understand themselves, which made it easier for them to overcome some of their personal struggles and be more effective communicators with one another. There was a mother who was struggling with the loss of her child, and the daughter's appearance in a past life (this time as the role of the mother!) gave her closure and allowed her to mourn and regain her strength for her surviving youngest child.
Regardless of belief in past life regression or skepticism, I'd highly recommend Barham's book to all readers. It's fascinating to get glimpse back in time and to see how the past can influence our present so greatly.
And yes, I'm now very anxious to go get my own past life regression done. I have so many questions!
We all remember where we were on 9/11/2001.
For those who don't know, I am 24 years old. At the time, I was in elementary school on a cruise ship vacation with my family on a return trip from Bermuda. For a while, I didn't know what was going on. I remember seeing people crying and trying to make phone calls. Everyone was trying to watch the television, whether they were in public areas or weaving in and out of their staterooms frantically.
I remember being told that we weren't going to be docking in New York where we'd left from, but instead, we'd be going to Philadelphia. I didn't know why, but I thought this was a good thing because it meant we'd be closer to home.
I remember being informed of what was going on, but still not really understanding it. In fourth grade, I couldn't wrap my head around the idea. I remember going back to school and talking about it a little bit more in depth with our teachers and fellow students. That was the last year that September 11th was a 'normal' day for all of us.
This past week, I visited New York with family and we took some time to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. I knew that it'd be upsetting, but I wasn't fully prepared for the emotional impact that the visit would have on me. Before going into the museum, we stood outside at the Memorial with so many others and stared out at once was. I felt a light shove on my left, and quickly moved out of the way (I'd been standing right along one of the edges of the Memorial) as an older man made his way past me as he desperately scoured the Memorial for a name. It was in that moment that I burst into tears.
I was crying uncontrollably on a crowded New York sidewalk, but in that moment it didn't matter. I cried for this man who I hope found some peace that day. I cried for the families and friends who left flowers by the Memorial and who lost loved ones. I cried for the folks who had experienced it firsthand and who I know are scarred by the memory.
One day changed so many lives, a nation, forever. I can only imagine the impact that the Memorial and Museum might have on those who experienced the attack and survived or for those who were older and may have feared for their loved ones lives. I hope that the experience provides them with the closure that they might need.
The 9/11 attacks are part of the history books and classes that children are currently learning from who weren't born at the time of the attacks. These are children who have known nothing but the world post-attack. I hope that the Museum can act as a resource for them to understand the present and to appreciate why we honor this date each year, in memory of those that our nation will forever mourn.
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