The Lives of the Dead

Some of the most interesting people I meet are dead…

Archive for the category “life between lives”

Living in Limbo

First published March 2, 2015


swings-111925_640

Wir

The turning point of my life came when I was thirty one. Until then, most of my moderate expectations had been met.  I fell in love, got married,  gave birth to a beautiful, clever little girl we both adored.  We were financially comfortable and happy together. My mind was uncluttered by much introspective thought or intense emotion.

When my daughter was 7, she disappeared. She’d been playing in the park with friends, and then, they called for her and she wasn’t there. Nobody had noticed anyone or anything. She’d simply vanished.

The police looked for her. My husband and I, our friends and family, we all looked for her. But we didn’t find her. Not alive. Not dead.

And so I lived the rest of my days in a limbo.  I was filled with the kind of intense emotions I’d never felt before, and did not know how to process. I cycled through grief, despair, guilt, anger, sorrow and the occasional scintilla of hope, which was always quickly extinguished and replaced by fresh grief.

Sometimes I heard stories of children returning to their parents after many years.  Somehow, they’d remembered and found their way back.  Naturally,  I hoped for such an outcome,  but after a time, I would have been relieved to know for certain that she was dead. If I could have given her a proper funeral, I might have been able to move on.  If I knew what had happened to her, I might have been able to forgive.  As it was, however, I never could settle on a single emotion, and so this was the cycle which spun the wheel which turned my life.

My husband and I stayed together, but it was never the same. We both felt a similar range of emotions, but our moods were infrequently aligned. We rarely connected, except on her birthday when we both seemed to feel the same. For many years, we’d get a small cake with a single candle. We’d bring out the old photo albums. But then it became too awful. It made us feel helpless and hopeless.  We each tried to make our way through our pain in our own way, but neither of us had much success. Compounding our pain was that we were of no comfort to each other. Even after many years, we both suffered alone.

Her being ripped from our lives so cruelly was for a reason; for the lessons on tragedy and mourning. At the time, however, it didn’t feel like any useful lesson. If anyone had suggested to me that it was part of a greater plan, I would have lost all control and attacked them ferociously. The pain was wrapped around me too tightly to loose its bonds. What mother can ever make sense of such a thing? To come to terms with it would have be tantamount to abandoning her; to losing her again. She remained alive in my sorrow.

Now, however, I am afforded greater perspective. The unrelenting pain of that life is finally healed. She and I are together again, awaiting a next time.

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

The Hand of a Stranger

NEW!

Var

The trouble came when I was quite young.  My father was taken away when I was about three and he never came back. My mother cried for a long time, but I never knew where he was or why he did not return.

These were times of famine and political unrest, difficult for everyone, but especially for a widow with a small child.

Eventually, it became too dangerous to remain where we were.  Not just us, but for many, many people.  So, when I was about six, we packed up the little we had and left the countryside for a large town.  It was far away – many weeks walking.

We were a miserable lot, most of us near starving, cold, filthy, exhausted, frightened. The fields we passed were mostly bare.  Drought had destroyed the crops.  But if we scavenged carefully, we might find something still edible – a buried root, a struggling vine, insects.  If we were lucky, perhaps a small animal.

We slept outside, wrapped in blankets, huddled together for warmth, or in makeshift tents.

One morning, after many days walking, my mother could not rouse herself.  Her eyes were sunken and glazed, and she struggled to breathe.  “Go with the others,” she told me.  ” Survive. Be brave. Be strong. Be good.”

I cried and begged her get up.  I was terrified. I refused to leave her until some others pulled me away from her and folded me back into the caravan, where I was carried away in the tide.

Now, not only was I starving, filthy, exhausted, cold, and frightened,  I was also alone in my mourning,  with new things to worry and be frightened about.

A few people were kind to me but they had their own worries and they could not make my problems, theirs.  Occasionally one of them shared with me from their own meager food supply — a scrap of a scrap, here and there. But most of them had to feed their own families.  An orphaned boy was not their problem.

Finally, after many, many days, we arrived in a large town. The local people did not like us country folk. They didn’t know us, didn’t trust us, didn’t want us around to threaten their livelihoods with cheap labor and a need for charity.

Some of the people in our group had family there. They, at least, had safe places to go.  Some of them had skills that enabled them to find paying work, although it was usually grudgingly. The others only had their backs and remaining strength to offer. They struggled to survive, but at least they were adults.

But me?  I was an orphan with nobody to watch out for me, nobody to care if I lived or died.  But I’d promised my mother I’d survive and I’m sure it was that determination that kept me alive. I begged on the street,  ate discarded fruit and vegetables left on the ground after the market closed, slept against doorways to protect against the worst of the elements.  I was usually chased away from several before I found somewhere to settle in for the night.

One evening, I curled up in front of a small shop that sold pots and pans and other such housewares. The store owner came out and looked me over. I picked myself up,  sure I was about to be kicked along my way.   But he took compassion on me and brought me into his shop, which was warm!  I hadn’t been warm in months!  He give me a piece of bread and some soup that was heating on the wood stove. I was so grateful, I couldn’t say anything but thank you, bless you, thank you.

He allowed me to sleep inside,  enjoying the remaining residual warmth of the fire when there was nothing left but embers. The next morning, he gave me some fresh bread and tea for breakfast, and asked me to sweep the street out front, which I did gladly, with gratitude.  He asked me to climb up the ladder to fetch things he couldn’t reach, and scoot down low to pull things out from under the counter.

He was an older man,  maybe the age of my grandfather (whom I barely remembered). I learned later that his wife and child had died many years before, and he was alone.  He seemed as happy for my company as I was for his.

As we both got older, I got stronger and he got weaker, and he came to rely on me even more.  I was there for him in his old age.  There with him when he was too infirm to leave his bed.  I sad beside him,  and held his hand as he crossed over.

The store passed into my hands.   I eventually found a wife and we had two sons, who took the business from me when I passed on many decades later.

I never forgot his kindness to me and for as long as I lived, I endeavored to pass that kindness on to others.

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

My First Regression – Part Deux

NEW!

(If you have not read the first part of the RW’s regression, you can read it here.)

After witnessing her own life and death as a powerful and opulent man, and visiting the inbetween just long enough to meet the woman who chastises him for a life of self-indulgence, RW quickly moves into another life with barely a suggestion from me. This experience,  like the one before,  is intensely physical.  She can literally feel herself inside those bodies.

[NB: during regression, subjects don’t always travel back and forth in time chronologically.  There can be a lot of skipping around. So even though RW’s next experience is probably the lifetime immediately prior to her current life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she was in the inbetween for hundreds of human years.  There might have been other lifetimes which she just skipped over.]

As she settles in to this new body, her entire physical demeanor changes.  She sort of collapses into herself and seems to be in pain, or at least extremely uncomfortable.

“Who are you?” I ask.

She is a little girl.  She looks down and describes a pair of new, patent leather Mary Jane shoes and the skirt of a nice dress. She can move her legs but she can barely move her upper torso.

“I feel as if I’m in a cage of some kind,” she says, trying to adjust herself.  “I’m trapped in it.  I can’t move.”

“What kind of cage?” I ask. “Like a cage for a dog or a medical device, say for scoliosis?”

“Medical.  Like for scoliosis.  But that’s not what’s wrong with me.”

She goes deeper inside to get more information.

“I was in a car accident. I can see the car. It’s an old-fashioned one,  from the 1930s or 40’s.”

“How old are you now?” I ask.

“I’m six.”  She “feels” around inside for more info.  “There’s something wrong with me mentally, too. It’s hard for me to communicate. They are treating me as if I’m mentally slow.”

She ponders this for a bit and finally says,  “No. The problem isn’t mental.  I can think OK.  The problem is this contraption is making it difficult for me to talk; maybe it’s pressing against my larynx. I’m not sure. Because I can’t talk, they think I’m slow.”

She continues, “I am very well loved.  My parents take great care to dress me impeccably and get the best possible medical attention available.  But I feel like a valued object. They talk to the doctors about me with me in the room, as if I can’t hear or understand.  I am moved around by others. I have no autonomy.  I am literally in a cage.  This is my life.  I never get better.”

“How old are you when you die?” I ask.

“Eleven,” she answers quickly.

She is moving around in her chair,  as if trying to get comfortable, but cannot.

“Heal the girl,” I suggest.

And with that, RW starts “de-crinking” herself,  moving like a Transformer.  It’s as if she is putting herself back together, bone by bone.   This goes on for quite a while, neither of us saying anything.  She is completely focused on rebuilding that broken body.

RW has some back problems in her current life, which she’d mentioned to me the day before. We sat next to each other in the all-day seminars and neither of us could quite get comfortable in a basic folding chair. We both futzed around with the various seating options: cushions, Back Jacks on the floor, Back Jacks on the folding chairs, yoga blocks under our feet.  She’d mentioned that her back problems were chronic, the result of a car accident many years ago (in her current lifetime.)

Watching her fix herself was quite a sight!  She was looser than she’d been for several days I’d known her.  She was moving her neck, shoulders, and upper back freely, without pain. I certainly wasn’t going to interrupt her! However long she wanted to do that, was fine with me.  She seemed to be getting better before my eyes.

After about ten minutes, she opened her eyes and spontaneously came out of trance,  still working out the kinks.

“How do you feel?” I asked.

“Amazing.  My back actually feels better!  That suggestion to heal the girl was perfect.  And I know I can go back to her, on my own, in my own time, and continue to repair her injuries. And as I do, I think I will repair my own back problems.”

All in all,  it was quite a successful session in that she got information and lessons from both lives that were pertinent to and useful in her current life.

I suppose now I’ve been spoiled by having had such a good first client and productive first regression.  I know that not everyone is able to go so deep or see so much.  But I am looking forward to working with others.  I am confident that the more I do it,  the better I will become at asking the right questions to help them find the lessons inside.

Even if one is does not believe in reincarnation,  they can still benefit from such a regression.  Whatever comes up is still significant information from the unconscious mind. Thus, even if these past life memories are purely metaphorical or allegorical, they still have tremendous value in the pursuit of self-knowledge and personal growth.  They can offer new perspectives and paths to understanding our fears, our ingrained habits,  the psychological reasons why we may be susceptible to certain illnesses.

 

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

Some Notes from RW

Hi All,

I’m still working on the second half of the regression but I wanted to share the comments RW made on the previous post.

“I just read your blog;  you captured the session beautifully.  I want to mention something else about the regression.  It’s a small thing but it is fascinating to me. When I was regressed to the opulent man and I was looking at my red robe, I heard the fur trim being described as a particular word – ermine. I didn’t know the word,  and so I thought that maybe I had misheard and he was saying, vermin. But it didn’t seem right that I had vermin trim on my robe. I Googled ermine a few days later and saw that it was indeed used to trim the robes of royalty.  Fascinating!”

This kind of thing comes up often both in regressions and in the kind of “hearing the dead” type readings that I do.   You get some bit of specific info and you don’t know what it means because you’ve never heard it before, but when you research it,  you discover that the info is correct.  Now, I suppose it can be argued that this info was deep in our brains already (maybe we read about it or heard about it and forgot that we knew it) and with hypnosis,  it comes to the surface.   But even if that is so, it just proves that we can access a lot of deep info while in trance.

***

For those of you in the US,  wishing you a relaxing &/or meaningful Memorial Day Weekend. Stay safe!

I send thanks and appreciation to all who have nobly served and given their lives for their country. Thanks to them and their families for their sacrifice.

Back atcha next week!

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

My First Regression

NEW!

 

Hey all,

As promised,  a report on a session I did on one of my fellow attendees at Dr. Brian Weiss’s Past Life Regression workshop at the Omega Institute last week. Sorry for the delay in posting.  It was a lot harder than I thought to write this up.  There was a lot of detail and I didn’t want to forget anything.  As a matter of reference,  the entire regression lasted about 45 minutes to an hour.

I will preface this by saying that my subject, RW, is, herself, a trained hypnotist so she was able to go into trance quickly and easily.  That’s half the battle right there.

Once the subject is under, there are many way to regress, which I will not go into here.  However Dr. Weiss taught us one technique which appealed to me very much.  I used it on RW and I suspect it will be my  first ‘go to” tool that I use when regressing future clients.

For those of you unfamiliar with hypnosis, I should point out that when in trance, one is deeply relaxed but not unconscious. The subject is able to talk, to follow instructions, and respond to questions. RW and I even were able to joke and laugh a bit, while she was still in trance. A trance is just focused attention, either on a task or inwards.  It is a way to release the critical mind and allow the unconscious to come to the surface.  You’d be amazed what’s down there!

***

Once RW is in trance,  I ask her to think back to a happy or meaningful memory from childhood. I like this method because most everyone can recall their own childhood easily. There’s nothing mysterious about it.  This state of mind, this remembering something distant but familiar, is both relaxing and pleasant for the subject, and most important, it leads them backwards, down memory lane. It puts them in just the right frame of mind to go deeper into their memories as they go deeper into trance.

RW quickly pulls up a memory of being a young child, playing “horsey” on her family farm in Australia, with her brother and sister. They take turns, straddling the fence, riding the “horse.” She can see many details of her surroundings, in part because she spent her entire childhood on that farm. This is a happy but neutral recollection.

I then ask her to go back further, to her earliest memory. It only takes her a few seconds for her to find herself in a pram, being pushed by her mother along the shopping street, on her way to errands.  There is another woman walking with them but RW can’t quite place her. She thinks it might be her grandmother who is so much younger here in this memory than she remembered her as an adult that she’s unrecognizable. She is wearing a brown coat.

We are not in that memory for very long when, without any prompting from me, this woman morphs into a man in a brown coat, and then into a man in a white wig and clothing that seems to be from the time of the French Revolution. RW is also surrounded by women in white. Nuns, perhaps?  She isn’t sure.  But she knows that the man is powerful and malevolent, and they are afraid of him.  They step away in trepidation.

The imagery and emotions are powerful but this memory is nebulous.  She is not sure if these entities were living beings she knew in a previous lifetime or she was seeing them in the “in between” – after death/before birth. We waited a while to see if she could get any more info on them, but nothing else came.  She could not say who they were, or what their purpose was, or what their relationship to her or each other was.

Then she notices three men dressed in long black coats, with heavy black beards, wearing  tall black hats.  Perhaps Russian or Eastern Orthodox clergy?  That feels right to her.  Slowly, she feels herself in her “then” body – sitting on an ornate golden throne richly upholstered in lush red velvet.

Her eyes are closed, but in her head, she is looking all around this room. I can see her eyes moving behind her lids as she scopes out all corners of this vision. “I’m in very opulent surroundings. Everything is gilded, ornate… like Versailles but that’s not where I am.”  She can even describe the intricately patterned marble floor.

“Look at yourself,” I say. “Who are you?”

Eyes closed, she scopes out her own body and a slight look of disgust crosses her face.  “I am really fat.  Bloated. I’m dressed in velvet robes. I think there is fur trim.  Sort of like Henry the Eighth, but that’s not who I am.”   She looks at her hand, curiously, and reports a heavy gold ring with large gemstones.  It’s very clear to her.  Once again, she uses the word “opulent” to describe herself and her surroundings.  She keeps coming back to this word.  In this lifetime, she is a person of great power.

“How old are you now?” I ask.

“Forty” she says, checking in the corners of her mind to be sure. “Yes. Forty.”

“Who are these men?” I ask.

“They are religious elders but I’m not afraid of them. They cannot make me follow their will.  I am more powerful than they are. I am perfectly confident that no one and nothing can challenge my authority. Not at all worried about my position.”

“How did you attain this power?”

“Combination of birthright and manipulation. I played the game very well.  I got rid of all my enemies.”

“Let’s go ahead to the end of your life. How old are you now?”

She gave me a specific age in her 50s (fifty-two, I think) and I was surprised that she knew exactly how many years into the future she had gone – not a general estimate of “several” or “a decade or so”  She actually did the math. “Yes. I live for twelve more years.”

“How do you die”? I ask.

She is again in her body, just before she passes. A look of discomfort and self-disgust spreads across her face. “I feel sick. I’m even fatter than I was before. I can’t even bend over to see my own feet. I feel awful. Seriously ill.”

“Have you been poisoned?” I ask, curious.

“No. It’s just that all these years of decadence and indulgence and laziness have caught up with me.  I have all the diseases one might get living like that  – gout, diabetes, liver and kidney problems.  I’m at the end.”

“Let’s move ahead to your death, without feeling any pain.”

“I see a large room with two rows of female entities in white. Nuns, maybe. Or nurses. They are all around me.”

“Are you in the in-between or are you witnessing your own funeral?”

“I’m not sure.  Could be either.”

And then, “Oh. There is a woman here with me on the other side.  She is sort of laughing at me, scolding me, saying ‘I told you so!’

“Who is she?”

“I’m not sure.  Somebody I knew in my lifetime.”

“What had she told you?”

“She warned me that I was too opulent, too self-indulgent. I had the power to make people’s lives better but I did not. I took it all for myself. I did not learn my lesson. And now I’m going to have to do it again.”

“Who do you think she is?  If she could speak to you like that in your lifetime, she must have been somebody who had your ear, someone you respected, whose advice you generally valued.  If you were as powerful as you say, there could not have been many who’d have been comfortable talking to you that way.”

She agreed with this logic but wasn’t getting any specific information on what the relationship was.

“She is older than me.  Old enough to be my mother, but it’s not my mother.  Maybe my wife?”

“Like an arranged marriage?” I asked.

“Maybe…” but still, she wasn’t sure.

We discussed whether such a powerful man would take advice from an arranged wife, and agreed probably not. So she went back inside to see if she could get an answer.

“Perhaps she was your nurse or nanny that you knew from childhood. She might have felt comfortable enough to talk to you that way,” I suggested.

She agreed that a nanny would sort of fit the energy, but still, she wasn’t certain. It was somebody who was not concerned that she’d receive his wrath for giving him unsolicited advice.  (Maybe, I realized later, it was an older sister or other relative.)

[note: some might think this is leading the subject, but as Dr. Weiss pointed out, subjects are not so easily led.  They know what they are seeing and feeling and experiencing.  As you have read, RW and I discuss only logical possibilities based on the information she is giving me. If that doesn’t feel right to her, she rejects it. I am not leading her anywhere.]

“She was right” she continues.  “I gave in too easily to my desires.  I was opulent and ungenerous. I took it all for myself and didn’t care for anyone else.”

She took a while to digest all that, later explaining to me how this lesson had relevance to and resonance in her current lifetime. (It’s personal, so not sharing.)

She was still in trance and seemingly moving around quite well in the realm on the other side, so I suggested we move forward into another lifetime.

And she did.  Into one more recent.  It was quite vivid with an even greater impact on her current life.  But that will have to wait for my next post.

 

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

The Lure of the Jungle

Original publication date Feb 23, 2015

baby_monkey_2

Ca

I once had a pet monkey.  I loved him but he did not stay long.

He was just a baby when I found him. He was hurt and frightened. He’d been orphaned or perhaps abandoned. People believe that every mother has a biological drive to protect her child, but I can tell you this isn’t always so.  So I took him as my own child. I nurtured him and taught him as best I could.

After some time, he began to run away.    The first time, he was gone for a whole day. I looked for him everywhere! I called his name through the trees until my throat was sore.   I was mad with grief and panic! I was sure I would never see him again. But then, the next morning, there he was in his favorite spot on the porch. He greeted me as always. I was so happy to see him, I forgave him for putting me through all that.

As he got older, he began to run away more often. Each time, he stayed away longer and longer. Each time, I was sure I’d seen the end of him but he always came back. For a long time, each time he ran away, I would cry and worry but after a while, however, he was gone more than he was with me. When he went away, I simply shrugged my shoulders and went about my days, without giving him much thought.  I stopped looking for him.

He would return when he returned.

When he did, I let him inside, but I did not hold him close. I stopped feeding him. He didn’t need that from me anymore. I did nothing to keep him bound to me.  I did not allow my emotions to be stirred. I knew he would be gone again soon.

Until a year passed and I realized he was gone for good.

Eventually I moved away from that place. If he ever returned, he did not find me. He could no more stay with me than I could have lived in the trees in the jungle.

I soon forgot the pain of loving that monkey but I remembered the lesson: no matter how much somebody loves you,  if it suits them better to be elsewhere, they will leave. Sooner or later, everyone seeks to exist in the place where they are most comfortable; to live in their natural habitat.

 

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne</e

There For Each Other…Again

First published June 14, 2016

 

Where: Somewhere along the beach in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. When: August 2012. What: Three young men enjoying the sunset together. Camera info: Contax G1, 28mm Biogon, Kodak Portra 400.

 

 Maj

I was born into a family who lived on the outside.  We were not part of the main culture.  We did not follow their customs or traditions. We did not celebrate their holidays.  What was perfectly normal for us was an oddity to our neighbors.  Our family tried to be as unobtrusive as possible.  We made a special effort to be friendly, polite, law-abiding.  My brother and I were encouraged, cajoled, pressured,  to do well in school.   We did not know too many others like us except for extended family,  and they did not live very close.

I was the only one like me in my class throughout my lower school years but late into secondary school,  I met a few other boys about my age. Had we met in a place where everyone was like us,  we probably wouldn’t have chosen each other.  Personality-wise,  we were nothing alike,  but by this shared odd circumstance,  being three of a kind in a sea of others, we became bonded.

These boys remained my dear friends all through my life,  even after we discovered larger communities of our people, and tapped into its business network.  Ever after we didn’t need each other anymore.  Despite our differences,  we remained close.

We forgave each other sins that would rend other relationships asunder.  We trusted each other with secrets nobody else in the world knew, not even our wives.  We were brothers.  It was understood that if something should happen to one of us, the others would take care of his family.   We were responsible for and to each other.  We shared a storied history.

We didn’t discuss or analyze the nature of our friendship.  We all understood it the same way.  There was nothing to discuss. We knew what had to be done.  We knew what had to be said.  And we knew when to do and say nothing.

I sometimes I forgot how much they meant to me.  Sometimes,  I took them for  granted.  Sometimes I needed time away from one or the other one  because he exasperated me so.   Sometimes,  there was anger, and it seemed as if the friendship might be over, but none of us felt quite whole without the others, and so somebody would apologize. They would make the effort to reconcile.  They would recognize their own fault in it. They would take responsibility for it.  And in this way,  we grew as men.

It was only after they were both gone that I truly understood how important they’d been to  my life.  I didn’t survive them by very long.  We were all old men when we died. But that short while of living without them was spent in the contemplation of their friendship, and its importance to all of us.   How blessed I felt to have known these simple men.

Now we are together again and always will be, in some form or another.

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

 

photo credit: Simon Garnier    http://www.simongarnier.org/three-friends/

 

J’Accuse!

NEW!!! 

 And more  new ones coming!!!  Thank you for your patience over these past 8-9 months, while I was difficulty focusing and finding the time to get into the right frame of mind.   But my friends (and my focus) seem to be back!  So hang in there!  There are a bunch of new stories in the pipeline. -a

 

Par

When I was a child, I accused a man of rape. In truth, he had not touched me at all. But my own belief that I had been violated was so strong; my description of the incident so vivid, so full of the kinds of details a young girl would not know, that people believed me and became outraged on my behalf.

I did not tell a deliberate lie.  It was not an immature display of power. I did not misidentify my attacker.  I understood, on some level, that he had not harmed me yet I could not let go of the compulsion, deep inside me, that he was guilty and needed to be punished for this crime. That was my greater truth.

He was dragged off to prison, all the while proclaiming his innocence, where he spent the rest of his days.

As I got older, as I thought about the incident, I wondered occasionally if I’d fabricated these accusations.  Sometimes, in going over the details in my head, I’d find holes in my own story which made me realize that things could not have possibly happened as I remembered them. And yet even in those moments of doubt, it never occurred to me to felt guilty for destroying the life of an innocent man.  It was my unwavering belief that prison was exactly where he belonged regardless of what had transpired between us.

Later, after I passed over, I understood.

In the lifetime before that one, with both of us in different bodies, he had beaten and raped me, and left me for dead. I was found a few breaths away from my last, and was nursed back to, if not health, at least a condition which was compatible with life. I was never again right in the body or right in the head.

Meanwhile, he forgot the incident entirely. He was guilty of a horrible crime — the ruination of another human being — yet he continued to live his life free, as an innocent man, never suffering the consequences of his actions.

When I encountered his spirit in the next lifetime, without ever understanding why, I was overcome with the need for revenge. This was part of our karmic agreement, that he live as a guilty man, though he was innocent, and I should be the instrument of that punishment.

Sometimes,  trauma takes several lifetimes to be resolved.

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

Skin Deep

First published February 20, 2015

vintageglam

Gai

I was a great beauty. All my life, I was grateful for this. It opened many doors which never would have opened to me if I’d been born plain.

My mother had been a great beauty herself as a girl, and was still beautiful as I became a young woman. She’d been divorced from my father since I was small. For my entire childhood, she was obsessed about finding a second, wealthy husband. She studied, calculated, plotted. She was singular in this goal.

She was not above telling men that I was her baby sister; that she was raising me alone after our mother died. This, she believed, made her seem saintly and nurturing without the taint of “used merchandise.”   She dated a lot of men, but to her great heartbreak, promise seemed to vanish just as she was feeling most hopeful about permanence.

To the outside world, she remained gay and carefree, but alone at night, while doing her evening beauty regimen, she’d examine herself in the mirror and fret that her looks would run out before she found a suitable man. She had no means of supporting herself. Her only skill was to convince a man to take care of her. If she lost that advantage, she’d have nothing.

She taught me everything she knew. She showed me how to use a coy glance to bring a man to my side. She taught me how to tease a man with promises of his own imagination.  She taught me the trick of giving just enough to make him want more, but not so much as to ever satisfy him. She dressed me to accentuate my natural assets (which were considerable.) She showed me the secrets of maquillage, which, when used skillfully can make a woman appear to be more or less than what she actually is.

When I was sixteen, I fell in love with a sweet young man. We talked about running away together. Mother quickly broke us apart and forbade me to see him again. I was devastated.   A woman’s status, she explained, was completely dependent upon the status of the men in her life. She had great hopes for me. I would use my beauty to marry somebody powerful and wealthy. She would not let me throw myself away on a common boy who would never go very far.  There would be more suitors, she promised, of far higher caliber.

And so there were. Mother made sure of that. She pushed and preened and schooled me; she insinuated me into the right circles. She invented a story for me to tell about myself. I met rich, handsome men. Captains of industry and their sons. Famous entertainers. Influential politicians. Mother married me off to the best prospect. I was elated. I had won the prize! My life was exactly as it was meant to be.

But soon I was no longer happy. We had both conquered each other and had no further need of each other. An unhappy wife makes an unhappy husband. And vice versa. We ended in divorce, but not before I had acquired property and position. I did not want to make the same mistake my mother had made.

I was a divorcee but I was moving in more rarefied circles. I leapfrogged from one man to the next, each more powerful and wealthy than the last. I accumulated status and money. All that was important to me was to rise as high as possible above my standing at birth. I swore I would not end up like my mother.

Over the years, Mother’s fret gave way to worry. The worry eventually blossomed into full panic. By the time she was in her late forties, she was finding it difficult to hold her desperation in check, even though she knew she must — nothing sends a lover fleeing faster than the fetor of desperation.

Eventually, she found a much older man to marry. To my mind, he was a soft and ugly beast, but he was well-off and kind to her,  and she was grateful for him.

I did not want to become a woman who waited for men to choose her. I vowed to always be the one to chose. Even as I got older, I carried myself with confidence. I was an aging beauty but a beauty nonetheless. When I wanted to, I could still be quite charming. But I was selfish; I was vain; I was spoiled (as beautiful woman often are.)   I was perfectly willing to use anyone who could be helpful without a single thought to the consequences for them. I was very practiced at extracting what I wanted from others,  as quickly as possible, with as little emotional investment as possible.

I married three times. I had two children, both of whom met tragic ends, ravaged by the plague of a selfish, vain, spoiled mother. I can’t say I mourned very deeply at the time. We’d never been particularly close.

Few, if any, of my ex-lovers or husbands had much good to say about me. Once my spell on them was broken, all my ugliness became apparent. I made no effort to hide it. I didn’t try to be polite or kind. It mattered not what they thought of me; they were of no use to me any longer.

One evening, when I was in my late 70s, I came home from a gala, went to sleep and never woke up. Some acquaintances might have shed a polite tear or two, but there was nobody to truly mourn me. I’d only grazed the surface of the lives of others.

My mother had convinced me that my beauty was a key that would open doors for me. I understand now that it was not a key at all. It was the padlock. It kept me a prisoner of shallow intentions.

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

Cleaved

First published Feb 17, 2015

fetus in womb

Zoj

As a small child and well into adulthood, I felt a part of me was missing. It was as if my soul existed both within me and without me, and I had no agency over the part outside myself.

I could not explain this sensation in any way that would allow another human to understand. To others, I seemed strange. My feelings were often bizarrely congruent. For example, sometimes, when things were going badly, when I was hurt or deeply disappointed, when my heart was broken and by all rights I should be crying, I’d be filled with a strange sense of satisfaction or happiness.

The day my father died, I was weeping and mourning with my family, feeling all the pain any adult child might feel at the loss of a beloved parent. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and peace. I stopped crying and sat wordless, smiling beatifically. In an instant, I no longer felt like grieving.

By then, people were used to my strange moods.   They shook their heads and reminded each other in whispers that I’d always been odd.

Sometimes, too, in the middle of a happy time, when it seemed everything was going my way, I would be stricken by a sadness that sucked all the joy out of me. On my wedding day, I could not stop crying. I loved my husband.  He was the right man for me. I was thrilled to be marrying him. I had no doubts. And yet, I was filled with inexplicable sadness. They made no sense, not even to me.

Eventually, my husband and I moved to the city.   One day, a friend became angry at me because she said I had snubbed her in public. I had no such recollection. “You looked right at me, smiled back at me, and kept walking.”

Then it happened again. And again.

Sometime, strangers would approach me, greeting me familiarly, calling me by a different name. When I denied I was who they thought I was, most did not believe me. Some thought I was joking or playing a game. One or two became angry or insulted.

I began to seriously question my sanity. I was used to my unexpected emotions but I would never ignore my friends. I was not rude. I worried that the issues which had plagued me all my life were now progressing into a serious mental disorder. Was I losing touch with reality? Was I losing hours without knowing it? Was I losing my ability to recognize familiar people?

I did not share my fears with my husband so as not to worry him.

It went like that for perhaps a year.

Then, one day, I was in a café, reading a newspaper, having a my lunch. Out of the corner of my eye, I perceived what I believed, in that first tenth of a second, was my own reflection. In the next tenth of a second, I realized this was not so. We were not moving in tandem. We were not dressed alike.

I looked again, this time, more carefully. She hadn’t noticed me yet.

I could not stop myself from staring. Finally, I stood up and walked over to her table, and sat down in front of her.   She picked her face up from her book, first in annoyance at being disturbed, and then, her jaw dropped in incredulity.

We were not merely two people who looked similar. We were identical. Even to a mole on high on our right cheek.

We sat there for what felt like a long time, just staring at each other.   She too, had had a lifetime of disconsonant emotion. Her recent encounters with strangers and the upset of friends at having been snubbed had also made her question her sanity.

But now, the logic was beginning to dawn.

“Birthday?” I asked. Just one word. She immediately understood the importance.

It was the same as mine.

*****

When we were little more than a cluster of cells, we split in two. “I” became “we” inside our mother’s womb. There, we shared one soul. When our forms became more distinct, our soul also split in two. One soul, one set of DNA, two separate people.

We came into the world minutes apart, and clung to each other in our first hours. Others saw us as two, but we still felt as one.

Our mother was sick and poor and alone, not able to care for us. And so we were given away to those who could. No one would take us both. Those with the power over our lives decided it was best for us each  to have a loving home, rather than to remain together in an orphanage. Cleaved yet again, both from mother and each other.

We were too young to remember any of this. Even our adoptive parents did not know we were twins.

****

That was the first time in our lives we both felt whole and that our feelings made sense.

We each had places to go, obligations to keep. It was painful to take leave of each other but we arranged to meet later that evening, in the same cafe. We talked until the place closed down. We then went back to her apartment which was closer than mine. Her husband and son were already sleeping, but she insisted I peek into the boy’s room to see him. My nephew! Flesh and blood, twice in one day!

From that day on, we were as inseparable as two separate people can be. Our families became one. Our children played as cousins. Our husbands became as brothers.

We still felt each other’s feelings, but they were no longer a mystery.

We both lived to be quite old, and died within months of each other. And here we are, together, waiting to be born again. Perhaps as one, perhaps as two.

 

——————

Buy the book!

If you are enjoying this blog,  please click the link above to subscribe and receive posts via email (new posts every three days).  When you think of others who might enjoy it too,  it’s easy enough to help spread the word! Post your favorite stories to social media.   Email a particularly apt link to a friend.   Even better,  talk about the concepts with others (whether you agree or disagree. )
Also,  I have just started a discussion group on Facebook,  for conversations about any of the concepts/issues in the posts.  Honestly, these are things in here which I don’t fully understand myself.  I would love  get your thoughts on this…even if you think this is all a bunch of hooey!
-Adrienne

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