This Ain't My First Rodeo


“I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times.” – Goethe


Have you ever experienced a recurring dream of a place you’ve never been? Or perhaps you’ve met someone on the street and instantly felt a connection as if you’ve known them your entire life. Do you have an irrational fear of the ocean despite living in a landlocked city? Or maybe you have knowledge of a language or musical instrument that you never studied.


If you answered yes to any of the above, then you have experienced an awareness of one or more of your past lives. Everything in nature is reborn, including us.


I remember waking from a nightmare when I was younger. I woke screaming in fear and my mother ran into my room to see what was wrong. I told her through breathless sobbing that my father was dead. She tried to convince me that he was sleeping safely in the next room, but I was certain I just saw him die in a plane crash during a war. “It was just a dream,” she consoled me. So I let the idea pass and forgot about the vision over time.


I remember another time when my brother called me inviting me to join him and some cousins on a sailboat. I said yes because I wanted to take part in the family activity, but I did not want to go. A few minutes later, I rang him back to say I could not join them. When he asked why not, I responded that I just vomited in my apartment merely thinking about standing near a dock. I’ve been afraid of small boats, large ships, and even the deep end of the pool for my entire life. I always jokingly explained it must be because I drowned in a shipwreck in a past life, but now I know the truth.


Our unexplained fears can sometimes reveal past traumas that our souls can’t forget. My father to this day is afraid of flying, even though he became an airplane mechanic. Perhaps that’s why he chose to fix planes for a living in this life, because he died while piloting a plane in the Second World War, just before he was reincarnated into this life. And my fear of ships? Well, it turns out my spirit does remember multiple shipwrecks.


I made an appointment to see a past life regression therapist after I read the book ‘Miracles Happen’ by Dr Brian Weiss. The doctor who hypnotized me during the session had studied under Dr Weiss. I was curious to discover my soul’s journey over time, and to embrace the healing power of past life memories which I hoped might explain specific fears, recurring dreams, and repetitive habits or limiting beliefs.


Under hypnosis with the therapist, and additional meditations since, I discovered multiple journeys my soul has taken throughout time. I saw myself in many incarnations from Egypt and Mongolia, to Austria and Italy, and eventually England and New York. I witnessed wedding days and wars, my multiple children and family members over time, and I also saw some of my many deaths. And yes, my fear of ships is rational, because I learned that my family has died numerous times sinking into the depths of the dark ocean, from the channel crossing between France and England, to the famous Lusitania (which I survived as a three year old boy, becoming orphaned when my parents died).


What is the point of discovering this information? Well, I’ve learned that we have the choice to come back again and again to get better at this game of life. I’m referring to becoming a better human being, learning from past mistakes, and working on soul mate relationships with family members and partners. Apparently it takes thousands of years to learn these lessons about love, compassion and forgiveness.


So why don’t we know this information coming into the game of life? Well, I’ve also learned that we sort of do remember when we are toddlers. I have a cousin who said that one day she was scolding her granddaughter, a toddler, for doing something wrong. The child responded, “Don’t yell at me, I was your grandmother in my last life.” There are numerous reports of children talking about their past lives and the knowledge they have of occupations and other countries they haven’t experienced in this life. But they usually forget these past life memories by the time they begin school.


If we remembered who we were and why we are here this time around, we may not get back on the horse. I know this ain’t my first rodeo, and I’m grateful for the chance to ride again and put on a good show. I’m still afraid of ships, and my dad is still afraid of flying, but we won’t let fear hold us back from living and learning and loving this time around. We know that we chose to be here now, and we are trying to make a difference. That’s our purpose, all of us, to make a difference and lift the human race up to an elevated place where we are one with nature, where we stop fighting each other in meaningless wars, where we ride off into the sunset filled with bliss and love for each other, and most importantly, for ourselves, because learning to love oneself is the hardest lesson of all. Once we love ourselves, we can’t help but love everyone else. And when we release fear, there's nothing we can't do.


As Goethe said, I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before. And each time, I’m getting better at it.


(Photo: Richard J. Velasco)