I wanted to start the New Year with an inspiring topic. Nothing came to mind until I offered my daughter an impromptu trip to Chicago just before the holidays. Her new boyfriend, KEV and his family were permanently leaving Canada for the U.S. A week before Christmas their house was packed up and the moving truck ready to go. Each member of KEV’s family was divided all over the Montreal area staying with family and friends; waiting for the 22nd so they could all drive down to Chicago together. KEV stayed at our house for a little over a week. A few days before his departure both KT and KEV were overly emotional and obviously upset with the idea of saying goodbye. They were undeniably ready and committed to a long distance relationship but they weren’t ready to be apart yet. It was clear to everyone that this was love at first sight; but what was sad was that as soon as they found each other they had to also say goodbye.
It was interesting to watch both KEV and KT try to pack in a few weeks as much information about themselves as two people would share over a few months. They talked about childhood memories; took out old photo albums; and spend evenings asking each other questions about future plans, religious beliefs and personal life principles. They didn’t hide from anyone. We were included even in their seeking and probing. I had the feeling that they had known each other forever even though they had just met.
KEV told us during supper one evening that two older siblings and his parents experienced long distance relationships before getting engaged and married. He chuckled when he mentioned that everyone thought he would be the one to break this tradition. Since he didn’t have a girlfriend for almost a year nobody imagined he would ever meet someone before moving away to the states. Both KEV and KT were surprised by how things turned out for them.
KT was coming out of a difficult relationship where the break up occurred over the course of a few months only because they didn’t know how to tell each other that “they weren’t meant for one another.” Both DD and KT admired each other. Basically they were two good hearted individuals with similar views of the future but completely different cultural and religious backgrounds. They often disagreed about how to manifest their common goals. In the end, they both knew that they needed to say goodbye but it seemed so hard to do it.
What was strange is that suddenly one day out of the blue KT decided she had to end the relationship and literally not look back. A few days later she met KEV. At first she said: “I can’t consider him at all because he’s leaving.” Fortunately, KEV had been brutally honest about what was going on in his life. Ironically both agreed that they would simply hang out as friends for the few weeks that remained. They both admit that they are the kind of people who need things clear and without drama. I think they surprised each other when their clear, practical intentions tricked them and they were staring at the most unexplainable and mysterious phenomenon: Love at first sight!
Two nights before KEV was leaving for Chicago and leaving KT behind in Montreal, I decided to sit down with them and ask them a few questions of my own. There was no doubt that they were struggling with the long distance relationship concept and feeling like they hadn’t had enough time to bond. KT knew without a shred of a doubt that what was going on was connected to fate and to old ancestral memories. A part of her hesitated at first to utter the words reincarnation. At first, she explained to KEV that although it’s common knowledge that people in Buddhism and Hinduism believe in reincarnation as well as ancient Greeks and Egyptians, not too many people know that traditionally, Australian Aboriginals and First Nation People of North and South America believe in ancestral stories as well. KEV just stared at KT wondering where she was going with this. I had to be the one to cut the story short and get to the point.
“She’s telling you,” I said “that you and her have been together before.”
KT cringed with her eyes closed expecting some resistance from KEV; but he didn’t think it was far fetched at all. He stayed silent for a second or two before stating as a matter of fact: “I have no doubt.” KT gave him the happiest smile in the World.
Bridging this topic was actually quite helpful and confirming. Both of them had been sitting on synchronicities, vivid dreams and memories that they were scared to share just in case it could be a “deal breaker” when it came to committing to a long distance relationship. I couldn’t help but giggle at some of their concerns and inner ponderings. I had forgotten how it felt to be that young and unsure about others and the future. I found it fascinating that they both intuitively knew that they were connected to each other from a distant past; were able to recognize present synchronicities that supported this idea; but still felt insecure towards sharing it all --- just in case!! I think it takes time and experience to believe in this kind of phenomenon and to reach a point where there’s no longer any doubt.
After listening to them talk as if they were sharing a pre-marital wampum I had no choice but to offer them the possibility of spending yet another three weeks together. KEV started pacing the floor as if he was a bull seeing red. He turned around and looked at KT uttering the words: “K you better make the right decision.” We all burst out laughing and she seemed pleased with his comment and his reaction. I don’t think she was considering anything else but going with him, still she needed some indication that him and his family wanted her there. It was just beautiful to watch the past knit itself back together in the present through everyone’s actions. I was moved when KEV and KT approached me before their departure to thank me for being the best initiator ever.
When we talk about past lives we always make it somewhat complicated or tragic. In my experience it doesn’t have to be anything else but an extension of what we are already living. I’ve talked about how in indigenous circle we believe that the soul is made of three different parts: The moons (ego), the totems, and the ancestors. Basically the soul experience is not something that is individualistic or singular but something that is circular and collective. In other words, when we speak of our personal Medicine Wheel, we are talking about caring for an inner community of moons (inner children or ego development); totems (inter-relations or kin with all that exists around us) and ancestors (DNA connections and memories showing the finite and infinite dimensions of who we are). The SOUL is US as in the plural sense or collective sense in and out of ourselves. It definitely draws a different picture of what it means to be ONE.
The idea behind reincarnation is that the soul survives the death of our physical body and moves to a new life and a new body. There are traditional ceremonies; which are done to help the soul journey back to the after life like there are traditional ceremonies that call the soul back into a new body. A friend of mine called the soul of her grand-mother back into the body of her unborn daughter. It was quite beautiful to witness. After her daughter was born it was uncanny to see old mannerisms surface in the body of an infant and child.
The same occurred with my son who is the reincarnation of my grand-father. I was impressed when my son started having vivid and lucid memories of my grand-father’s life. It wasn’t only about repeating mannerisms it was also about remembering particular events, people and personal goals. CT even remembered pictures of my grandfather that he had never seen before; but that I had grown up with. I expected many of the ancestral memories to disappear by the time he reached young adulthood but for CT it never did. Actually it’s common for children between the age of one and three years old to remember their ancestral past. They have a stronger grasp on the soul and its memories at that age. By the time they reach eight years old they have already forgotten most of it. It’s as if the soul has created a shell over itself and is looking towards the future instead. There’s actually a science or logic behind how it works.
In our home we speak openly about reincarnation and it’s not an esoteric, spiritual or New Age concept. It’s a fact. We have too many stories and experiences proving that it’s true. When people actually debate the topic we find it somewhat strange especially when we’re regularly called upon to help in ceremonies of rebirth. I remember helping a woman pass over several years ago. She was Mic Mac and believed in the traditional ways. She constantly told her family that she didn’t want to be reincarnated. She wanted some time off she said. What I found amazing about this story was how everyone agreed to abide by her wishes. Her family and friends decided that her name would not be given to any newborn children and that they would only speak of her and her story to the great-grand-children. These kinds of promises are taken seriously and obeyed by traditionalists. So if someone ever asks the question why is grand-ma suddenly talking about her grand-ma to the kids – then, you’ll know why. It’s certainly not because of senility or loneliness.
It’s unfortunate to watch so many traditional beliefs disappear just because people stop witnessing, asking questions, and listening to the elders rather than giving absurd excuses or reasons to explain their ways.
It’s never just a dream.