by Mary Lee LaBay, M.S., C.I.
There is an assumption that we all choose our next incarnation. Another assumption is that we always choose, or have assistance in choosing, the best possible family and environment for the positive forward progression of our soul.
In working with clients over the past 18 or so years both in past life regression and in life between life sessions, I have found that the methods used in choosing an incarnation as well as the suitability of that choice varies between individuals. Our state of being in the physical is closely reflective of the state of being in the astral. While we may gain some breadth of awareness and perspective, we do not become omniscient upon death. The way that a person makes decisions during their lifetime will be similar to how they make decisions between lifetimes.
If choices are turned over to another during the lifetime, the person is likely to rely on spirit guides and other entities to make decisions for them regarding their next incarnation. This idea leads to the question of how that person then chooses who they will trust with such an important decision.
In a case involving a woman who was sexually abused by her father, and others, during this lifetime, she remembers her “descent” into the birth of this incarnation.
“The scene opens into deep, dark space. There is no landing. No starts. It’s two thirds open now. I’m not sure of going out there. It is a soft nothingness that would feel good on my skin. I wouldn’t have to do anything. It’s the ultimate hibernation. I want to let go. I let go. There is nothing, but I’m caught by an invisible puffiness. I’m not falling into oblivion. I wonder, ‘did my subconscious set up the support?’ I’m passed from one place to another, bouncing gently. I lie down.”
“A being comes, as though through cellophane. His face and hands come out through this membrane. Now I feel like I am being held in the branches of a tree. It’s a solid tree, with firm branches, but I’m afraid they will break. It appears that a stork comes. There is a rattle shaped like a plastic safety pin. The stork is wearing a captain’s hat. Am I a baby now?”
“I am feeling a tugging at my pelvis. I’m being rocked by my limbs, which are preparing me to be born. It seems someone is saying that I’ve rested enough: ‘It’s time for her to get ready.’ Huh? I feel like I’m coming out of a sleep.”
“I start to sit up. I say, ‘Where do you want me to go?’ I resist what they are telling me. It’s not easy. They are being soft with me. I start to panic and get rigid. I now seem to look like myself as an adult, with this body and face.”
“There is a pulse of light and energy through the tree. It’s getting me going. I’m being nudged away. It’s hard; I’m really resistant. They want me to go away. They tell me, ‘Sorry, it’s time.’ I’m baffled. What? Why? I notice a long tunnel. I’m being shown where I will be going. Oh, no, this does not bode well. I notice a striping, then stars. There is a light at the end. I notice fuzzy white or gray. I’m resisting so much; my body doesn’t want this to be happening. There is a fuzzy light, and it comes toward me. Now I am sitting in a cloud. I’m still attached to the previous place. Someone reaches out from the clouds. They give me something to come into. I don’t know what this is. Anyway, I let go of the tunnel.”
“It’s dark now. I’m in the clouds floating, in an angel outfit. Someone points at the tunnel, reminding me I can’t go back home. This is not good news for this body. I hear a message: ‘You are going to go through a lot of paralyzing, overriding emotions. You’ll forget who you are many times over. There will be glimmers that will seem like a speck. You will feel separate, abandoned, and lost. You will go in through your mother and not remember.’ I’m thinking, ‘My father is crazy.’ My mother is reaching out to me. I can’t believe I am being born to these extremely toxic people.”
My client continues in great detail about her experiences, identifying her “spirit helpers” as evil conspirators who were aiding her dysfunctional father at her expense. While she did not actively choose these spirits to help her make a decision about her next incarnation, her desire to sleep and be comforted rather than to be vigilant and proactive allowed others to force her path.
Alternatively, a person may have excellent guidance. The following is an excerpt from a session that involved numerous past lives and memories between lives. Here she comes to where she is choosing her present incarnation:
“We talk about whether I want to be a woman or a man next time. It depends. Being a female can sometimes be so much harder. Maybe I’ll take a break and have a male body. The experience is so rich in the way that love is experienced and the way you feel in community. It feels richer, fuller, and emotionally broader. My guide opens a book. He is showing me stories, like fairy tales. It’s an imaginary place in another dimension. I think he is showing me places I can go. It’s like a travel brochure. If I want, I can be in this story, this place.”
“You can do so much in the spirit world, create so many things. It’s not the same as the earth experience, but you can learn a lot about yourself through the roles. Not all stories are so much fun. We explore different kinds of scenarios and roles; we see different perspectives, multi-dimensional. It is a good way to develop a sense of empathy.”
I ask my client to move to the point when she chooses this particular body.
“I am excited about this one. I get to be the youngest child. I have to pay attention to the type of body that I choose. The circuitry will be important. Each body is different. One of the reasons I chose this body is that it has the capability for powerful projection and imagination, extreme sensitivity to the energies around it and of other people. It is able to relax, although there are times when it has difficulty with that. There are more reasons why this body is suitable. Sensitivity is one reason. I can use that to communicate inner dimensions to people. It makes life harder though, to be so sensitive; one gets distracted and overwhelmed. There were other bodies I could have chosen but none had this sensitivity. If I’m in an intimidating body I can’t help people to recognize what’s deep down inside them.”
It is obvious that this client made a beneficial decision based on rationality and helpful guides. In other cases it has been demonstrated that you may think you are choosing a good situation and then it goes sour. It might simply be a mistake, but in some cases there may be more to it. When you are between lives, considering your next family, it is possible that you have chosen to come into a lifetime that you know will involve violence.
This decision can be based on the need to fulfill a purpose, not a simple desire to experience violence. The soul may be trying, perhaps unsuccessfully, to teach the power of love over violence. Or the soul may choose to be in a difficult situation to teach a parent the consequences of violence, consequences which may include incarceration, regret, and other karmic repercussions.
A client with a difficult family life wanted to understand why she made the choice to be part of that family. During a between life session, she learned that she loved both her parents deeply and wanted them to learn about love. She knew they were not getting along very well, and she had high hopes that when she was born the parents would focus on their love for her and thus overcome their own dysfunctional relationship. Unfortunately, the plan backfired. The birth of the baby brought on much deeper problems between them, and their anger and abuse was taken out on the baby girl. Having this information didn’t make the client’s life experiences any less damaging for her, but the knowledge allowed her to view her choice as a heroic act of love and purpose. While previously she had thought she was being punished for being an evil soul, she now rested in the thought that she had chosen out of her altruistic nature.
In other cases, the child may choose a difficult situation to teach himself the effects of pain and provide himself the opportunity to learn compassion, strength, independence, nonviolence, or fairness.
Occasionally a dysfunctional spirit will incarnate, coming into a difficult situation with the express purpose of reinforcing negative behaviors, and thus giving itself justification for future violent behavior. Although this may seem extraordinary to the average person, sadly, it is true.
Dysfunctional spirits may include souls who incarnated and became serial killers or warmongers. For example, imagine what the future lifetimes of Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, or Saddam Hussein would be like, if they were not truly rehabilitated before death.
There are few case studies to substantiate the concept of the reincarnation of such a level of dysfunctional spirits because most people who are interested in past life regression are also interested in spiritual growth. Those souls who choose to justify their violence would have a hard time facing the information they would discover during a regression session. If a person like this does agree to go through such therapy, he is likely well on his way to making positive changes in his consciousnesses.
Sometimes a spirit is not as concerned about her birth family. Instead, her focus is on having specific opportunities or lessons for the growth of her soul. In this case, the goal is to accomplish a purpose rather than to be with specific people.
In the next case, my client is a male Caucasian artist and musician. At the time of the session, he was not practicing either. He was adhering to a corporate job, frustrated and drinking a bit too much. In our session, we discovered a past life that had presented a desired course of action for this lifetime.
In the previous lifetime he had been an African American jazz musician. He had been in a traffic accident in his late 30s. He was badly hurt and had subsequent vision problems. He was able to continue playing music until May 14, 1952, when he was in another car accident and died in a hospital near Chicago. Notice the detail that my client was able to retrieve! Information does not always come through so clearly in a session. My client proceeded to describe the death experience this way:
“I look down at my body. I see the room better than ever. It’s so beautiful. There is color everywhere. When I see my body, I see a black man in his 40s, slightly graying and a little overweight. I notice broken limbs and a beat-up body. There are flowers everywhere. But no one is there. I’m floating away. It’s okay.”
He claimed that his lessons in that lifetime were about expression, tolerance, modesty, and having fun. He had been able to help people through his music. I asked him to move ahead to the period just prior to his birth, to access information about how he chose his current lifetime. He said that on his deathbed in the previous lifetime he had imprinted the message to “remember what I know.” He heard the words “Let it flow. Let it go.” He understood that he needed to “do what I could and make it good,” to be careful with his body, and always to “find that note.” He was to remember to do it his own way, even though he might learn from others.
When I asked my client to assess the intention of the person he was in his previous life, he remarked, “The old man would be happy if he could come back as a white person with great vision. He had a joke. He’d say, ‘I think I’m going to be an artist.’ He wanted to make paintings because he had never been able to see. He would construct beautiful scenes in his mind. He wanted a vacation or break. He wanted to go to Hawaii or California after this. I’m not supposed to forget him. He had terrible grief around being left behind when he could no longer perform. All the others who had been in the accident were fine, but he never played again. They were going on without him, and he was sad.”
It is interesting to note that due to a present life car accident, my client had an injury on the left hand which matched the past life injury. In our session I used additional healing techniques to alter the present life pain in that hand. Afterward my client began to actively pursue a career as a professional musician.
As an individual, you may have many different levels of purpose and a multitude of reasons for your choices. When you, as a reincarnating soul, make the decision to come into a certain life based on a desire to accomplish a specific life goal, you choose a situation, possibly a challenging one, which will promote your spiritual growth.
Such a decision can grant you an existence that is ultimately more enjoyable and valuable, and can promote the expansion of your consciousness. It is true that when we live with our shortcomings and failures we live in a sort of hell, whereas when we courageously face the difficult challenges in our lives, we have the opportunity to create heaven.
In addressing the issue of choosing that family and environment for an incarnation, for yourself or for your clients, it is truly beneficial to explore the decision-making processes that are utilized. Do you, or your clients, make decisions by default, by habit or tradition, by turning it over to others, by analysis paralysis, by rebellion or vindication, or by following addictions? Or, is your style based on reason, knowledge, balanced perspectives, and a sound relationship with reality? It is worth the effort to explore this subject carefully and to make necessary corrections before you are faced with choosing your next incarnation.