Are you a believer?

I think I found myself. This seemingly unimportant book by Genevieve & Stephen Paulson is called “Reincarnation: Remembering Past Lives.”

It tells you to “break free from your past,” and honestly, that’s something I’ve been trying to do in this lifetime. I tell people I’m a motherless child. I tell them (well, would if anyone asked) that I don’t really know myself, because I’ve been an actress all my life and only feel normal when I’m acting. I would also probably mention that I haven’t really felt loved since my father died.

If they know me or remember working with me in Beloit, they’d probably don’t hold much regard for me. I have this tendency of biting off more than I can swallow, most of the time. I just quit my volunteer treasurer job with the Dems and believe me, I didn’t want to. I wanted them to understand that I needed support at a crucial time. I left the Kwik Trip good-paying job for this position. Long story. I didn’t belong at Kwik Trip, either, and kept looking for a reason to leave, even though I enjoyed it. Finally they decided I didn’t want to work there because I left early to go to that Dems meeting, after agreeing to fill in for someone on the condition I could leave early for that meeting.

That’s basically been a pattern my whole life. I keep taking on things that are far over my head. Oh, not that I can’t do treasurer work. I can. And I did. But I walked in off the street, thinking I might be their secretary; but that job was filled and they needed a treasurer. They didn’t know me. They didn’t try to get to know me. They all knew each other — you think they’d … ? Anyway, it’s just the most recent in a long line of what the hell was I thinking!?

Another is this Copper Artifact Master Database (CAMD). I have good intentions. But there is no way that I can validate what I’m doing. Sure, I have museum help and archaeologists who believe in what I’m doing, but in the long run, I spent over a decade of my life, and what do I have? I’m not an archaeologist. I have theories that are meaningless to the people I’m trying to reach.

And on and on. I took a crazy security analyst job at Humana Insurance and I had no idea what I was doing. I went for a master’s degree in history and should have taken public history but found out too late what it was.  I ran a copper museum but all I did was antagonize people. It was in a small town and the locals loved one exhibit I created. Then the state archaeologist and his professor buddy told me to take it down. That professor buddy? He was giving a lecture once that I attended and someone asked him — knowing about my work with the CAMD and that I was there — didn’t he think it was a great idea? He says sure, if the right person was doing it. Could I stand up for myself at that moment? No!

Anyway, what did that book say that I thought sounded like me? Well, first they’re talking about how time and space are not linear, how we have to think of it more like a holographic universe, where after death we can move in any direction anywhere “with no boundaries for time and space, past, present and future all seem suspended in a holographic soup.”

Here’s what hit me and might hit some of you:

“If we get deeply into some growth or study, we may pull, through some resonance of similar vibrations, a future life that would not normally be available until its scheduled later time. When this happens, a person usually feels that she can’t quite learn or fulfill all desires. It’s as though she is short of some experiences or knowledge that would make this life easier and more profitable in growth and accomplishment. It doesn’t mean that the person won’t achieve much, it just means she has to work harder. It’s as though a fourth grader were suddenly thrust into the ninth grade.”

I read that on the night of my big break down trying to file a report as treasurer, a break down because I felt I was not being supported by the board and especially the former treasurer the way that I needed. A break down because I came to believe they wanted me to fail. Well, isn’t that how a fourth grader would feel when thrust into ninth grade?” And yes, I’ve always felt I had to work twice as hard to get anywhere at all.

David Dortort, at our first meeting, scolded me because I was shopping a Bonanza script around, though I made him well aware of it the whole time. He said, “Do you always do things the hard way?” My response was, “Well, what’s the easy way? No one’s ever told me.”

Okay, I agree, some of what they wrote sounds a little dorky. I don’t really believe our future lives are scheduled in advance. Our next life depends on what we do in this one. But what if, somehow, I jumped a few lifetimes and did land in the wrong one? I have, for a long time, believed that I didn’t get into the right life this time.

I believe that explains the tantrums I threw when I was two. You know how the really young are more in-tuned with that sort of thing, how those past-life memories and between-life memories get lost as we gain consciousness, which happens fully around age 7. Before that, we tend to live in other worlds.

Anyway, that’s not the only thing. I read that there’s also a reverse life process and read that to Joe, my atheist husband, wondering if he could relate, and when I was done reading the following, he said he could:

“If a person lives a life that was normally scheduled in the past and was skipped, the person may feel bored and held back. He may feel left out and that there is much more to his abilities than he can readily tap into. It’s as though in this case the ninth grader is thrust into fourth grade.”

To be honest, I’m the one who held him back. Because I said I wouldn’t marry a farmer. And his father is to blame, because it was his farm Joe wanted, but his dad wanted me for him. But that explanation, the opposite of mine, resonated with him. It’s like the two of us switched grades. He jumped back to fourth grade and I leaped ahead to ninth because he took my chair. It’s no wonder we have trouble relating to each other. We vibrate at different levels.

You see, no matter how you twist the reincarnation idea, there is something to it. We all have our guesses as to how it works, but honestly, the way they described the life I’m living just feels right.  My reincarnation belief is that we do have to conquer what we’re given in this life, and it doesn’t matter if all I’m given are challenges that I shouldn’t accept, challenges I don’t have the emotional fortitude to meet. My challenge is to learn when to back away and not get involved to start with. But hey, I’m nearing 70, so I think my other lesson is now simply to sit back and just accept that effort does not equal success. And flow with the river rather than paddle against it.

I’m starting my new volunteer job with the Red Cross next month. I’ll be a receptionist again, a job that’s always been easy for me. And I’ll continue to work two days a month at JPAC. Because, you know, free theater. And everyone else in Rock County can just go on regretting they ever met me at all.






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