A Gay Man’s Past Life
Harry wanted to explore his past lives. “I understand the physical body is just temporary,” he emphasized to me on the phone. He was a counsellor himself, but he told me that he was at a juncture in his career and his personal lives. There were going to be a lot of changes, including moving to Montreal and taking a PhD program. So he thought now was a good time to contextualize his past experiences with the present and future.
During the first session, Harry went to a life as a commander during the Great War. After the war, the commander went back to his hometown, worked, raised a family, and lived to an old age. It was an exceptional beginning to what turned into a normal and traditional life. Harry couldn’t quite believe it himself, remarking, “I’m surprised that I had such a conventional life in the past.”
That was when Harry shared more of his current “unconventional life” with me: broken family, reconstructed and broken again, moving and relocating all the time, being a Pakistani born in Europe and now living in Canada, and him being gay.
“I was born gay. I remember when I was 6 and my family was talking about me marrying and having family in the future. I felt very distressed, and I told my grandma that I didn’t want to marry a woman… My grandma was so traumatized that she blocked that memory. Thankfully my brother was there, and he remembered the incident.”
Harry came back for his second session and again, we decided to leave the exploration open. Since Harry was a counsellor, I felt his inner mind would be very rich and full. And now that he was ready, his inner mind would know how to guide us for the journey, to the exact life we needed to see this day.
We went to a life in rural Ukraine back in 1878. Harry found himself as a woman on a large farm. Her name was Clara. She lived with her husband and three young children. About 15 other families worked for them on the farm. Winter was long and cold. It was Clara’s favourite time of year. There was not much to do on the farm, the two younger children stayed in school, so she had a lot of time to read, which she loved. Her husband Samuel liked smoking pipes and going to all sorts of musical concerts. They both played the piano themselves.
Life was peaceful and content. Clara helped with budgeting and other affairs in the business. Samuel admired his wife’s assertiveness. Clara was honest, direct, and she didn’t hold anything back. At times when they needed to speak to a poorly performing farmer, she was the one who spoke. On the other hand, Clara admired Samuel’s openness to things and his adventurous spirit.
Clara liked to get together at times with her friends when they would play cards and drink a very dark tea, with a little bit of sugar, which they poured from a colourfully painted porcelain teapot. I asked Clara what they called their tea. “I don’t know the name of it but I am going to call it ‘chay’.” I could see that underneath this Clara woman who was speaking to me, Harry was doubtful. But I did some research after the session and learned that in Ukraine, tea is called “chay”.
Clara and Samuel’s oldest son Ivan got married when he turned 22. Following the wedding, he moved to Moscow to become a doctor. Clara felt very proud of him although she was saddened for him to be moving so far away. Years later he had become a busy surgeon in Moscow and Clara and Samuel went to visit him. The big city became too overwhelming for Clara after a while although Samuel fully enjoyed the trip.
Their daughter was their youngest child. She didn’t care about school and studies and she dropped out at 15. She liked to spend time in the kitchen helping her mother. Three years after quitting school, as was expected of her, she found herself a husband in the neighbourhood and became a housewife just like Clara.
It was their second son Nicolas though, who gave Clara a “headache”. He was less focused on his future, didn’t do very well at his studies, and worst of all, he said he didn’t want to get married. According to Clara, he didn’t seem to know what he wanted to do. “He’s just drifting along. And I am not proud of him. He is not committed to having a family. I hope he will at some time.”
I took Clara forward in time to see what became of Nicolas. “He is a teacher now, teaching literature at the college where he eventually studied.”
“So are you proud of him now?”
“No,” Clara sighs, “I’m still disappointed at him.”
“The reason is…?”
“Because he doesn’t want to start a family.”
“How old is he now?”
“In his 30’s.” There was irritation in Clara’s voice.
“You sound very irritated Clara. What does the irritation say to you?”
“It’s the next step to take, isn’t it? To get married and have children!”
“What does Nicolas say about it?”
“He says he’s not interested?” I noticed Clara used a rising tone.
“Not interested in growing a family? Or not interested in girls?”
“I’ve never seen him like a girl.”
“Maybe he is interested in… a … man?” I felt a little adventurous myself.
“No!” Clara raised the voice.
“That wouldn’t be acceptable, would it?” I tried to empathize, meanwhile felt intrigued as I was working with the gay man Harry.
Clara chuckled as if it was the funniest joke.
“Have you asked him if he likes girls?”
“I have. He says yes, sure, but I’ve never seen him like a girl.”
“He doesn’t live as far away as Moscow. So do you see him more often than Ivan?”
“I don’t see him very often. I ask him to come home. He doesn’t like to, because he says every time I ask him the same thing, and he doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“Do you go visiting him?”
“I wouldn’t mind visiting him, but he doesn’t want me to.”
“What’s Samuel’s attitude towards all this?”
“Samuel asked me to stay out of our son’s business. He is not taking my side. He’s not stepping up. But I can’t stay out of Nick’s business, because I feel I have a right to tell him what he should be doing.” Clara clearly enunciated each word following the word “right”.
“That sounds like what Samuel admires about you—speaking up, never holding anything back.”
“But Samuel is not taking this seriously. It’s the first time we have a conflict. He should take my side.”
Clara seemed irritated by her son Nicolas in all aspects: He was not “focused”, even though Nicolas told her he was doing what he always wanted to do. “Teaching literature?” Clara sniffed, “Anyone can do that. It’s not a big deal.”
The difficult relationship with Nicolas continued, and Clara didn’t want to give up trying to change her son’s life.
“The way he lives his life sounds very unusual to you, doesn’t it?” I asked, still trying to direct the dialogue to the cause of Nicolas being Nicolas.
“It is very unusual. And I don’t like that people talk about it, like we did something wrong.”
“Has it ever crossed your mind that he is actually interested in… men?” I felt like trying again, knowing the gay background of Harry.
“NO!” Clara is almost shocked. The words unspoken were: What a strange question!
I shifted the questions to her daughter. It seemed the two women in the family had a very close relationship. Clara tried to use her daughter to talk with Nicolas, and Nicolas asked her to go away. He was more open towards his father and brother, both of whom had advised Clara to stay out of Nicolas’ business.
“I’m disappointed. I was hoping Ivan could do something, because he’s a doctor.”
“When you grow older, do you start to think less about Nicolas?”
“No, it’s getting worse. I think more about him. He is the only disappointment in my life. He has wasted his life.”
“Do you see him at all?”
“Not really. I know his father goes to visit him, but I don’t want to go. And he doesn’t come home anymore. He writes to me every month, the same old thing every month. I occasionally reply to him just to thank him.”
This limited interaction lasted until Clara was in her late 60’s. After Samuel died, Nicolas decided to take a long leave from his job and moved home to be with his mother. By then, Nicolas was too old for Clara to be bothered about him getting married. So aging eventually helped Clara reconcile to his unwed status.
“Now it seems to me this is a nice thing.” I commented, “Because Nicolas is not married, he doesn’t have a family and kids, he is free to move in with you at this time.”
“Yes, it is.” Clara admitted and sighed. She still cared about what others thought about her son, but she felt there was nothing she could do. She had learned to accept that he wasn’t getting married. “Nicolas asked me to stop bringing up that topic.”
“Does he ever say why he doesn’t want a marriage?”
“He says he doesn’t need a girl. He says that I’ll never understand him.”
“When he says things like that, do you know what he means?”
“No. And I don’t want to know.”
“He doesn’t need a girl. Does he mean…?”
“No. I don’t care to know.” Clara cut me off before I brought that “ridiculous” idea up again.
Nicolas lived with Clara for one year before she was stricken with cancer and died. On her deathbed, all three children and their two families were there. After the death transition, I asked Clara what lessons she had learned living that life. As I have observed again and again in past life regressions, the lips of the person in front of me started to speak words of wisdom—in regard to Nicolas, “I’m responsible for my own mistakes. Nicolas is perfectly okay the way he is. “
“So what exactly is the way Nicolas is?” I ask the spirit of Clara.
“He is in love with a man!” The answer was given in a surprising but light-hearted way. A moment of clarity. Clara also told me that this was not openly discussed with his father and brother, yet they knew it and in their own way, they accepted it.
At the end of the session, Harry opened his eyes. I asked him if he was surprised that he once was this conventional homophobic woman, while this life he’s living in almost everything but conventional. He was utterly surprised by what came up from the recesses of his inner mind. Even though he is living in Canada, a country with a more open attitude towards same-sex love, he was from Asia and had tremendous difficulty with his own family growing up. Karma? Maybe. Or perhaps it was just his soul wanting to have different perspectives.