Do You Believe?

No secret, I have a cluster of phobic behaviors I’ve tried very hard to overcome by just about every means out there. Some of my self-help methods will be familiar to anyone who has ever been in any kind of pain, physical or mental:

As a young girl: my journal and Jesus

In my teens: cigarettes and marajuana

In my 20s and 30s: cigarettes and wine (except when pregnant) also church

In my 40s and 50s: prescription medications and self-help

I’m 60 now and realize that although I’ve done a lot of work, drinking wine has probably had the most calming effect, although it is inconvenient to drink in the morning before boarding a flight to visit the grandkids. Self-help got me further. I can get on a plane and cross a bridge without freaking or popping a Xanax, but I’m still not ready to fly in a hot air balloon.

And I absolutely dread closed in spaces. The scariest film I’ve ever watched is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about locked-in syndrome, a condition where you are alive but trapped in your body and everyone, including doctors, think you are a vegetable incapable of thought yet your mind is screaming “LET ME OUT.”

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is based on a real-life experience and book by a French man who was able to break through the wall. It’s a triumphant and beautiful story but it terrifies me more than a Stephen King novel.

Several years ago I read a self-help book called The Instruction that posited our phobias are all past life shadows clinging to the present. This is because the soul gets confused about intense (usually traumatic death) experiences and will take on a past life phobia or three without realizing the past life is over. I thought this was interesting but wasn’t sure about reincarnation, even though, through the years, much of my self-help work has had a decidedly Buddhist influence.

So reincarnation. More people in the world are Buddhist than Christian. More people in the world believe in reincarnation than the resurrection. Surprised? I was when I found that out in all the literature that came pouring forth after 9/11 when we had such fear and loathing in this country around Muslims.


I made note of this fact, and that the psychic who wrote the book, Ainslie Macleod, was available for consultations where he could read your past life, then interpret the phobias in this life through past-life experiences. I thought about booking a session for a long time as I went along my journey toward healing these fears.

Eight years after first reading The Instruction, I joined a private group of like-minded seekers, led by Ainslie, as we talked about reincarnation, past life influences on current life, and the workings of the soul. After spending time with these old souls, I got comfortable with the idea of reincarnation. I wasn’t sold, but I wanted to give Ainslie a shot at helping me eradicate my phobias, all of them, even the road to Hana, for good.

When Ainslie told me my past life, and how I died, I immediately saw the connections to both my life this time (which he knew nothing about) and the phobias that followed me. I felt the truth of it down to my soul. I believed as surely as I’d once believed in the virgin birth. (My evolution from “religious” to “spiritual” happened as a direct result of all that self-help.)

And I have to ask myself is believing in the teaching of the faith I was born into (Christian, Roman Catholic to be exact) any crazier than believing the soul lives many lifetimes? No. I think they are equally absurd so therefore equally possible. Time will tell if my past life revelations will heal me in this life, but I can say that they affected me profoundly, to the point where I am committed to getting off a drug I’ve used for more than thirty years that is known to cause cognitive decline in aging people. Which would be me. I need all the cognition I can get.

So, without this panic button in pill form, how will I cope? I have a feeling I will do just fine, although I’m not reserving a seat on a hot air balloon any time soon.


  1. Very interesting post, Cynthia. Although fascinated by the idea of reincarnation, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to explore it myself! But I too have been gradually moving from religious to spiritual.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not a religious person, not in the praying/church type religion, but I do believe that anything you feel comfortable with is fine, no matter what it is. Life is too short to be worrying about what is right or wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The older your soul, the less likely you are to be religious, according to Ainslie. Old souls tend to find their own way of expressing spirit. I can tell you and Anita are old soul, Jaye. Not to be confused with “old” in age but someone who is wise through experience. That’s an old soul.


  3. The interesting thing about Christianity and reincarnation Cynthia is that reincarnation is mentioned in the New Testament. The disciples ask Jesus if John the Baptist is the reincarnation of Elijah. It pops up everywhere. I strongly believe in reincarnation, I could never come to grips with the old, one life way of thinking. Mainstream religion never did anything for me and I found reading about all the alternate theories beliefs etc answered quite a few questions. Great post.


      1. I read it more out of curiosity than anything as an 11 year old and never been back there. I have read a lot about it along with other beliefs over time, just to see what makes people tick. Reincarnation was a widespread belief in early times but like anything there are those that have different ideas.


        1. I was an early starter Cynthia. At four I was reading grade two primers. At 10 I’d ploughed through Pilgrims Progress, still don’t understand it. πŸ™‚ From newspapers to Nat Geos and anything else I could get my hands on. There’s a heap of stuff in my mind and other than trivia it’s not worth much at all. πŸ™‚


        2. I have two degrees in English and have never even read Pilgrims Progress although I tried to read The Odyssey in third grade:) When I think of all the books I’ve read, particularly self-help, most of it didn’t improve my life much, but a smaller percentage really did. As for the reincarnation bit, I’m still mulling that one over. The story I was told felt very real, like it could be true, and could explain a lot. But you never really know, do you? I am hoping it takes away the phobias but that it still TBD:)

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Believe me Cynthia you aren’t missing much at all, it was a book for its time I guess. A big percentage of books entertain, it’s the few that change us that matter. reincarnation is quite an interesting subject, the trouble is you have to die to see if it’s true. πŸ™‚


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