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A Past Life in China

I have had several spontaneous memories of past lives.

One was set in China. I was a girl and I remember having my feet bound. It was required because I was to marry a man whose family held a higher status than we did. I have vivid memories of looking at my mother's feet and longing for beautiful, functional feet like hers. I remember how she cried as she unbound my feet and bound them up again. I suffered from terrible depression in that life, and when I was taken to my new husband's home, I gave up all hope. I climbed a cliff, - it was very slow and arduous because my feet didn't work right - threw myself off and died. I was very young when I died.

Oddly, long before I remembered this life, I had several experiences in this life that can be explained by that one. For instance, as a kid, I was obsessed with my feet being ugly (they are actually pretty) and would say to my mom, over and over, that I had ugly, knobby toes (I don't). I was forever twisting my ankles, stubbing my toes and falling down, odd for a somewhat athletic kid. At one point in my life I thought I might become a missionary. But I was terrified that God might send me to China, although I had no logical reason to be afraid of going there. And lastly, when I saw a TV show about orphaned girls in China, I broke into hysterical crying. I feel badly when I think of poor children anywhere, but this was all out of proportion. Something about those little Chinese girls really upset me.

I know why I remembered this particular life (not the case with all my past-life memories). The lesson I am supposed to take from that life is that killing yourself is wrong. When you give up because life hurts too much, you are aborting the lessons you were there to learn, and you also short circuit the lessons those around you are learning. I feel very sure about this. I don't feel guilt for that life, or any anger toward my parents or anyone else. Rather, I feel regret that I gave up, and that my choice caused my parents and my husband in that life great difficulty. And I do feel compassion for myself in that life, but still believe that, had I hung in there, good things might have come of it.

When I read what I have written here, I know it sounds weird to other people. But it feels very matter-of-fact to me, like telling you what I remember about fourth grade. And I don't feel particularly special because I think everyone must have memories like this. I don't try to recall other lives. I just figure I will remember what I need to remember, and I don't need a clutter of past life minutia in my head when I have trouble remembering where I put my keys!!


Posted May 3, 2004