Journey from Guilt to Grace

By Rhonda Leifheit

Neal had been struggling with depression for several years and had recently been put on medication and had begun counseling with a therapist as well. One focus of his counseling was to address a deep feeling of guilt, which did not seem to have any present life explanation. So he came to me to explore the possible past life cause of his guilt. He had also begun studying spiritual principles, which emphasized the concept that we all have a basic goodness—that our soul-essence is “goodness”—which gets obscured or forgotten in our daily lives. This was a new concept for him and difficult to imagine because of his profound guilt.

As we prepared for his Past Life Regression, there was one physical symptom Neal described: he had been feeling a “band of tension 24/7” that went from just below his heart to his abdomen. The significance of this symptom soon became apparent.

I began the Regression (as I usually do) by having him imagine a safe place or sanctuary of beauty. He did indeed discover such a place, but quickly came back to this constriction in his mid-section. Upon encouragement he described wearing a wide, leather belt cinched tightly. He also felt he was wearing a leather breastplate. He saw that he was a soldier. He was immediately flooded with the awareness of the pain he’d caused others.

He was not just a soldier doing battle for some greater cause but rather was “slaughtering soldiers as well as women and children…killing just for the sake of killing. I did it because I was told it was the right thing to do; I took whatever I wanted no matter how it affected others.

“But then I realized I was lied to. I woke up as if from a dream and realized what I’d done to others and myself—I brutalized anything that was beautiful.” As this realization surfaced, so did his guilt. He was appalled at what he had done and felt a crippling sense of self-hatred.

At this point, I asked him to go back to the childhood of that life, to discover how had he gotten this way. He saw that he had been orphaned, his parents killed by these same warriors, and he was terrified. “I have to get their attention so I’m not enslaved…to prove I’m tough. To be like them, I have to kill somebody!” And so, by killing a member of his own tribe he was accepted, and his life of brutality (and survival) began. When he died in battle, he finally felt a sense of relief.

At death his soul left the body of that warrior but lingered, unable to go directly into The Light (of “heaven” or spiritual “home”). Gradually a soft light appeared and eventually led him to a place where “sea gulls are soaring into The Light”. Then a voice told him to think of himself as a gull. This resulted in a powerful transformation of his feelings. “Everything’s different! I can be different!”

For a while he enjoyed the freedom of soaring and diving. (And I, vicariously, got to enjoy the ride!) Neal’s guilt had notably diminished. The constriction in his abdomen had also greatly subsided. (He reported recently that it was completely gone within a month or so.) He arrived at a place of “transformation”. This level of transformation (or healing) is rarely achieved in just one session but is the highest goal of regression work. He had arrived at that place of remembering his own “basic goodness” and was able to feel compassion for the choices of the past life. This opened the door to further spiritual study and a dedicated meditation practice.

Upon reflection, it was clear to both of us that such experiences can be invited by our readiness and willingness. But they cannot be forced. There seems to be a quality of grace that comes to us like a butterfly landing on a patiently held finger.

Note: Client names have been changed to protect their privacy

© 2012 Rhonda Leifheit – All Rights Reserved