It all started when...
In March of 2014 my wife purchased a book on a whim from the Barnes and Noble in Austin Texas while she was visiting friends. She was waiting to talk to a clerk and saw a book on the table, picked it up and took it home. Over the next 24 hours read it through. She told me excitedly about this book by Dr. Brian Weiss, Miracles Happen, and so I looked him up that night and found myself intrigued. I downloaded Many Lives, Many Masters and the next day Prince Edward Island was hit with a terrible ice storm. The inch of ice covering everything, the failing electricity meant I was trapped home for several days where I read through his book….twice. I knew I had to go to one of his seminars, and so I put my name on the waiting list for the Fall Training at the Omega Center in upstate New York. Life happened and I did not get to go to that training but enrolled the moment the email announcement for the Summer of 2015 arrived in my inbox.
I arranged my life to have a week away from all my clinical responsibilities, and began meditating in preparation for the course (it was a struggle but felt important). As I drove down to Rhinebeck New York, I decided that I was just going to accept whatever happened, and that for one short week I was not going to be Doctor Grimes the skeptic, but Gil the curious. I had never been to a retreat center, it was a wonderful change of pace to land at Omega in Rhinebeck, and I was excited at the possibilities that lay ahead. I saw that there was morning and evening meditation I decided to take advantage of it. I sat with a young Buddhist monk who lead the morning and evening meditation group. In the sanctuary nestled near the top of a steep hill, the cushions were arranged in neat arcs with the focus toward the monk leading the group from the center.
As we settled into the morning meditation on loving kindness, I closed my eyes and began to focus on my breathing, relaxing into my seat as the monks soft voice floated through the air. Suddenly I saw in my vision every teacher that I had ever had in my life, formal teachers, friends, family, patients, strangers, each of them giving me everything that they could teach my in the moments they were with me, stretched out in front of my field of vision from horizon to horizon, all these people who had taught me something in this life. Each of them was proud of who I was and what I had become. I was humbled, at the recognition of all the help I had been given that I had never felt before.
The next morning in meditation I am again focusing on my breath, and the scene shifts, suddenly I am sitting with my brother at my grandmother’s table, she has made us sandwiches and we are enjoying them. She is looking at us from the sink with such love in her eyes and in a flash I see everyone in my life who has ever loved me, spread left to right, and I can feel the love they have, feel it deeply in my heart, through my very being like a heat that is welling up within me. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I sit, feeling all the love in my life I had never allowed myself to feel, all the love that I had never allowed myself to see.
As we are sitting later that morning relaxing into a regression with Dr. Weiss on stage guiding us back in our lives to earlier and earlier times I am in my mother’s arms, she is looking at me with such love, she loves me so very much, it is all there, in her eyes, the depth of her love is unfathomable. She is warm, she is close, and she loves me so very much. She kisses my forehead and tells me ’I hope you have a very good life’ as she hands me to the nurse. I can see the hope the love in her eyes and the hole in her heart as she lets me go. Suddenly everything is clear. I was not given up or given away. I was sent into the world with love and hope. I knew in a flash that there was a story in my head that was a lie, I was not unworthy, unwanted or unlovable, and something shifted in the bedrock of my soul.
As I drove back home from the workshop, I knew I was not the person who had made that drive south, I was not sure who I was, but it was clear to me I was very different. Just how different became clear to everyone as the weight I had struggled to release fell away, my asthma meds went unused and unfilled, my allergy medications got tossed in the trash, and suddenly it was not any trouble to eat well, exercise more and meditate. I had found my worth, and in finding that my life was forever changed.