Double Vision: Atoning for Past Life Sins

Dear Susyn and Oceania:

During a past life reading, I was told that I was a male in a past life and in that life I killed three people. This is very upsetting for I believe that all life is sacred. How do I atone for this? Usually in past life readings, the person is told that they were the victim of some trauma, but in this case, I’m the perpetrator. What do I do with this information?

– Priya

Susyn’s answer:
We all come into this life with past karma for which we are responsible, and we all tend to focus on those past life events in which we were wronged more than those in which we did wrong to someone else. I want to reassure you that that your ability to rectify this situation is already built into your life path, so it will not be as difficult to atone for this as you might imagine.

When we take another’s life in a previous incarnation, our goal becomes to give them life in some way in the future. There are many ways to do this; giving birth to children is one of many examples. Other instances may involve mentoring young people who have lost their way or giving selflessly to those who are less fortunate than we are.

It is important to remember that all our life experiences – past, present and future – are vital to our destinies. They are finely interwoven in ways we can’t even imagine. Life is sacred, but part of the sanctity of life includes the processes of birth and death. We have all taken actions we regret or faced life-changing events that seemed negative at the time. When we change our ways and begin to do things differently in the future, it’s because we have learned important life lessons.

If the thought of having killed people in your past lives continues to haunt you, I recommend that you do more investigation to learn who these people were. You could do this through additional readings. Revisiting the psychic who revealed this to you should be a good way to attain more information.

You can also ask Spirit to show you exactly who these people were, what happened to provoke their deaths, and if they are familiar to you in this lifetime. In this way, you will gain a clearer picture of the type of past life karma you are dealing with. One way or another, people with whom we have serious past life karma find their way back to us. If they are not in your life now, you are sure to encounter them in the future, if not in this life then a future life.

Meditating on forgiveness will also be essential to your healing process; it will open the door to making amends with anyone you have harmed or who has harmed you. Carrying guilt for something you did in a past life is pointless. Finding an opportunity to make things right is priceless, but it must happen in its own time.

Now that you have been made aware of your actions in a past life, new doors to higher consciousness will rapidly begin to open. You can trust that you will be given a chance to rectify old transgressions soon; you may even discover that you have already done so.

– Susyn

Oceania’s Answer:
Just because someone tells you something in a reading doesn’t make it so. Readers are imperfect human beings who have bad days, so if what you learned doesn’t ring true, you should disregard it. I admire your sense of responsibility, but dwelling on a past life can be a way of avoiding your present one. The same holds true within a given lifetime; while I often advocate looking back to childhood for the purpose of healing and understanding oneself, spending too much time on this can detract from our quality of life today.

Trying to undo or make up for past mistakes can lead to further mistakes because when we’re looking back, we’re not paying attention to what’s in front of us! If a wrong can’t be undone or if rectifying it would cause further harm to ourselves or others, our focus should be on our behavior in the present and ensuring a better track record now and in the future.

Let’s assume for a moment that what the reader told you was true and that you killed three people. Do you know WHY you killed them? Without knowing the context of the events and your motivation, it’s impossible to determine what atonement, if any, would be appropriate.

You called yourself a perpetrator, but you might have been a hero! Perhaps you killed in self-defense or to protect your family. Maybe you killed in the line of duty as a soldier defending his country, or as a law enforcement officer protecting his community. If your motive for killing was honorable, no atonement would be necessary.

In his 2012 book The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt describes those moral values that tend to show up in all cultures: respect for authority and tradition, sacredness, loyalty, fairness, and caring for others, especially those who are less fortunate. In Western democratic societies, liberty or personal freedom is also highly valued. Each of us has a moral fingerprint based upon how we rank the importance of those five or six values.

Political conservatives tend to value all six dimensions equally. Libertarians favor liberty above all the rest, and political liberals tend to favor caring for others as their primary value. You might fall into the latter group since you’re very upset that you violated the value of caring for others, but you should consider that you may have been defending another moral value when you did so.

Past mistakes can inspire us to choose more wisely in the future, so if you killed for a less than honorable reason, you can atone by assessing your present-day values and upholding them with conviction in the future.

– Laurie

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