I often lead my students through an exercise where they revisit an early memory from a time when they were truly happy. It might be a birthday party, family trip to the ocean, getting a new puppy – anything at all. The purpose of the exercise is to help them tap into the pure joy of childhood. Last time I did this, a student came up to me during the break, very distraught.
“James, how could you do that to me! I couldn’t come up with a single happy memory. My parents never made the effort to give me a party or take us kids on vacation. I don’t think they even loved me!”
As I spoke with the student, I came to a sad realization. She had been carrying a heavy burden of loss from her childhood and had allowed it to color her entire life. In fact, long after her parents passed over, she was still labelling herself as unlovable. As a result, she was guarded and defensive, which kept her from experiencing fulfilling relationships and friendships as an adult.
As we were talking, something unexpected happened. Her father came through to me in Spirit. He showed me images of his daughter shooting a goal at a soccer game and accepting an award at her high school graduation. He and her mother had been there watching, and I could feel their love and pride. He was desperate for me to share with my student – his daughter – that he had truly loved her and was always there for her. He wished he had been able to make her understand his feelings when he was alive, but because of his own bleak childhood, he hadn’t known how to be the father she needed.
“Your father did love you,” I whispered to my student. “He wasn’t able to show you when he was alive, and he sees the effect that feeling unloved has had on your life. He is sorry – and wants you to know how proud he was of you.”
I could feel the energy shift as she absorbed this healing message. She smiled. “My father grew up without a father of his own, and I know his own childhood was difficult. It means a lot that he’s still carrying the memories of my soccer games and graduation, even though I’d forgotten all about them! I’m going to try harder to remember the times he and my mother were there for me, rather than focusing on what I didn’t get.”
I kept an eye on my student for the rest of the workshop and was thrilled to see how she suddenly displayed more confidence and positivity. In fact, I could see her aura lighten as she released the burden of negative feelings she had been carrying for so long.
You choose the lens through which you see your life.
This story is an illustration of two things. The first is how our memories can deceive us. My student was so wrapped up in remembering what she didn’t have as a child that her mind erased the many times her parents had been there to support her. It was as if she was consciously filtering her memories, and only letting through the negative ones. When she received the message from her father, a floodgate of positive memories came through that had previously been blocked by resentment. The second point is that her resentment not only blocked happy memories but caused her to blame her parents for the lack of success and love she experienced as an adult. This “blame game” she was playing kept her from being accountable for her own happiness – and who suffered the consequences? She did.
Don’t let blame get in the way of achieving your dreams – and your destiny.
I believe that every person is born with destiny points they are meant to experience – dreams they are meant to realize, places they are meant to visit, people they are destined to encounter, lessons they need to learn. Life is composed of these points, and although the individual “threads” might seem unrelated, at the end they come together to form a beautiful tapestry that illustrates a life well lived.
But how can you be sure you’re on the right path BEFORE your journey on this earth ends? How can you keep from letting someone, or something, distract you from creating the wonderous life you are meant to live?
Let your soul be your compass.
Your mind may want to keep a balance sheet of grievances and losses, but those can only hold you back. View life through a lens of love. Listen to your heart, trust your intuition, and come from a place of compassion, forgiveness, and self- love. Those emotions help you tap into your power and move through your destiny points effortlessly, while attracting the people and events you are meant to encounter.
In my book, Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life, I share wisdom that I’ve channeled from the other side to help the living navigate their way through the pitfalls and distractions of this earthly existence, to experience the love, success and happiness that is their birthright, while avoiding the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” that come when we let resentment and blame get the best of us.