This article originally apeared on John Michael Thornton's personal website in April and is reprinted with permission.
My first past life memory was one of cataclysm and destruction. I was running through the streets of a city that was crumbling from earthquakes and rising waters, clutching the hand of a companion. The memory ended when she was attacked, I don’t know if we made it to docks and escaped. I was fourteen when I remembered those few brief moments and spent years wracked with guilt, convinced I could have done more to save her and get us to safety. Hundreds, if not thousands, of years later and I am still trying to forgive myself for those last moments.
I’ve remembered snippets of other lives since then, I’ve even remembered dying, but nothing shook me to the core like that first memory. For years after recalling that life I was obsessed with never coming back. I learned what I could about reincarnation and even bought a book, from the humor section, called “101 Ways to Avoid Reincarnation.” I studied it obsessively.
Around the same time I read the book Starborn, by John Nelson, in which one character asked the question, “how could I possibly leave everyone I care about without helping them move on as well?” It was that question that catalyzed the soul growth and evolution of the character. It also deeply resonated with me, but at the time I just wanted to get out and never come back.
Twenty Seven years as a psychic has changed my perspective a bit, and I know my thinking will continue to evolve. This still often feels like a harsh and challenging planet to live on, but I’m no longer obsessed with making this my last life.
For many people the idea that this is your last lifetime on Earth is almost a boast, a moment of ego. The ida is they have evolved beyond this planet, and maybe they have, but to me there still seems like so much to do here on this lovely blue green planet. There are so many things to learn, so many souls to help, and so many gardens to tend (and trash to be picked up).
That doesn't mean I don’t read the news and think, “stop the world, I want to get off.” I wonder how I can exist, let alone grow as a sensitive soul amid so much ugliness. I remember that first past life memory and the horror I felt as we ran for our lives and the conviction I felt that this time, this life, I would do better. I would be better.
So, I know I’m not done. This will not be my last time around. When I feel tired and overwhelmed by the ugliness, fear and hatred I see in the world I will remind myself that my job is to make myself and the world a little bit better and if I fail today, there will be another day, another lifetime, another chance to be better.