By Beth Keil
I got the Facebook bug. In the last few weeks I’ve been a woman on a mission—to find my classmates from PS 139 and Ditmas Jr High, both in Brooklyn, NY. The process has been biblical in nature, lots of begetting. Nadine led to Joyce who led to Heidi who led to Diane who led to Mary….and so forth. I am up to over 18 people. The grade school pictures in my scrap book now have names to the faces as people have tagged themselves and others. The pictures are coming together as are the memories.
At Ditmas my English class read “A Separate Peace” and “1984”. We decided to have a reunion in 1984, the actual date escapes me now; I didn’t show up nor did other the classmates I’ve spoken to recently. It was in 1972, during the process of planning this reunion, I was acutely aware that in the future it would be very hard for me to find these girls who were my childhood friends. Upon marrying their family names would be dropped and their names absorbed. This was a pivotal moment that led me to keep my family name when I married. No one could have known back then that we’d have the internet and social media groups to make reconnecting so much easier and amazingly fast. Today there are those of us who have wondered “why now?” What makes being in our early 50’s the time when we’d either actively look for or not mind being found by our classmates? You could say it’s because we have a past to look back on. I think that’s only part of the reason. My interest is more than a PS 139 and Ditmas Jr High graduate finding classmates; it’s also fueled by my work as a hypnotist.
The hypnotic process I use with my clients uses Age Regression to go to the cause of the issue for which they are seeing me. Age Regression is a powerful tool to guide someone to the origins of the thoughts and feelings that continue to resonate in their current lives which can lead them to use distractors trying to feel better (i.e./ smoking, drinking, overeating, etc..) Thoughts and feelings generated in the past have a way of permeating through time to affect the decisions we make and actions we take. I consider reconnecting with people from my past as a waking Age Regression, a regression without the benefit of hypnosis. By reconnecting I’ve been revisiting how I used to feel back then as well as remembering past conversations. Accuracy isn’t really important as it’s the perceptions we carry that impact us most and how I came to see myself which was formed during these early years. Some classmates have shared how they were unkind to others while others shared hurtful things that were said or done to them. Sometimes there are regrets. For me, this process of remembering has been healing. I feel as if ghosts from the past have been released and let go. I know when people said or did hurtful things it was about them. We were all kids finding our way in the world wanting to be liked and fit in. What was most surprising in all this is I found forgiveness. For me, forgiveness is a process that releases old emotional baggage. It’s what I teach my clients. Carrying this baggage is tiring and keeps anger and hurt going and going reducing the joy and happiness in ones life. I had been carrying hurtful words all these years that shaped how I thought about myself. Finally, through forgiveness, I’m free.