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Seashells and Pearls


It was end of January 2003. I’d been feeling terrible for very long time then, suffering from constant headaches, extreme tiredness, muscular pain and a myriad of other problems. But the doctors hadn't been able to tell me why.

Eventually, I was diagnosed with ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for which the doctors again aren’t able to say how and why, or what to do about it. Later on, I found out for myself that my condition was most probably caused or worsened by aspartame poisoning, and I am now feeling well.

However, at the time I’m writing about I was desperate, and tried to help myself in any way I could, so I went to a hypno-therapist. She asked me what was my earliest memory, and I explained how I vividly remember being in hospital to have my tonsils removed when I was 3 years old. That was very traumatic for me, as the parents weren’t allowed to stay with the children in the hospitals at that time in Croatia. They could only visit for a couple of hours a day. So I was left on my own in a cot the whole day long, day after day.

The older children in my room were running around, playing and talking to each other, but I was too little to join them. Once, an older girl helped me to get out of the cot, but we were all told off for running around. Unfortunately, I always listened to what I was told and took things to heart, so I didn’t try to get out of my cot again. The nurses would speak to me briefly when they had to take my temperature, and that was about all of the human contact I had. My parents say I didn’t acknowledge them or speak to them when they would come to visit me, and that I was “never the same” afterwards. They blamed themselves for leaving me there.

The hypno-therapist said this event could be the reason for my difficulties and that she would “regress” me to that time. She helped me to go into deep relaxation and get in touch with my feelings, but I didn’t think that I really connected with anything new. Whilst I was in this relaxation, I was constantly aware of the fact that a total stranger was asking me questions and giving me instructions. When the session was over, she was saying how I couldn’t forgive my parents for leaving me there, and how this has made me overprotective of my own children. I didn’t feel it was relevant to my problems, as I’ve dealt with the issues concerning my parents. I decided not to go back for another session.

Later that day I got a bad migraine. I knew it was a result of the feelings of great sadness that have been brought up to the surface but not “vented” properly. At the time, I had a ritual of going to bed, getting my baby to go to sleep and than sitting up, relaxing and talking to God. One night, I decided to try to go back to that time in the hospital on my own, to see if I'd be able to better connect with that experience. My husband works night shifts, and I was on my own.

I wasn’t very successful in my attempt because moments after going into relaxation, I was asleep. I couldn’t have been asleep for longer than a few minutes, when I was woken up. I felt a gentle push in my stomach area, as if someone had reached towards me with a swooping motion but also reached inside of my body. I opened my eyes, and realised a tear was rolling down from my eye. A moment later I understood why. Someone was there with me, someone I couldn’t see, but someone who my soul knew so well that my body’s instinctive reaction was to shed that hot tear because I missed him so much. But I hadn't a clue who he was…

At the same time this was happening, and this is very weird to explain, I was reliving a moment that happened to me when I was 3 and in the hospital. I was given the understanding of what really happened to me there. This understanding was offered to me clearly by the power of the mind of the “person” who was with me. Just like that. Amazing. I was given the knowledge that as that 3-year old, looking at the older children playing in my hospital room, for the first time in my life, a thought was born in my little mind that I was different to them and somehow not worthy. That those children were somehow better then me, playing about whilst I was alone in my cot, and for me to be happy like they were, I had to Do Something, become better, prove myself… I’ve outgrown this idea as I learned so much about spirituality, but to my mind at the time, it was monstrous and scary to live in the world in which I obviously wasn’t good enough to be just as I was. The need to prove myself to others would rule my life for many years to come.

“I was there,” the voice said to me. It spoke inside of my mind, clear and beautiful voice that resonated through me. “But you turned your back to/on me.” Some word seemed to have a double meaning, and I understood all of the meanings at the same time. Now I was in that cot again, my small body curled up at the end of the mattress, feeling the same immense love this person was giving me now. My back was turned to him. Even though his words were criticising me because I turned away, there were no bad feelings, just a sense of tragedy that we were both lonely in our own ways: I, because I thought that nobody could care about me; and he, because he was trying so hard to comfort me. But I was looking for the solution to my problem elsewhere.

In these moments, my consciousness felt weight down by the power of this other mind, and I knew that I was “held a prisoner” in a way, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I was basking in this love that was lavished on me.

What he said to me next was an internal joke, I tried so hard for very long time to understand it completely. My daughter has this film with Arnold Schwarzenegger, called Jingle Bells. Arnold is a salesman, answering phone calls by people ordering goods from his company. He ends every phone call with the same sentence: “No problem, because you’re my number 1 customer!” Eventually, his wife calls saying he’s going to be late for his son’s karate class, but he’s so flustered with work and everything that he ends the conversation the same way as his customer calls: “And remember ­ you’re my number 1 customer!” My daughter watched this movie over and over again, and I know it whole by heart. As I laid there in my bed, the voice which sounded exactly as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s was saying to me: “You’re my number 1 customer!” over and over again.

It was funny. I smiled. It was like he was saying: "I do this a lot for people, and I AM telling the truth. You’re all Number Ones." But was I really…? Then I had this wise idea that if this was for real, I could ask for signs which are going to confirm it. I felt the other “mind” laughing at me teasingly, as if to say: "Come on, try to think of something I don't think of first." And really, whatever came to my mind, the person with me had already thought of it and located it in my house or wherever…or something like that. I felt frustrated, but was smiling at the same time, as I knew he was enjoying this little power struggle with me.

But he was slowly letting my mind go, and pulling away. The last I felt was that there was a conversation going on between us on a deeper level I couldn’t listen to consciously, but information was being exchanged fast and furious. We were joking, fooling around, teasing each other…something I felt we’ve been doing with equal pleasure for eternities. Just as, at first, my soul had recognized him and cried a tear; now my soul was chattering to him like we had never parted.

And then it was over. I was totally awake, wondering "Who Was That!?" This question bothered me just as much as the experience has left me happy, uplifted and inspired. Was it God? Jesus? Was it a person at all, or what? People talk about Jesus, but I don’t have a religious background and am not used to thinking about Jesus. I didn’t feel that I really understand about him. Whatever and whoever it was that interacted with me that evening was an awesome power, but also full of character. I love to quietly laugh about absolutely everything in life, but not many people know or understand my funny side. The subtle humour of that encounter left me smiling for days. I found that I was talking to this person who visited me, just like I talked to God. I still talk to him about things that are going on in my life and whatever is bothering me at the time.

Ten months later, in the middle of the night, he woke me up again. My mind was again enveloped in his, and like before when I re-experienced the event in the hospital, the power of his mind was taking me to different times and places in my past. But there was something different. This time, the love I felt between us was much more intimate. As he was taking me to and showing me bits and pieces of my life, his voice was guiding me. “My love is soft and gentle…” he was saying, using the most beautiful comparisons to his love that I ever heard of. He spoke in English, even though my first language is Serbian. Some of the words I clearly remember, some that were spoken were only heard by my soul. He was taking me to a dozen lovely moments in my life, when I was a little girl.

The part I remember best is when he took me back to the beach. I was seven or eight at the time. I stood in the water, it was waist high. I held seashells in my hand and was admiring the colours of the rainbow I could see on the insides. I was a child, truly enchanted by their beauty.

The voice was saying to me, “My love is soft and gentle…like seashells and pearls. I was there with you. They remind you of me. That’s why you like them so much. Think of seashells and pearls, and you’ll remember me.”

After he pulled away, I went downstairs to the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee. I sat at the table, devastated. Yes, I was grateful for the experience. But how do you carry on in this cruel world after getting a helping of immense love like that? And still I didn’t know who he was. For all the seashells and pearls in the world, still to this day, I haven’t remembered anything new. But I had a hunch.

A few years back, I’d been having profound dreams in which I wandered around, hand in hand, with a most wonderful man ever. We were so in love, professing our love to each other for long time. I couldn’t see or remember what he looked like. Then the setting would change in my dream, and he would become someone else, and then I would be in a regular old dream.

Once, as our walk ended, the setting and feeling of the dream changed, and I saw my husband. My lover was still standing next to me, and I felt a huge amount of guilt seeing my husband. I pointed at him and said, “He is the love of my life.”

But my lover slowly shook his head and said, “No, I am.”

I protested in my dream. I insisted that I loved my husband and had no intentions of getting divorced. I am an honest person, I would never cheat. It was silly, really, my dreams and reality getting mixed up like that. I couldn’t discern that one was life and one was dream. But it was so obvious that I was lying to myself by saying “My husband is the love of my life”, because what I felt for my lover was the most beautiful love ever.

He patiently insisted, “No, I am.”

Now, sitting at the table drinking my coffee at 3 in the morning, I had a hunch that the guy from my dreams had just paid me another visit. I was so comfortable in my spiritually, I could handle believing that, perhaps, after this hard life on Earth is over for me, there is someone dear to my heart waiting for me…

Not long ago, I spoke to a psychic I didn’t know at all. I specifically asked her to enlighten me on the two experiences I had when I was woken up and taken to see events from my past by this loving person. I refrained from giving her any details. She said she had a man with her, who felt very Godly, very much like a sage. He was giving her a name, a long name starting with an A. He knew I was going through some difficult times in my marriage, and was there to give me help and guidance. In one of my previous lives, she said, he was my husband. We would be together again, but not for many years. Until then, I should carry on talking to him, and he will lead me through the life’s challenges.

Whether the psychic was right or not, one thing is for sure: I am loved. As for the notion of "soul mates" ­ who knows? No matter what our love lives here may be like, perhaps there’s someone special watching over us who so yearns for just one little thing: acknowledgement.

Zana Cvjetkovic, UK




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