Womb Memory, Recurring Dreams, and Watershed Memories
It has been stated over and again that the purpose of memory in TPM is to help us to identify how we came to believe what we currently believe and to bring understanding to why we feel what we currently feel. The content of the memory is secondary to the belief that is held by the person. The ministry facilitator is NOT trying to help a person to retrieve any memory and is NEVER sending the person looking for a memory. Finding a memory is not the goal of the ministry session, but rather identifying the lie-based belief that is producing the negative emotion the person is currently feeling.
The ministry facilitator does not even need to know the content of the person’s memory and especially any identifiers of people who might be involved. The questions that the ministry facilitator asks during a ministry session are never asked to obtain memory information or content. Therefore, what a person reports having remembered is not something that the ministry facilitator need concern him or herself with in the session. This is not to say that verifying the information shared does not have value in a different setting, but not during the TPM session.
It has been reported that on some rare occasions a person might report “remembering” something that he believed occurred pre-verbal or even as far back as the womb. This of course raises many questions because a fetus would have limited or no cognitive awareness of what was happening at the time. The mind would not yet have developed to the stage of forming memories as we understand them; however experiential knowledge is different from cognitive knowledge.
Note: What I am about to write is not an attempt to persuade you of the validity of pre-verbal or womb memories. I personally do not hold any firm opinion on this subject, but have ministered to people who have reported such things. All I am attempting to do is suggest that you treat these “memories” in the same way that you might treat any other memory. You should ask the same three MEMORY Box questions seeking to identify the lie-based heart belief and not be concerned about validating what the person has reported.
Some research scientists believe that a fetus feels pain and experiences emotion while in the mother’s womb, especially in the final months before birth. It is believed by some that if the mother rejects the baby in her womb and feels hate, resentment, or anger toward it, the baby too, may feel these emotions as well. Since emotion is basically a physical glandular process that is shared between mother and child this seems plausible. Nonetheless, no matter how the child is impacted, without language and cognitive functioning the baby would have no way to interpret the meaning. Even though the baby might not actually have the thoughts, “My mother hates me,” it may still be impacted. It is possible that if the mother rejected her baby in her womb, that even though the baby would have no way to cognitively interpret what it was experiencing, the experience may nonetheless, become the grid for interpretations of similar emotional experiences later in its life.
Is the baby’s mind capable of recording the experience with having to interpret it? I cannot say, but it seems plausible. The experiences that I have had with many different people is that something is going on that seems valid. Based upon my experiences with people reporting such “memories,” during the TPM process lies are identified and truth is being found. People are reporting freedom from their false beliefs and transformation seems evident as they seek the Lord in these places.
I am not a neuroscientist and have not been trained in the field of brain science, but I am a pragmatist and do learn by observation. I have witnessed many unrelated people all report similar “memory” experiences declaring they feel like they are in their mother’s womb. This does not prove anything, but does suggest that something is going on. There is much we do not know about what happens in the womb or even before conception. God’s Word states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). This verse says that I was known by God even before I existed! What I knew in the womb is impossible to know, but in the later months of my development I did have a brain, and to the degree that my mind was functioning, I was recording experience. Who is to say how these “experience memories” play themselves out in my later years.
People have asked me, “How can a person remember something before the brain is cognitively able to do so? In other words, “How can we remember before we can remember?” I honestly do not know, and don’t even know if it is possible. Yet the fact that so many different people have reported womb memories causes me to believe that something that cannot be yet explained is happening. Again, in TPM it is not our responsibility to determine the authenticity of any womb or precognitive experience that a person reports, but only to look for the source of the emotional pain; the lie-based belief.
If people report a womb memory there is no need for you to try and explain what is happening since you really have no idea. Rather, invite them to focus on what they are feeling and see what comes to mind. If they report a “womb memory” just follow protocol for the MEMORY Box. Keeping in mind that the content of the “memory” is not the reason for the emotional pain, but rather the belief the person currently believes. Therefore it is not necessary to ever know for certain about the validity of the “womb memory” if you are able to identify the lie-based core belief.
If after they have identified the belief and offered it up to the Lord, and they receive truth that brings about transformation, then I say, “Glory to God and thank you, Jesus,” even though I don’t understand it. I am becoming more relaxed about not having all the answers. Here again we are not looking for memory validation, but rather the Holy Spirit replacing lies with His truth. We may never be able to validate whether a womb memory is accurate or not, therefore, we should not assume that it is or not. However, if the person identifies the lie causing him his emotional pain in the context of the “so-called” memory, herein we can ask the Lord for truth.
Several years ago I was leading a live TPM seminar. Right in the middle of the presentation, a man raised his hand to make a comment. He said that he had struggled with depression all of his life and even as a small child had always felt a “dark cloud” hanging over him. He reported that he was currently being treated with antidepressants, but the “cloud remained.”
I asked the man if he would be willing to focus what he was feeling and report whatever came to his mind. He agreed. As he focused on the depression a few moments passed, and he suddenly opened his eyes and said, “This cannot be!” I asked him what it was he was experiencing. He reluctantly said, “This is impossible, but I feel like I am in my mother’s womb!”
As he was looking at his “memory” I asked him what he was feeling. He reported feeling a deep sadness. I ask him why he felt that way, and almost immediately he began to weep and cried out, “She didn’t want me” (referring to his mother). I continued asking the MEMORY Box questions and he eventually said he believed that the reason his mother did not want him was that he was an inconvenience to her and therefore, he was worthless (self-identity lie).
I invited the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth to this this man. After a few moments he opened his eyes and looked up at me with a smile of relief and said, “That was a lie, I have great worth to God. The cloud is gone!” He then reported to the group that he felt the lifelong cloud of depression completely lift off in that moment. Years later he reported to me that the cloud never returned. So what are we to do with this? Rejoice that God is working in an area that we do not yet fully understand. However, we do understand that this man was feeling what he was believing. How he came to believe the lie causing his depression appeared to be established before he was born. However, we do not know with any certainty whether this is so or not. Nevertheless, he still reports walking free of the depression because He looked to the Lord for freedom.
Any explanation I might provide about “womb memories” would only be opinion and conjecture. Because we do not know how this all works, I suggest that we follow the TPM PROCESS and not try to make sense of what we do not understand. The best answer we can give a person who asks for our understanding will be, “We don’t know.”
Finally, if the person arrives at a “womb” memory because the facilitator asked her to envision being in the womb or to go back to the womb, then he is NOT doing TPM. Any kind of suggestion, guided imagery or leading question is always inappropriate. TPM is not about memory recovery.
Most of us have had experiences that have been turning points in our lives, some for the good and some not. When a negative event turns the tide in our lives, there is the potential for powerful lies to be implanted that will influence us from that point forward.
My own watershed experience occurred in fifth grade when a child fell off the school bus and nearly died. An irresponsible bus driver had allowed us children to stand in and around the stairwell of the bus door while going down the highway. While he was banking a turn at 50 mph, the door flew open and a little boy fell out. His coat sleeve caught on the outside of the door and he was dragged down the highway for a great distance before breaking loose. He was not discovered until later that evening by a passing motorist.
That same evening a police and a school official came to my house and began what turned into a week-long interrogation and blame-shifting charade. Myself and three other children were harshly interrogated and falsely accused. Eventually, we were all exonerated and the bus driver punished, but as an outcome of this experience my mind was saturated with lies.
From that day forward, my belief about myself, the world, and God all changed. I felt guilty, fearful, and accused, and responded by withdrawing inwardly. My school grades went from all A’s and B’s to barely passing with D’s and F’s. I graduated from high school seven years later at the very bottom of my class, friendless, reclusive and emotionally self-protecting. The lie-based beliefs I acquired during that watershed event began to transform me.
The interesting thing about these watershed memories is that we may find ourselves having to revisit them over and over in TPM sessions, because they often carry multiple layers of lie-based belief. I have been to the bus memory many untold number of times and am amazed at how much damage this one event caused me.
Some of you have been molested as children, have been physically abused, and have experienced other horrendous things. You probably have memories that you may need to visit more than once to find complete resolution. This is normal, so do not become discouraged or think that something is wrong. Keep looking for any new lies that may be present, and hold each one up to the Lord. As you uncover your lie-based thinking and hold it up to the Lord, you should encounter Christ and find His peace.
Recurring Dreams and “Random” Conscious Memory
Through the years I have had a few recurring dreams that I used to have questions about. It was not until I started doing the TPM with myself that these dreams ever made sense. The dreams were basically nonsensical in nature yet returned over and over. One in particular is a scenario where I am in a church or conference center sitting on the front row seat with a room full of people singing the last song before the speaker was to speak. Suddenly it occurs to me that I am the speaker. There is a flush of fear and panic as I realize that I have not prepared anything and I have only one more verse left in the song being sung before I am suppose to deliver a message. I have had this dream more times than I can remember. I always wake up relieved to know that I do not have to go prepare something.
I appreciate people who believe they can interpret dreams, but I personally see no real value in doing such. I might interpret this dream as believing I am ill equipped, I am going to be found out, or that I don’t know as much as I let let on. Even if all of this were true I am still in the same place and the dream would probably show up again. So understanding or interpreting a dream does not provide us with any real resolution.
However, if the dream is my mind’s attempt at resolving some unfinished business and rooted in my lie-based belief, then TPM may be helpful. I have actually had good results applying TPM to dreams. I made this discovery one morning when I awoke after having a recurring dream. It dawned upon me that I was feeling a negative emotion. I felt fear and anxiety. I reflected on this emotion and allowed my mind to associate what I was feeling to its memory source. It was no surprise when I found myself in an early childhood place that contained the same emotion. Once the lies were identified I found truth and the emotion resolved into His peace. Needless to say, the dream never returned.
A similar thing occurred with several particular “random” memories that would surface seemingly from out of nowhere from time to time throughout any given day. What was significant about these memories is their recurrence throughout the years and the fact that it was the same ones that were surfacing. I could be cleaning my office thinking about nothing when all of a sudden I would have one of these “random” memories surface. It did not seem to be related to anything that I was doing and I could not identify a trigger that would set it off. Its content on the surface seemed insignificant and did not appear to hold any real merit. However, like the recurring dreams, this same “random” memory would surface over and over. One day when one of these memories surfaced, I focused more intently on it and noticed that even though it appeared not to have any real content value it did contain a slight emotional stir. I focused on the emotion and allowed the memory to surface more. I was surprised how the memory opened up to a more significant aspect where I had embraced a falsehood. I found truth and came to a new place of peace. It seemed that my mind had been trying to unload this subconsciously undetected pain for all my adult life but I had not been aware of it. I am learning that everything has a reason and that nothing is random. I am coming to trust my mind more and more in knowing what needs to happen in this mind renewal journey that the Lord has me on.