We are beings of consciousness, of awarenesses growing and going somewhere, and our awarenesses are continually splitting off into different stages and personalities. We do this to explore creation from more perspectives before returning to our centers for self-reflection. During our physical lives, we are an infant, child, adolescent, young adult, and adult, if not more characters. During our spiritual lives, we are many physical lifetimes, hundreds to thousands in fact.
Multiple awarenesses like these are too much for most people to keep in mind at once, so most people just experience odd sensations of relating to scenes from multiple points of view in culture, age, and gender (perhaps even species!), and thus most people do not practice "far" remembering into other lifetimes. On the astral realms we are generally less tied to the time and circumstances of any one body, so it becomes easier to slip into our other lifetimes and come back knowing it.
One track of growth is simply to become increasingly aware of one's multiple points of view in life, working outward from the current moment of consciousness. All lives are said to be occuring simultaneously in the eternal now, and thus mutually inter-influencing. One needs to become aware of just how creative the life force is however, before other lives which are fully true (fully happening) can be fairly distinguished from supporting segments that enrich and extend the current life.
Reincarnation is not the only relationship that can explain profound spiritual parallels between lives. Kindred souls and good works companions also interconnect and co-create across time and space continuously, sharing views, inspirations, and consciousness experiences, without being literally different lives of the same soul entity. There will be no shame in hypothesizing and exploring your possible lifetimes, and making mistakes along the way, so long as you are willing (as any scientist of God must be) to revise your speculations when faced with mounting complications.
Unfortunately, many therapists and holistic practitioners are only too happy to encourage instant fantasy lifetimes in their patients, because the therapeutic benefits are still real and solid, and frankly it can boost their own prestige to be so efficacious with interesting patients. The beginner's criticism of reincarnation is unfortunately all too commonly valid, and runs the lines of "you know how many people would have had to have been at Jesus' side during his three year ministry?!" But in the end, it is ourselves alone who must be at peace with the mirror. Rising ego fame is always a warning flag for incorrect self-assessment. Negative ego consists largely of the defenses that must accumulate in order to protect a false self-image which is collapsing naturally.
Most people's lifetimes are anonymous and simple just to ground the soul, to build the security of being, and not to make or break a place in history. Love and private usefulness are always to be increased first and foremostly, so that the "facts" might sort themselves out to support good effects in time. Do what you do for love, feel it in your heart as your first and final priority, and you'll pull away naturally from false tracks as the needs to arise.
On a personal note, I will confess to authoring a large multimedia website dedicated to the curiously genuine experience of being Hildegard of Bingen for about a year, and yes I had even hoped that some fame and fortune might result to help me in my mystical projects. Ultimately my life did dramatically improve, but privately and by modest means, until I was weaned off the oversimplification to consider that Hildegard might not be me but a cocreative soul friend in a larger spiritual community, one which was helping me to develop an important aspect of my spiritual potential. Hildegard had volunteered to be a resonant stand-in for a side of me that I was indeed, but I wasn't her. She was remarkably tolerant of my stuttering claim to being her reincarnation, since out of our good heart together a lasting good resulted, and I was proceeding faithfully on some remarkable and true inspiration.
I tell you this now in all sincerity and honesty, so I'm entrusting you with this context should you wish to explore further the mysteries of www.ordovirtutum.com