Concerning past lives, spirit guides etc. You can give them the meaning you want to. No one is trying to brainwash you. These kinds of experiences are often powerful, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to convert to shamanism in order to practise them. Sometimes the effects are just plain humorous. My first spirit guide was another member of the forum! In another dream, I kissed the angel of death!
I’ve talked to great-grandparents who are dead, though I don’t have any particular belief in channeling or spirit worlds or anything. See: if all else fails, you can always label all these experiences as dialogues with your subconscious mind: that’s what most people do. There’s no need to change beliefs just to practise some creative dreaming. Which leads me to my second point.
I’ll be nitpicky about two things: first, to lucid dream is to realise you’re dreaming, and thus break the fourth wall of the dream, or in other words, it’s to experience disbelief and critical thinking within a dream. In that sense, you did lucid dream. Second: what you are able to do with your dreams is a matter for a lot more practises than just lucid dreaming. Being lucid usually helps you gain confidence to control the environment of your dream, but just like there are regular dreams where you can fly, there can be lucid dreams where you’re stuck to the ground, period.
This forum has two points. The first (roughly embodied by the first section of the forum) is to help people achieve lucidity, and believe you me, this is the toughest part. You’ve gone past that: congratulations. Now comes the easier part: provided you can get lucid, let’s do some cool stuff. Doing cool stuff within dreams is not called “lucid dreaming”: it’s called “creative dreaming”.
I, for one, do most of my dream stunts without any lucidity, through a different set of techniques called “incubation”. I use my lucidity to play with the plots and narratives of my dreams. In that sense, the two things I do the most (and enjoy doing) in my lucid dreams are to role play as if I had no powers, and to find a way of losing my lucidity after doing something crazy: in order to see where things head to if I have no control over them.
The forum is full of discussion as to what can you do after you get lucid. Some people specialise in teaching (or testing) some things. Word has it that Q is a great flying teacher. You should look the Adventures and the Lab for tips on how to gain confidence, and how to pull of the stunts you want to so badly. Last but not least, you might want to try doing cool stuff without being lucid (it’s harder for most — but perhaps it works best for you). In this case, I suggest you dig General Lucidness, Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, and run a couple searches for the terms “incubation” and “visualization”.
Now, now. I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t downplay your one success as a lifetime failure. Don’t give up because it took you this much to do the hardest part. You’re leaving the forum at about the point things start to get fun and interesting for you!— why would you do that?