By Rhonda Leifheit
Inasmuch as our souls return again and again to "classroom earth", we also tend to reincarnate with familiar souls. This is true not only of friends and lovers, but is often the case with families, cronies from school or work, spiritual groups or communities. When we think of our closest, most loving relationships we can be assured we have connected with them in some past life. And, when it comes to our most difficult relationships, it is also likely we have connected in some past life!
Souls reconnect in order to grow spiritually. As Carolyn Myss puts it, everyone comes into this life with "sacred contracts" with family members, friends, and other intense relationships. From a past life perspective these are not random agreements but are the result of karma, or cause and effect. (Myss 16-17)
Just because two souls make an agreement, however, doesn’t mean that they remember it. There may be a bond, but until it is brought to conscious awareness, those involved may function habitually and unconsciously. So when people are reminded that there's a spiritual purpose to their connection it's like jogging their soul-memory. I've seen client's eyes light up with recognition. It's as if their soul says "Oh yes, I'm here to grow. I can rise above difficulties and pettiness and take this to a higher level.”
Understanding our past life connections can be healing for several reasons. Viewing our present circumstances from a past life perspective, offers greater objectivity. As human beings we interpret events from the standpoint of our humanness, our egos. As souls we interpret events from a higher level, realizing there can be meaning and purpose and even good derived from what the ego defines as bad and meaningless. Additionally, we are reminded that there are no coincidences. Our souls have connected for some reason, some purpose. Finally, we can learn something that will enrich us deeply.
The most important lesson (some would say, the only lesson) is learning to love. More specifically, learning to choose love. For the kind of love that enriches our souls is not the "easy" love like the favorite, easy-to-love relative or the falling-in-love romantic love. Rather, growth comes from choosing a loving response when it would be easier to be angry or envious or hurt or in some other way judge another as wrong and unworthy of our love. As Myss says in Sacred Contracts, "...choice is your greatest power. It is an even greater power than love, because you must first choose to be a loving person" (17).
For those with the curiosity and courage, exploring past life relationships can bring about healing, sometimes quickly but more often as a process over time. Good relationships require effort and difficult relationships take even more effort. But no effort is wasted. Every time we choose love we create a ripple moving out in every direction.
The following letter gives a wonderful example of how two people used past life information to transform their relationship.
Quite a while ago B. and I came to you for a crossing of paths reading. We had not expected the really dismal story of a life we shared long ago in Germany - it was very much a marriage of convenience without the intimacy and connectedness that we wanted in our current life together, yet again had trouble achieving. You communicated to us that we could indeed break that dismal pattern of relationship and I'm writing to tell you that we did, with gratitude to you.
We essentially broke up just days after that reading, putting an end to the unsatisfying parts and within days began a new incredibly fulfilling life together. We were married this summer and just wanted you to know the role you played. Thank you, J. 10/01
As I read her letter it was clear that the success of their relationship came, not so much from the past life information itself, but from what they chose to do with it. This couple did several things, which were significant:
1) They were willing to acknowledge their unhealthy patterns without becoming defensive or going into denial or blame.
2) They courageously decided they were unwilling to repeat the past, even if it was familiar.
3) They exercised their free will to change the "unsatisfying parts" while staying focused on the parts that were satisfying.
4) They made an intentional choice to love, which resulted in greater happiness and conscious commitment.
This kind of soul healing is deeply satisfying. But what if you’re faced with a relationship dilemma and the other person isn’t available or willing to explore the past life karma? Even though a relationship changes form, healing is still possible. This is true when people separate. It is also true when someone dies. A relationship still exists.
Although it is not the responsibility of one person to heal or fix a relationship, it is true that an individual can transform a situation by transforming him or herself. This might mean making a choice to accept that which is. It might mean refusing to engage in arguments or feelings of anger. It might mean taking it to a higher level by maintaining integrity. As Kent Keith has written, “You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway” (Keith, Anyway).
Keith, Kent M. Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World. 2001. New York: G. P. Putnam, 2002
Myss, Caroline. Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. New York: Harmony Books, 2001
© 2002 Rhonda Leifheit – All Rights Reserved