What choices did I make before I was born into this life?
by Jacquie Wise
Have you ever wondered: What choices did I make before I was born into this life?
Are you Growing as a Person?
Your Soul Contracts can help you find out.
Today, we have a new understanding of spirituality. It means living a life of integrity, of expanded consciousness (being aware of our thoughts and behaviours and their consequences). It means living our life in the best way possible for the advancement of the human family to which we are connected.
Spiritual growth depends on our ability to see things from the perspective of the ‘bigger picture’. Our understanding, backed by scientific evidence and ancient biblical teachings, includes the concepts of a higher plan, universal laws and reincarnation.
Whether you believe this or not is immaterial.
It can still be a very useful psychological exercise to play with the idea that you entered this life to fulfil a number of Soul Contracts.
Imagine it’s the end of your current life. Off you go upstairs—it’s your Judgement Day. That means having a little performance appraisal with your Gang—your Hierarchy of Angels and Guides.
Like any good performance appraisal, they’d first ask you how you think you fared in the life you’d just lived. They’d discuss all the details with you, reassuring you and pointing out successes you hadn’t acknowledged. They’d gently explain the mistakes you’d made and discuss the options you chose not to take.
Then they’d discuss the next stage of your progress. In other words, which opportunities would best help you correct mistakes; in what areas you’d be ready to take up the next challenges, and how you’d like to use the skills gained to contribute at the next level.
That’s how you yourself conduct performance appraisals—isn’t it?
They’d help you choose the kind of life you’d need to enter into, including the most appropriate circumstances, people, and conditions which would best allow you to develop and contribute. Because your soul’s yearning is to be of service, you are likely to choose the best ‘training ground’, although you may go as fast or as slow as you wish.
Now, some of these circumstances may be quite challenging. You might need to experience poverty, ill health, maybe even abuse. Maybe you’re the one who will tip the scales over to the Critical Mass (the energy of numbers) that gets a law changed, and that’s your gift to society.
Let’s say you and I have agreed to share a life together.
We’re soul companions who have shared many lives before, each time playing different roles to help each other along. This time around, I need you to help me; to push me to move beyond my comfort zone and finally break away from, let’s say, a timid pattern of behaviour. It’s a bit like getting a friend to be your jogging buddy to motivate you to do exercise. Bearing in mind we’re selecting the life we are to live together before we’re born, the conversation would go something like this:
Me: Hey, will you do me a favour? I’m sick and tired of being a doormat; I want to break free and I need you to be so horrible that I get good and angry and finally rebel. I want you to be abusive and really revolting to me.
You: I don’t know, surely I don’t have to be THAT vile to you…
Me: Yeah, yeah, be really revolting, I don’t want to drag this out, I need you to push me through this. I need to have my back against the wall so that I finally take action.
You: Well, if you’re sure that’s the best way to help you… You really want me to ….?
Me: Yeah, yeah. I just want to get it over with. I’m counting on you to be really nasty; it’s the only way I’ll develop the strength to become assertive. Please?
Once we sort out the details, we ‘sign’ a Soul Contract. When we begin the chosen life together, the memory of our agreement is blocked, otherwise it would be like knowing all the answers before we sit the exam. So you behave as agreed. It’s up to me whether I rise to the challenge or fall back into my old patterns and flunk the exam. I have the full power of choice.
When we both return to spirit, we’d be sitting up there with our gin and tonics having a huge giggle and celebration about our ‘performance’ in the theatre of life.
When you look at things from this perspective, you’re better able to see the gift behind the pain. You’re better able to move beyond resentment into huge growth.
Imagining a proper legal contract, headings might include:
Services to be rendered by the person or situation on which you’re focusing.
Here you list their attitudes or actions: they neglected, hurt, helped, challenged, rescued, smothered… Stick to the facts in this section. This is what happened. If this is too painful, do it with professional help
Insights and strengths to be developed by you, in response to the contracted service.
Here’s where you list the ways you grew in response to this behaviour. For example, you were challenged to become more self-sufficient.
Of course, any contract or agreement is a two-way process, so it’s also wise to do it the other way around, to note what ‘services’ you provided the other person through your behaviour, which challenged them.
Of course, how they chose to respond to their interaction with you is entirely up to them. In doing it this way around, you might find that you did more than your fair share of challenging! If you come to that realisation, congratulations—that’s insight, and you are now able to decide what you will do differently in future.
Here are a couple of examples to show you how it works
Georgina was very embittered with her mother. Under ‘Services to be rendered’, she listed that, as far back as she could remember, her mother had been an alcoholic, had continually complained and felt sorry for herself. According to Georgina, her mother had driven her Dad away through being over-emotional and constantly whining. She relied on external resources for her strength and was a real victim. Because of her drinking, she’d neglected the children, which meant Georgina became a surrogate mother to her younger siblings.
When we went through ‘Insights and Strengths to be developed’, Georgina listed the following:
- she’d learnt the difference between dependency and co-dependency
- she’d learnt to set boundaries on the responsibilities she was prepared to undertake
- she’d changed her expectations to ones more realistic
- she’d learnt to rely on her own internal resources and not repeat the mistakes her mother had made
- she’d realised the importance of choosing thoughts and feelings
- she’d become a better parent herself and taught her own kids differently, having learnt what not to do from her mother
- her fear of complaining (and being like her mother) was challenging her to express her feelings assertively
Not bad going, huh? When we did it the other way around, Georgina initially felt a failure for not being able to convince her mother of the damage the alcohol was doing to the family. It took a bit of discussion for her to accept that you can’t change someone unless they are ready to be changed and are receptive to suggestions. It also showed Georgina that she’d slipped into the role of rescuer. Through this process, Georgina was able to let go of anger and resentment and was better able to detach herself emotionally from her mother’s journey.
Rodney reviewed the relationship he’d had with his ex-wife, who used to goad and belittle him, criticise him in public, and continually play a number of power games. Initially, he’d seen the impact on him as negative. He said he’d lost his sense of fun, he’d blindly followed expectations and didn’t feel he’d had the right to do anything he wanted. Working through the contract, Rodney began to see the positive impact of his wife’s behaviour on his spiritual growth:
- he’d become more emotionally self-sufficient and resilient
- he’d resolved to teach his children to become confident, caring adults
- he’d realised he didn’t need another person to make him feel complete
- he’d discovered strengths he didn’t know he had, as he learnt not to allow her to drag him down.
When we did it the other way around, Rodney realised he had stood up to his wife and, to a certain extent, had taught her to modify her behaviour. He knew that the impact of his departure had made her stop and think deeply. That had been his gift to her.
It’s a very powerful process. Clients have told me it has changed their attitudes and approaches to life, and has helped them value the challenges they’ve faced as part of their soul’s growth. I’m told it’s even saved marriages when couples have done it together.
Soul Contracts are something you might like to play with. The process will help you recognise the progress you’ve made and what you still need to learn. As you appreciate the reasons you might have chosen such a lesson, it’ll help heal any pain or guilt. Even if you didn’t ‘get it’ at the time, the fact that you’ve developed insights in retrospect is the gift.
You could try going through a Contract with all kinds of people or even circumstances. Let’s say the circumstance is ill-health. Maybe it’s taught you stoicism, developed your sense of humour, encouraged you to find alternative solutions to challenges, made you a good role-model for your kids, put you in a position to raise funds or help others, or helped you cultivate enormous patience.
A nice touch at the end of the process is to write a letter of appreciation for the challenges that have been presented to you. I’m not suggesting you send the letter—that’s not the point. Maybe you’d like to make a ritual for yourself and burn it, as you say goodbye to all the pain you’ve been carrying. It helps you shift the way you think and feel.
Don’t forget that the person who caused you pain is a soul on their own journey, and one whom you invited into your life to perform a specific function. If they did their job well, can you resent it, if you drew it to you in the first place? People can only do what they can do. We might wish they could do better; we might believe they should know better, but—do you?
Forgiving someone does not mean condoning or tolerating bad behaviour.
Far from it. Nor does it mean forgetting what happened—that’s part of your history. Of course you’re not going to forget. What it does mean is that you can let go of the pain that goes with the memory. You can refuse to invest any more energy into bitterness, hurt or regret
If you have found this article interesting, you may like to read my book: Reconnecting: The Next Dimension in our Expanding Consciousness
Do you know what your soul contracts are? Do you understand how they have impacted on your life and how you can change any negative patterns? To experience a soul contract process, contact me to arrange a convenient time.
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