“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind." ~ John Donne
Relationships are everything. They are our greatest teacher when it comes to understanding who we are. I always jest that if you wish to do some more personal work, soul-work or simply take a temperature check of your emotional and mental nature, then go get in a relationship. Without a doubt, what is left within you to heal will come out to play in no time.
Relationships are also our greatest opportunity to allow us to express who we are, to demonstrate the level of which we have evolved and to point us in the direction of where we need to go.
Some relationships are wonderful, loving, giving and nurturing. Other relationships are challenging and frustrating and difficult. Some are traumatic and deeply hurtful. Some are a little of all of the above. ALL relationships are on purpose. ALL relationships are a gift. It is my hope that this brief explanation of Soul Groups and Soul Contracts will help you hold a different perspective of those in your own life; and, perhaps bring peace where it is needed, and ultimately gratitude for each and every encounter you have- be them just for a moment or long and enduring, life-long.
Take out a sheet of blank paper. In the center of the paper draw a small, quarter-size, circle. In the center of the circle write ME. Then draw a ring around that circle with enough space to write some names in. Then draw another circle and another and another. These concentric rings go on and on, yet for the understanding of Soul Groups we will keep it manageable with just a few rings.
The ring right outside of 'ME' is your Immediate Soul Group. This group consists of your born-in family and any family you have thus far created. So this includes parents, siblings, spouses, children (adopted and biological), grandparents and grand children.
The ring outside of "Immediate" is your Secondary or "Close" Group. You would write your best friends, maybe cousins, aunts/uncles, or even a treasured mentor or counselor, whomever you hold dear to you or you consider to be part of your "family". In-laws may fit in this circle or the Immediate one depending on where you feel best denotes your relationship.
The following rings are your Extended Soul Groups. In those rings you would place people from your past, typically that you remember yet don't have a current or very strong relationship with today. This could be teachers from first or second or any grade of course, other childhood classmates, coaches, your first boss, first boyfriend or girlfriend, church leaders and more. These people influenced you in some way, positively or negatively and you surely remember them for one thing or another. The stronger the memory, place them in the closer extended circles.
The Extended Soul Group also contains people that you have had serious relationships with, romantic partners, peers, co-workers, bosses, employees, neighbors and more. It is especially important to note relationships that have had strong conflict or friction, whether it is resolved or unresolved. These people, the ones whom there has been conflict with, you definitely want to put them in the nearest extended Soul Group after your Secondary ring.
You can play with this diagram for a while and for days. As you reflect on your life and remember people, you can just write them in where you feel they fit. Many many of them will be on the outer edges and you can use the white space of your sheet to put them there. All of these people are in your Soul Group. This means your soul knows them and they yours on a much deeper level and from previous incarnations. It basically means, you travel through lifetimes with the same souls, creating new scenarios and roles to play each time.
This may be a new concept for you and you don't have to necessarily believe in past lives to understand it. It is helpful though to accept that the people in our lives we have soul contracts with. Some of these contracts are MUCH bigger than others. You can guess that the rings closest to "ME" have the bigger contracts, as opposed to those distant rings where a person may have just been a marker on the road for you, so to speak. Safe to say, regardless, those closest to you, those in your heart or even those in your head space, you have a deep love for or knowing of that something bigger is behind this relationship.
What is bigger that is behind the relationships is the Soul Contract. Soul Contracts are exactly as it sounds- your soul makes a contract with another soul. We agree to play a certain role for one another so that we can have the experiences here that we want to have. Now this gets a little tricky to comprehend and I surely don't have the space to cover it all in a blog post, so just bear with me.
You are probably wondering what I mean by saying that we want to have certain experiences here in this lifetime. I am going to digress for a minute here~ Our souls are always evolving into the next highest version of ourselves. We evolve through experiences because it is through experiences that we learn and grow and hopefully become wiser from. The experiences are mainly fueled by our relationships- the good, the beautiful, the bad and the ugly and in some cases, even the horrific or tragic. When we understand our Soul Contract with another we are able to have compassion for ourselves and them and ultimately gratitude for each and every experience and relationship that we have in our lives.
The following true story is a clear example of how this works:
I met with a young woman once who was struggling in several areas of her life, including dealing with the recent loss of her father. She had a string of bad relationships with men who were either verbally and physically abusive, emotionally unavailable or, in most of her experiences, both. She had a slew of health issues, chronic bladder infections, fibromyalgia and migraines to name a few. In addition, she suffered from anxiety and depression. She had determined that all of her unhappiness, illnesses and lack of success in life and relationships was because she grew up with an alcoholic father. And now, not only was she grieving his loss, she was angry at him for leaving before she could express her pent up anger and frustration. Her childhood was spent in hours of isolation being that her siblings were much older. Her mother lived her own life in a state of depression. Her father worked tirelessly and was rarely home. When he was home, he was drinking. Needless to say neither of her parents were available mentally, emotionally and physically. She basically raised herself.
She blamed her father for her mother’s depression, for her own personal inability to relate to men in a healthy way, much less trust them, and for her own depression as well. She blamed her father for her anger and subsequent health issues. She was “pissed!” Literally, she was pissed, hence the chronic bladder infections. She wanted him to know how he basically “F***ed up” everyone’s life by choosing alcohol over his family. And she was angry that he not only didn’t have to deal with his actions, he got out early! He was dead. He got out of this miserable life. She was left to suffer and he didn’t even have the decency to be available for her to speak her mind. She was left here dealing with the sh*# of a traumatic childhood and all of the consequences it took out on her psyche and body. Her only retribution was her belief in karma and that he would most definitely suffer in the next lifetime. He would get payback and she couldn’t wait and she hoped somehow she would get to see it.
Not knowing anything more about her, her story and her family, I opened up for her father to come through. In the blink of an eye, he was there. He had been with us all along. He immediately showered her with love and gratitude. His energy was a huge embrace full of warmth and light. She could feel it and began to cry. He told her how remarkable this lifetime had been for him and that he was profoundly grateful for her allowing him to truly understand what life is like as an alcoholic. He literally got to have the exact experience he desired. He told her that he came from the “healer’s realm” of souls, to which she scoffed and rolled her eyes. He said that each lifetime he chooses, he works in some healing capacity as that is his true and divine essence. It is his soul’s desire to understand everything about healing. He told her that the lifetime prior to this one he was a doctor and he worked strictly with severe alcoholics in treatment facilities where psychosis and delusions were par for the course. She looked at me with surprise when he said this and said, “He was a doctor this lifetime too.”
He explained to her that he designed this lifetime to be an alcoholic so he could have first hand knowledge and understanding of the power of the disease. He wanted to feel the gripping nature of alcohol, the relentless desire to be numb, to be void of awareness and to be emotionally withdrawn. He wanted to understand how someone can abandon their family, especially when he had the most amazing, beautiful, bright-eyed daughter always eagerly waiting for him to be home. He thanked her again for playing this difficult role as his daughter, knowing she would be neglected, unseen and unheard. Neither of us were prepared for what he said next.
He told her that she too was from the “healer’s realm” and that she was married to him in the last lifetime and worked at the facility with him. They actually worked and lived on the premises. It was a hard, lonely and isolated life yet they were very committed to their work and desire to create some kind of peace for their patients. They had one child, a daughter, who was her mother this lifetime. They had hoped that the child would bring joy to their lives and brighten their environment, giving them something else to focus on and nurture. It’s much easier to grow a seed in healthy soil with proper light and water and love than to rescue a dying plant whose roots, stems and leaves have withered. This did not go well and eventually she abandoned her work and took their daughter to live a healthier life outside of the facility.
He explained that what they all have been working is a deeper understanding of alcoholism from as many angles as possible. He said that this lifetime has allowed him to evolve into a stronger healer and he was already anticipating his next life as her son.
Her responses grew stronger with each thought he shared, validating the truth of what he was saying. It all completely resonated with her. She revealed to me that she had been contemplating going back to school to pursue higher education. She has had this nudging for quite some time to work in a professional capacity to help people struggling with childhood trauma and addictions. The relief in her was practically instantaneous. The depth of understanding she could now hold was immense. The realization that this was a noble lifetime indeed for her father as well as she and her mother was exactly what she needed to let her anger go. In that understanding of her life and choices, in her seeking to have experiences for her evolution, she was able to finally feel grateful and free. She now knew that her life lived thus far was on purpose and orchestrated by divine design. She left my office that afternoon with true admiration and respect for her father and with focused intention for her own life as a healer.
I encourage you to take some time and begin to reflect on the relationships in your life. Allow yourself to be open to a new perspective. If you want to explore more there are those you can work with who facilitate "Life Between Life" sessions, where we design our plans and write out our contracts. (I can give your the names of someone in Fairhope, AL and in Birmingham, AL if you are interested.) I highly recommend trying this avenue of you can. Too, we can always explore contracts in sessions within the Akashic Records as well, as is demonstrated in the story above. (These sessions need to be 60 minutes or more.)
Lastly, to make this even easier, think about your relationships and look for the gifts that came out of them. Look at how you evolved in some way. Maybe you learned something new or discovered something about yourself you weren't aware of. Maybe you learned to express yourself in ways you hadn't before. Consider how different you are from having been in this relationship. When you can see how relationships have impacted your life in a positive way, you are seeing the gifts. You then can hold gratitude and love in your heart and you free yourself from any negative and hurtful thought patterns or behaviors. You release any negative charges and foster more love and goodness for yourself and those in your life. Then this goodness and love ripples out to even more and more and more people. And who doesn't want more of that?
Peace, Joy and Happiness to all of you who took the time to read and explore ~