I recently read a wonderful book that opened a new perspective for me. The title is Your Soul's Plan, the author is Robert Schwartz. The general environment of the book is the time/space between lifetimes. Schwartz consulted mediums and psychics who specialize in this area, and with them, interviewed people who have faced some of life's more difficult challenges, including physical illness, parenting handicapped children, deafness and blindness, drug addiction and alcoholism, and accidents. The mediums were able to connect to the between-life phase, and what they describe is the process of choosing the challenges of the next lifetime. Apparently, yes, we choose. We choose our parents, our mates, the roles they will play out for our benefit, and even more than that. It's all a big conference, and the souls who become our loved or hated ones get to decide if they are willing to act in the roles we are requesting.
That's what first got my attention....The story of Jon, a gay man who contracted AIDS....Shame was a big factor in his emotional life, He felt shamed by his parents, his community, and had to fight his way out of it to self-acceptance, not an easy task. A medium reported a pre-birth conversation between Jon and his parents in which Jon asks for the shame as a way to find his own courage. Neither parent wants to play such a denying role, but both of them agree to do it out of love for Jon.
"I agree to do this because I love you." What an amazing decision, to act against one's higher inclinations to benefit a loved soul who is asking for help. As my marriage came to an end, I was already entertaining the idea that before we were born, my husband and I had agreed to play out the roles of uncongenial partners. What's new here for me is the awareness that I created the role he played. It wasn't due to his upbringing, or his character (seeming character?), it was because I wanted to learn to look within for what I need, for what I always wanted. I have a new appreciation for the generosity of his spirit, the largeness of his soul. And it has taken until now for me to really get it, as deeply as I have. Did I do the same for him? I hope so....and if I didn't this time, then another time will emerge, in what we call past or future....
I've long suspected that in the between-lives place we are likely to be unaccountably ambitious, creating challenges that our personality selves would never entertain. But then, from the soul place, we have a larger perspective....Jon is the one who chose to be shamed, and the one who chose to contract AIDS as a way of expanding the challenge to see himself as his soul--so totally worthy of unconditional love that worth doesn't even enter into it.
So that's my game plan, to see myself as my soul....Maybe I decided this pre-birth, though it hardly matters if the decision was then or now. What does that mean, grounded into the 3D to 5D span of realities I'm living in? For one thing, it means that when I have the consciousness to see that I'm at a choice point---something distresses me, and I see that a choice is before me--do I give in to anxiety, fear, irritation etc---or do I go for greater spaciousness? If I ask myself who's upset, the answer will always be "the smaller me," and then I can drop into the heart space to get access to my soul's intention. Good plan, as far as it goes, but I don't always recognize the moment. I need a back-up plan....and plenty of no judgment, with a side of mercy.
What if I were to change the way I think of myself, at least when I'm on the high side of awareness? What if I began to identify myself from the heart space as my soul: one who chooses to learn love for all, to see love everywhere, at all times. If I let myself into that space when I can, then my sense of identity will begin to change. It will be easier to remember that the small s self, the one who experiences unwanted feelings and unhelpful thoughts, is a tool for learning, set in motion by the soul on purpose.
I say that, knowing that at the highest/deepest level, there's no Self at all. But I'm not there yet, if I get there at all this life, so I think I'll make the best of where I am while I can.