"There is a need to create limitation, as the soul uses limitation in your realm for growth. As you experience limitedness, there is a need to overcome frustration, work within one's own parameters, and focus energy--an energy that cuts through the density in your realm and creates spaces of light and a higher vibration." - From Courageous Souls
At some point, everyone on Earth has asked "Why?" in the face of difficult circumstances. Why did my fiancé die in a car accident? Why is my mother an alcoholic? Why is my son Autistic? Why do I have cancer? Why is my brother a quadriplegic because of a diving accident? Why do some people die at the hands of serial killers or suicide bombers?
Like existential detectives, many of us try to wrap our heads around life challenges and, ultimately, find out "whodunit?" Was it because of a nasty devil wanting to afflict? Is a capricious god punishing me--or is the wheel of karma catching up? Is negative thinking the root of my illness?
What if NONE of these scenarios was the case--but, in fact, we CONTRACTED our life challenges before incarnating?
In his book Courageous Souls: Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth?, author Robert Schwartz takes readers behind the veil of forgetfulness into the conversations and decisions that have taken place "between lives". Interviewing about a dozen people who have experienced loss, illness, accidents, and addictions, Schwartz explores the idea of agreements made before birth to learn and experience certain life lesson--and coming to know our true selves.
In addition, the author facilitates sessions between these individuals and several mediums. These mediums access the Akashic Records (an etheric "book of life" that records every thought, word, and action) for information on pre-birth planning sessions or "channel" messages from their spirit guides about specific agreements.
Echoing the case studies of hypnotherapist Dr. Michael Newton, author of the books Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls--as well as the children's book The Little Soul and the Sun by Neale Donald Walsch-- Schwartz maintains that Earth is place of duality where powerful creators incarnate in order to learn through opposites. A candle surrounded by brilliant light can only experience darkness by entering it.
"Who but the most power of souls could conjure an illusion that appears real to its very creator?" he asks. While we're on the other side, we consult with members of our soul group and guides and agree to perform certain roles--all for the purpose of soul growth and experience. By incarnating on the Earth plane--being born--we enter a "river of forgetfulness", as Caroline Myss describes in her book Sacred Contracts. We forget so we can have a powerful "remembering".
If we accept that each human has contracted particular life lessons such as parenting a disabled child, losing a loved one, participating in an addiction, or experiencing an illness, then the concept of being a "victim"--either of a negligent person, system, or god--is neutralized. Even more than that, there is a sense of meaning and empowerment that enables the personality to move forward, heal, and even contribute to the well-being of others and the raising of group consciousness.
Courageous Souls parts the curtain on the great stage of life, revealing the elaborate play and agreed upon roles that humanity acts out here on Earth--all motivated by deep love and respect for one another. Schwartz writes:
"We love the souls whom we plan our lives. During our earthly existence, they may be people who complicate matters, cause us stress or worry, or even become our `enemies'. When not incarnate the estranged husband and wife, the abusive parent and neglected child, and the warring ex-business partners are loving friends. They care deeply for one another and will often reincarnate together in an effort to master lessons unfinished in previous lives."
Of course, empirical verification of the stories and channeled information relayed in Courageous Souls is impossible, but so are, ultimately, any assertions made by a sacred text, religious leader, or jaded philosopher. One thing I know for sure: ALL of us tell stories to ourselves (and others) that attempt to explain why things happen as they do. Many of those interpretations of "the facts" come from outside us, such as the doctrines of religion or the mores of a culture.
So if we're all telling stories about what we're experiencing on Earth in the attempt to explain situations or create meaning, why not tell ones that embolden, enlighten, and inspire? What is accomplished by playing the victim, wallowing in blame, or becoming entangled in mind games of "woulda, coulda, shoulda"?
What IS has already happened--and how empowering is the idea that we all are playing our roles brilliantly--and that we will embrace all the actors on the other side, congratulating them on their performance and their act of service!
If these ideas sound like the kind of reality you would like to learn more about, then I highly recommend Courageous Souls by Robert Schwartz. By allowing us, the readers, to eavesdrop into pre-birth planning sessions and post-"trauma" interviews, we are given a precious gift of comfort, peace, and meaning--urging us forward in our unique destinies with the knowledge that none is a victim...and EVERYTHING can be used for our highest good.
Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)