Last night I dreamt that I was at a family get together.
So what, you’re probably thinking.
What’s different about this dream is that in reality, the people in my dream, my closest genetic family, are not in my life.
This is not my choice. But, to be honest, it probably should’ve been my choice, if by nature I wasn’t loathe to break even the thinnest threads that connect. Because as author Mikal Gilmore wrote in Shot in the Dark:*
*Hell was my family. It was having to live with people who did the worst things to people they should love the most.
Who wants to live in that scenario?
But let’s turn this around and view it from a different angle.
If, like I do, you believe that what happens in this life is planned in advance in the time between lives … and that we are involved in the planning–agree to it, in fact–as part of lessons to be learned in this life…it changes the view significantly.
I do believe that there is a greater meaning to our lives. That we’re here to develop our souls, because that’s what goes on–not our bodies. We never really die…the soul is eternal and its job is to evolve and grow. This life on earth is just a brief stop, meant to be a form of Soul School, a lesson or two or three on our soul’s journey.
It’s my belief that the situation with my family is something we all agreed to play out in order for me to learn the big lesson of this lifetime. And this isn’t the only scenario designed for that same lesson. I’ve lived a number of experiences all meant for the same lesson. Some of the toughest situations were carried out with love by members of my soul family to help me along and sometimes that meant they had to play difficult roles. They had to inflict pain. Others got to bring me more positive lessons but these people, the people now in my family, had to do the harder stuff.
I do believe this. And yet, I’m human. So I do feel pain and hurt. I do over analyze and look for human reasons. No one’s been more analytical or has dived as deep as I have on the subject of my family.
And yet, I can’t hold it against them because they’re playing an important role in my soul’s evolution.
If you don’t see the purpose of life as I do, I can see how difficult tough life situations can seem. They’re difficult for me, too, even with my beliefs. But if you’re going through hard times, it can be helpful to stand outside the pain and suffering and consider if there might be a greater message for you or someone else.
Look, I get that it’s no consolation. Sometimes, I feel the same way. On one of those days, when the larger picture seemed illusive, I received an email with this inspiration:
One with an awakened heart remains rooted in the unchanging truth that underlies all conditions and therefore can maintain equanimity in the face of change, whether pleasant or unpleasant. ~Ellen Grace O’Brian
It was a great reminder of the bigger picture, of the “unchanging truth that underlies all conditions.”
Now, this is not a simple concept. Nor is it easy to live out.
But that doesn’t make it any less so. Which is why it’s so important to take the lesson.
*From Shot in the Dark, by Mikal Gilmore, who is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read and this is by far one of the best books I’ve read.