The concept of ‘soul contracts’ has gained a lot of traction amongst spiritual communities in recent years, however it is not an entirely new theory.
Just like our souls, soul contracts have actually existed for much longer than this latest incarnation, and have manifested in many different iterations over the centuries.
From Buddhist enlightenment practice, Hindu karmic bonds, and Christian teachings about God’s plan, the idea that suffering is somehow preordained and purposeful has quietly underpinned them all.
Now, by defining soul contracts and understanding them more clearly, spiritual communities are finding a way to harness knowledge that has been there all along, and become stronger and more peaceful as a result.
What is a Soul Contract? Understanding Pre-Birth Agreements
Soul contracts are agreements made between two or more souls at a pre-birth meeting, long before bodily existence has begun. The best way to imagine it is as a dinner between your soul and the souls of all those who will be meaningful to you in your earthly life.
Let’s imagine a round table, much like King Arthur’s, where you nobly gather to plan and discuss the events and relationships that your soul should experience once born.
The important word here is ‘should’, because these events and relationships are not always what you ‘would like’ to experience, but rather what will best teach you the lessons and wisdom that your soul needs in order to evolve.
Our pre-birth souls are wise beyond our earthly imaginings, and together they draw up a contract that is specific to you. This bespoke journey might involve heartache, to teach you strength, abandonment, to teach you independence, or illness, to teach you to live in the moment.
And the souls gathered at your table will each agree to take on a specific role in order to help you learn these profound lessons.
It is almost like the casting of a play, where all the actors are given their parts. Someone will have to play the antagonist in order for you, the protagonist, to have a fulfilling and meaningful life.
The souls who agree to take on this difficult task, love and respect you so much that they are willing to be the cause of hurt and pain on earth in order to advance your spiritual evolution.
Everyone must ‘sign-up’ and agree to their involvement in your soul’s evolution, and you have to be complicite too. You have to willingly accept hardship and hurt as well as love and laughter.
At the end of this pre-birth assembly, the contract is complete – however it is not set in stone. There is always the element of free-will involved in any lifetime, and depending on your earthly choices, your contract can adapt and change.
The Benefits of Soul Contracts: Ascension Through Knowledge
The knowledge of this soul contract can be incredibly helpful in hard times. It allows you to understand your enemies as allies and your problems as opportunities, and many people have found this shift in perspective to be highly beneficial.
This process is known as ‘ascension’. It refers to the sensation of rising further and further above what is happening in your day to day life as you begin to understand the bigger picture.
The sense of tranquility and peace that comes with ascension can be very profound and helps many people through extremely difficult moments in their earthly journey.
Of course, there is a level of detachment involved in the ascension process. Some people worry that by viewing everyday issues from an outside perspective, you are not truly accepting what is happening, but on the contrary, this distance is freeing and enlightening.
You can see that we are all part of each other’s plan, and are designed to build each other up and bring each other down for a reason. Pain and misfortune cease to seem senseless and cruel, and instead can be seen as part of your life’s rich tapestry.
Making the Most of Challenging Soul Contracts
With an understanding of soul contracts you can start to re-interpret the negative aspects of your life and no longer feel burdened or worried by them.
We all love to laugh and love because we say that they make us feel alive, but the real trick is to accept that pain and sadness are also signs of life.
The old saying ‘it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’ is a great way to understand this. The saying suggests that any human experience, however intense, is better than a lack of experience.
Numbness and monotony might feel safe, but they are not vital, and in order to gain the most from your time on earth you need to experience the whole breadth of human emotion: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Once you learn to love all the emotions and think of them as meaningful and sublime, you will be in control of your emotions and be better able to cope with them.
This means that if you are feeling lonely you have the capacity to step outside yourself and say ‘ok, I am lonely, I am intensely sad, and I am alive’.
Then you can begin to dissect your situation and try to decipher what lesson it is that you and your fellow souls intended for you from this moment of sadness.
Perhaps they are challenging you to find the courage to go out and meet others, or perhaps they are challenging you to feel more comfortable with your own company? How you respond is your free will.
Only Through Darkness Can We See The Light
The tricky part of all this is that we have been through years (and in fact centuries) of social conditioning that has taught us to seek happiness and pleasure above all else.
The pursuit of happiness is part of our national psychology, and we have been taught to avoid fear, pain and hardship as a by-product of this. Trying to reset this psychology can be an arduous task.
The ultimate aim is to see pain as a healing experience. Take anger for example. People often describe how they felt ‘hot’ with anger, were ‘burning with anger’, or how they ‘saw red’.
These fire analogies are vivid and capture an important and visceral element of anger. But just as it can rage and burn us, fire can also warm and protect us.
Fire is the element that has enabled us to evolve, to cook and create energy, to see in the dark and stay warm in the cold. Indeed, humans have used fire all throughout our existence to guard against evil spirits and predators.
Therefore, the fire you feel inside when someone hurts or angers you can be transformed into a protective shield if you harness its power.
Rather than battling negative experiences and emotions, we should embrace and accept them, and allow their qualities to enrich our souls. Success, happiness, good fortune are only visible because of darkness and hardship.
Stages Of Your Awakening
Reinterpreting the world in the knowledge of soul contracts takes time, and there will be many stages to your spiritual awakening just as there are many stages in the grief cycle.
Initially you may feel an odd sense of detachment as you start your realignment. You might feel strangely separated from those around you and note a kind of duality.
This is because your super ego will be reexamining all your friendships and contacts and assessing what they mean for your spiritual journey.
However, as you embrace the change you will start to feel bolder and braver in your everyday interactions.
You might find that you speak up more in meetings as work, because you know that everybody in the meeting room once stood in your pre-birth meeting and agreed to be here for you and your development.
You might try new experiences because you understand that if you ‘fail’ you will learn a pre-ordained lesson and grow as a person.
You will not feel set upon or cursed if things go wrong because you will be able to distinguish the lessons you were meant to learn and feel grateful for them.
Every Soul Contract Is Unique
Learning to identify the lessons in life can be one of the most difficult parts of acknowledging your soul contract, because in truth every contract is different.
Although many souls will need to learn similar lessons, the method through which you learn will be specifically designed to suit your personality and character traits.
For example, many of us will need to learn about unconditional love in our lifetimes in order to grow. However, one person might fall in love with a difficult partner who is stubborn and selfish, another might have a sibling who is jealous and mean to them.
In both situations the primary soul learns that unconditional love is painful and selfless, yet the lesson manifests in a form that is tailor-made for each individual.
Not All Lessons Come In One Lifetime
You will inevitably have mastered some lessons in past lives, which is why you are predisposed to certain things and why our personalities are all so different.
Just think of someone you know who deals with rejection really well; they always seem so strong and self assured and can magically bounce back after disappointments whilst you wallow for months.
Well this is not because they are a better person than you, but because they have already learnt to deal with rejection in a past life. Now it is your turn.
In the same way, you may know someone older than you is incredibly immature and gets caught up on petty things as though they were a teenager.
This demonstrates how spiritual lifetimes are very different to earthly ones, and your years of age have nothing to do with how much you have truly experienced. Just think about how we refer to some people as having ‘an old soul’.
Now you know to take this observation more literally. Some souls are new and immature even at the age of 80, and others have been through lifetimes of development though they are just newborn.
Why Can’t We Remember Our Soul Contracts?
But where is the proof? I hear you cry! If we have lived many lives and signed soul contracts, why do we not know about it and why can’t we remember?
The answer is simple; proof is all around you, and we don’t remember because we do not need to.
When we are born, we don’t remember the womb but we know that we were there.
Likewise, early childhood experiences shape our very being and psychologists all agree that early traumas can have long-term ramifications on us, but we don’t actually remember much of what happened to us before the age of 4.
Does this mean those things didn’t happen? Of course not. We forget the details but are left with the effect. In the same way, before-life meetings, soul contracts, and past lives are all forgotten but they shape us deeply.
Amnesia is helpful. It is why women cannot remember the pain of childbirth, and why we forget the pain of heartbreak – so we can move forward in innocence like a child.
It would be too overwhelming to remember everything about our past lives, and indeed our before-life, and it would not help us to cope and function on a day to day basis. Instead we take what we need.
We may have been hurt in the past but we always have the ability to respond differently in the present. We have the freedom to make choices which is why soul contracts cannot be described as ‘fate’ or ‘destiny contracts’.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only harnessed and converted into newness. This is the same with past experiences and personal growth.
It is possible to retrieve fragments of past lives through deja vu, dreams, premonitions and epiphanies.
Near death experiences are also times when people see the bigger tapestry and can conceive of a universe far beyond our earthly understanding. However, for the most part it is better to learn the lessons of these lives and forget the plot.
Of course, some individuals have the ability to remember, but these people have a rare gift that has been given to them through eons of spiritual lives and development. They are there to make us all feel more informed and safe, which is why we should listen to them.
How Can Soul Contracts Transform Your Life?
Understanding soul contracts can enable you to take control of your life and cope with day to day hardships much more successfully. As a mindset, it is incredibly balanced and level-headed, and is very helpful to those who feel overwhelmed by sadness or fear.
If there is a person in your life who is bothering you, you can begin to see them as a fellow soul who is in your life to teach you something.
Perhaps an abusive partner can teach you to stand up for yourself and leave? Perhaps a nasty colleague can teach you to rise above pettiness and prioritize those you love.
As soon as you realize that you are a soul in a human body, here only for the soul to develop, you will achieve a wonderful perspective and a sense of release that can be incredibly empowering and reassuring.
What If You Refuse To Learn?
When we are resistant to the lessons life throws at us they will keep returning. The universe can be very persistent that way. The same lesson will keep cropping up until you acknowledge and learn from it, and sometimes that will mean it will follow you to the next life as well.
This is not cruelty from the universe, it is supreme wisdom, and every time the same problem occurs you should see it as another opportunity to practice your skills. Don’t think of it as you against the universe, think of it as you and the universe guiding yourself.
There may be some repeated hurdles thrown in along the way to test your learning and assess if you have made progress or are you reverting to old habits. So, if you want an issue to be resolved, the best option is to go through it head on.
Does The Suffering Ever Stop?
If you learn your lessons well you will eventually be able to rise above any obstacle, like a child facing a bully and taking all their power away, or someone holding a spider and realising it is harmless afterall.
Your problems are yours, they belong to you. They were created by your wisest and purest self before you even knew you existed, devised by all who love and cherish you (even those who appear to hate you).
Once you accept the higher plan that you designed for yourself you can begin to navigate through your hardships like a girl guide working for badges as she completes her skills.
You will see that negativity is simply the obstacle course leading you to self knowledge and enlightenment.
So enjoy the challenge! See problems as opportunities. See enemies as allies. See poor bodily health as exercise for spiritual well being, and grief as profoundly expanding.
You can start today by opening your mind and seeing your life in a new light where hardship is as precious and profound as joy.