I wrote this piece because I wanted to look at a few perspectives regarding traumatic events that result in life-altering circumstances. I also wanted to touch on how we might work with irrevocable alterations to our lives such that we stay engaged in life. Additionally, I wanted to look at the questions that arise when our life path is derailed: was it an accident, or was it planned?
The following discussion is limited in its exploration of these ideas, but I believe it offers a beginning. ~ Gloria
If I do what I agreed to do (follow my soul intentions), will my life unfold smoothly?
This is not the astral plane where it is impossible to give or receive injury. On the physical plane, your creations and the creations of others frequently collide. When they do, there can be conflict and disagreement which sometimes results in acts of destruction. Obviously, under these circumstances, things do not proceed without a hitch. While you are pursuing what you believe to be the reasons you are here, you will encounter those who are not in alignment with your vision and who may even express contempt for you. While this may not feel very good to you, it should not be a reason to change course. It is important to stay on track with what you believe is your unique purpose.
In other words, if you follow your intentions it does not mean that you will be admitted to a zone where there is no longer a need for hard work and focus. Hard work alone may give you a reason to run in another direction, but if you do, you will also give up the meaning and purpose your soul craves. When you are tracking your purpose, your choices and actions will be based directly on what you believe in, and what will support your goals, rather than on what you think others expect of you. When you are faithful to what you know to be true for you, you will have an increased sense of clarity that you are on the right path, along with the deep satisfaction that comes from that.
Your soul intentions will cause discomfort
It is true that following your soul intentions will from time to time cause discomfort, but unless you feel discomfort, you are never going to leave the nest. Unless you feel discomfort, you will not seek solutions to get out of that discomfort. When you are chafing, you will be automatically inspired to seek ways to get back your comfort. Although seeking comfort is not in and of itself going to lead you to your highest good, it will get you moving! It will shake up your inertia because you will be forced to engage with your own life in order to save it. In the process of seeking solutions you will exercise your creativity. Life is not meant to be easy, but the truth is that all creation comes from tension. If you are too comfortable, the likelihood is that you will remain on idle, creating nothing of consequence until you are forced to act when your security and well-being are at stake. This is how life’s intrusive barbs can serve you. By kicking your ass, they can breathe life back into your creativity and your reason for being.
What if my world explodes even though I’m doing what I agreed to do by following my soul intentions?
Every now and then life throws us some serious curve balls. Every now and then we enter a field of unexpected and unprecedented dramatic shifts. I will use the 2000 film Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks, as the launch point for this discussion. In the story, protagonist Chuck Noland is faced with a deep survival crisis when he finds himself stranded on an uninhabited island after his airplane crashes into the South Pacific. At the time of the incident, Chuck is a federal express employee with an established life. He has a girlfriend who is about to become his fiancé, and his network of co-workers, family, and friends are solidly in place. Suddenly he is cast into utter isolation, cut off from his loved ones, and completely dependent on his personal resources to survive. This period of his life will last an eternity of four years.
A hypothetical exploration of Chuck’s soul choices
Holding up a lens which looks at the events in a life as the direct result of soul choice, some questions (far from exhaustive) come to mind about Chuck’s life-transforming event:
- 1. Was he following his original soul’s agenda before he crashed into the ocean, and was the course of his life untimely ripped by an unforeseeable accident?
- 2. Or, was he reminded, by harsh intervention, to route back to the original intentions for his life? In which case, what might they have been?
- 3. Or, was the life-changing event of living on the island simply the next phase in the story of his unfolding life plan?
Before I go further, let me state that I do not know the definitive answer to any of these questions. I pose them because the process of giving them consideration may offer insight into what provokes the unexpected to come calling, and how we might handle the resulting harsh and permanent repercussions.
Question 1: Was Chuck following his original soul’s agenda before he crashed into the ocean, and was the course of his life untimely ripped by an unforeseeable accident?
Scenario 1: As an employee of an international company, Chuck was doing what he came here to do. He was developing leadership skills, skills in managing others, skills at managing time, skills at relating to co-workers, supervisees, friends, and intimates. He was successful at his job – he accomplished his goals and he was competent, trustworthy, and reliable.
He was planning to get married. He was planning to have children. He planned to support his family emotionally and financially. He had developed a high level of maturity with his capacity to deal with stress and accountability to multiple relationships. He was living the life he came to live, one that was mindful that time is a limited resource. His future was set.
Then his tightly crafted, intentionally designed life was completely derailed by a horrific accident.
This accident functioned to destroy his existing agreements with others and with himself. He was called on to re-invent his life. He was called on to make it up as he went, ad hoc’ing and creating every moment of his new life. What could he bring to bear on this unexpected major shift in his life’s journey? In a nutshell: everything he knew, and everything he was physically capable of.
Chuck could have died in the ocean, but his raft drifted to an uninhabited island. Perhaps he was guided there, or perhaps it was just another accident.
If he was guided, it would seem that there was a higher intention for his life to continue despite it being thrown so completely off course. If it was an accident that he landed on a shore, he was still faced with the choice to give up on his life, or to do whatever he could to survive and find a way to return to the life that had been ripped from him.
Do we choose to give up or persevere?
Whether or not there was a higher force that guided Chuck to the island shore, he still had a choice to make. He could continue living, or he could find a way to make an exit.
When we find ourselves stranded and isolated, we are always faced with the choice to give up or to surrender, applying everything we are to chillingly unfamiliar and hostile territory. Isolation and limited resources are superlatively daunting circumstances and they will pulverize the faint-hearted or catalyze your courage to reach for new life – even if you have no clue what that life will now look like, or how you will get there.
Although the horrific experience of ripping Chuck out of his life was not planned, he was nonetheless confronted with the urgency to do something with it if he wanted to live. He was being asked, should he choose to do so, to continue the act of his own creation by creating his life without the support of community, peers, or comfort. He was on his own, absolutely and irrevocably. If he was to live, he had to become the Creator and stand in the shoes of God.
Question 2: Was Chuck reminded, by harsh intervention, to route back to the original intentions for his life? In which case, what might they have been?
Scenario II: As a successful employee, Chuck was not doing what he came here to do. Yes, he was exercising leadership skills, skills in managing others, skills at managing time, skills at relating to co-workers, supervisees, friends, and intimates. Yes, he was competent at his job, but this was not what he had agreed to work on for his life. Chuck had already polished his current skill sets and was relying on them to get him through life comfortably without having to do the grinding work of developing mastery in a completely different area.
Sometimes we ask for wake-up calls
The truth was that Chuck had resisted taking on new skills and relationships in his previous incarnations, and now his resistance had come home to roost. In fact, he had asked that this time around, if he failed to track his original purpose, that he be reminded in no uncertain terms that a change of course was required. Enter a horrific accident. Now his tightly crafted life was completely and intentionally derailed – by his own design.
This accident functioned to destroy his stale agreements and relationships. He was called on to re-invent his life. He was called on to make it up as he went, ad hoc’ing while creating every moment of his new life. As daunting and traumatic as this new situation was, it was exactly what Chuck needed (and had asked for). Without being forced into circumstances that stripped him of reliance on his habitual way of being, Chuck would not have made the effort to reach deep within and begin to cultivate new skills, nor would he have had any incentive to step into becoming the person he now needed to be. The person he needed to evolve into required a new mindset, new tools, and a new perspective on what his life was about.
What does the soul want?
Who was this person that Chuck needed to become? It was the person his soul required him to become. The soul wants to be fully present and engaged. The soul needs to have experiences that challenge it to expand and grow new anatomy. It is inherent to the soul to be creative, and to be dynamically so. As sparks of God, we are each god in our own right. God is the mastermind par excellence of Exploration and Creation, and when he/r incarnational expression spends too much time going over the same lesson plan, the soul will endure boredom only so long.
What was included in Chuck’s new lesson plan?
• The courage to persevere in the face of an unknown future.
• The courage to persevere without external aid from tools or others.
• The courage to tend his own wounds.
• Profound creativity in designing new applications for otherwise mundane objects.
• Learning to deal with, and accept, severe restrictions and limitations.
• Learning new skills.
What else did he learn? He came to know his heart’s desires. He understood what was truly meaningful to him now that he was removed from the din of his former noisy and hurried life. He came to be in far greater alignment with his soul.
Question 3: Was the life-changing event of living on the island simply the next phase in the story of his unfolding life plan?
Scenario III: As an employee of an international company, Chuck was doing what he came here to do, but there was more he had agreed to. He was developing leadership skills, skills in managing others, skills at managing time, skills at relating to co-workers, supervisees, friends, and intimates. He was successful at his job – he accomplished his goals and he was competent, trustworthy, and reliable.
The truth was that Chuck had resisted taking on new skills and relationships in his previous incarnations, and he had asked for an intervention that would require him to make a radical departure from life circumstances that no longer offered his soul either challenge or excitement. However, he still wanted to polish his abilities to handle the challenges of high-level leadership demands, and so included those in the first part of his life. When the time came that he had achieved sufficient mastery, he wanted to be given an opportunity to step up to new life skills. And so it came to pass.
When Chuck was finally returned to his former life, he had a medicine bag bursting with new skills and self-knowledge. With these hard-won and intrepid tools under his belt, his capacity to handle whatever life brought him had increased by magnitudes. Whether or not he had asked for training in new levels of mastery, he was nonetheless given a stark and unprecedented opportunity to do so.
Sometimes life gets out of hand, taking unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes we don’t have much in the way of resources or know-how to deal with unknown territory. What can we do? We can find help where help is available – usually in unexpected places. We now have a genuine opportunity to reach deep within ourselves and beyond to seek solutions that will give us the momentum for getting unstuck from dark places. Not only do we seek for solutions, we seek courage to face our terror. We find hope in each breath, and we receive messages and guidance from sources that were previously hidden from us. In extremity, our senses intensify, giving us the ability to understand the language of signs and symbols that were previously invisible and incomprehensible.
Aligning with our souls
There are some exquisite gifts to be attained in the process of standing for our lives. The more difficult the challenge, the more ferocious we must be in our resolve because that is what is required if we are going to live. The more difficult the challenge, the more ferocious we must be with our intentions to live the lives we agreed to live. The more difficult the challenge, the greater the demand to find the creative solutions that will get us clear of the breakers. And why should we live? We must live so that our souls can continue to experience more love, more beauty, more joy, more knowledge, more connection, more excitement, and more anticipation of what is yet to come and what we can yet become. There are some exquisite gifts to be attained in the process of standing for our lives. The biggest one is that we become more aligned with our own soul. And when we are aligned with our souls, we know intuitively what our right lives should look and feel like.
We will infrequently remember or truly grasp the reasons for life reversals. While we may have asked for intervention on behalf of our souls, it is also possible to be thrust helplessly into irrevocable life shifts that were not part of the original plan for our lives. Despite being cast away – whether or not of our own choice and design – we can still forge our way forward in reliance on the most powerful intrinsic attribute each and every one of us possesses. And that is our legacy, as chips off the old block that is God, to be the Creators of a new life.
When you are expressing your unique piece of the Tao, your life will be a beautiful reflection of who you are because you will be being who you came here to be, and doing what you came here to do.
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