Life Experiences—Choice—Karma—Unconditional LoveThe terms "life experiences," "choice," "karma," "and unconditional love" are all part of the same whole. I will explain them individually, in the way that I received them in my own teachings; however, they must be understood holistically. One without the other can bring confusion. Together, these terms explain the wonder of life.
Life is physical. We are born into a physical body, and we live in a physical world. We interpret our experiences physically. This physicality allows us to "feel," which the spirits have explained to me is the major component of the earth experience. The earth experience is one of emotion, where the soul acquires a physical understanding of emotion. For example, it is one thing to conceptualize anger and another thing to experience anger and to feel it throughout the body. The same holds true for love. It is significantly different to think about being in love and about the concept of love than it is to "feel" love and the emotions and physical sensations of love. When one thinks of the vast array of human emotions, one realizes how many lifetimes must be lived in order to "know" life.
It is the spirits' message that we live many lifetimes and experience many life forms and situations along our path to understanding. With each incarnation, your spirit selects the physical realities you will experience in that lifetime. You, embodied in your spirit, choose the circumstances you will be born into: the life conditions, the geographic location, the economic status, the handicaps, and the body type. You actually choose all of the fixed factors that will constitute a major portion of your life experience. You also choose your variable life conditions-those conditions that can change through growth and development as you progress through life. These choices constitute the conditions under which you live each lifetime. What you have chosen to experience is designed for a particular unfolding of your soul. The choices are made at a spiritual level-a soulful, subconscious level-before you incarnate into this particular body. The unfortunate thing about being human is that you do not get to remember, consciously, the spiritual choices that you made before your incarnation. This lack of remembering, however, allows you to experience each life fully and completely in its current physical reality.
Choice, or free will, refers to how you choose to relate to your life's conditions. You can always choose your reaction to any given circumstance, which means that variables can change instantaneously with each choice. Your choices have direct impact on both your physical life and on the growth of your soul. Each lifetime will grant you a different perspective and facilitate new awareness. Each will provide physical experience for the soul. You may spend several lifetimes experiencing the hardships of life without any inclination to seek God or enlightenment; however, there will come a time when the soul asks you to wake up, to pay attention, and to look at the big picture of life. Questions like, "What is the purpose of life?" "Who am I?" and "What is God?" will arise in you. You will begin to search for answers. This may take many lifetimes and numerous answers, each with a variation of experience and exposure. In the end, every soul will reach enlightenment because every soul is a reflection of God.
You may wonder why anybody would choose negative life experiences like sexual molestation, alcoholism, or being born into warring or starving countries; however, each life has a divine plan with necessary experiences for the soul. All life experience adds to personal growth. No life is a waste; there are no mistakes. No lifetime is judged to be better than another because each is a chosen experience toward enlightenment.
A soul might choose to experience prejudice. You may have chosen to be a slave during the 1700's in the United States as one dimension of the experience of prejudice. Since the soul is seeking to know all dimensions, you may then have chosen a lifetime as a slave owner, and then as a Ku Klux Klan member, then a parent who lost a child to the Klan, then a person of interracial marriage, and then a parent of someone who chose to marry interracially. Every conceivable perspective of prejudice could be experienced. The lessons in each of these lifetimes become a part of the unfolding process of the soul. You may currently be experiencing a lifetime with alcoholism-as the parent of an alcoholic, or the child, or the spouse, or the counselor, or as the alcoholic who dies from liver failure, or the alcoholic who survives and becomes reformed. Whatever perspective you are living is part of the divine plan for you to experience and learn from.
Nothing is experienced singly; everything is interwoven with others who constitute your lifetime experience. Once you, as a soul, make the choice to experience a particular concept, other souls help you play out these experiences. They are often referred to as your "spirit family." We tend to experience life on earth with a particular group of souls, changing parts, or scripts, with each lifetime. You will find numerous links and interconnections with your family or circle of friends when you start to explore other lifetimes. It can be fun and healing. Behaviors, attitudes, and trauma can be understood more completely from the deeper historical perspective. Here is an example:
I was told a great true story the other day about a woman who was researching her genealogy. She traced her family line back to the era of the Civil War when her family served as slaves. She reached an impasse in her project, and was directed to a genealogy specialist. She and the specialist became great friends as they explored different aspects of her family's history. They developed a special bond and were both glad their lives had come together. As their investigation continued, they discovered that they shared a common history. The genealogist's ancestral family members were plantation owners during the Civil War, and, in fact, were the plantation owners where this woman's ancestral family served as slaves!
Coincidence you say? Hardly.
Many times, in the process of a soul retrieval, I will journey to a client's past life experience. A healing can be done in this past life reality that will actually affect my client's current life-a phenomenon that underscores that time is relative. The spirits have repeatedly told me that time is not linear but holographic, meaning that all things happen at the same moment but in different realities. This makes shamanic journeying for soul retrievals, or visiting different lifetimes, possible. The person doing the journey travels into that particular time dimension. The ability to cross into other dimensions means we can relive or view a past event and find healing in what we thought no longer existed. We can remember a future before it is present.
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About The Author: Jan promotes self-healing, empowerment, better communities, a healthier world- conducts workshops for shamanism and journeying. Her book, Becoming Yourself is at http://www.janengelssmith.com . Jan is a Licensed Counselor and shamanic practitioner. She has done over two thousand soul retrievals. She is the founder of LightSong School of Shamanic Studies, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, and Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a water pourer for sweat lodge, a minister, and a Reiki Master.