Our relationships are our greatest mirror. A mirror that is shown to us in every conversation and reminds us of lessons that we’re yet to learn. Over and over again, we take birth after birth to learn these lessons in different ways. Through my past life regression sessions, I quickly discovered that there’s no “escaping” the lessons of this mirror called life. And yet, there have been so many times when certain people were unbearable to be around! So I’ve often wondered whether our relationships that are meant to be spiritually helpful (called soul contracts) have to be painful, or if there’s a higher road to this healing journey?
One of the most liberating truths I’ve learned as a part of my healing journey is that soul contracts do NOT have to make us miserable. And today, I’m here to explore this idea of healing our relationships in a mindful and conscious way. A way that gives us freedom, and does not ask us to remain in painful situations.
Why do some relationships cause so much pain and suffering?
I’ve had the privilege of having multiple friendships and familial relationships that for decades, have been warm and nurturing to me. And yet, no matter how many clients I work with, it haunts me every time they tell me about the isolation and despair that comes with “toxic” relationships with those that are meant to be our biggest support.
It hurts me to hear about the ways a mother can sabotage a daughter’s marriage to the point of divorce. Or how a husband can ruthlessly loathe and shame his hardworking wife to the point of her defeated self-esteem. Or how a family can be destroyed in the name of property and money woes.
And such relationships feel anything but spiritual! So at that vulnerable moment, it doesn’t make sense for me to tell my clients to think of the bigger picture or that in the grand scheme of things, these events won’t matter.
Because what does matter is that your pain, no matter who caused it (and whether they admit to being responsible for it) is real.
In this moment, in space and time, your body and mind are going through an intense reaction to what happened.
Pain is something that affects us at multiple levels of our being: physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes – spiritual. Pain can cause a soul to linger beyond its “time”. The grief and the sadness of losing a child can take away a mother’s spirit even when she’s technically still here, breathing.
And when you tie in biology and psychology into all of this, it begins making sense.
As humans, we are born into a body that relies on love and connection for survival. We are born latched onto our mother’s chest and even if she yells at us, we know it’s the only way for us to survive. There’s something quite terrific and tragic about children walking backward toward their abusive caregiver!
What’s happening is that from a very young age, prior to the development of words and vocabulary, we begin to taint our true selves and “adapt” to our environment.
It is because of this adaptation, that the False Self begins to form.
The False Self – The Root of Our Suffering
The False Self is beautiful because it is the unconscious intelligence within us that has kept us alive this far. But this intelligence also robs us of our authentic voice because it reminds us of the repercussions of speaking up. It tells us to be quiet, lest we are no longer wanted, no longer loved.
This False Self is keeping us alive, until just being alive is not enough.
If you’re reading this closely from a spiritual lens, you’ll realize this False Self is nothing but the ego-mind. It’s the part of us that develops as a defensive response to the outside world. It keeps us safe, but it masks away what we’re here to do.
It masks our freedom, our purpose, and our soul.
So when you are in relationships that continuously challenge your True Self and demand that you make a choice (authenticity versus connection), and your ego asks you to pick them – the pain grows.
Two people could be in the exact same situation but have a very different response simply based on how deeply connected (or disconnected) they are from their True Selves. What’s painful to you in this soul contract might not even be a matter worth discussing for someone else in theirs.
And it is for this reason that the only way truly “out” of painful relationships is to become fully in touch with our True Selves.
The Journey From From False Self to True Self
In a recent poetry writing workshop that I facilitated, Shanal, one of my clients shared a beautiful poem that expresses this pain and its transcending.
The fire burns through you
Flaming away more than the eyes see
I love the way I feel
I love the way I fall
Into the warmth
It doesn’t burn
Not the good things anyway
When my fire burns
The flames touch you
Not to hurt
But to heal
My protection becomes yours
Sometimes, the very ego that gets triggered by another person (fire in the above case) becomes the catalyst for our healing. Something wakes up inside of us that says, “wait, that’s not right and I’m not okay with this”.
That fire-like intensity that first felt like pain becomes an awakening for the True Self.
And if we are able to transcend the pain of being confronted by our triggers, the fire takes away the pain and becomes gentle. Warm and nurturing. And so, when this fire has transmuted into something more powerful, it becomes the protection for everyone it touches. And in that, not just you, but every life you touch is healed through the flames.
3 Practical Tools To Help You Heal Soul Contracts
Okay, so we’ve established that while healing is inevitable and that we can’t outrun the lessons, our soul contracts don’t have to be so hard! With that in mind, here are practical tips to help you overcome the most challenging spiritual lessons
#1 – Recognize What’s In Your Control
I like to think of it as this: when I am at my best, I’m able to see the highest in others too. So, when I’m feeling poorly about another person, it does reflect my inner state as well.
More often than not, we can control the pain and suffering we are experiencing when we recognize the ways in which it is self-inflicted. This means that within the most challenging soul contracts, there are still a large number of factors that are in our control:
- Not having strong relationship boundaries (enmeshment, separation anxiety, and so on);
- Our ego-mind resisting the soul contract (staying too long or wanting to leave too soon);
- Our attachment to our relationships causes pedestalization of the other person, or ourselves so there’s more focus on the duality and dramatization of what’s really happening (opinions versus facts);
- Unconscious programming compels us to recreate unpleasant situations because our energy hasn’t resolved around old incidents.
Sometimes, even happy relationships can feel painful when we are not used to receiving love. There, we increase our capacity to accept love. In the same way, when we are met with hard relationships, we can consider increasing our capacity to give love.
Do any of the points above give you the onus of control back? Great! Time to get to work. *wink*
#2 – Recognize What’s NOT In Your Control
Alongside mentioning the factors that are in our control, I want to vocalize the factors that aren’t. Because we are a “collective consciousness” and born into a “human race”, we also have to bear the consequences of things such as:
- Natural calamities that lead to loss and destruction;
- Being in the wrong place at the wrong time (ex: terrorist attacks);
- Viruses and fatal diseases that our bodies are not immune to;
- Global challenges like war;
- National challenges like an economic crisis;
- Racial, gender, or cultural brutalities, etc.
When we incarnate, we not only have a soul agreement to go through our personal lessons but also bear the weight of the group.
I know a wonderful family doctor who was tirelessly treating patients during the pandemic, and one of his patients came to the clinic, an active carrier of the virus. She lied about her health, not having isolated herself as per the guidelines, which led the doctor into getting hospitalized for a month! And he was so critical even after recovery that the medical system had to revoke his license. Through no fault of his own, he had to give up his sacred practice.
It can take forever to forgive something like that. And yet, forgiving that which is beyond our control is where the true healing starts and suffering stops. Otherwise, as long as we are holding on to the things that once caused us pain, we are self-inflicting more pain onto ourselves every single time they come back to our memory.
Let that pain inspire you, and ignite your True Self.
When we can’t control the outcome, we can choose to respond in a way that either serves us or pulls us down. That awakens the True Self or further pushes us back into the protective cage of the False Self.
Along with forgiveness, justice ties deeply into the process of forgiving others. And as the highly revered Chief Rob Joseph shares in his work, Namwayut, that inner and outer reconciliation is imperative to our healing.
I have deep awe and respect for the doctor as he fought for his rights as far as he could have, and in the process came to terms with his loss – eventually, he chose to enjoy early retirement.
#3 – Consider the bigger picture
Once I’ve helped my clients grieve the relationships that couldn’t hold them in a sacred way, and they’ve felt the feelings, I finally encourage them to think of the bigger picture. It’s not about dismissing the pain, but sometimes, to transcend our suffering, we need to remember that we are not limited by the frame of this body, mind, or ego.
Here’s a powerful spiritual tool that I shared with the Members of MSS Tribe that can help you handle your challenging soul contracts in the spiritual realm and witness the power of your True Self:
We explore such tools and practices every month, to help uplevel the quality of life from all directions. We’d love to have you with us!
Are you beginning to see that your soul contracts can offer you great freedom and healing without being painful or creating endless suffering? Imagine what could change for you if you start integrating this knowledge into your personal relationships! What would happen if your True Self woke up in its truest potential and rewrote your whole story?
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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