By the time we reach a certain age many of us begin to reflect on the value of all the years we’ve lived, and probably have questions. Did I really make a difference? Did I do what I was supposed to do? Most of us think in terms of what we’ve accomplished or contributed, yet that might not be the question we need to ask at all; maybe our journey through life was for a totally different reason.
I’ve been blessed over the years to hear from so many from the “other side.” Family and personal friends who have reached out to say “hi” and to let me know how they are, give me support or simply share a little love. Others more Divine shared extraordinary wisdom and provided insight I never thought I’d be privy to learn. Those Divine souls and God, Himself, clarified so many issues that I questioned about my life and life, itself.
Then, in the last six months, I’ve heard from one hundred and twenty-four additional souls, this time total strangers and all famous. It was impossible to read the messages I transcribed from them without grasping the larger picture. I learned much from all I’ve been told.
For example, it’s easy for a person to feel insignificant and believe his or her life was meaningless—especially if it hasn’t been possible to point to something concrete that generated pride. For many the pride of accomplishment was centered on the raising of successful and happy children. But for parents with children whose lives were painful to watch and disappointing to them, it’s almost impossible to bask in that success. In fact, being witness to the serious struggles of some children could make a parent feel more like a total failure in that area.
Individuals without children, or those who can look past their offspring to evaluate the sum total of their lives might simply say, I’m not sure I’ve done anything very significant. A common reaction when one believes the value of life has to do with something we’ve accomplished, when it isn’t.
The big lesson was this. Life isn’t about what you have done. Life is about who you have been and what you have learned! Think about that for a moment.
Our existence on this earth is much like attending school. We are given a lifetime, some longer than others, to observe, refine and eventually become a good example to others – sometimes while learning painful lessons. Once, we’ve reached the afterlife, we reflect on our lives and are more capable of recognizing our human failings. We watch our actions and then feel the pain we caused others, sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes intentionally. Once that realization comes into focus, we become more willing to correct such behavior and grow spiritually but at that point we’re there not here.
How a person accomplishes making amends is a subject that many established religions prefer to ignore and simply believe it’s a matter of punishment from that point on. What I can say is that I’ve learned that the self-review process is plenty painful in itself and that when we feel the emotional pain we caused others, it’s magnified many times. Our failings then become difficult to gloss-over. Fortunately for most souls, that review process doesn’t go on for eternity but in measure to the intentional evil exhibited in one’s life.
I won’t get into reincarnation here but one day will do a blog just on that since that is a choice many make to further grow and refine their souls. By the way, reincarnation is not a system of punishment, it is a way to learn valuable lessons and refine our souls so they will become more perfect.
Speaking of refining, I might use silver as an example. I believe that reference appears somewhere in the Bible. When silver is refined, it’s held over a fire to remove the impurities. Sounds a lot like the life experience, doesn’t it? And, if the silversmith holds the silver in the fire too long, it can be destroyed, so it must be removed at just the right time. If you’re curious how the silversmith knows when the perfect time is, here is the answer one such craftsman gave when asked that very question. He simply said, “When I can see my reflection in it.” Hmmm That sounds like something God might say about the perfection of our souls.
So, in living this life, how we learn the lessons we’ve come here to learn vary greatly from person to person. It could be by observing others—being exposed to another life that inspires us or through modeling, teaches us how to be. It could also be by putting the pieces together intellectually, which involves a process that is typically cumulative. Another example might be by living the experience we’re here to learn so we actually “get it”. Without overexplaining all the ways we learn our lessons, let me use my son, Jon as an example. He doesn’t mind.
Jon’s journey wasn’t to simply understand something intellectually in this life, instead it was to feel the experience of others so he could grasp this lesson at a deeper level. He had to “feel” what this was like to be in a particular situation. With that said, this is what Jon shared with me.
In the life before his most recent (with me), Jon had been very, very successful but he was also an ass. Jon’s descriptor was actually much stronger, but you get the idea. He looked down on others who weren’t as accomplished as he was and couldn’t understand why less fortunate people couldn’t succeed just like him. He had no patience, no compassion, and no interest in trying to understand. In the past life, Jon had been arrogant and very judgmental of others. He felt clearly superior.
When he shared the story with me, it didn’t track since from the time Jon was tiny, he was an extremely loving and compassionate child; he was just born that way. Throughout his life, Jon was also a good listener and devoted friend. So, what Jon was telling me didn’t make sense. Since he came in here with tons of compassion and love, what else did he have to learn? Then, he finished the explanation.
“My life this time was to learn what it felt like and how powerless it is to be a total fuckup!” (Sorry for the language – a direct quote!)
Jon had to learn how someone could live a life in which no matter what they did, they just couldn’t get it right—as is often the case.
So, this time around, Jon’s career became commercial real estate and he was
successful very early in life, cashing a half-million dollar check before he reached thirty. He knew what success was but after a couple early back surgeries, Jon’s addictive personality couldn’t conquer the challenge he was now facing with opioid addiction. He was high functioning for a long time until he wasn’t. His judgment became distorted and less perfect; in fact, it was eventually lousy. Pain pills had grown to become a dominant part of his existence.
His attempt at rehab was successful for five years but as hard as he tried it was almost impossible to totally rebuild his personal and professional life. Then later, with one grave mistake, and some pills laced with fentanyl, it was all over. After he died, Jon told me how painful this life had been knowing he could do better but never being able to quite make that happen.
You see, Jon’s lesson this time around was to learn what it felt like to be helpless and unable to be what he had previously thought was possible for everyone! This was not a lesson for Jon to learn compassion; this was a lesson for Jon to learn to be less judgmental of others.
For each individual the purpose for their life is unique and the lessons vary dramatically. When we’re alive, it’s very often a challenge to figure all that out and this blog was never intended to do that. Instead, it’s purpose was to remind us of what our lives are really about. To quit evaluating our existence based on the strength of our financial statements, the number of people we employed, how high up the corporate latter we climbed, the success of our careers or our children, or the amount of visibility we racked up in the press. Life isn’t about any of that.
This blog is to remind us to be a little more kind to those we know. Be more compassionate of people who are struggling because we have no idea the journey they may be on. Also, to be more loving in general since we’re all in the same boat—and that boat often springs leaks.
Most importantly, be more kind to ourselves. Don’t compare yourself to any other person or any other life since everybody has a backstory that’s hidden. Everybody also faces challenges—some greater than others, regardless of how perfect their lives look on Face Book or Instagram!
Every life does have a purpose although you may not recognize it at this very minute. Be open to learn and grow, try to be an example to others in the way you live your life and remember to share love.
Probably the most important take-away from this blog is how to know when our souls are 100% perfect. Perfection is when each soul reaches the point when it can reflect the face of God;when it's 100% love.