THE BLOG
05/22/2013 12:59 pm ET | Updated Jul 22, 2013

Soul Contracts

In my late 20s, my best friend's dad died. I knew him, for I had spent a lot of time with their family. I spoke at the funeral and I sat with the family after the formal ceremonies were over. The question they kept asking their pastor was "Why?" "Why did he have to die?"

The pastor's answer didn't satisfy my friend. She turned to me and asked the same question.

My 20-something self was merely a self-help junkie, an avid student of A Course in Miracles and a friend who took a deep breath and felt an answer come.

"Your dad had soul contracts with each and every one of you. Somewhere, somehow you all agreed that his passing before a ripe, old age would be the greatest course for the growth of everyone involved."

"Oh Jeez!" I thought. "I hate when these things come out of my mouth!"

I waited for what felt like an eternity to see if my friend was going to freak out, but she did not. I could see her absorb it and find some comfort in it. Her next question was "Why couldn't the pastor say something like that?"

I wasn't "going there" with the man just two feet away, but my friend and I never stopped visiting the topic over the years we've known each other, nor have I ever stopped trying to see every relationship as an invitation for growth. (For the record, I often decline the invitation.)

If you believe in God or some other organizing force in the universe, why would it be any further of a stretch to see soul contracts?

You decide to partner in life -- whether in love or in business -- you invite growth. You conceive and raise a child, you are tested to grow certain parts of yourself. You fight over a parking spot at the mall, depending on how conscious you are, you can gripe, celebrate the win or you can let it be a reflection of your current status of emotional development. Who is to say we don't "hire" these people to come into our life to keep us on our path?

Let's assume life is not that "organized" and it's all random. Even random happenings present us with a choice. Do we grow from an encounter, an experience or a relationship, or do we choose to go backward or crumble if we are put through the emotional gristmill?

Even in the extraordinary pain of losing someone we love and depend on, at some point, we as humans need to make some sense of that which we don't understand. We often find meaning in the loss, and we encourage ourselves to do things in the name of the person we lost or we consult them in spirit and follow the advice they would give. There, I dare add, that it could be a contract -- a spiritual handshake that we will love each other and then our parting will catapult you to your greatest work and contribution. OK? Deal?!

Think of the people in your life right now. What's the contract? Can you do more to fulfill it?

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