I have actually become quite fond of Facebook Memories. I've used it as a tool to look back and see my own growth over the years. I've used it to help me put together a timeline of life events. I've even used it to help me write a manuscript. Apparently, four years ago today, I posted a pretty profound account of a relationship breakup. It generated lots of engagement including likes, comments and private messages that indicated that by simply sharing (some would say over-sharing) my experience, many people were impacted on a deep level. And it affected me deeply this morning.
At the time I posted about it four year ago, the breakup felt final. The truth is, despite my best attempts to move on, the relationship with this man has recycled several more times. Although the growth has been profound, I have been judged by others and have judged myself harshly for going back and reengaging with this person, over and over again.
I've learned in life that judgement of myself and others is a waste of time. More on that in a minute ...
I recently spent some time with a dear friend, fellow spiritual traveler and talented intuitive in an eclectic town in Florida called Dunedin. We had no agenda. It was simply a time for us to escape the craziness of today's world, relax and enjoy the simple things in life for a bit, contemplate our next steps and connect on a soul level. As we wandered through town we were drawn to a metaphysical shop full of crystals and psychics and incense and books. Although there were lots of books on the shelves, I was drawn to one, Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton, PhD. He is a hypnotherapist who specializes in past life regression and has done a lot of work around the mystery of life between lives. I've been creating an online course for caregivers of aging parents and thought that the book could give me some insight and perspective on my module on aging, death and dying.
As we poked around town, the book got soaked by a partially opened bottle of water I had in my tote bag. Despite my best efforts to dry it out, the book was ruined. On the day we were leaving, I felt compelled to go back to the store and buy another copy. At first, after several of us had looked for the book, it appeared they were sold out. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a copy under another book and I knew it was there for me.
I dove into the book that night. I've been studying it ever since. I finished it this morning. Although it has certainly given me some things to consider for the course I'm developing, it has given me even more insight into my relationship recycling issue and has helped me more fulling understand my most recent experience with the man I've been on this journey with.
I ran into him a week ago. He was walking on the side of the road in my neighborhood at dusk. I recognized his form immediately. He was limping and walking very slowly. I thought he had moved out of the area after he sold his house, so I was surprised to see him. I pulled over and offered him a ride. He had aged quite a bit since I had last seen him. The encounter was painful. He is not well. A chronic illness has taken over his body and having some pretty profound affects. He was not happy. He was defensive. He admitted that he had chosen to go back to that which does not serve him. "Life is just okay", he said. He proceeded to blame me for the choices he made, once again, that keep him stuck. I had heard those words so many times. If only I hadn't done this or said that, we would still be together. I had heard it all before. I was done listening. This part of the lesson was over for me. I drove away from the encounter with a sense of completion and freedom, along with immense sadness for how things have turned out for him.
I just finished Journey of Souls this morning. It is profound and has provided tremendous insight and understanding into my connection with my own soul and the souls I have chosen to travel with in this lifetime, including the man I have been recycling with. He is sick and his chronic illness is having a profound impact on his body. My sense is that he is not long for this world. The sadness I feel for him and for what happened with us is deep and profound. At the same time there is this fascinating ability to detach from the emotion and know that things are exactly as they need to be.
There is some peace in knowing he will someday be free from suffering. I have no doubt that he and I will travel together again in another lifetime. We may even recycle again in this one. It's all part of some plan that goes way beyond me ... and I am at peace with that in this moment.
Today, I have an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude for his soul and the role he has played in my life and in my growth. It's not a human love, it's deeper than that. It's a soul thing.
After I finished the book, I poured another cup of coffee, powered up my laptop and escaped to Facebook Memories to find this post from four years ago, just after one of our many breakups. It was as if the Universe was reminding me that it's all connected. That there is something deeper going on here on Earth that we don't always understand. I could spend the day going deeper and reflecting more on soul growth and past lives and the journey of souls, however, for now, I feel the need to ground myself in the human experience for the purpose of allowing the lessons to integrate. Perhaps another cup of coffee. Perhaps lunch. Perhaps a walk on the beach.
But before I go, here is my post from four years ago that showed up in Facebook Memories that is helping me integrate all I've learned from my most recent encounter with my fellow soul traveler and what I've learned from the Journey of Souls book. Perhaps you can relate to the journey of souls?
September 10, 2018
I just ended a relationship. It has been a pretty significant off again, on again connection that has spanned over the course of many years. A good friend of mine warned me that "recycling" never works. I have recycled with this man many times. Exactly as many times necessary to fully integrate the lessons, I suppose.
Our reconnection was magical. We had both learned a lot in our time apart. When we came back together, our vision of what we wanted our future to look like was totally aligned. We had both learned a lot since the time we were last together, however, in time, it became clear that although we shared the same vision, we each had different ways of going about creating it. And we each had a different kind of fear standing in our way, along with a different approach to dealing with our fear.
After a recent challenging time, we decided to take a break. A couple of nights ago, he contacted me. He told me that his time apart from me has made him feel calmer and that he was choosing to continue taking time to be apart. He said he would be in touch after our agreed upon 30 day break. My first instinct was to feel hurt. I started to text my response. But I was too tired to go there. Instead I put my phone down and fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning with a huge revelation about why he feels calmer. And why I feel calmer as well. The revelation reminded me just how different the way I choose to live is from how some people choose to live. I was grateful for the clarity that came through during my dream time and feel like writing about it.
Pardon me for sharing on Facebook. Some would consider this oversharing. Then again, no one is obligated to read my rambling. We all have choice. Suffice to say that this post just scratches the surface of the lessons, the growth and the purpose of this connection in my life. This man has been my greatest teacher. He says the same of me. Perhaps our experience will provide someone with insight that is helpful if one is so moved to read on.
Or perhaps this sharing is simply powerful validation for me that the soul work I have done over the past 8 years has literally changed my priorities and the way I choose to live, work and be in my relationships. The work has become a part of who I am, what I do and what I need in my life to be the best me I can be.
When I woke up and had my revelation, I began texting. I wrote from the place where my soul intersects with my human life. The messy place where I am a spiritual being having a human experience.
I wrote this and hit send ...
"This morning I woke thinking about something you said to me the other day. That you felt more calm when you aren't in touch with me. That struck a chord in me, but I was too tired to address it then. I fell asleep and I woke up this morning like a shot knowing precisely why.
Of course you feel more calm when you don't see me or talk with me. Because then you don’t have to be accountable for the statements, agreements and the promises you make and the actions you don't take to back them up. In that calm place, your words have a place to rest without having to match up with your actions.
I think that place might be termed complacency. You helped me realize just how much I am not living in that place. I have calm. But it is by no means complacent.
When I speak my intentions, desires, wishes, goals out loud the next thing I do is become accountable for them. It's automatic.
Today I have an accountability partner that I talk to everyday for just 5 minutes. She holds me to what I say I want in my life in the areas of my work, relationships, finances, health, fun/recreation, my spiritual life and my contribution to society. And I hold her accountable for what she says she wants in hers.
Every day I outline 5 action steps I will take in the next 24 hours that will get me closer to accomplishing what I say I want in the areas I am focused on. And if I don’t take those 5 actions, me and my accountability partner talk about why.
What’s the block? What’s the fear? What’s the issue behind my inaction? And how can I overcome it?
And then I either address the block, fear or issue … or I recommit to taking the action the next day. If I don’t take the action again, I pay consequences.
For example, recently I was dragging my feet on something and procrastinated it for a few days. My accountability partner called me on it and we explored the underlying reasons. My reason was fear of asking someone for something because I was afraid of being rejected.
But I really wanted what was on the other side of the ask. And I really wanted to get rid of the fear. So I committed to taking action and asking. I set a new deadline to take action and ask.
I agreed that if I didn’t take the action, I would write Trump a check to support his reelection campaign, which I knew I would never do. And so, with integrity, I did what I said I was going to do so I didn’t have to write that check. (Incidentally, I got what I asked for!)
Just 5 minutes a day focused on accountability has helped me accomplish some amazing things over the past 8 years. Taking 100% responsibility for achieving what I want in life has literally changed my life. It has changed everything. And now it has changed what I want in relationship.
Your comment helped me to realize that I am always in that mode now. This morning I just realized that I automatically expect others around me who I'm connected with, work with, am in relationship with, to be in that mode as well. Those are the people I want to surround myself with.
You reminded me that is not necessarily the case with you. Your words are no longer enough. They are no longer as meaningful to me as they where when we first met. Or when we reconnected. Today your words need actions and accountability and taking 100% responsibility for what you say you want ... for you to work as my partner and for us to work as a couple.
In my accountability partnership, there is plenty of room for fear to show up. Fear is a part of life. Instead of rejecting fear and pushing it aside, me and my accountability partner identify it as fear, invite it in for a chat and bring it into the light. We support each other in dealing with it and removing it from blocking us from accomplishing what we set out to do. Sometimes we even need to engage outside resources that can help us clear old subconscious blocks and break old nonproductive cycles. But we get it done.
l love this new way of being. I love being curious about what makes me afraid and how I can put that fear into perspective and clear it out of my way so I can lean into what's next for creating my best life.
This is how I live my life now. I've brought this process into all aspects of my life. Thus I inherently expect your actions to be along those lines. And when they aren’t, I no longer see any integrity in your words. Trust is deeply affected. And that is simply not okay for me.
So yes, it makes total sense to me now why you are calmer when you're not in contact with me. My guess is that the fear, pushed aside and not addressed, will certainly show up in some aspect of whatever you choose to do and whomever you choose to be with next. Life is like that. It has a way of continuing to provide us with opportunities to learn and grow until we get the lesson.
So thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on where I was when we first met. Where I am now, what I've learned and what I want next for my life.
I love you deeply. I truly wish you well.
I didn't hear from him for awhile. The next time we reconnected, our meeting was, again, profound. I was able to help him deal with some deep seated childhood trauma and support him in getting some help to release the impact of that trauma on his closest relationships and intimate partnerships. He helped me find the courage to address something I had long been avoiding in one of my own relationships.
We are no longer physically together. Perhaps we never will be again. Or maybe we will. I'm not sure it matters right now. But I know this. Our connection goes well beyond our human experience and that connection is something that no amount of human pain can sever. It's soul thing.
I wonder if Dr. Newton has written more about the Journey of Souls. I've got some more studying to do. But first, I'm going to pay some bills, eat some lunch and get grounded in my human experience.