Quick! Name three friends over the course of your life.
Consider who came to mind. Maybe a grade-school pal? College roommate? Your maid of honor or best man?
Have you considered that they came into your life by design?
Expressly, by your design?
Some years ago, I experienced a transformative OBE (out-of-body experience) on which I went to the Other Side (I recount my experience in Visit from Heaven: A Soul’s Message of Life, Loss & Family. I’m honored to share the book is endorsed by Dr. Moody and Lisa Smartt.) I met the soul of a little boy (‘Bobby’), who had a loving message for his grieving parents; I was no more than a go-between. I was allowed to observe one of Bobby’s pre-birth Soul Planning sessions. I watched in quiet awe as he chose his parents, his siblings—even his birth order. In short, Bobby was considering an upcoming life which featured a mix of physical and intellectual limitations.
And here is where friendship played its part. Beyond Bobby’s immediate family, I saw two other souls who had agreed to come into his life this time around. One was a young man who would be older than Bobby. He also planned on navigating a life of physical disability, though on a much milder scale. This youth would be a primary support; while others offered sympathy, he would offer empathy.
The other was a woman, who would befriend Bobby’s mother. This female energy was planning a life of deep and repeated loss; an advanced soul indeed. She had not yet decided whether she would meet Bobby’s mother as a peer, or as an older woman who would offer her counsel. Either way, she would understand her grief in a profound way.
In each case, these souls wisely and creatively engaged others to lend vital support for their upcoming lives. Each party agreed to support the other.
Soul Planning is a prism through which to consider the key people and incidents in our lives. Do relationships and events unfold randomly, or by design?
When relationships are in bloom, it’s easy to consider that we chose to be in each other’s lives this time around. When they are fractious, it can be more challenging to see their purpose. We cannot imagine signing on for this pain.
You’ve likely had a feeling in your life of meeting a stranger, and yet feeling an instant sense of familiarity. Logic dictates that there is no prior connection, and yet…
Some people come into our lives for a considerable phase, others appear fleetingly—just long enough to pose a question or herald an opportunity which pivots us in a new direction. Then, with their role complete, they exit stage left.
I raise this issue because I’ve noticed that many of us—myself included—can find ourselves holding on to friendships and other associations where one party has outgrown the other. Perhaps we shared a childhood, or the tumult of adolescence, or we supported each other through the first year of bleary-eyed parenthood. But then we each stretch and grow in ways that diverge. The bonds that brought us together begin to weaken, whether dissolving gently or snapping like a tree branch in a storm. We end up staying in contact through a sense of obligation. This might be manageable, or a recipe for resentment.
Allow me to clarify: I am not suggesting a clinical audit of the people in your life. This is not about a frenetic spring-cleaning of your emotional connections, the way we might feel a burst of energy to declutter the garage on a holiday weekend. Rather, it’s about finding time to quietly go within, to ask ourselves if it’s time to gently release relationships that no longer honor the people in them.
We can move toward a sense of compassionate release.
And if we are the ones who have been released, it can help to consider that our roles played out as they were intended, by timing—if not by circumstances we would choose. Particularly with longstanding friendships, we can find ourselves at an intersection: an event brings about a clear decision, if not an easy one to execute, or else connections begin to fade away.
I am writing my seventh book. When I switched from ‘acceptable’ topics (being an egg donor, volunteering for Mother Teresa) to the spiritual realm, one or two journalism colleagues stepped back. They couldn’t reconcile ‘news’ Alicia with this ‘new’ Alicia (in fact, she had been there all along). In my twenties, this would have devastated me. Today, while initially disappointed, I feel gratitude for the years we shared.
Soul Planning gives us a way to consider that we came together by design and supported each other through a certain chapter in our lives. How much better to thank each other, and honor each other’s contributions in our lives.
Read an excerpt from one of Alicia’s books in her previous post, A Visit From Heaven.
Alicia Young is an Australian television journalist and author who met her guardian angel at age three. She has also written six awarding-winning nonfiction books. The latest, Visit from Heaven: A Soul’s Message of Love, Loss & Family recounts a transformative experience in which she met the soul of a little boy and went to the Other Side. It occurred in what is commonly called an out-of-body experience (OBE). Today, she speaks and consults on Soul Plans around the world (often virtually, in a Covid-19 world). Learn more at www.aliciayoung.net.
Be a Part of My Next Book!
My upcoming title focuses on Signs from the Universe. I am seeking messages of comfort, encouragement, synchronicity and guidance from your loved ones, angels—even your pets. True, unpublished anecdotes are welcome, and you can remain anonymous if preferred. Max: 200 words. Please email me at email@example.com for more information.