May 7, 2003. I remember that day well, because it was the day on which my life changed, the day that launched me on the path to writing the book Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born.
I was 40 at the time, working as a self-employed marketing and communications consultant and feeling profoundly unfulfilled with my life. I often had the feeling that if I were to fall off the face of the Earth, none of my clients would notice. They would simply plug someone else into my role and continue along.
Yet, at the same time I had a feeling that there was a higher purpose to my life. I just didn't know what it was. And so, in my search for that higher calling, I did something on that fateful day in 2003 that I had never done before: I had a session with a psychic medium.
The medium introduced me to the concept of spirit guides - highly evolved, nonphysical beings with whom we plan our lives before birth and who then guide us through our lives after we incarnate. Through the medium, I was able to speak with my guides. They told me that I myself had planned many of my greatest challenges in life - and that I had done so before I was born.
I might have dismissed this as some sort of elaborate fantasy, except that my guides knew literally everything about me. They knew not only what I had done in life, but also what I had thought and felt. Private thoughts and feelings that I had never shared with anyone.
For example, five years earlier I had been going through a very difficult time in my personal life. One day, alone in the privacy of my home, and silently in my mind, I said a prayer to God. I said, "God, I can't get through this alone. Please send help." I had completely forgotten about this prayer, but my guides knew about it, and they reminded me of it. They added, "Your prayer was answered," by which they meant that additional nonphysical guidance had been sent. I was astounded.
As you can imagine, when certain beings know literally everything about you, they have a great deal of credibility.
So I was listening in rapt attention when they went on to tell me why I had planned some of my greatest challenges. In the days and weeks after the session with the medium, this information was constantly on my mind. It allowed me to review the course of my life and, for the first time in many instances, see a deeper purpose to the seemingly bad things that had happened. For me, this was deeply healing.
I realized I was on to a concept that could bring similar healing to other people. I started to think about writing a book about it.
At the same time, I began to have metaphysical experiences of my own. I would like to tell you about one in particular that profoundly informed my research and forever altered the way I look at the world.
One day, I was working in my home office and decided to take a break and go for a walk. As I was meandering down the sidewalk, I was suddenly overcome by a feeling of overwhelming unconditional love for every person I saw.
I remember this experience with crystal clarity. The first person I was a cab driver sitting behind the wheel of his cab, waiting for a fare to come along. I looked at this man - a complete stranger to me - and felt nothing but pure, unconditional love for him. Then I noticed a barbershop on the corner. I looked through the window and saw a barber cutting someone's hair. Again, I felt overwhelming love for these people who I did not know and had never seen before. Then I noticed a young mother pushing an infant in a stroller down the sidewalk. Once more I felt the same unconditional love for these people. Everywhere I looked, every time I saw a person, I felt tremendous love flowing over me and through me.
Though I had never heard or read of an experience like this, I knew immediately and intuitively what was happening: I was in enhanced communion with my own soul. It was as though my soul were saying to me, "This love is who you really are. This is your true nature."
I believe that my soul gifted me with this experience because when I went on to research and write Your Soul's Plan, every pre-birth blueprint I examined was based on unconditional love. This was true even when the souls were scripting a "negative" role for someone to play.
Had I not had that experience of myself as unconditional love, I would have found exactly the same results in my research. But I think there would always have been a little voice at the back of my head saying, "How do you know any of this is true?" Well, I know it's true because I experienced it myself. And so I can state to you with absolute confidence and certainty that I believe that we as souls are made quite literally from the energy of unconditional love.
In order to research people's pre-birth plans, I collaborated with four very gifted mediums and channels, including one who is able to hear the conversations people had before they were born with their future parents, children, spouses, friends, and other loved ones. I put these conversations verbatim into the book. The people I interviewed had planned such challenges as physical illness, having handicapped children, deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, losing a loved one, and severe accidents.
Why do we plan before birth to experience challenges? I found four primary reasons.
First, challenges allow us to balance karma from past lives. Karma is sometimes conceptualized as "cosmic debt," but I think of it more as unbalanced energy. Let's say, for example, that in a past life one person was physically ill and another person was the caretaker. When these two people transition back into spirit and have their life review, they will have a sense of unbalanced energy. One way to create balance would be to switch roles. The one who was ill now plans to be the caretaker, while the one who was the caretaker now plans to experience illness. What makes these life blueprints so challenging is that once in body, neither soul will remember the pre-birth plan.
Second, we plan challenges in order to heal. For example, Penelope, the deaf woman in my book's chapter on deafness and blindness, planned to be born completely deaf because in a past life she had heard the gunshots that killed her mother. She was a small child when the murder occurred. She was traumatized by her mother's death and went on to commit suicide later in that incarnation. In this lifetime, she sought to focus on self-healing and wanted to make sure that her healing would not be hindered by a similar trauma. In her pre-birth planning session, her spirit guide asks, "My dear . . . would you prefer to be born deaf so that no sound will ever remind you of those sounds again?" Penelope replies, "Yes, that is what I want and what I wish to do."
Third, we plan challenges to be of service to others. In the chapter on physical illness, I write about Jon, a homosexual man who planned to have AIDS so that he could teach tolerance to humanity. In his pre-birth planning session, we heard Jon conferring with the soul of the future loves who would - at his request - transmit the virus to him. The future lover says, "There is an issue larger than all of the personal benefit of contracting this illness. We can teach our elders, honor them, and provide them with a valuable opportunity to experience, learn, and grow." Jon, therefore, is not someone to be judged or scorned, but rather someone we may thank for having the raw courage to plan such a bold mission in service to others.
Lastly, life challenges allow us to know ourselves as love. By this I mean not simply that we are loving, although certainly that is true, but that we are quite literally made of the energy of love. In our nonphysical Home, we experience no contrast to ourselves and therefore cannot fully understand our nature as love. On Earth, in a realm of duality and stark contrast, we often encounter a lack of love. As we choose in the face of such experiences to give and receive love freely and unconditionally, we remember who we really are.
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Robert Schwartz is the author of Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born. A free PDF with a large sample of the book is available on Mr. Schwartz's web site at www.yoursoulsplan.com