A Path of Promises

In the ancient mystical text called the Zohar, Hashem lays out for Abram the path that a human soul follows on its way into this life:‘There is a unique process of preparation that a soul undergoes prior to entering our physical realm. This process consists of promises and commitments made by the soul to the Creator. The soul pledges to embrace the spiritual path of change.’

But though we all start out on this path, to stay on it is another matter. As the Kabbalah scholar Rav Yehuda Ashlag has put it, ‘The perpetual pull and tug of the material world is of such magnitude, we forget our true purpose in life as we succumb to the illusions of physical existence.’ To reawaken and reaffirm our soul’s original commitment to walk the spiritual path is the work of a lifetime.

What exactly is the soul?
As I see it, the soul is the part of you that contains the life force, or energy, of the Creator. It’s the spark within you that is just like the Creator; it is eternal, and it is always connected to the origin of all life, even when you don’t consciously perceive that connection.

Imagine that you are holding a glass bowl. Now imagine what happens when you drop that bowl and it shatters. Fragments of glass go everywhere, on the floor, on the counter, in your clothes. Some are up high, some are scattered low, some are larger than others, and none of the fragments are identical, but all of them are made of the same glass. I think the Big Bang was something like that – like a great glass bowl shattering – only it wasn’t glass; it was the energy of the Creator. When that one great soul shattered, it created all our souls – it created mankind. That’s how connected your soul, and everyone’s soul, is to the Creator: they are made of the same essence, and they are part of each other. This is why, when I talk about connecting with the Creator, I’m not asking you to look to religious doctrine; I’m talking about your direct connection to the Creator within you.

The Start of the Path
Before entering the material world we know, each soul is born in the likeness of the Creator and awakened to its divinity. The soul makes promises to the Creator to be fulfilled in the coming lifetime. The soul chooses the path of promises it will follow through the world.
When the soul leaves the spiritual dimension, its form changes from the energy of pure light and love and takes on the physical clothing of a body. This is the process of birth – your birth. Ancient mystical scholars say that an angel is with you through the entire process, even in the womb. At the moment of your birth the angel touches you just above your upper lip, creating the crease we see there. This touch, they say, makes you forget everything from the other dimension, including your promises and commitments to the Creator and the truth of your own divinity. You come into this world, this life, with the opportunity to learn all over again.

One promise we all make prior to coming into this life is the promise to reconnect with this knowledge that is concealed from us in the moment of our arrival. Imagine a box filled with the infinite possibilities of your soul, the infinite good it can accomplish here on earth. Now imagine that an amazing privilege has been extended to you: To be able to open this box and discover all the possible ways in which you can make good on these promises. To embrace it as a gift from the Creator, to open it with all the anticipation, joy, and love that you would feel if you were opening a present from your beloved.Opening this box – bringing your promises to consciousness and to fruition – is a lifetime’s work. The actions you take and the things that happen to you in your physical reality are reflections of the promises you made before entering this life, and these promises are awakened one by one as your awareness expands.

Your life circumstances are designed to propel you along your path of promises and wake you up once again to your divinity.

Waking Up
Sometimes we don’t see our circumstances that way. We may come to believe that our pain is real and binding and cannot be fixed. When this happens, we lose touch with the Creator’s presence in our life, and we lose touch with our promises; we become convinced that the pain in our life has more power and allure than the fulfillment we will experience by following through on our promises.

If for some reason we are not in touch with our promises, it is only because we have disconnected by choice, consciously or otherwise. It’s our ego, the controlling and self-serving part of us, that brings this about; it drags us down, convinces us that we’re victims, or makes us think we can walk the path alone. Our ego also makes other destructive and divisive choices for us about whom we can and cannot trust, including ourselves. For instance, are you afraid that you will make a mistake or make the wrong choice with your career, life partner, or business partner? Do you worry or create unnecessary fear in your life? All of these things happen when we somehow allow our ego to disconnect us from the Creator – which is the same thing as getting disconnected from the all-knowing part of ourselves. Are we really disconnected? No. It is just like a cloud covering up the sun. The sun is still there, even though we can’t see it. If we stop and pay attention, we may be able to feel its warmth. And when the clouds move, we are able to see the sun again.

Ultimately you have the power of choice. You can choose to overcome those obstacles and restore the lost connection by making the decision to serve a higher power: your inner knowing, rather than your ego; your whole soul, rather than just your mind. When you achieve this level of connection, you will be freer than you ever imagined. You will be able to light the heavens with your creativity and the earth with your accomplishments. You will ignite a passion and power within you that not even the strongest foe can surmount. And none of this will diminish your mind: on the contrary, you will want to use it to validate your experiences. It’s just that you will no longer be confined by the logic of your mind or by your ego’s desires in the physical realm. You won’t want to pay that kind of attention to your ego anymore; you’ll be more interested in listening for the authentic voice that you will come to recognize as your own.

At a certain point, you will discover that you are being led with more than your own intuition. You will be blessed everywhere with signs from the Creator, and the path will open up without struggle. Once you are on this path, there is no challenge too big or too small to take on.

From The Little Book of Big Promises, ©2010 by Peggy Rometo, published by Hay House.