In the research I conducted for my book Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born, I learned that there are three ‘layers’ to the soul: the Spirit-self, the Soul-self, and the earthly personality. An understanding of these three layers is profoundly helpful in understanding why we ourselves agreed before we were born to experience great challenges in life, how we may heal from those challenges, and how our healing brings healing to our souls.
The three layers of the soul
The core of our being is the Spirit-self, what some would refer to as Spirit, God, or the I Am presence. This part of the soul is all-wise and all-love. It is part of the realm of Being: ever-present, unchanging, One with all other beings, and All That Is.
The Soul-self is part of the realm of Becoming. This is the aspect of us that takes part in duality. The Soul-self evolves through experience. It can make what we could consider to be mistakes. It can forget its eternal connection to Spirit and feel cut off from the Love from which it was created and toward which it grows.
The earthly personality in each lifetime is one expression of the enormous and much larger energy that is the Soul-self. The personality is inspired by the Soul-self, and the Soul-self learns from the experiences of the personality, particularly the feelings experienced by the personality. Much healing can and does occur in our nonphysical Home when we return there between incarnations, but some healing can occur only through the experience of living through and surmounting a challenge while in body. In the nonphysical realm we have a greater knowingness, but life on Earth gives us the magnificent opportunity to transform that knowingness into a felt experience. It is the difference between having and being wisdom.
The Soul-self knows more than the earthly personality but is not necessarily completely aligned with Spirit. The Soul-self is multidimensional; it can express in several different dimensions or incarnations simultaneously. The healing that each of us does in our current lifetime brings healing to the other personalities that have been created by the Soul-self, and their healing brings healing to us. In the chapter in Your Soul’s Gift about the pre-birth planning of mental illness, we learn that Mikaela, who shares her personal story in that chapter, agreed before she was born to experience several forms of extreme mental illness so that she could heal herself and in so doing bring healing to several of her Soul-self’s other incarnations.
Transforming false beliefs
The question arises: Why would Spirit or God allow mental illness and other forms of suffering to occur? One answer is that Spirit is inherently unlimited. If Spirit were to prevent the Soul-self from planning an incarnation and having certain experiences, then Spirit itself would become limited, which is contrary to the nature of Spirit. Spirit therefore allows the soul to experience all manifestations of ignorance, fear, and even darkness.
When the Soul-self plans an incarnation on Earth, the plan is created from both knowing and ignorance, love and fear. Ignorance includes false beliefs, some of the most common being ‘I am unworthy,’ ‘I am powerless,’ ‘I am alone,’ ‘Love is painful,’ ‘Life is untrustworthy,’ and ‘Life is suffering.’ The soul will attract life circumstances according to these beliefs. Over time, as the world mirrors these beliefs to the personality, they will come into conscious awareness. When the personality realizes the creative power of belief and the fact that one’s outer world is but a reflection of one’s inner world, then he or she may set about healing those false beliefs.
Doing so requires more than just intention and awareness; also necessary are experiences that disprove the false belief. We are better able to create such positive experiences when we act as if – as if we feel ourselves to be worthy, as if we know ourselves to be powerful, as if love is safe and life joyful. With the passage of time and repeated positive experiences, our false beliefs will be transformed. Perhaps most important, false beliefs cannot be changed by forcing ourselves to think different thoughts. False beliefs change when and because feelings change. Can you feel that you are worthy, powerful, and not alone? Can you feel the presence of Spirit and the Love the Universe has for you? Can you feel joy in and trust for life? To be truly released, beliefs must be addressed at the level of feeling. This can be the work of a lifetime.
If the outer world mirrors our beliefs to us, and if we therefore have repeat experiences and even entire lifetimes that provide evidence of those beliefs, how can we ever heal our false beliefs? To answer this question, we must understand that suffering results from the stories we tell ourselves. For example, the experience of having your romantic partner leave you is inherently neither good nor bad. If, however, you respond by thinking, ‘No one will ever love me’ or ‘I will never be happy,’ you have created a story that in turn causes you to suffer. In the instant before your mind created the story, you had a moment of choice. In that moment you chose how to respond to the external event. There is a space within you from which you respond. When you become aware of this space, you also become aware of who you really are: not a victim, but a powerful creator. From this awareness healing is born.
Your soul uses challenges and crises to create a need to choose. If you never experienced challenge or crisis, if you were always surrounded by loving people and peaceful circumstances, you would have no need to choose. You, the earthly personality, would be happy, but you would not be motivated to go within, remember who you truly are, and consciously choose healing. Your soul, which longs to integrate its unhealed aspects, would feel that something were missing, and it would still feel clouded by the residue of unaddressed false beliefs. Your soul seeks to heal from within. Since you are an extension of your soul in physical form, you are ‘within’ your soul and may therefore bring healing to it.
Ultimately, and though it may appear otherwise, your soul wishes for you to heal until you are swimming in joy.
© 2013 by Rob Schwartz, author of Your Soul’s Gift, www.yoursoulsplan.com.