What are they?
Soul contracts are agreements made in soul or unity consciousness before we incarnate that certain events will happen.
Those agreements might be to have children together, give a strong experience of unconditional love or turn someone’s life around by opening a very big door.
A great example of the latter is Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle. Before she picked his book, Power of Now, out of a bargain bin he was unknown, (or so the story goes).
Soul contracts might mean that we leave a marriage, abuse someone or break a heart into a thousand fractal pieces. They exist between parents and children, lovers, friends, colleagues and folks we might call strangers.
Soul contracts are ways we agree to help each other wake up. That’s their job.
When I first heard the term, I focused on the word soul and wafted into soft, pink heart chakra land. That’s completely relevant, but not always obvious by how they show up in our lives.
Parents are some of the most tangible contracts.
My toughest was with my father. He left when I was young, remarried quickly and had another child. He was distant and unavailable. I spent years trying to get his approval and love. My core feeling was that I didn’t matter to him.
In my 20s, I withdrew from the relationship because I thought no contact would be less painful than feeling disappointed and let down all the time. Following that, we didn’t speak for 20 years.
I had strong abandonment issues, crappy self-worth and rescued every man who came within a breath of me.
It was exhausting, frustrating and devastating.
Why were all the men in my life abandoning me?
Probably because I had soul agreements with them. I was choosing unavailable men because of my issues with my dad, of course. It took time to unravel it all but each experience took me to be a deeper place of healing and allowed me to become a facilitator in healing myself.
When I saw my Dad again I met him from a place of forgiveness, acceptance and compassion—for him and myself. I was grateful because I recognized the love between us (not because he’d been a great dad and led me out into the world telling me I could do anything). I no longer viewed our relationship through a lens of pain. I felt the value of what I’d learned and my heart was full.
Soul contracts aren’t necessarily long complicated relationships.
They can be short associations or friendships that boot-scoot in and out of our lives quite quickly, while still impacting us deeply. Most close relationships have a soul agreement. We’ll be in each other’s lives for specific reasons and quite often for very specific time frames.
Have you ever had an experience when a relationship ends abruptly?
It might be a shock, but sometimes soul contracts end like that. When what we were meant to live (and learn) together is complete—we’re gone.
Then there’s the opposite. Couples who break up…make up…break up…make up. And probably drive all their friends crazy. I always look at that and wonder if they are ping-ponging because of unfinished business in a soul agreement.
Soul contracts can be one-offs. Maybe we get hideously ripped off. Maybe we get saved from drowning. Maybe we meet a particular person who evokes a strong awakening.
If you’re thinking about soul contracts in your own life, some useful questions to ask are:
Do you have a strong attachment to someone either positive or negative?
What are the ongoing challenges in the relationship?
What do we see about ourselves through them?
What is being shown to us?
Is it about boundaries? Stepping out of victimhood? Is it about letting ourselves be loved? Is it about valuing ourselves more? Is it about seeing our own light?
How are our relationships helping us make choices to live a more soul-led life?
How are they galvanizing our true heart qualities—compassion, forgiveness, oneness, surrender, acceptance, love, empathy?
Can we break soul contracts?
My feeling is if we leave one situation where we haven’t completed the contract, so to speak, we’ll likely bring ourselves another copycat one. Same learning, different person.
To quote Pema Chodron:
“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”
So, with that in mind, if someone shows up in our lives who seems similar to the person who just left, it’s an empowering thought to ask again.
What is being shown to me here?
What do I need to get?
Am I willing to get it?
The very last thing we should do within a soul contract is go into victimhood and think,
“I’m stuck in this contract with this person and there’s nothing I can do.”
No. Again ask: what is being shown here? What do I need to get? Am I willing to get it?
I find it empowering to know that on some level, I’ve chosen the divine set up and experience I’m having, even when it sucks.
Soul contracts are made in love. They are all about pink, heart chakra land, even when they are heavily disguised. Our earthly love means kindness and caring, but not soul love. What happens in soul contacts might not look like love at all.
An absent father doesn’t look like love.
An abusive partner doesn’t look like love.
An alcoholic mother doesn’t look like love.
It can be hard to get underneath the hurt or and find within ourselves the resources that let us value situations like this.
Cue healing journeys. Cue empowerment muscles.
We also have soul contracts with people who love us deeply, help us and teach us through their hearts. We don’t just learn through adversity and grit, of course. We learn through joy.
We learn through love.
Author: Dettra Rose
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Andreas Overland/Flickr