Instruction Manual for Life

life bookToday is Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

A piece by Chrie Carter-Scott has been making the rounds of the Internet: Ten Rules for Being Human.  By now, someone has re-worded some of the statements and added two more things to the list, and the author’s name is, sadly, often deleted.

You may or may not agree with these “rules,” depending on your spiritual beliefs, but they are a particularly good way of describing life for those of us who believe that the true self is Soul, and that we all have a purpose for each and every lifetime.  Here are Carter-Scott’s rules in bold, with anonymous additions,  and my comments in plain text.

1. You will receive a body.  You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.   My experience has been that whatever type of body we are born with is perfect for learning the lessons that we, as Soul, have come here to learn.  Those of us with imperfect bodies have come to learn patience, humility, acceptance, and other lessons, while those with strong, beautiful bodies have perhaps come here to lead, to entertain, or to push back the physical boundaries of the human body.  Not only our individual physical characteristics, but also the sex of the body, the racial group that the body belongs to, and the level of intellect are carefully chosen for us in order to learn, grow spiritually, and serve others.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life.  This is what it’s all about, and Souls spend lifetimes upon lifetimes getting it right.  For me, the ultimate “forgiveness” is that God gives us as many chances as we need to learn, so that we may one day reach our maximum potential for service to life.  Like students in school, we may think of these daily lessons as stupid or irrelevant, but they are neither.  No experience is a waste of time.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.  Growth is a process of trial,  error, and  experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”  It doesn’t matter what you decide, only that you decide.  The process of making decisions and taking action, then taking responsibility for the results of our actions is part and parcel of the learning curve.  We must first realize that we do have a choice, and that we are responsible for everything we think, do and say.  We must realize that each and every thought, word and action has a consequence, not only for ourselves, but for others, and we must take responsibility for them.  When we do this, we can also make amends when things go wrong, or make changes the next time around.  Whatever happens, as long as we are willing to learn from our experiences, nothing is a waste of time.

4. Lessons are repeated until learned.  A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.   Ever wonder why certain people keep falling in love with the same type of person or why some people seem to fail for the same basic reason every time?  Ever wonder why you seem to get into the same type of trouble over and over again?  Stop and reflect.  How can you make a change in the way you react to situations to make things go better?  How can you make changes within yourself so that you can draw different people into your life?

5. Learning lessons does not end.  There is no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive,  that means there are still lessons to be learned.  Lessons are learned literally until the moment of death – and beyond.  Those who have had near death experiences tell us that Souls continue to learn in the afterlife.  A friend of mine died of cancer many years ago, and at the end of her life she begged God to allow her to die, trying to make deals with God if he would only end her suffering.  What did she learn?  Hopefully, she learned that you don’t make deals like that with God.  Why did she suffer?  Who knows?  Nobody likes the idea of suffering, but some of us realize that physical suffering and mental anguish are ways that Soul balances out negative karma left over from the current lifetime or previous lifetimes.  Those who don’t believe in reincarnation are doomed to believe in the essential unfairness of life, I guess.  Your mileage may vary.

6. “There” is no better a place than “here.”  When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”  In other words, we all have goals toward which we are headed, and there is always a “plus factor” in life.  We will always have something new to learn, no matter how long Soul lives.  Even the being that we know of as God is continually learning and growing.  That may seem irreverent or blasphemous to you, but think about it: What if you knew everything there was to know and had nothing new to look forward to, and you were doomed to live forever?  Wouldn’t that be a little…. boring?

7. Other people are merely mirrors of you.  You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.   This is really hard to get our minds around some days, and it can be quite humbling to realize that we ourselves are acting in ways that we despise.  I once went to a workshop where participants were asked to think of someone who upset them.  We were to list the qualities that we didn’t like in that person.  Then we were told that those qualities we noticed in the other person were qualities that we were exhibiting ourselves.  The question was asked, “If you dislike these qualities so much, why are you manifesting them in your own personality?”   Good question.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.  You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.  We truly do have choices in life.  Sure, some of the circumstances of our lives are set in stone for us, but those things were also chosen, or at least agreed to, before we were born into this life.  We also do have all the resources we need, in terms of qualities that we already possess, people and information surrounding us, and help from the spiritual realm, if we will only recognize it and call upon our spiritual guides for assistance.  It’s surprising how many people forget to ask God for help, and surprising, also, how many fail to recognize and accept the help when it is offered.

9.  Your answers lie within you.  The answers to life’s questions lie within you.  All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.  Even when we look to others for information and guidance, we are the ones who choose where to look and whom to ask for help. Those of us who have learned to forge and maintain a connection with Divine Spirit know that help is only a heartbeat away.

10. Life is exactly what you think it is.  You create a life that matches your beliefs and expectations.   This statement is one that was added, but I do agree with it.  We create our own reality with our beliefs and attitudes.  We are the ones who make ourselves happy or miserable.

11.    You will forget all this.  It’s true.  Soul knows all this before birth into a physical body, but the veil comes down and the slate is wiped clean.  Why?   Because we must have experiences in order to learn  I once asked my mom why, if having a baby hurts so much, do women have more than one baby.  She said that between times, the woman forgets, and besides, the pain of childbirth is really nothing compared with the wonderful experience of being a parent.   If we remembered how hard life might be, we might be tempted to just skip it.  Those who have had near death experiences tell us that all the painful experiences of physical life fade away as soon as Soul separates from the body, and Soul feels that the experience of physical life was worth the trouble.  It’s a comforting thought.

12. You can remember it whenever you want.   This statement was added, as well, and it’s just as true as the statement that we will forget.  When Soul is ready to take full responsibility for Its creations, and when It is getting ready to graduate one final time from the School of Physical Life, Soul begins to remember.  It remembers that the physical world is a great place to visit, but it’s not a good place to stay.   It remembers that Its true home is in Heaven, with the Creator.  It remembers some of Its past lives, in order to speed up the process of balancing karma.  It remembers that It came here with a specific goal in mind, and an area of service to Life.  🙂 

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