[When we last looked in on Soul, she was meeting with the second member of the Preincarnation Advisory Committee, her guardian angel, aka Epheniel. Together, they were constructing the blueprint for Soul’s next lifetime.]
“Now we’re getting somewhere!” I burbled, hoping that we might complete the next section more easily. “See how easy this is? And what fun – I simply had no idea!” I craned my neck, trying to see what she had written. No such luck. “Now, what are all my wonderful choices for a profession this lifetime? I don’t know exactly why I chose to be a short, beauty-challenged pigherd that life, but there it is. Someone may have twisted my arm a bit to have selected that one.” I leaned forward and said softly,” You know, I may not be as highly evolved as you might wish me to be, but this isn’t exactly my first walk around the block, so to speak. This life, I want something entirely different. Maybe something that doesn’t give off such a strong odor, you know? I would also like to regain the balance I lost in my last lifetime. Any ideas?”
Epheniel looked thoughtful, her soft violet eyes gazing at the fire. “You say you like children, although they have been known to give off unpleasant odors. The question is: how much do you like them?”
“The odors? Not much, I’m afraid.”
“No, Soul, children. Would you like to work with children if we could resolve that smell issue?”
“Sure! I’d love to work with kids, but I have vague memories of my former incarnations, and, well, truth be told, I’ve always had a hankering for a small monarchy.” Again, I leaned over and said with as much bravado as I could muster, “Why don’t we look at a major career change for me? You know, something like a Cleopatra, King Arthur or maybe even a Joan of Arc – but without that unfortunate unpleasant ending. Might you have something in a smallish kingdom in Ohio on that list?” I waited eagerly, my mind racing in regal anticipation. I could almost feel the crown being placed reverently on my head, as hordes of minions – my minions – raced to do my bidding. As if she could read my mind, my angel sighed deeply and made what appeared to be only a cursory look through the section marked Available Professions.
“Kingdoms in Ohio,” she muttered under her breath, “... kingdoms in Ohio....” I could feel the crown beginning to slip from my head, as her finger flew down column after column. I craned my neck again, hoping to find one she might have missed. Surely one little kingdom in Ohio isn’t asking too much from a highly evolved entity? I did that pigger thing without too much whining. I hope. Epheniel finally looked up. “Nope.”
“Nope?” The crown unceremoniously slid from my head, hit the floor, and shattered into thousands of glittery shards.
“Nope. Sorry, not a one to be found. And now that we’re done with that little sidebar, could we please get back to reality?” When I nodded a bit glumly, she clasped both hands. “Exactly how would you like to work with children if that’s what you decide to do?”
“Well, if there are really no kingdoms available, then how about as a teacher?” I replied a bit glumly. “I could be queen of a classroom, I suppose, although it’s really not the same. And, I’m not much into wiping runny noses, so let’s make it something with older kids.” I leaned over the desk to take a closer look. She retraced the section more carefully. “Do you have something in there that fits that description?”
After a long moment of searching, she replied, “Well, there appears to be an availability that kills two birds with one stone, so to speak, although that expression is frowned upon around here. Here’s a life that teaches sixth, seventh and eighth graders, spends glorious teenage summers as a camp counselor, and leads several scout troops. You’ll not only get your wish to be with children, but you’ll have your full share of challenges, too, as that age group has a plethora of raging hormones! It should be a good follow up to your last life, too.” She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye – most likely not due to any celestial power beam, but from personal victory. “What do you think, Soul?”
I decided to give her a break. “Great! It’s a win-win situation. Put me down for that one, although maybe we can reserve a smallish kingdom next time around, okay?” Epheniel sighed one more time, which I had now learned to ignore to perfection. Things were really looking up, and I eagerly awaited her next question.
I looked blankly at her, my enthusiasm suddenly oozing from my body. “What do you mean issues?”
Once again, Epheniel sighed deeply, read a notation, and then sat in silence for a long moment. I vaguely wondered if sighing was a condition particular only to my guardian angel, or if it was an inherent part of aiding soul progression. Her next comment brought me back to reality, however, and all musing stopped. “What issues will you choose to help move you along your path toward enlightenment?”
“What are my choices?” I asked as my mind raced with possibilities. “Happiness? Health? Love? Fabulous wealth? Those sound interesting. Sign me up for all of those, please.”
“You’re not going to get very far on the Scale with that attitude, Soul. Now, think. Some souls are overachievers and accept lots of issues and challenges. For example, the guide across the hall just got promoted to Guide Extraordinaire because her entire soul group has agreed to tackle some really tough issues in their next incarnations. How about it, Soul?” She leaned forward eagerly, awaiting my response.
I thought long and hard before answering because it didn’t seem a particularly smart move on my part to offend my heavenly advisor right before incarnation, but I figured that ship had already sailed. So to speak. Besides, the jury was definitely still out on her sense of humor. I shuddered with the thought of possible angelic revenge wrought over an entire lifetime, but I did have some definite ideas. Who knew how long it would be before I could voice them again? I took a deep breath and began.
“Issues, huh? Well, I hate to disappoint you or further embarrass you at the annual Guardian Angel Conventions, but I do love Earth. I found my time in The Pleiades intriguing, as well as my other intergalactic lifetimes, but truth be told, I’m a fan of Earth. Anyway, I also don’t mind the fact that I’m somewhat of a spiritual underachiever, Having said all of that, I don’t think I want any major issues this time around.” Epheniel started to speak, but I lifted my hand so that I could finish my thought. “As for my issue, put me down for patience.” I looked at her meaningfully. “Perhaps we can work on that one together.”
“Patience,” my angel repeated with just a hint of reproach in her voice. “That’s it? What about trust, power, envy, greed or any of the many delightful options available to you?”
“If I’m going to be the mother of four, my children will be quite convinced that those are my issues too, but, sure, what the heck? Tack ‘em on if they make you happy, but make ‘em minor challenges. For my main issue, I’m sticking with patience. Besides, if I read the handbook right, you can advise, not bully me into making these decisions, right? That whole Free Will thing going on here.”
Right then and there, my angelic guardian, my own personal celestial guide, my heavenly protector – glared at me. It was obvious I had gone too far and had offended her. Too late now. Might as well spill my guts, that is, if I had guts at this moment. I tried a conciliatory tone. “Let’s leave the biggies for another more overachieving soul or another lifetime of mine.”
Epheniel mumbled something about never being able to retire at the rate I was progressing, but I ignored that, as well. “Patience,” she repeated with a gleam in her eyes that unsettled me. “And my choice of minor challenges.” She tapped the plume delicately against her chin for a moment. “Okay, Soul, now that we are finished with the checklist and you are ready to begin your new human journey, I am going to suggest one more gift for the life you are about to assume.”
I looked at her eagerly. “Let me guess! You’re going to infuse me with psychic abilities so that I can see elementals dance in the early morning sun?” She shook her head gently. “I’m going to have the ability to see auras and talk with entities from other realms?”
“Soul,” she said gently, shaking her head again. “This is a far better gift ...”
“Oh, it will be wonderful!” I interrupted with another leap to my feet. “I’ll have such a wonderful time on Earth with all my wonderful choices and all the other wonderful souls going on their wonderful human journeys at this time and with you guys as part of my team – everything sounds just – just – well, wonderful, doesn’t it?”
“It might be better if you ...”
“Wait! Don’t tell me!” I pleaded, as my voice rose in excitement. “I’m getting pretty far up on that ol’ Evolvement Scale, so I’m sure I can figure this one out for myself!” I went on before she could even think of trying to stop me. “I have it! I’ll be able to flit in and out of different realms, bringing back messages for those poor souls who don’t have that ability?”
“I don’t think this is such a good idea,” Epheniel said, as she once again shook her head. She reached out and touched my shoulder gently, flooding me with a gentle peace. I sat down quietly and waited for her to speak.
“Soul,” she began again softly, now that she had my complete attention, “I am suggesting that you and I choose a special gift, but it won’t be any of those things. Why don’t we choose for you to be living among many special entities who have these gifts?” She paused long enough for my impulsive nature to regain control.
“Great idea! There’ll be a bunch of us with amazing spiritual gifts! Boy, I was worried there for a moment. I know how you can be with all that challenge stuff.” I grinned up at her, thrilled that she was finally looking at this my way.
Epheniel shook her head again. “I am suggesting that not to be your path. I have another gift in mind for you that will greatly increase your ability to work for peace and understanding. I am very excited about it, and hope you will be, too.”
There went that librarian thing again. My heart sank. “What is it?” I asked bluntly, instinctively bracing myself for what was to come.
“You have spent many lifetimes, Soul, journeying the earthly plane, deeply connected to our realm and All That Is.”
“And so why wouldn’t I want that again this time around?”
“You would, indeed, Soul, and you will begin this new life with that same deep connection. But, around the age of seven or so, you will panic, fearful that the pattern from your last incarnation will continue. To ensure that does not happen, you, yourself, will reattach the veil at that time. You will then live the rest of your life on the outside, looking in.”
I looked up at her, unable to believe what she was asking of me. “You have got to be kidding me. On the outside, looking in?” I repeated in disbelief. “You/re suggesting that I should choose to live my life without feeling connected to all of this?” I looked around the room and my eyes welled with tears as she nodded. “Forever in this lifetime as many around me can experience it all?” I asked as a tear gently made its way down my cheek. I tried not to speak reproachfully, but the human side of me was growing stronger. “Why in the world would I choose that?”
“You and two other human spirits will share an amazing adventure, which you will write about for all those other souls around you, most of whom will be like you – on the outside. But, Soul, both of the entities with whom you will join will both be on the inside.” She gently wiped the tear away and I listened carefully. “I know this is not what you want to hear, Soul, but when you were an apprentice last lifetime, you were deeply intuitive and strongly felt the Connection. You also chose to feel connected in the Kenyan lifetime. You accomplished total mortal understanding. Now, the other side is needed for your understanding, balance, and growth.”
“That feel connected thing sounds like something I might like again,” I offered gently, hoping that she would see my logic and relent.
“Exactly,” Epheniel whispered. “In the deepest recesses of your soul, there will be a part of you that will remember all of this,” she said as her arm swept the room. “You will always yearn for it, for who could not? You will grieve when you realize that your path lies only on the intellectual realm, Soul, but that is the true nature of the gift – to not only survive challenges in your life, but to choose to thrive amongst them.”
I waited silently, not trusting myself to speak. My beautiful angel continued. “If all three of you had chosen to feel that connection, how could all of those souls searching for Truth and Understanding ever really know that the book you write is for them?”
“Whoa! I’m going to write a book?” I interrupted. All right -- now, things are beginning to look up! “Is that what you’re saying?” She nodded. “I have to admit, that’s pretty cool. Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me – it will be your decision. We in the angelic realm invite you to write a book with us, but the decision will be up to you. We will love you, regardless of your decision.” I stared thoughtfully at her.
“I think I would like to be a part of that. Can you jot it down in that scroll of yours?” She nodded, but before adding it to the list, Epheniel gave me a long look.
“But you will write the book, Soul, without feeling that deep connection because most of the world at this particular time of human evolvement is still on the outside, looking in.”
I gulped, waiting for her to continue. “You will represent those souls and live this journey through the intellectual plane only,” she said. “And that, in itself, is a great gift. Besides, for thousands of years, much of humanity’s thinking has been molded by the constructs of organized religion, which within all of its rules and Thou shall nots, has sought to ban the feeling part of the human spirit. Now on the earthly plane, the shift is moving from religion to science. Up until this point in the Earth story, your scientists have been interested only in cold, hard facts, dismissing the feeling part from their fields, as well. But recently, scientists have begun exploring the feeling part. Therefore, Soul, the earth plane is primed for an intellectual viewpoint on spirituality and feeling, which will then lead to a spiritual viewpoint on science – a glorious combination.”
“But, to feel disconnected?” I asked, still trying to grasp the enormity of what she considered to be my gift. I understood her reasoning, but it didn’t make the task any easier. What happened to that easy lifetime I had just signed up for?
My exquisite angel smiled gently at me again. “After the book is written, dear One, you will have a choice,” she said. “If you believe at that time being given an understanding beyond the intellectual realm will help you on your path, then it shall be yours.”
“You mean I can choose it then?” I asked eagerly, thrilled to finally see a spiritual legal loophole.
“Yes, but it won’t be you in your human form making that decision, Soul.”
“But you just said, …” I stammered, as visions of me in nonhuman form danced before my mind’s eye. Epheniel’s next words effectively snapped me back to our conference room discussion.
“You will be making that decision at some point, but it won’t made by you as human spirit. The choice needs to be made by you as the brilliant entity you are and have been for ages and dimensions past, present and future. Simply put, you and your Higher Self will make the choice whether you finish this particular journey without ever feeling a deep connection.”
“My Higher Self?” I asked a bit lamely. I searched for a memory, but came up empty-handed. “Have I met this one yet?”
She smiled. “Each human soul has a Higher Self, bonded from creation. This is the inner core of your being; your connection to all Love and Light; your connection to God. This is where your Higher Truth resonates, where your True Knowledge lies.”
“Okay,” I replied. “Let’s make sure I get this since it sounds important. When the book is written, my Higher Self and I will make the decision of what’s best for me and that of my future learning?” She nodded. I sniffed, wiped my nose and attempted to smile at her. “Knowledge without deep, personal connection.” I repeated, hoping against hope that perhaps I had misunderstood. “Sounds like a swell gift.”
“Soul, I told you that it isn’t going to be easy. It is a gift beyond measure because it will further your path more than anything else. When we planned out this incarnation, you were given many choices for your next life. I think you understand that this last gift will also be a challenge, but as with all the others, it is your choice, not mine.”
I looked up into the eyes of my angel as I tried to readjust my thinking about the life I was about to assume. “You’re still going to be with me through all of this, right?”
She nodded. “We’ll do it together, Soul. You will discover that there is enough beauty in the physical world to help smooth over the disappointment of remaining only there. When Life gets discouraging, immerse yourself in the beauty of Earth. If you learn to appreciate the multitude of gifts all human entities are given as their birthright, you will be able to live happily and thrive.”
I listened and understood all for that particular moment. I gently tucked the understanding into my soul to provide solace when that realization would finally come on my journey. It would be enough. It had to be.
“Okay,” I agreed after a moment. “After the age of seven, I choose to have only an intellectual understanding during this lifetime – at least until after the book is written. Then we’ll see if I can somehow finagle a way to have it all.” My celestial guide beamed at me with obvious approval as she glanced back at the last entry in my soul record.
“Soul, before we stand before the committee with your Life Plan,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “we have to discuss one more thing.” She paused and my heart sank.
Oh, great. Do I get to go through this life with two heads on top of everything else? I smiled sweetly at her, hoping the two-head idea was not in the scroll.
“According to this document,” she said, “you have requested to aid us in the effort to bring about peace and understanding on the earthly realm. That is your main theme during this incarnation, and we are thrilled that you have decided to join us because the cause needs many more Light workers. However, I want you to think long and hard before we return to Zeke for approval of this plan.” She leaned over and held my hand in hers. Uh-oh – angelic handholding. Now what?
My angel continued. “Working toward bringing about peace and understanding on the earthly realm is a very difficult task. This has been an ongoing challenge since human spirits first walked Earth, became immersed in the denseness of the realm and eventually forgot about their intimate connection to and with all Life and God. It was then that the tiffs and the minor disagreements in their own little realities eventually grew in size and strength to become Fear, Greed, Bigotry, Hatred, and War. The need for humanity to be right, in control of others, and to cast judgment upon them clouded what they knew to be Truth, Acceptance and Unconditional Love. Traditionally, the peacemakers of the world have not been accepted by the masses because they ask too much of the world: to remember the Connection.” She paused for a moment, knowing I needed a moment to process. When she continued, her voice was soft and gentle. “Are you sure you understand that which you seek, Soul? Are you strong enough to handle that which will come?”
Her words unnerved me, but I was determined to follow this path. I solemnly nodded. “I know I gave you a tough time with that whole questionnaire thing back there, but this is important to me. I understand that this will not be an easy task, but I also know deep inside, that for me, there is no other. I may not be able to make a significant difference in the world, but if I don’t try, I will never know. And if I am able only to touch one human spirit with my words and actions, I will know my efforts have not been in vain. Do you understand how I feel?”
“I do,” she said as she released my hand and closed the parchment gently. “We will work together for that purpose, Soul.” She gazed at me a moment, her love radiating throughout the room. “I am proud to be at your side.” She stood up. “Well, that appears to be it for now. Before we return to Zeke, we’ll stop in other areas of the Great Hall so that you and those with whom you choose to work this lifetime can make plans, as well. There are a great many souls who will wish to be a part of your life, just as you would like to be a part of theirs.”
“So, I’ve got some great friends on this side, too?” The angel nodded. “I’m anxious to meet them and see if any are up for this lifetime of mine – even if I’m not a Joan of Arc!” Within what seemed to be a heartbeat, we met and made arrangements with hundreds of other souls about to make their next trip to the earth realm. It was great fun, greeting old soul friends and meeting new ones, each of us interested in playing a part in our upcoming incarnations. When all was complete and we had returned to the conference room, my angel turned to me.
“We need to present this plan. Are you ready?” I nodded and she once again enfolded me in the silkiness of her wings. A heartbeat later, we stood together before the smiling sprite. Apparently, my selections had somehow appeared on his scroll and he began to read them aloud. When he finished, there was a moment of silence and I nervously wondered if something was amiss.
“Are all these choices made of yer own Free Will, Soul? This is the framework chosen by ye for yer next incarnation?” I thought of nodding, but sensed that a verbal commitment might be necessary.
“Yes,” I replied. “While I received assistance from my guardian angel in making those decisions, I accept responsibility for each of them. It’s my wish to carry these out to the best of my ability on the earthly plane.” I paused, unsure of Proper Preincarnation Preparation Protocol.
Zeke sat up a little straighter and gave me a curious look. “On the outside looking in? That won’t be easy, Soul, ye know.”
“I know,” I replied, “but I understand there is a plethora of resources that can be made available if I need them.” He grinned in appreciation. “Besides, I have my angel to guide me, and if I can just remember to listen to her and to my Higher Self, as well, I should be just fine.”
“I agree,” Zeke replied while grinning. “We are all in agreement that the path this soul has chosen will increase knowledge and understanding.” He glanced at the angel, who nodded her assent. “Done!” he exclaimed as a great golden seal was gently adhered to the yellowed parchment. “Have a wonderful life, Lass! Ye are free to be reborn. …”
(Excerpt from This Time Around – https://www.martyboyle.com – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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