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  • Marilyn Young

Do You Believe It?

Have you ever had anyone in your life who has treated you poorly or even physically hurt you;

who spoke negatively about you to others in addition to saying nasty things about you directly to you? Perhaps they weren’t hurtful through direct actions but through withdrawal of a behaviour such as not responding when you ask for help or not being kind or loving towards you. Were they someone close to you or a stranger? Was it repeated treatment from one particular person or a single incident? Many, if not all of us, I believe, have had or still have experiences with such people or events in our lives. Often when we find ourselves in those situations, we might ask “why me?” or “why is this happening?” Well, the answer is, we have actually asked to be treated that way. DO YOU BELIEVE IT??

Now before you slam your laptop shut or throw your phone down in disbelief, hear me out… You have likely heard this before from me but I will repeat it because it is so relevant to these situations. Many believe that all people, all events, and interactions are in our lives for a reason. We have soul contracts with others who agree to play specific roles in our lives. (It is true we choose our parents, our family!) We have written a script for our lives before we ever arrived on this planet. We designed our lives to follow a certain direction and to contain certain events and people to enable us to learn our life lessons and fulfill our soul’s purpose. We have freedom of choice however, so that direction can change at any time. The end goal stays the same but the route to getting there can change with our choices in addressing the challenges. You will find in retrospect that the bigger the challenge is in life, the greater the lesson AND those challenges will be repeated with more frequency and intensity until we learn the lesson.

I know, I know. This premise might be acceptable for situations that we have to deal with as adults but I, perhaps like you, used to ask myself, “How could this be applicable in the cases I saw at work every day with child abuse?” How could there possibly be a reason for treating innocent children so horribly? Likewise, we might wonder why anyone can be treated badly when they always treated others with love and kindness. These are difficult situations to experience and think about. As Empaths, many of us also feel the intense emotions of those involved as well. Can you recall situations, relationships, or interactions where you felt you were treated poorly or victimized?

When you have observed or experienced these situations, did you ever find yourself in a

quandary about how to treat the aggressors or did you instantly know how you would react to them and their actions? What emotions did they trigger in you? What were your thoughts? What actions did you take in response to them? Were they basically in your opinion, a “bad” person and someone to avoid, or even to be punished? Did you want to lash out in retaliation or run and hide? I think instinctively we most often want to respond from the perspective of the victim. We have been socialized to have a certain perspective, a certain response. Here is an example…

One of my most vivid memories as a child was when I was 10 years old and it was the Spring of grade 5. It was the second last day of school and I refused to leave the house that morning. I started to cry uncontrollably when I told my mom I could not face another day of my friends being mean to me. Concerned, my mom called the school and repeated my story to the Vice principal, Mr. Zarry. He advised mom to send me to school but to drop by his office before going to class.

With mom’s reassurance, I reluctantly set off for school. Upon arrival, I could hardly make it to the front office, my knees were so weak and I believe my voice was barely above a whisper when I told the secretary I was to see Mr. Zarry. I was more terrified with every minute that passed waiting to be summoned to his office. I was a model student and had never darkened the door of the Principal’s or Vice Principal’s office so I just knew this could not be good for me. Within the few minutes that felt like an eternity, I was seated across from Mr. Zarry behind closed doors. Elbows on his desk, he told me not to be afraid and asked me to tell him what was going on with my friends that had me in such a state that I couldn’t attend the last 2 days of the school year.

I remember him being so kind and concerned that immediately the floodgates opened. Through sobs and tears, I told him the details of how my friends were being mean to me (none of which I can remember now!) I explained that I couldn’t understand why they were behaving that way because I always thought that if I treated people kindly and the way I wanted to be treated, then they would treat me the same way. I remember the shock that I felt when he informed me that unfortunately that was not true in life. I remember being sad about that revelation and felt kind of hopeless as I left his office to return home. (He had decided that I was too upset to go to class). I never did go back for those last 2 days of school and subsequently did not see my friends over the summer. I believed they still did not want anything to do with me and so I think my mom kept me otherwise occupied. Luckily, by the time the new school year started the memory of the Spring had faded and we all entered grade 6 as good friends again.

When I look back on that incident as an adult, I realized a few things. First, I believe Mr. Zarry was honestly trying to help me release some expectations of the world that he felt was setting me up for repeated disappointment. However, I never felt quite comfortable taking everything he said to heart. Even as a 10 year old, I still believed I should treat others well, as much as I could, no matter how they treated me. But what I did let go of was the expectation that others should treat me well in return. I bought into the social belief system that told me life was hard and unfair. Today, I wonder if that thought process set me up for years of manifesting just that. I expected people to treat me poorly despite me treating them well so they did! In trying to protect myself, did I set myself up to experience exactly what I did not want? What do you think? Can you see this type of pattern in your life?

That pattern followed me throughout my entire adult life. Even in my last few years of work, despite making every effort possible to be collaborative and respectful with everyone I worked with, a few people presented huge challenges - one person to the point of screaming names at me in a meeting of twenty people. I was always shocked and hurt because their response was such a contrast to the positive feedback I received from the majority of the other people I worked with.

As I reflect more on those experiences, I realize all of them were part of my life to help me learn to speak up for myself, to help me learn my lessons in self worth. It turns out, I was on the right track as a 10 year old. If I valued myself, I should expect to be treated well and if and when that does not happen, I should be able to reject that behaviour. Admittedly, I did not want to go to school because I wanted to hide so I would not be subjected to more hurtful behaviour. But in my own time, I may have learned to use my voice to stand up for myself. I understand now that those “difficult” colleagues were giving me an opportunity to learn to value myself more, just as my friends in grade 5 were. Some days I shake my head and can’t believe how long it took me to see this lesson! But then I remember that everything happens on Divine timing – even if it takes 50+ years!

I have also come to the realization that these situations were part of my lesson in judgement. I

judged others as having negative personality traits such as being mean and controlling AND I judged myself in not being likeable or having inadequate skills to prevent or resolve a conflict with those people. Coming closer to the back end of this lesson in my last days of work, I did finally speak up for myself. I realized that I was not doing anything wrong and stopped judging myself. Once I left work, discussions involving some of those people kept coming to me. I also started to see relationships and social interactions from a different perspective during the polarizing days of the pandemic. I realized the Universe was still checking to see if I had had enough – did I want to carry on judging others and myself? I can now see the different perspectives and make positive choices about standing my ground, speaking up for myself, and not judging.

So, let’s circle back to thinking about us planning with our soul group to have hurtful, negative situations and people in our life journey. Do you believe it now? What about your life, your challenges? Do you have people in your life who are presenting the difficult opportunities for learning to you? Like me, have you found and learned some of your lessons or is the Universe continuing to give you more opportunities to work through them?

When we look at difficult situations in our lives, knowing they exist as we planned to help us learn our life lessons, we can zoom out to a bigger perspective. Consider this… all the people involved agreed to their contract with you to treat you just as you asked. If we know that we all come from Source/the Creator/God and are created in his likeness, then we are love. The others have agreed to treat you as you asked out of love for you in assisting you to grow your soul. You planned your experiences because you wanted to learn specific lessons to grow and knew you had the strength to learn them. Do you believe it?

Now, what about the innocent who suffer or die at the hand of someone we consider to be evil? “Do they plan that?” you might ask. Consider this perspective… perhaps the victim has agreed to a plan with the perpetrator to teach the perpetrator a lesson in justice for example. We don’t ever know anyone else’s full story in this life or another. Perhaps roles are reversed in this life to create balance for roles in a past life. The bottom line is we don’t know anyone else’s soul contract. It is difficult enough to recognize our own.

So even though we may have planned our challenges, what happens if we feel stuck? How do we get out of a negative spiral of repeating events to recognize those life lessons? Does it just eventually happen that we “get it” with enough repeated opportunities to learn? Maybe, for some. But if we agree that everything happens for a reason, then even feeling stuck is meant to be. Perhaps we are mean to stay at exactly that spot until we understand or learn something. If you feel you are stuck in a hopeless abyss of negativity and hurt it is so important to PAUSE, REACH OUT, AND GO WITHIN.

Stopping the hamster wheel that you may feel you are on is SO important. If you feel you have tried everything to address the hurt and negativity in your life, just PAUSE. If you have been working hard and feel you are “getting nowhere”, it is time to PAUSE. When you give yourself the gift of time versus “doing” you will allow the solutions/answers to come to you. You may see other doors open that you might have missed when you were busy working so hard “doing.” Focusing on some rest and self care will tell the Universe that you are ready for and deserving of a solution, the answers to the life lesson. Spend time on you and reconnecting with the joys in your life be it a hobby you have neglected or more unconditional smiles and hugs from loved ones in your life.

REACH OUT to your human and spiritual supports. You are not meant to travel this journey

alone. Family, friends, coworkers, community members, professionals can be surprisingly supportive and insightful when we reach out with honesty and humility. Your Guides, Angels, and Ascended Masters are also always ready to assist you. Your Guardian Angels and some Guides are with you through your entire journey. Archangels and other Guides can come in for specific requests or type of assistance you need. All are just waiting for you to ask. As the saying goes, “No man is an island.”

Lastly, GO WITHIN. Spend time in a quiet supportive environment – find your “happy place.” Ground to Mother Earth and open up to Spirit. Meditate, journal, or just have a conversation with yourself to journey inward towards your higher self, to your inner light, to your soul. There, you will find your strength, wisdom, and hope. You will understand and be able to meet the challenges, make wise choices, and learn the lessons. For most, this is not a simple or “one shot” process. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you work through your lessons – even if it takes 50+ years!! Remember, as my best friend reminds me, everything is on Divine timing.

Finally, when you are at the back end of a lesson (i.e., lesson learned) you will know because we will still run into similar situations or people but you will respond differently. You may feel neutral about the situation or even be able to respond to huge negativity and hurt with love, understanding and forgiveness. When we recognize the lessons and the negative people and situations for what they are, we can begin to feel grateful. I am grateful for those grade 5 friends (some of whom are still close friends today!), for family members, and for those colleagues who have been part of my journey. I am grateful for all the hard situations/encounters and relationships that have helped me grow. They have helped me to see and understand the love and beauty that we all come from; to understand and feel our interconnectedness; and to see the true inner beauty of Source in the people and world around me. The more I tap into this awareness and integrate this “knowing” into my every day, the lighter, calmer, and more joyful I feel. I can see and feel more of the love in the world and share more of that with others.

So next time you find yourself facing one of life’s challenges, smile, remember that it is by your

design, and know you can work through it learning as you go. When you encounter negativity in others or yourself, ask your intuition and your Spirit team what next steps would be in your highest good, what would be aligned with your soul’s purpose. Remember that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. Part of that experience is being part of a community – reach out to support and be supported. Remember that we don’t know all the details of everyone’s journey so try to respond with love no matter the circumstance. I’ll leave you with a song that Spirit just starting playing in my head for me as an appropriate closing – “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and Spirit has added “no matter who he is!” Do you believe it?

Lots of love and hugs,



If you would like to learn more about life lessons, here are a few resources I have found helpful:


Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh


Intuitive Counselling and Angel Card Readings

If you have the need for a helping hand with working through negative situations or relationships, I am offering intuitive counselling and angel card readings online or in person (in Calgary).

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