I agreed to have experiences with a horrible person. You probably did, too.

I agreed to have experiences with a horrible person. You probably did, too.

by Lindsay on March 29, 2012

in Personal Growth, Relationships, Souls

Photo credit: davidshearing.com

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. ~ Rumi

Years ago, I had a terrible experience with someone I dated for a very brief period. This person tormented me in many ways after the break-up. The story is too nightmarish to write out, but it was bad enough that until very recently (years later), I was unable to say this person’s name out loud without getting sweaty palms. I didn’t want friends to mention the name either – I was afraid she would be like Voldemort from the Harry Potter books –  she’d re-appear if her name were brought up. I referred to her as she who shall not be named. 

And although I’ve been a spiritual person for a few years now and consciously knew that this person was likely a teacher of mine, it’s only been recently that I’ve been able to recognize the immense lessons she taught me just by being such a horrible human being to me at that dark period.

Part of me thought that I must have been terrible in a past life to deserve what was happening to me, and I must’ve been paying my penance in this one. I don’t think like that anymore. Karma doesn’t work that way. I realize now that this person and I had a soul agreement – my soul had agreed to this experience before I was ever born. (Thanks, higher self!).

Think about the person in your life who has been the worst to you – the absolute worst. This could be the mean girl from middle school, a relative, a coworker, an ex boy/girlfriend. Mr. or Mrs. Horrendous could be someone from your past or someone who is very much in your present. Beyond being in your life to hurt or annoy you, this person is a teacher.

It’s not just the people in our lives who bring goodness, happiness and love who are our teachers. In fact, some of our biggest teachers are those who bring us the most strife and heartache.

Sometimes we may not see their benefit in our lives until long after the dust has settled but sure enough, that ‘silver lining’ is always there – the lesson that helped you grow into a better person. A more patient person. A more loving, tolerant, forgiving person. On the chalkboard of life, everyone’s a teacher.

Before we are ever born, we make ‘soul agreements’. We agree on the people we’ll meet, the lessons to be learned in this lifetime and the pre-destined events and agreements. Each person that comes into your life is here to offer you an opportunity to stretch, grow and heal in some way. While our entire lives are not pre-ordained – we do have free will – many of the  relationships we have are with are souls we agreed to embark on a journey with long before birth.

Think about the people you’ve had relationships with (parents, siblings, past loves, current loves). They’ve all taught us something. Not convinced? Consider these indicators of having a soul agreement with someone:

  • This person pushes your buttons, bringing old wounds to the surface, forcing you to stop ignoring them
  • Mirrors your weaknesses and flaws
  • Offers support, encouragement and acts as your cheerleader
  • Shines with qualities you admire and that you want to take on yourself
  • Acts as a role model
  • Teaches you about something new you’ve never heard of
  • Pulls at your heart-strings, triggers guilt or projects victim-hood so you can learn to see beyond these illusions
  • Teaches you unconditional love and forgiveness through example

While some people’s presence in our lives come from a deeper, soul contract connection, everyone we meet in our lives has meaning and can teach us a lesson. That includes (but of course isn’t limited to)

  • A co-worker who insists on crunching the loudest foods at the most inopportune times (i.e., between 9am-5pm)
  • The man who butt in line in front of you with no regard or care
  • The friend who hurt your feelings but won’t acknowledge it
  • The neighbors upstairs or next door who make seemingly unhuman-like noises at odd hours
  • The person who stole your bike
  • The woman who bought the last chocolate croissant that you had your eyes on while standing in line

No matter how painful, how annoying, how simply wonderful anyone is – they are all here to teach us lessons. It’s good to ask yourself “What can I learn from this?” in the heat of the moment (and even in retrospect).  I’ll try to remember that the next time someone else buys the last chocolate croissant.

Interested in learning more about your soul agreements? An Akashic Reading/Soul Contract is a great way to learn about your soul contracts & agreements

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Michael March 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

Awesome and very informative – I hope many take it to heart.

It’s worth noting that these agreements are mutual, and that the teaching is going on in both directions. Even without knowing it, we’re teaching others as we go along. Not by what we consciously may think we teach, but simply because of who we are.

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 10:33 am

Yup – I am right with you – these agreements are mutual and lessons go in both directions. When I think that my interactions with others are teaching them lessons, it makes me want to be a better person in certain ways, so I’m not seen as the “horrible person” in someone’s book of lessons.

Julie | A Clear Sign March 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Lindsay,

Truer than true! Thank goodness their are warm and kind people like you out there in the Universe for me to meet, because some of the other ones aren’t as sweet 🙂 (Ha, I rhymed!)

Not only have I had these less than lovely relationships, but when I think back on the most difficult ones, there was always a theme and it recurred. Some of those people weren’t atrocious, they may have even been loving, but the behaviors they brought to the table were problematic – and then as the years passed I’d meet more important people who had those same behaviors, addictions or psychological problems, but this time I had a little bit of information on what that meant. It almost seems uncannily cyclical, like a spiraling upward.

Other people who we interact with daily can be our most important teachers.

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

You’re a poet and you don’t know it! Well, I guess you did that in case. 😉

You know, I hadn’t thought about the them that might run in the most difficult relationships and I definitely see it now that I think about it.

It makes sense that the people who we interact daily are our most important teachers. We have the most contact with them and we obviously do for a reason. 🙂

Lisa at Practically Intuitive March 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

Yep and Yep. Michael makes a good point that the agreements are definitely mutual (at a soul and often non-conscious level) so they are also benefiting in some fashion from the relationship (again – soul level).

I’ve spoken of my cousin before but she’s been one of my greatest teachers (and also a pain in the butt many times) and once I recognized her as that teacher, I took back the power I had given her to aggravate me. It’s kind of cool because that means that the agreement has been fulfilled. (Also removed that pesky cord of attachment which gave me lots of distance from her energy.)

I think the shift in perspective – looking at these relationships as soul agreements and for what purpose – helps us manage them in our daily life.

Excellent article! 🙂

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thanks, Lisa! I’m curious about you cutting the energetic cord between you and your cousin – did it help improve the relationship on both sides, or was it that it provided you with more peace and empowerment? I completely agree that making this shift in perspective helps us manage our daily lives. 🙂

Lisa at Practically Intuitive March 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Technically, the cord cutting “should” only affect you since the other person’s free will takes precedence for them.

However, I suspect that my ability to not get triggered by her behavior and show compassion where before I’d have been pissy helped her to a different place. So, if I had to say “did it affect her too?” my answer would be yes, to the extent her soul was willing.

Larry March 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

With all due respect, I can accept your basic premise that all whom we meet, good and bad, can teach us valuable “life-lessons.” But “prior-soul-agreements”? I’m sorry, this is just a little too weirded out for me. I’m sure that the holocaust victims did not make any such agreements with Hitler. Also, I’m just as sure that mothers in Rawanda would not have made any such silly notions with the Hutus who slaughtered their children, husbands, brothers, etc. I think you get the point. When I entered this web site, I was sincerely hoping for a little more serious insight than all of this “new-age” voodoism. Sorry to be so blunt. But the world is alowly sinking into an abyss, this, away from the foundation of the Enlightment and religious “hokey-pokey.” Finally, why is it that I never get more serious challenges to the things I enter? And do not give me this argument that you are staying away from those who are too negative. I think my arguments to be quite rational. Pax.

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hi Larry,

Sorry that this website isn’t providing the information you were seeking. You’re welcome to stop reading (or continue to!) as you please, of course.

I don’t really see it as my duty to convince you to believe what I do, nor would I want to. I’m not so arrogant as to think I am always right. We all have different beliefs and I’m not in a position to say I’m right and you’re wrong. We don’t really know WHO is right, but these beliefs resonate with me, and so I shall continue to have them until they don’t.

As far as Holocaust victims not making agreements with Hitler – can you prove that? No, just as I can’t prove they do. I believe in reincarnation and I think we live many, many lives with different experiences to grow on a soul level. Some are awful, some are good, some are in between. Just my two cents. 🙂

Lisa at Practically Intuitive March 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm


My two cents here: as I understand it (and Lindsay as well) the agreements are made on a soul level and not on an ego/conscious level. Because, really, who would choose to be a holocaust victim?

Your truth is based on your experience, as is mine (based on my experience) – and to that extent, I can never tell you what is true for you. I can share my experiences in the hope that they resonate with you. If not, that’s fine.

By calling what Lindsay shares “new-age voodoism”, you denigrate her beliefs (and mine, FYI) right on her own site. There’s a way to be respectful and understand that if her path and what she shares doesn’t resonate with you, there are plenty of sites where it might. I certainly wouldn’t go to a site where they espouse atheism and start busting on them. Their path is equally valid and I respect that.

I believe you are asking with some sincerity but the way you put it feels like you’re looking for someone to argue with you. I’ve learned (as has Lindsay) not to jump into the fray with someone who is looking for that. My beliefs are mine alone and I have no need to put them on someone else or try to convince anyone of that. We are all on our own path.

I wish you peace as well.

Frances March 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

“the agreements are made on a soul level and not on an ego/conscious level. Because, really, who would choose to be a holocaust victim? ”


“My beliefs are mine alone and I have no need to put them on someone else or try to convince anyone of that. We are all on our own path.”

Well said, Lisa 🙂

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Thank you so much much Lisa, for putting that so eloquently. I appreciate you so very much! You put into words the thoughts that I couldn’t seem to gather. I completely agree that our ‘agreements’ are made at a soul level and not a conscious/ego level. If we chose it from an ego level, we’d all be millionaires living on the beach, right? 😉

Kristine April 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Dearest Larry,

You’ll never get a rebuttal from Lindsay, Lisa or me. You are where you are and just take what resonates true to you, or not. That is the most wonderful thing about growth. You make the choices.

I will add though, I’ve come to understand that souls do have promises to murder, or to be murdered, and yes, even to be a part of large groups being “slaughtered.” No, these choices are not made consciously but made between lives. These are huge acts of love in the hopes mankind will grow.

This world, in all of it’s chaos, is still wonderful.

Love to you.

Lindsay April 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thank you so much Kristine! I agree that these choices are not made consciously – they are made at the soul level. I like how you put it – acts of love in the hopes of mankind growing from them. How beautiful.

Love to you!

Carly March 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Great post!! I really like the idea of thinking about what you are being taught from difficult experiences instead of thinking you are being punished. Not easy but I will try it from now on!

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

So glad you enjoyed it, Carly! I agree it’s hard to get out of the “I must be being punished” mentality but let me tell ya: it feels better to approach it from the lesson angle. 🙂 Of course, I still struggle with that from time to time. We’re all a work in progress!

Frances March 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm

“I really like the idea of thinking about what you are being taught from difficult experiences instead of thinking you are being punished.”

You got it, Carly!

Frances March 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm


I absolutely LOVED this post and it rings so true. I 100% believe that everyone in our lives teaches us something.

-My last relationship before I met my husband taught me NOT to settle and to believe that I deserve better.

-A toxic friendhsip I ended 2 years ago taught me (well, really REMINDED ME) that friendships MUST be 50-50.

-My mother has taught me strength, self reliance and most of all, I don’t need the approval of ANYONE for me to follow my dreams.

Thanks Lindsay for sharing your story regarding this!

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thank you, Frances, for sharing your experiences! I swear a lot of our relationships teach us what we don’t want – and also how to be our best selves in a relationship, too! And I’m so proud of you for determining that lesson from your mother and doing what you can to follow your dreams!

Dottie March 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Interesting thoughts. I have always been aware that it is during the darkest, most difficult periods of my life that I have grown the most as a person and I am grateful for those experiences. When people in my family that I love have been a part of those experiences, I can see the gifts they have given me and me to them; however, I’ve never really thought about those other folks out there who have hurt me in this positive way. Right now I am struggling to recover from an abusive work situation. I can see the gifts the situation provided – opportunity to be more assertive, the opportunity to reexamine the balance of loyalty and committment with self-care. I think it will help me to think about my abusive boss in this new way as a growth opportunity sent by the universe.

In response to Larry, I don’t have the answers to all these troubling questions, but thankfully, the older I get (and I am getting up there) the more content (even glad) I am about not knowing. I do believe we are here in this existence to learn some lessons and those lessons are different for each of us. I have to think that the atrocities we engage in as human beings also give us opportunities to grow collectively as human beings. If I connect with my best self, I can imagine being unselfish enough to agree to be a part of something unthinkable for the betterment of all people.

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Hi Dottie!

Oh gosh, I could write a book about abusive work situations & work bullies. There are so many lessons to be learned with the folks we spend so many hours with a day/week. It’s sometimes so hard to realize these are valuable lessons being learned as we are crying over being mistreated by a boss. I totally get it.

And I love this: “If I connect with my best self, I can imagine being unselfish enough to agree to be a part of something unthinkable for the betterment of all people.” Thank you so very much, wise one!

Anne McCarroll March 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

This rings true – I had one of those relationships that could only have been a learning one – and yes ma’am I learned! But the things I learned were important because they were my tools to claim, I think, rather than his to bestow… It took me almost five years to get past that two year disaster; recalling it now is not painful but still too clear! I wonder now why I chose him to help me learn?
On the croissant front, perhaps we should all be more vocal: ” gee, thanks so much for helping me by buying my heart’s desire for your breakfast! I have grown more than you know because of your one act of what may have seemed to be inconsequential!”
that woman may have been looking for just that message to wake up and get out of her mental ‘bed’!! 🙂
Lovely article, as usual.

Lindsay March 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hi Anne,

I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I really like how you put it: your tools to claim rather than his to bestow. I think I’ll reframe the language I use re: the gifts to put it this way. Thank you!

And LOL – imagine if we had the nerve to say that to the croissant stealer! That’s a funny scenario to picture. Imagine the looks you’d get!

Andrea March 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Thank you for this timely and important message. I’m always amazed when I read something just at the right moment that answers a big question or concept I am dealing with that day. Sometimes looking at our interactions or relationships as being lessons is the objective approach needed to heal!

Lindsay March 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I’m so glad this was published on a date you really needed it, Andrea. I love it when stuff like that happens! 🙂

Kara April 1, 2012 at 12:33 am

Great post Lindsay! Since I have only come to these beliefs myself in the last few years, I am still in the midst of considering the lessons that these types of relationships have been teaching me. I was thinking that I was “unlucky” to have had several of these deeply disturbing relationships… but now I’m thinking that I am in fact probably very “lucky” to have so many good teachers. However, I must ensure that I have learned the lessons from these teachers fully. I never considered until reading your post and comments that I was also teaching the other person.

Thanks for all the food for thought!! You’re helping me get further down my path!!


Lindsay April 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

Hi Kara!

That makes me so happy to hear this is helping you along your path. Yay! Writing it out always helps me, too! Sometimes what I write comes through me rather than from me. Automatic writing, I suppose you could say!

It’s so, so hard to think of these tough relationships as “lucky” but the lessons we learn – even though they are hard one – are usually life-changing.

Persephone August 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hi Lindsay, I’ve learned that I agreed to have some pretty horrible experiences with 2 of my family members, in order to learn some big life lessons. I also learned that this is not the first life with these people or these lessons. I was sexually abused by my older brother and verbally assaulted by my mother (she was mentally ill). After having a spiritual awakening, I was able to move my healing onto the fast track. These days, I’m in a very good place with both of these family members.

A.J. March 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm

A common theme in my life was to stand up for myself and be assertive since I have been taken advantage of by people. Over time I have gotten much more assertive. But the negative part for me to avoid is to become too aggressive and overbearing. Both the good and bad natures of life are equally important to our growth.

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