A close friend of mine asked me the other day where the idea ever came from that we chose to be here. He was having a hard day. In that moment, he was more aware of the horrors here — the “control system”, rampant cruelty, deceit upon deceit, and even perhaps his own past suffering while trapped in the illusions spun by a run-amok ego which had been fueled by a world that encouraged such things.
My friend was asking a rhetorical question, but I answered him anyway. (And I’m sure I’ll hear from him about my comment regarding a run-amok ego.)
I told him I think it’s just one more belief system that helps people feel empowered and attempts to make sense of it all.
It does feel quite valid for someone to say “I know I chose to be here.” After all, you know what you know. At least until that shifts to knowing something else.
But for someone to say “You chose to be here,” that simply can’t be done. We can’t know for another. It might be playful and, perhaps, of benefit to propose: “Consider for a moment that you chose to be here. Would that perspective set you free from any other idea that has you bound and gagged?”
My friend and I have had this sort of conversation many times — about what we really know. I challenge a lot of things, as does he. If it has become a “sacred cow” in the world of enlightenment-seekers, I’m especially tempted to point out the emperor’s state of insubstantial clothing. If, in any way, an idea is being touted as a “must think” in order to attain a higher or truer perspective, then I look for how to unbuckle this latest straight-jacket.
This same friend, many years ago, asked me what horrible things I had done in my past to have been incarnated on/in this prison planet. He saw that I’d never lived a privileged life and had experienced all sorts of challenges, heartbreaks and discomforts. If I had been living a happy-go-lucky life, then, so the theory goes, I would have been here to receive the rewards for having been a good girl, granted me by some system or deity that recycles soul after soul. Of course, I knew he was operating from the assumption that karma and reincarnation were absolute truths.
I told my friend that’s not why I’m here. I told him that I didn’t know why the rest of “humanity” is here but that’s not why I’m here. He insisted that was why we are all here. Somebody told him this, great sages taught this, and his closest friend, a “healer”, had a website filled with all sorts of things related to this idea. And apparently, it must have rung at least semi-true to him. I think he argued in favor of that “truth” for maybe another five minutes and then moved on.
In regards to the “we chose to be here” hypothesis, it’s one more theory. It just might be true on some level, in some way. I have no clue.
However, as I told my friend, the only relevant thing is whether or not we choose to be here now.
And I do choose to be here. At least most days.
Do I always choose to be here now? Not really. Truth be told, sometimes I’m only sort of here, shifting into neutral on the subject of earth-life participation, while I weather an internal or external storm or while I process the sensory overload of vibrational data that comes with dwelling within this realm. And there are those rare occasions when I’m caught up in the hypnosis of seeing sink holes all around me — usually lasting just moments until I realize how ridiculous I’m being and break my own spell.
But did I choose to be here before I had this physical form? Did I know this was a “special” time and I had to be here to fulfill a mission or even to just watch all the wild stuff unfold? Did I know my soul needed to gain strength by wandering through a fire swamp filled with endless opportunities to let go of fear, shed falseness that was/is weighing me down, speak with courage and conviction, and toughen up a bit more?
And did the people who’ve experienced incredible cruelty and unbearable circumstances sign on for that before they were born?
I’m sure I’ve heard every metaphysical explanation for why these things happen, yet nothing rings clearly true thus far.
Making up my own world as I go along, I imagine that my introduction to this realm could possibly have happened another way.
Way back when, before arriving on planet earth via this body, I might have been standing at the bottom of a slide looking up, wondering how people propel themselves up there, whether this was going to be fun and/or dangerous (I’m sure I wouldn’t have imagined horror), and why, for heaven’s sake, people are tempted to come here at all. Someone more adventurous than me could have seen me holding up the line of oddly-compliant ride-takers, gotten tired of me waiting to make up my mind and given me a big push so I’d get out of the way. I could have been shocked to find myself soaring upwards, very aware that this was not entirely my choice as I now found myself, not at the top of the slide, but compressed inside the womb of an unfamiliar woman.
Or could it be that I was touring all sorts of lovely realities in an exquisite, hand-painted hot air balloon, with all the amenities of a houseboat, when an enormous mystical, mythical being collided with my aircraft and sent me hurtling into this “dimension”, leaving me a castaway on an island so strange that I’m still in cognitive dissonance many decades later.
When my son, Lukas, was four years old he told me he remembered choosing me as his mother. I was surprised, but shouldn’t have been. I had an awareness of him from even before he was conceived — the awareness came out of nowhere as all miracles and visions do. My intuition told me – or perhaps it was him telling me – that he was going to be male and I also knew the exact date he’d be conceived. Yet, all these years later he no longer remembers anything about life before earth, much less about any choices he made.
And it doesn’t matter. It isn’t about having signed a contract in the past or having made an irreversible decision. All decisions are ultimately reversible. In that precious moment so long ago, by telling me his memory of before he was born, he was letting me know that he loved me and he wanted to be my son. At four years old, he was re-making a choice that he felt had been important to him.
It’s those choices in this shifting-yet-tangible now that make all the difference in the world. Having access to now is our magic wand.
I remember another conversation with Luke at about the same time period. He was having a hard time understanding the difference between yesterday and tomorrow. He used the words interchangeably. He asked how you could tell the difference since neither one existed. He emphatically explained that THIS is IT. Us. Right here. In this moment. He went on, trying to get his point across. Everything else is in a circle around us, just out there as something to pick, he explained. “Take your pick,” he said as he waved his arms around, offering me the world.
Again and again, through ups and downs, through trial and error, through deep and playful conversation, and through the great fun and profound challenge of creating worlds together, we continue to choose one another for these sacred roles of mother and son. (Disclaimer: I’m sure, as a child, there were times he was close to putting himself up for adoption.) Our shared adult wisdom now lets us know what a gift we have together, even though we rarely see one another these days. That precious, ever-renewing choice to connect and to create together is pure magic, and that magic is who we all truly are.
But getting back to part two of the original question I was musing over…
If it’s possible that I did not choose be here upon entry — and it is possible, although if I had to bet I’d say that I did choose to be here — why would I choose to be here now?
For me, and it might be so for you, to be fully alive I have to choose to be here. I choose to be here now because it’s the only non-victim, non-slave stance to take. And it’s the only stance that gives me the awareness to love, to create, and to access unstoppable divinity (limitless source of vision and inspiration). It’s the only stance that challenges me to the fullest.
As best I can see, we are all definitely here. We’d likely agree on that, but I’m open to other perspectives. For whatever reason, it seems we are not only here, but are here together.
Sure, this might be a hologram, it could be a dream within a dream, we might have a creator or multiple creators, maybe we created ourselves, perhaps the past and the future never were and never will be…
Yet, whatever this shared reality is — in spite of the fact that it projects the illusion that it goes on without us (as evidenced by seeing our loved ones die and leave us behind ) and that it incorporates all sorts of people, situations and events into our awareness without asking our permission — this reality is what it is because we are here.
The encouraging words we speak, the love we pull out of a hat to give away when we have nothing to give, the beauty we recognize in our down-trodden neighbor and go out of our way to let them know — all of these actions move with the power of tidal waves, living on and on, even if we one day imagine ourselves to have died.
Who we are, the level of personal integrity that we fine-tune within ourselves, the words we speak to and about each other, the visions we share, the kindness we offer, the beauty we make — every bit of who we are has impact within and without. That’s why I choose to be here. I choose to be here because of the magic.
If choices in the past weren’t reflective of who we would like to be today, then we can turn on a dime and become exactly who we choose to be. We have the power to control the tides. Those wonderful waves of vision, allowing dreams to come true, have the power to transform it all — the past, the future and everything in between.
We just have to choose, to take our pick, as children and mystics all know, and let the magic become us.
This article may be freely shared as long as the text is unaltered and the original author, Kathleen Stilwell, is clearly identified with a hyperlink back to the original article.
About Kathleen Stilwell
Kathleen is a dreamer, researcher, and wonderer — in awe of the transforming power of vision, courage, kindness and imagination.