Chronic pain, illness, or mental or emotional suffering is often chosen by the soul to advance spiritual growth, and at times to offer a path of service.
Many souls have chosen, at this time, to experience long-term conditions of emotional or physical limitation or illness for reasons not easily understandable at the human level. This is because it is part of the embodied condition to wish for pain and limitation to diminish or stop altogether, rather than to continue. Nevertheless, it happens more often than is obvious that the soul chooses a long-term arrangement of limitation in order to further the spiritual purposes of the soul.
Such a purpose cannot ordinarily be determined by thinking about it. More often, there is an intuition which comes through the heart from the soul or from an inner knowing that conveys to the embodied self a willingness to be forbearing and to endure in trust, knowing that some greater good is being served.
It happens for many souls that greater spiritual advancement takes place as the result of the experience of limitation than would otherwise occur. This is in keeping with the decision of the soul to make more rapid progress under conditions that may seem like the opposite of advancement, namely, the limitation of what is. Such an impression generally corresponds to the outer view, not to the inner.
Souls who may be carrying a great deal of light, for example, may choose a path of accelerated purification and spiritual growth through the taking on of an emotional or physical condition that the human embodied self wishes and longs to have removed or be significantly diminished. This can be especially painful where the human self experiences a great desire to serve God in an outer way and finds itself unable to do so because of the limitations that are present. Often, the embodied being experiences a paradox under such circumstances which cannot be easily resolved, namely, why would God implant such a desire to love and serve in me without a way of doing so? Why, when I seek a spiritual path of service, am I prevented from finding it or manifesting it?
These questions are natural to the human self who experiences restriction, and cannot easily be answered except on an individual basis. However, several things related to long-term emotional or physical limitation are often overlooked or negated in considering such questions.
First, that what one brings to the world as a path of service is not necessarily an outer activity but one’s inner state of being. This inner state may be restricted on all sides by difficult emotions or severe physical limitations. Yet the light that one carries innately may be the path of service one is looking and hoping for, and may be present and available to others even while surrounding difficulties remain.
Second, it often happens during this present period of time on Earth — a period in which Divine light is continually expanding, creating a shift in consciousness everywhere — that the soul has chosen to experience great limitation in advanceof the more rapid expansion of light which will free the embodied self from the limitation altogether. Such restriction is taken on, then, with the belief, generally unknown to the conscious self, that one will be set free by the greater expansion of light taking place on the planet. The period of restriction and the sense of hope that it shall come to an end according to planetary conditions is often an understanding held in the soul, not in the conscious mind. This belief is often accompanied by an inner sense that one has come to the Earth for a purpose that has not yet manifested.
Finally, limitation is often taken on at the soul-level so that certain Divine qualities in relation to such limitation can manifest in and through the experience. These Divine qualities may not register as a conscious advantage and by some may be under-valued. Nevertheless, a soul may choose to manifest a Divine quality of trust, faith, hope, joy, or love in the presence of limitation in order to further the consciousness shift in others toward their own Divine identity. When this occurs and to the extent that this occurs, this is a potent path of service.
Throughout the months or years of chronic illness, chronic depression, or chronic limitation, trust in the Divine is one of the major avenues of growth that is being explored and experienced. Trust in the Divine is an essential healing for many souls who have wandered far from the sense of their own spiritual Source. The need for trust brings the embodied being back to a sense of more intimate relationship with the Divine, something that is true even when the conscious self carries feelings of mistrust, dismay, or even denies that such a relationship exists.
What the soul learns through periods of long restriction is to endure, to wait, to trust, and to seek the underlying reason for being which has to do with the identity and presence of the deeper self or soul within. Such a search may remain unconscious to the waking self, yet it continues beneath the surface of awareness, no matter what the conscious self may be thinking, feeling, or believing. This inner search is a major aspect of spiritual growth, and a primary reason why souls, before incarnating, may choose a period of embodiment in which severe limitation will play a large part.
The need to deal with the issue of trust is built into the experience of helplessness of all kinds, and one must work within the parameters of limitation and helplessness to continually see where one is in relation to the Source of being and to one’s reason for being. Trust gives meaning to experience and allows the embodied self to feel part of a greater whole, even while restricted and confined. It also allows the hope to remain that change is possible at any moment, and that a shift in perception can take place in the blink of an eye which will alter one’s view of reality and of life.