There are many spiritual or religious practices that believe the experiences we have in a lifetime are actually a choice made before birth from a higher aspect of our soul. These choices are made for our spiritual evolution and growth. One of these choices is the family we are born into. When I first heard this I thought, no way, no way would I choose the dysfunctional mess I found myself in! But years of study and self-work has shown me that this is in fact a truth.

So my genius higher self placed me with a mother who was strikingly beautiful and kind and two younger brothers. Mom did her best to be a good parent, but a victim personality type led to alcohol and prescription drug addiction. There were several stepfathers but with basically absent parents I had to adapt as best I could to the “mom” role for my two brothers.

After I graduated from high school and turned eighteen I left home and moved to another town. I had three things going for me, the determination to not be like by mother, the drive to provide for myself and a guardian angel on my shoulder.

When my brothers left home, they also had companions, the oldest brother alcohol, the youngest drugs, and both with my mother’s way of thinking. The oldest moved away and we lost track. The few conversations we had were so influenced by the alcohol that we just could not connect. With his addiction and victim mentality my younger brother spent more time in prison than out.

I didn’t completely escape the victim mentality either. I was living life barely getting by financially, and my relationships were always challenging. During one of those “life really sucks” periods I stumbled across a book by Catherine Ponder, The Divine Laws of Prosperity. The principals taught in the book were vastly different that the fundamental religious beliefs that I grew up with. It was like my heart was whispering to me the entire time I was reading, this is truth for you. I learned that I was creating my world with my thoughts and feelings. The change was like a tsunami, it washed over me a feeling of hope that I could create a better world for myself. As I saw my life change for the better I continued to learn and grow in the world of metaphysics; so much so that I became a Shaman, life coach and animal communicator.

Two things kept me trying to help my younger brother. The first, a tribal belief that no matter what your family does, they are your family, and you are obliged to help; the second my archetypical role of caregiver and rescuer. I tried off and on for years so save my brother. He lived with me two different times, we set him up in apartments, helped him find jobs, took him to church with us. But after two or three years of being clean and holding jobs he would return to drugs, everything would fall apart, and he would end up back in prison. Each time this happened I would physically become ill, not be able to sleep, worry about what I did or didn’t do to help. It was like dealing with two different people, the talented great guy when clean and the lying, manipulative, thief, drug dealer when using. I knew that my happiness shouldn’t depend on anyone else’s wellbeing but with him I couldn’t get there. I really wanted to lock him in the attic, make it all go away.

I had proven to myself over and over again that our beliefs and feelings created our world and I wanted so much for my brother to understand that. I had seen the transformation in my life and in the lives of many others that I had worked with and had taken my life building classes. A part of me felt like a failure because I could not get through to him. I would say “if you want to make your life better you have to change how you think.” But no matter what I said I was still the sister that didn’t know anything.

Here comes another one, a thought tsunami that changes my life.

I was trying so hard to change his way of thinking that I completely over looked my own. Once the waves cleared and washed out the brain fog, I remembered that we do make soul agreements or contracts for learning and growth in this University of Earth. In Sylvia Brown’s book Conversations With The Other Side she talks about each soul picking a part to play for the evolution of all concerned. That it is okay to judge the situation but always remember the soul or spirit is a beautiful spark of the Divine. I quit looking at me the good sister and him the bad brother, me the together sister and him the confused victim. Who am I to judge how my brother finds his strength; he has a right to create anything for himself even, what looks like suffering to me.

I also realized how strong he really is. He has lived on the streets, in halfway houses with bedbugs, and survived conditions that would have me wanting to leave this world. But he always picks himself up, finds great jobs and gathers belongings again. He can smile, laugh and be happy; he is finding his way, the hard way. Hurray for his soul.

As for the tribal belief, I now know it is my right to choose whom I wish to share my life. I can find peace with the decision that I do not want someone in my personal domain that will make meth and sell it, lie, and manipulate when using drugs. The mind can justify many things when a person is craving a substance but it comes down to a choice and that has to be my brothers not one I make for him.

My brother is an amazing human and has made me stronger by helping me look into the windows of my own soul and beliefs. I have learned to stand firm in my decisions without self-doubt. I no longer need to rescue him to feel good about myself. As in the movie Avatar, I see me more clearly. And for my brother, I see the most beautiful soul, creating his own way.

Yes, I chose my family and would not change a minute of the experience. I guess the diving aspect of me is a genius.

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