Today is Monday, November 25, 2013.
An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break. – Chinese proverb
I suppose I could quibble about a thread that is both red and invisible at the same time. If there is truly some sort of thread – energy, perhaps? – that connects us, it is definitely invisible, that much is clear. Imagining the thread as being red is certainly a great way to visualize the concept, so I can't really argue with that, either. OK, so I'll bite: an invisible red thread.
The next question would be: why? Why are we "destined" to meet certain people? If you believe, as I do, that life is a learning exercise for Souls, and that we learn from each of the people we meet, the question is mostly answered. But couldn't we just meet and learn from people without being "destined" to do so?
The idea of destiny implies some sort of forethought or planning. Is it true that our lives are already planned out? If so, what about free will?
I believe that we, as Soul, do participate in a planning process, or at the very least, come into agreement with the planning process before we are born. Souls who haven't been in human form very many times may have much more help from their spiritual advisers to choose the basic elements of each lifetime. Every single thing is not chosen in advance: free will does indeed exist. Each lifetime is fleshed out in broad strokes before we are born. We, ourselves, add all the little details.
It's like signing up for a college course in biology. We know we need to learn biology for a career in the medical field, for example. We know we will be learning about physical characteristics of plants and animals, and about various life processes. We know we will probably have to do some experiments for the course, and that we will have to take a test or two. But the actual, day-to-day lessons are unknown to us, and we have no idea what will be on the test.
Life is like that, too. We know in advance that we really need to learn patience, for example, or humility, or perseverance. We agree to enter a lifetime whose elements conspire to help us learn whatever qualities we aspire to. The rest is up to us.
Sure, once we get here, we can decide not to complete our agreement, just as some people skip classes while in school. We do have free will. The problem is that the lessons don't go away. They will be there the next time around, and we will have to learn them, eventually, in some lifetime or other.
Before birth into a given lifetime, we also make agreements with other Souls to learn complementary lessons. One person is learning about freedom while another is learning about restraint. One is learning the consequences of exerting power over others, while those others are learning the consequences of allowing others to have power over them.
Mitch Albom illustrated this idea well in his book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. In the book, a fellow meets five people whose life paths intersected with his own, and he learns how his actions affected them, and how his own life was affected.
Think about your own life and think about the people who have had an impact on your life so far. What have you learned, or what are you learning from these people? What issues did you or are you working out with them? Why do you think you agreed to appear in each other's lives? What do you think you have contributed to their lives?
Remember that the people to whom you are connected by the Invisible Red Thread are not necessarily related to you by blood. They may be friends, co-workers, teachers, classmates, or neighbors. They may include people you know very well or people you meet only briefly, as if by chance. :-)