Ang Mui Keng
Translated by D. Light
“We are each born with a Sacred Contract, an agreement
to learn certain lessons and develop wisdom in this lifetime”
— Dr Caroline Myss
Life is bound to contain challenges that serve to grind your grit and build your character. It may come in the form of your father: your devotion and worship of him like a perfected idol, only to turn into contempt when he betrays your beloved mother with his scandalous affair. It may be your grandmother, who mocks and scorns at every worthy thing you do, trampling on the last bit of your confidence. Or it may be your mother, inundated with atrocious gambling appetite, who can spare her child little affection. A brother who trespasses the boundary of your modesty, leaving you to wallow in a deep sea of shame. A colleague who spreads rumours about you like wild fire, sparing you no peace at work. Heartbroken from giving birth to a child born with birth defects. An intimate household with incessant strife. Unemployment. An incurable disease..
Nevertheless, Life also contains heartening episodes that touch your soul. A righteous classmate who stands up for you when you are bullied. A forgiving friend who stays up a whole night listening to your woes and grievances. When everyone shuns from your mistake or misfortune, a bosom buddy who sticks with you through thick and thin. A father who wholeheartedly accepts all your decisions without passing a judgment. A mentor who guides your soul. A supervisor who admires and promotes you. A life partner who sits by your side, watching sunrises and counting stars, marches with you through life’s ups and downs..
If someone were to tell you: these beautiful and uneventful people and scenes in your life are part of a sacred agreement with you; that you have chosen to let them come in order to uncover the grace and lightness of your being; are you willing to believe? Will you believe that these intimidating people are doing hurt to you out of deep love? That they have brought you the greatest gifts out of the vicissitude?
I had my initial reservations.
I perceived it was the old trick of diverting our thoughts or ‘make-believe’, a consolatory statement to make ourselves feel better, similar to the popular self-help ‘positive thinking’.
Till I heard the following story told to us by a spiritual teacher:
(this teacher does not specifically follow any spiritual tradition)
In the beginning, the soul dimension of your being resides in the heavens. An angel brings you to a beautiful place and you witness all the people you are going to meet when you reborn in a new lifetime. They include your biological parents, siblings, friends, teachers, bosses and co-workers..
Angel explains that in that lifetime, these people will appear, and out of deep love for you, they are even willing to play the bad guys in your life. You will think they are out to make a hell of your life, yet with each triumph over each tribulation, you will soon discover the essence of your being.
The angel presents the life lessons you can learn, what role each character is playing, and the relationship each will have with you. You get to choose the lessons and wisdom you are willing to partake.
“Are these the lessons and wisdom you are willing to commit to? If you are willing, please sign your agreement on this contract,” said the lovely angel.
In the contract, the important people in your life will have a special appointment with you. They are going to help you realize the lessons you have agreed to. Because of this, you will meet each of them at a stipulated date and place to begin a life story together.
In the spiritual dimension of being, you have the wisdom to know that secular experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant, are borne out of a deeper purpose and meaning. With an ardent spirit, you are willing to walk the path of this higher purpose with these people who love you; to learn, and to benefit the universe. With gratitude, you sign the contract.
In the passageway out of your mother’s womb, earnest to see the world, the angel gives you a magical touch to erase all your memories of the sacred contract..
You are born, a little life with an innocent beginning.
This story touches me very much.
It gives me a new understanding.
A sense of liberation.
I am willing to believe this story.
Since young I was told about karma and rebirth; I have also heard stories of how you were erased of memories before rebirth. Perhaps, due to my shallow understanding, I always felt a moral dictum of retribution and reward, and a sense of helplessness towards the inevitable law of karma and rebirth.
What we once held to be dear and familiar, and what we used to yearn for.. upon the ‘Sighing Bridge’ and beneath it, the ‘River of Oblivion’, we have to partake the ritual of memory-erasure. The eternal promises of love with our beloved, the patient waiting, the affectionate nudges, familiar gestures, looks, and even the color of his hair.. will fade to nought with a sip of the magical potion from Granny Meng. The past life is like a beautiful dream, yet a tragic one with regrets and helplessness.
The story of Sacred Contract, on the contrary, does not harbor shades of regret or lament; instead, it encapsulates the essence of a brave and willing spirit.
The multi facets of a lifetime, in all throes and euphoric moments, are a journey I have chosen to embark. Kin or kind, the characters sprung from a well of deep love, manifested in the appointment of this lifetime.
The raucous, inebriated and abusive father you abhor is here with the lessons on non-judgment and forgiveness. Your sickly child with endless medical complications is here to bring forth your resilience and unconditional love. You may miss a train and grumble throughout the night, yet little do you know you are meant to meet the person and the turning point of your life at the following daylight.
All who are cast to be players of your life turn up as appointed, bringing with them a lotus of pure love and great gifts of lessons to uncover your wisdom and golden light.
Upon these ruminations, I can only feel gratitude – grateful towards everyone I have met and all that have happened.
Yet, we are forgetful about the sacred contract, especially when we meet misfortunes and setbacks.
Whether it is the feat of the lovely Angel or old Granny Meng, forgetting past memories is a necessary rite of passage. For how else can we will ourselves to experience the pain that life inevitably contains, and to build relationships with people who hurt us?
You are laid off, ends up unhappy in a new job, you feel dejected and miserable. You thought for a long time and it is still incomprehensible what lessons you can take away from this predicament. What wisdom? What growth?
If you will believe in the story of sacred contract, you must surrender to the inner wisdom that manifests such life conditions. Surrender to the guidance of universal energy, and to the great unknown.
There will come a day when you realize the deeper significance of your layoff, and the healing that is necessary for growth and spiritual awakening.
Because I believe in such sacred contract, I start to see my predicaments with new perspective. I learn about surrendering to the Higher Purpose. And I am willing to accept that people around me are here because they have kept their promises in fulfilling the conditions for me to grow. Taking full responsibility for this journey of learning and growth that I have chosen to embark, I am able to take greater and lighter strides.
At a sharing session in my spiritual coursework, I take the liberty of modifying the lyrics of the Chinese song, ‘New Moon’, by Cai Qin. It is written to express my gratitude towards everyone who has come to walk with me in my life.
By the bridge
I await the promise in the wind
The sparkling stars
Light up the prayer in my heart
In the first light of dawn
I gaze at the eternally awaken East
Because of Knowing
Tears turn into flowers
The river flows
Celebrating the ups and downs of Life
The rainbow sings
In the clear blue sky after the rain
Taking a deep breath
I dance to the pulse of Mother Earth
Because of Love
We can embrace the wind tonight
I’d like to sing
Singing a poem out of Life
Please call me By my real name
In fresh breeze You come as promised with a lotus in your hand
Under the starry heaven We embrace the eternal moonlight
(English lyric translated by Ninjie)
Thank you for fulfilling your promise to the sacred contract.
I believe and I am willing,
I accept and I surrender,
I am happier than never before.
If you also like the story of sacred contract, you may be happy to read more about it in the book Sacred Contract by Caroline Myss.