What Scenes Will They Show You At Your Life Review?

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My Boys, The Atlantic Ocean

My Boys, The Atlantic Ocean

After you die and the veil gets lifted, they say you have a Life Review.

In the Life Review, you are supposed to experience your life over again like a movie.  You actually feel how other people felt, based upon your influence on them.  If you screamed and they cried, you feel their pain.  If you had no idea you made an impact on them at all, you get to see what it meant to them – good or bad.  I imagine that your good deeds, actions and the love you shared are available to be felt, too.

This is the time when you “get” everything you never understood while you were here.  Which lessons you came here to learn.  The details of your Soul Contracts.  Why you came here to Earth and if you even touched it.  The secret to things like why all of your romantic partners followed a pattern.  Anything and everything – it all becomes clear, for your soul’s growth.

This has got to be the most fascinating part of the soul’s journey – at least, it seems that way to me.  I always want to know,”Why?”  Rarely do we get those answers while we’re still living.  Not that I’m looking to go before my time, but I just wish there was a clause in there that let us remember what has come before, without have to do past life regression.

I wonder if it’s a double-edged sword?  If you go through life like Pollyanna and make no errors (if that’s even possible, which I doubt), then have you done any of the work you were supposed to do?  If you didn’t do your work, then you may have to choose to go back and try all over again?  If you did your work and then see all the mistakes, the unintended consequences, the hurt feelings, then do you get a pass for trying or an A for effort?  I imagine that everything is done in support of our soul’s understanding and growth – that’s what the anecdotal evidence points to, anyway.  We might have been through it 553 times already, but we can’t remember a thing.

I see a lot of train wrecks.  Sometimes I just want to cover my eyes because I know the end result is not going to be a good one.  It’s funny how I know so many people who are what I would consider to be “ahead of me” on the curve, making all kinds of mistakes.  That’s why there is no such thing as a guru.  There may be plenty of people who know a lot more than you do about certain things, but they don’t know everything.  Pretty much (definitely) everyone is fallible.  A good strategy is the old “take what you need and leave the rest.”

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, well
It surely means that I don’t know – Kansas, Carry On My Wayward Son

Judging others is simultaneously difficult not to do (and really, so ingrained in us) yet clearly not the way to go.

The minute you start to judge, you might as well stick your hand out for a smack with a stick.  I guarantee that the reason it was brought to your attention in the first place is so that you can learn a lesson.

I say I guarantee it – but I, like all of you, am plenty fallible, so I could be wrong.

Case in point:

One day I was staring in astonishment when I realized that someone was running their whole life based on what a parent thought of them, even though they are middle aged.  The next I was shocked when someone pointed out to me that I may not care in particular what anyone thinks of me, but I was completely subject to being affronted by not being allowed complete freedom to run my place, my way.  I was acting like a rebellious teenager.  One coin, two sides.  Tricky, isn’t it?

I got my first ever real negative comment on the blog today.  Here it is:

Julie you seem like a very negative person for being so “spiritual” – JoJo

Yes!  Thank you!  I could kiss her.

I used to think that life was black and white.  I have this great antennae for moral issues.  In fact, I once won a Prize at my all girls Sacred Heart school in the tenth grade for Morality.  This irked one of my Catholic classmates to no end, because I was a Jew (and God apparently knows that Jews are immoral?  I’m not sure where she was going with that.)

The fact is that there is so much complexity to what’s going on behind the scenes – soul contracts, agreements, destiny, who knows what – that you may think you know the whole story, but you never do.  Never.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

Good luck with that.

Yesterday I was loading up the car with my two sons to race off to elementary school.  I am having a respite from my persistent middle-of-the-night-waking insomnia that started the month before I had my first son, who is now eight years old.  That means that even though I got more sleep, I was like a zombie in the morning.  It was a rare 44 degrees outside so naturally I was wearing flip flops, shorts, and a giant man’s green hooded sweatshirt.  I was slinging gym bags, lunch boxes, backbacks, sippy cups, and rye toast into the car, cursing the air conditioning that blasted on when I started the engine, and telling the newly minted five year old that we were late, it was 7:35 am, and  he was now old enough to put his own seatbelt on and hadn’t he already done it one hundred times before?

That’s when he said,”Mom, you’re going to live long enough that all your hair will be white.”

I really want to know which ghost lives in the backseat of my car.  I feel sorry for them, because even though I shovel it out at the end of every day, it is always a mess back there.

Whoever it is, they have conversations with my son.

It’s always right when we get into the car that these words of wisdom and knowledge come pouring out – here, and then gone.

Right now I am forty-five years old and my hair went from blonde to kinda brown about five years ago.  Sure enough, when something that says “old lady” comes in, it’s white, not gray.  They are not visible or obvious, and surely my five-year old doesn’t know that some people get white hair instead of the usual gray.

They’re like Missives From The Great Beyond.  Things that only adults would say.  Things that predict the future.  Things that I wonder where they come from.  The one thing I know is, they’re not from him.

One of my friends is making a major life transition.  He’s traveling the exact opposite route from the one I took many moons ago when I graduated college.  I’m not sure what it is about his journey that I find so compelling.  Maybe it’s the little memories that cropped up, unbidden, that I didn’t even remember I had.  It was like a mini-Life Review, from the perspective of more than half my life later.

When I did that trip, I made a host of foolish mistakes, like towing a car that I forgot to gas up and getting stranded in the desert with a broken down Uhaul and a car with 1/8 of a tank of gas.  I listened to the vet and decided it would be a good idea to give the cat, who had just been declawed (never again, how cruel, but what did I know?) and was recovering from the operation, tranquilizers to make the trip easier.  This resulted in the cat going crazy and trying to claw his way out of the cage and creating a bloody mess.  I was also moving there to get into a marriage that would soon fail.  I set a course on a job that would show me the whole western part of the country and run me right into a soulmate who I had missed back in my old state but who I would meet in my new state, through the oddest series of “meant to be” events that I have ever knowingly experienced.

I wonder why we do what we do?  Sometimes messages just get handed to us like what my son said.  It might have meant,”Start taking better care of your health because you’re going to be here for a while yet.”  It could have been saying any number of things, actually.

So when I go, what will I see in my Life Review?  Will it be the dumb, short tempered in-a-rush moments?  Will it be the ones where I just sat back and observed the enormity of what is happening through Spirit and took it all in?  How about the ones where I ate too much birthday cake instead of saying what I really felt?  Or the laughter with friends?  The moments of terror and fear that can go along with pregnancy?  All of the decision points, some of which we have time to consider and others that get thrust upon us at a second’s notice and we have to move now?

I’m not so sure that the moments where we were “good” and restrained ourselves are the ones that matter the most.  I never did drugs, but where did it get me?  Maybe I just missed out on a lot of fun?

How about the ones where we took huge, giant leaps of faith into our true passions – literally or esoterically – and things got royally screwed up and people got hurt?

When we get it right, everything falls into place like a cascade of dominoes.  Fate, destiny, and our intentions can wash over us like the tide, carrying us far away from our anticipated destination.  Sometimes we end up somewhere much better – sometimes we don’t.

In the meantime, as in the photo above, when the kids walk into the ocean in their Perfect For Picture Day clothes, we can get all upset about it or we can just say,”Oh – okay,” as we watch them run off like bats out of hell.  It’s not like they were going to stop, anyway.  We can let them go and be.  After all, this is mainly their journey – we are just the guardians.

Plus, those can be the best memories for us, too.

So, what scenes do you think you’ll see at your Life Review?

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  1. Interesting topic, considering I sat with a medium just a few days ago and connect to my recently dead mother. One of my biggest questions had to do with what life lessons we were living out when she was here. One was the idea of responsibility: where does my responsibility for another person lie, and where does it end. (Goes hand in hand with boundaries). And also, I wanted to learn strength and independence, so she was a mother who undermined me a lot, and was not often warm and cuddly, and who taught me to be independent by way of her not being there for me a lot of the time. I also wanted to experience compassion and understanding, by having a mother who was mentally ill- understanding that most of her bad behavior was beyond her control.

    Right now, she is very slowly going through her life. For now, it’s tough going and she’s only able to look at a little bit at a time. I guess, as in life, she still doesn’t like to look at the more painful things.

    In my life review, I’ll see the moments where I put my foot or both feet in my mouth. I’ll cringe at when I yelled at my toddler. But I also hope to relive lots of moments of joy and connection along the way.
    Susan S. recently posted..WavesMy Profile

    • Susan, That is so interesting. I’ve heard that you can take it as slowly or as quickly as you need to do, and that there is no judgement – just a loving support that’s provided as needed until the soul understands exactly what they need to take it all in and get going on their next steps. How neat that you were able to gain some insight and understanding into the dynamics of why you chose each other and what you agreed to help each other with. Clearly, it worked.

  2. Oh dear, I REALLY don’t want to see a lot of things in my life, especially from my earlier years. Could we just start with middle age?! How demoralizing that all my good living won’t help me avoid reviewing the parts I would like to forget.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..To Question or Not To Question?My Profile

    • Hi Galen, Well the neat part is that while you were busy doing something you’d rather not relive, you might have actually been HELPING someone else. You might have just been living out your pre-planned part of the soul contract you had to help someone else with their growth.For instance, suppose a man yells at his wife all of the time, and in the end he regrets losing his temper and hurting her. But perhaps what is really going on is they had a soul level agreement for him to teach her about boundaries, and that’s how she learned about them – by finally standing her ground and saying,”This is not all right with me.” Maybe she was at the same time teaching him something about a totally different lesson that he came here to learn. You just never know.

  3. I would see all the scenes where I am riding the roller coaster of life. One moment things are good, then I am not feeling so good. Sometimes I just want to get off this ride. They’re going to tell me that I showed a lot of love and taught that ones that couldn’t love to love and make them open their eyes to life. I was wondering, or if you’ve read Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss? She says by knowing your archetypes and how to deal with situations, or whatever she explains in the book the goes on forever, that you are able to figure our your contracts. After reading most of the book, I don’t think it’s possible to figure out everything. That, like you say, you will know what your true contracts were after you die. I thought that book would help, I got excited, but then I feel I’m back to square one. Like you’ve said, that clause to remember what happened before. That would help.

    • Monica, Yes actually I started reading it some months ago, and put it down for a while. I was just at the part where you begin to chart which archetypes are in which house. Then I was reminded to listen to Robert Ohotto, who does podcasts (some of which are free in Itunes). he worked with her (under her?) for a long time in Chicago and he has a number of shows on archetypes, and recently he’s said he’s going to start doing more. I “see” the archetypes and how they manifest much better when I’m listening to him than when I read her book. You might give it a try.

  4. When I was a teenager, I used to think about the life review: I’d weigh each action I was taking and each thing I was doing and consider how that might show up in my life review. Heavy stuff for a teenager to take on. Somehow I knew that this was something that happened, and I was very concerned for a while about how everything I did was going to show up in my LR.

    Eventually, I got ‘over’ that little phase and just carried on with life without worrying too much about how it shows up in the Review. But the idea of one still does seem a bit daunting to me. I mean, I’ve done quite a lot that I am NOT proud of, and will surely make me cringe in every way possible when I have to review it. But, I suppose that means I’m learning lots of lessons, right?
    Lindsay recently posted..Psychic Sparks: Course in ReviewMy Profile

    • Lindsay, I strongly suspect that we will be shocked by what is shown to us. The things that we think are “bad” may not be at all – in the sense that I think a lot happens based on contracts, therefore “for a reason,” and pretty much EVERYTHING contributes to our growth (easy way or hard way). OTOH there are traits that I have that I might think are just super, but when viewed from another angle might actually be detriments. If you think about all the little things you have said and done without even thinking they were remotely important, but not knowing the receiver’s point of view, you may have had a massive, life-changing impact without having a clue. It may all boil down to a lot of those little moments, words we wrote, encouragement we gave, even just smiling at someone in passing can actually make a huge difference. Hopefully, on balance, we’ve learned what we were supposed to learn and done what we were supposed to do.

  5. Well Julie……. Holy Cannoli!!!! You’ve hit the nail on the head perfectly again for me, my mouth bout’ hit the floor, right down to you including a verse from “Carry On My Wayward Son”….. which I just wrote in my journal last night (except a different verse). You are wonderful, thank you:)

  6. Wow Julie, this really resonated with me today. February is a month of awe for me since my mom died. (She was born and died in Feb). There is more synchronicity, more obvious signs and communications. I feel like your blog was part of that. Thank you.
    One of the things that has been on my mind lately is that I have been re-evaluating my decision to leave a long term marriage 10 years ago and what that will look like o n my LR. There was something compelling me to leave and I had to summon up a lot of courage to do it. In the process I deeply wounded my ex spouse and one of my children was severely affected. What makes it kind of worse is that I am so happy now. I met my soulmate, had extraordinary adventures and tremendous good fortune and now am living near the beach in absolute awe of my life. I feel in some way that I traded my happiness for the happiness of others and wonder how that will all pan out when the mist is cleared.

    • Hi Cassandra, We all miss our Moms. I love that you think of it as a month of awe – how lovely.

      Oh gosh, I don’t like to hear of anyone dreading a life review! If you changed your life because you knew in your gut you had to, and then you found a wonderful new phase, how could that not be the right choice? Not everything is lovely in all aspects. I think you do the best you can with what you’ve got.

  7. Julie – I am enjoying your writing and sharing so much! I laugh out loud often!

    Every once in a while, when the same kind of issue hits me the same kind of way and I wonder what major point I might be missing, I’ll say out loud, “of course I’ll know more about this once I’ve croaked but please help me to see it more clearly now.”

    LOVE your writing! And stories, more please!

    Robin Hallett recently posted..A Birthday PledgeMy Profile

    • Hi Robin, Writing is the most fun thing, ever. I am sure I am missing MANY major points, but if I keep at it, surely they will reveal their secrets to me 🙂 This is a massive transition time for me and my family, too – I think that’s why it called all of those old memories up!

  8. Oh crap Julie, you mean I have to wait until the end of my life before I’ll get all my questions answered? Dang, that’s going to be a very long time to wait. See, I’m very positive about living a very long time.

    Now I was in a physic group a few years back and I learned that I’ve been reincarnated about four times already so obviously I’m STILL trying to get this right. I will tell you though that I’ve learned more in the last five years of my life then I did the 45 before that. Oh yeah, lots of really good stuff.

    I’m surprised to hear that you’re not perfect. Dang, there goes my impression of you right out the window. But see, even people with your gifts have moments too.

    I appreciate you sharing this with us Julie, honestly. Now if I could just figure out a way to learn these lessons before the end of my life then that would be really cool.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Build A Responsive ListMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne, LOL YES I am sure you are going to live a very long, healthy life! We will have nothing less.

      Oh sure, they will be building a monument to my perfection any day now. (Sits patiently tapping her fingers on the table.)

      Considering everything I’ve learned in the last three years, I am amazed I managed to stay vertical and functional prior to that. I’ve been here so many times, you’d think I’d be one of those “old souls” by now, but nothing doing! Maybe I’ll run into you next time around (just in case you’re not quite done yet!)

  9. Hey Julie,

    Good post. I totally agree that no matter how “spiritually evolved” someone is they are still a HUMAN working on their lessons as a human.

    People are drawn to different intuitives for different reasons, and receive different pieces of information from each different intuitive. Sometimes the intuitive personal lessons align with the client’s lessons, and the information received is for both. Also, each intuitive type person filters to some extent filters a client’s information through their own experience.

    I don’t worry about the life review – just try to do the best in each situation. That’s all I can try to do.

    Kara recently posted..Goodbye Control Freak – Babysteps Part 3My Profile

    • Hi Kara, I agree – I don’t worry about a life review, it’s more like I’m looking forward to it, to get those connections made and answers to some of the biggies! If we don’t try to “make other people wrong”, but instead look for where they are right with respect to insights we can gather from them, then that is the most helpful. As you know well because you live it too, there aren’t always answers to all questions for all people at any one given moment. There is a lot of unfolding and introspection required when you receive a reading.

  10. Hi Julie

    Well! Do I really have to go over the messed up times?

    I believe we need to get it right. I know I have made some very bad choices and had to deal with a lot of hidden anger from childhood and it affected stuff I did as an adult.

    But since then I have learned a lot and have mellowed out with a huge better understanding, compassion and a whole different outlook. I try my best not to be critical of others and accept the fact they are on a different path. I don’t agree with how religious people can say God is the judge but yet they judge others, such as in the recent news about Boy Scouts and the ban that they have had for years. I just have to shake my head in disbelief. Yes, I have changed.

    Are these my lessons to learn? What do I still need to know? Why am I connected with some people? A lot of stuff I think about and have been extremely interested in for decades.

    Great post.

    Mary Stephenson recently posted..Making Major ChangesMy Profile

    • Hi Mary, Nope, you don’t have to think about any of that old stuff 🙂 I just think it’s a good idea to keep it in mind as we go forward…not in a, “Gee I won’t do this in case I get in trouble,” kind of a way but in a,”I wonder why this is showing up for me” way. I suspect we all do that anyway, but sometimes it seems to crop up in groupings of occurrences that are far from coincidental.

  11. Julie, I enjoyed this post, and while I read it, I was reviewing my own life already (not the first time I’ve done that). I’ve learned not to judge because every time I ever did that in the past, whoa, boy, did it ever come back around to bite me in the butt! Lesson learned…the hard way! My perspective changed to trying to understand the motive for the person’s behavior that I was judging, and as a result, it gave me much more insight, and foresight. We are definitely here both to teach and learn.

    I hope it’s all right that I ask you a question here, because something you said kind of freaked me out. You talked of your son remarking on your hair and how it seemed like Missives from Beyond: I have been on a mission of sorts and have asked my spirit guides for signs and such many times. There are times when all of my children and even my husband have blurted things out of the blue that in no way were any way related to what they were just talking about or doing, and they have no idea what my mission is–yet, what they said was eerily Directly Related to what I am dealing with. Do you feel too that it is possible they are speaking for Spirit? Of all the signs and synchronicities I have seen, these are the most far out and exciting. Thanks for any opinions you may offer.

    • Hi Ayla, Not only is it possible, it’s a sure thing! If you search A Clear Sign for “Earth Angels” you will pull up a ton of articles that touch on this in one way or another. Your family isn’t possessed or anything 🙂 They just had a message pushed into their conscious mind and think it’s their own idea. This happens to us all the time. Have you ever given someone advice and realized,”Hey! I should be taking my own advice, that’s exactly what I needed to hear!”? Same thing. Here’s one article that mentions this idea: The Universe Is Speaking To You – Delivering Intuitive Messages

  12. I think my review will be one big blast of love and light with a bit of shadow…and I’m quite alright with that…I don’t know why I chose the birth family I did, or the experiences I did, but I do know they invited me to become who I am…and for the most part I am celebrating that becoming…the parts I hadn’t yet celebrated are because they are new and I am getting used to the feel. I am realizing that sometimes the light shines brightest, or is most noticeable, in the cracks and shadows…

    And I love that the boys chose to walk into the ocean in their picture perfect clothes…how refreshing, indeed! May we all experience a moment like that!
    Joy recently posted..28 Days of Love: FaithMy Profile

  13. I love the idea that we could look back on our lives and see how we had made a difference, especially in the lives of our children.
    A thought provoking post Julie. Thank you 🙂
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..You make my world complete.My Profile

  14. Yeah, I’m not excited about having a Life review Julie! I’ve reviewed my life so much already, I do it all the time if it is self-criticism we are talking about! I’m not sure I’m excited to know what I’ve missed (what – for the 534th time?!?!) I hate it in THIS life when I realize something that I should have seen before.
    Can I skip my Life review?
    Lori Gosselin recently posted..The Liminal Life of a BloggerMy Profile

    • Hi Lori, Sure! I now take my cosmic wand and direct it to the heavens and declare,”Lori has had quite enough, thank you. No review for her.” 🙂

      I didn’t mean for this to come off like people should feel badly about their perceived errors or mistakes, at all – that’s a shame based idea and I am not for it. It must be the human condition that we look to the negative when we could be celebrating the connections. I am convinced that many things that seem negative are in fact contracts being lived out. And when they aren’t, they are ALWAYS for growth in one way or another, so in the end it’s “all to the good.” Let’s look at it that way. No more regrets.

  15. Anne McCarroll says:

    That review is something I actually think will be a great growth experience. I might not like everything that gets, um, evaluated, lets say, but I can’t imagine a better time of learning and growing as we all should. Then when it’s over I’m cruising over to the Heavenly Verandah for the afternoon tea party to catch up with friends and family.
    I will say though an earth school cheat sheet would be helpful – maybe just to keep the peace a bit more, you know?

    • Hi Anne, I am all for the cheat sheet! Keeping the peace would be LOVELY. But alas, we generally don’t get one. Maybe it would blow the whole concept. I DO sometimes wish that someone would explain it to me in plain English: “This is why you are having a relationship with this person, here is what you agreed to do for each other.” The truth is, we do get just enough information, and sometimes we even have epiphanies, if we’re looking. I guess we’ll just have to be okay with that.

  16. 44 degrees and flip flops? I wouldn’t go to work if it was that cold…….:).

    What about the countless days that are so similar and uneventful you couldn’t recall them if you tried, but when watching your ‘life’ movie you see bits and pieces where you did make a difference and not even know it. Sometimes it is the little things that can have the biggest impact, right?
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Without a reader, there are no words…My Profile

    • Hi Bill, Yes, that was exactly my point. It’s often in the little things, the things we didn’t even try to do, even just the fact that we smiled at someone or said just the right thing at the right time, without knowing it even mattered at all. I’m pretty sure our lives are wall papered with such moments. Thank you for coming by 🙂

  17. I love the idea of a Life Review and a soul contract. 🙂 Each time I have a fall on my bike (that’s 5 times in – um – 27 years – I always feel as though my past were flashing in front of my eyes. The first time was weird – I had all sorts of worries about things left undone. Later, with the traffic swirling around me – I began to find it hilarious.

    I’d think my life review would be quite enjoyable. I’ve done good things and not so good things I’ve learned from – and I have no hassles looking at them and feeling a little embarrassed maybe. 😀 In fact, I might now take a stroll down memory lane and pick out some crazy moments to get over.

    You, Julie, are one of the sanest persons I know. And I simply love the concepts in this post.

    Vidya Sury recently posted..Positive Parenting and the Value of DisciplineMy Profile

    • Hi Vidya, All of my “life flashing before your eyes” moments were almost-drownings, and each time all I felt was very calm. I figure there’s no point in going through life avoiding things “just in case.” Ride that bike, you know?

      Thank you for saying I am sane 🙂


  1. Honouring The Child Within. | Reflecting A Life says:

    […] Our Encourager of the month is Julie Barrett from A Clear Sign. […]

  2. […] be multiple realities as quantum physics suggests – even for the other side? What if, as Julie quoted recently in a discussion on another post, “reality is but a dream within a […]

  3. […] Our Encourager of the month is Julie Barrett from A Clear Sign. […]

  4. […] Maybe the lesson isn’t even yours – maybe it’s more for the other person, the person who mistreated you. Maybe the lesson is for both of your souls to evolve somehow. You know why on a soul level, and you’ll remember when your are finished with this incarnation, during your Life Review. […]

  5. […] Our Encourager of the month is Julie Barrett from A Clear Sign. […]

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