• 04/23/2023

What Is a Soul Contract? 

Two people gaze into each others eyes.

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Updated February 27, 2024

What is your purpose in life? What are you here in this incarnation to learn? Understanding what a soul contract is and how it acts as a blueprint for your life can help you answer these questions. 

We’ve all met people with whom we’ve felt an instant familiarity or found ourselves in situations that seem eerily familiar, even if we never experienced them before. Those “magic moments” are signals from the universe to trust. They also offer valuable clues about what we have come here to learn. 

What should you know about these universal connections with other people and circumstances? How do they affect your life today? Here’s what you need to know about what soul contracts are and how to recognize and thrive from them. 

What is a Soul Contract? 

A soul contract is a spiritual connection between two souls that is believed to be established before birth. Soul contracts can serve to teach you a lesson or resolve a karmic debt from a past life.

To fully understand soul contracts, you must first embrace the idea of your continued evolution through many lives. There’s simply too much to understand to gain all the requisite knowledge in one lifetime. 

Think of death as the great reset. Your physical matter recycles, creating amnesia that allows for free will in each incarnation. You aren’t born thinking, “I need to resolve these conflicts,” or accomplish specific goals, like healing a relationship. You are a blank slate. 

However, your soul contracts are indelibly written on your very being. They may consist of the following: 

  • Unresolved conflicts: If you had a tumultuous relationship in a past life that ended without resolution, your souls might have agreed to continue learning the lessons you must accept from one another. 
  • Unaccomplished goals: If you could not fulfill your purpose in a previous life due to intervening circumstances, you may have formed contracts with others in the twilight between death and life that will help you accomplish it in this incarnation. 
  • Personal growth: Not all soul contracts revolve around negative energy. You can have a positive soul contract with another being to help each other on your journey. 

Why Would Anyone Form a Negative Soul Contract? 

Soul contracts can be positive, negative or neutral. You know that positive soul contracts form to help one another. Neutral soul contracts are generally those related to your life’s purpose, such as your chosen profession. 

Which may lead you to ask, “Why would anyone form a negative soul contract?” After all, who wants to come back to conflict? 

However, think about a grudge you’ve carried for a long time. Although you may have cognitively “forgiven” the other person, there’s something you haven’t learned from the experience. Is it possible you played a role in the conflict? Could your greater lesson be how to set firm boundaries so that the influence of others doesn’t lead you down the wrong path so easily? What’s keeping you from letting it go? 

Also, remember the principle of give and take. Energy is never created nor destroyed, only changed. Your problematic relationship with another demonstrates that your energies have yet to learn to peacefully coexist. You might not understand the nature of the adjustments you need to make, but you’ll feel it when you resolve the conflict within yourself, at which point your job becomes spreading the grace of that peace to others through your example.

How Do You Recognize a Soul Contract 

Recognizing a soul’s contract occurs in one of two ways: a quick spark or a slow burn. You might experience a sense of deja vu the first time you enter an unfamiliar situation. For example, your supervisor might show you around on the first day of a new job when you witness a scene that creates that eerie sense of “I’ve been here before.” 

It’s a bit trickier to recognize some soul contracts. You may have to seek recurring patterns. For example, do you find yourself drawn to the same types of people over and over? Does your heart keep telling you to take a stab at a new career or even pastime despite past failures? Mindfully explore why some people, places and things enjoy a Groundhog’s Day experience in your psyche — what do you have to learn from them that you have not yet mastered? 

What’s the Difference Between a Soulmate and a Soul Contract

People often confuse soulmates and soul contracts. Although soulmates abound in popular literature and movies, very few people experience them in every incarnation. A soulmate is someone with whom you feel a deep and abiding connection without any jealousy or conflicting emotions complicating the relationship. It is when two souls offer each other genuine, unconditional love, although such connections might not be romantic. 

What’s the Difference Between a Twin Flame and a Soulmate? 

Another term people frequently confuse is “twin flame.” A twin flame is not the same as your soulmate. Whereas a soulmate offers unconditional love, a twin flame is one who burns with passion for the same things you do. 

For example, your twin flame may be the mentor who introduces you to sustainable farming practices if your passion is off-grid living. It could be someone you meet in your advocacy journey if your heart desires to make the world a better place by working for a cause. 

It’s possible to have twin flames and soulmates in the same incarnation. However, it’s rare for them to be the same person. After all, each soul has unique lessons to learn, and what’s true in the human experience is only an echo of spiritual truth — you can’t look to anyone else to complete you. Fulfilling your soul’s code is a job only you can accomplish. 

How to Complete a Soul Contract 

In the human realm, a contract is an agreement to do something for another in exchange for something else in return. What do soul contracts offer? A chance at deep, genuine wisdom that you carry with you, not only for the rest of this incarnation but eternally. 

How does this principle work in reality? Let’s look at a negative soul contract as an example. Perhaps you keep encountering a being who seeks to control and manipulate your behavior. 

You might spend countless hours — even entire lifetimes — trying to get them to see the world from your perspective. For example, if you share your home with a habitual gaslighter, you might deny their allegations and speak your truth, only for them to insist that their version of events is correct and you simply don’t remember things clearly. 

Maybe your soul contract isn’t to make them see the error of their ways. Perhaps your lesson is how to recognize your innate value, maintain your truth and gracefully exit toxic relationships before emotional abuse makes you doubt yourself and your abilities. 

You will know when you complete a soul contract by the deep, abiding sense of inner peace and resolution you feel upon reaching enlightenment. There’s a recognition, an understanding of “now I get it,” and an innate trust that you will not readily forget this lesson. 

Notice that you may still encounter someone with whom you share a soul contract in various incarnations. However, the dynamics of your relationships will likely change as you maintain the lessons learned in previous lifetimes.

Your next interaction may bring new opportunities for learning. For example, can your soul resist the urge to behave abusively when you have the upper hand against someone who treated you with contempt, even violence, in this lifetime? Can you stop looking at karma as a tool of revenge and instead one of spiritual development? Can you decline to water the seeds of hatred and instead develop compassion toward other living things?

What Is a Soul Contract? 

Everyone has encountered situations that seem eerily familiar or people they instantly connect with. Pay attention to these flashes of recognition, as they may indicate a soul contract. 

Now that you know what a soul contract is, what examples can you recognize in your life? Understanding the underlying universal law governing your interactions can smooth your journey through this incarnation and help you attain inner peace. 

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