Leanne Chapman Psychology

[ Guidance for the wounded soul ]

Who Are Your Angels?


I was talking to my friend Gail* recently about a friend of hers whom she has supported and stood by for the last 10 years, often at the expense of her own time and money. This friend recently asked for Gail’s help with something else and Gail agreed but mentioned that she would have to leave before the job was finished because she had to be elsewhere. Her friend was furious with her and refused to drop her home, instead leaving her at a train station to make her own way back and causing her to be late for her appointment.

This is not the first time this sort of incident has occurred and sadly Gail has decided to end the friendship. She feels devastated that after 10 years she has had to let this person go out of her life on such unpleasant terms.

One school of thought says that there are some people and situations who come into our lives to teach us something, and if we don’t learn the lesson we will keep repeating it until we do. Once the lesson is learned, the person or situation will leave because their mission is complete and we can move on.

This is just a theory but it’s one that makes sense to me. In this way, we can look at the people who hurt us and make our lives difficult as our greatest teachers. What Gail finally learned in the above situation was that her needs were important too, and there were times when she needed to respect herself even if it meant saying no to someone and risking the friendship.

We teach other people how to treat us and what to expect from us. If we start out abandoning ourselves by consistently putting other’s needs above our own, some people will begin to just expect this from us, and will naturally be angry if one day we tell them ‘no’. However if we are able to make it clear from the start that, while we respect others and want to be there for them we are not willing to disrespect ourselves in the process, then we not only set up realistic expectations from the start, we also provide a good role model to others on how to have healthy self-respect.

The other benefit in respecting ourselves from the start is that the people who don’t value us or who are uncomfortable with our healthy boundaries will simply move on. We won’t find ourselves stuck in an endless cycle of conflict and hurt while we figure out what the lesson is, because there is no lesson to learn with this person.

Neale Donald Walsch, who wrote Conversations With God, also wrote a children’s book called The Little Soul and the Sun. The story involves a little soul who lives in Heaven in the Light. Because he and everything around him is light, the little soul has trouble understanding who he really is, and is told by God that in order to fully experience himself as the light, he will have to surround himself with darkness.

The little soul agrees to this, and decides he also wants to experience himself as forgiveness. God reminds him that just as there is no darkness in Heaven, there is also no-one to forgive – everyone is an angel. That’s when another friendly soul offers to help him:

“I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive.”

The little soul is surprised that the friendly soul would volunteer to slow down his vibration so much that he could do something so awful that would require forgiveness, but the friendly soul reminds him that they have done the same thing for each other many times.

This is when the friendly soul becomes serious and tells the little soul something very important – in the moment that he strikes and smites the little soul and does the worst he can do, they must both remember who they really are.

“Because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are.”

In agreeing to experience the darkness, the little soul also experienced his own light which he could not see when it was burning alongside every other light in Heaven. And in agreeing to do something terrible to the little soul, the friendly soul gave him the opportunity to experience forgiveness.

In the same way, maybe Neale Donald Walsch’s parable gives us the opportunity to reframe the situations that traumatise us and the people who hurt and betray us in a different light. Nothing can take away the pain and the darkness we experience at these times, but it might help us to remember what the little soul remembered throughout his next lifetime:

“Always remember,” God had smiled, “I have sent you nothing but angels.”

*name changed

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  1. Hi Leanne,
    This is so very true. When I look back and see who I was before the suffering that I went through, I realize that the lessons that I’ve learned could not have been learned through reading a textbook. I had to go through all of that.
    But I do believe that I can warn others so that they don’t get hurt. That’s why I went through the things that I have: to help others.
    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    • Leanne Chapman

      October 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Eren – yes we can serve as a warning to others, although sometimes they still need to go through it anyway. Thanks for dropping by x

  2. I feel the same way. I have had to let friendships fall apart in the past because it became very obvious that the once great friendship was no longer working. It’s sad, but sometimes it’s best for everyone involved. There was a time and a place for those people in my life and the good memories still make me smile. I’m still not entirely sure what the lessons were that I was supposed to learn or that I did learn, but I do know that over time, people change and grow apart.

  3. It’s a lovely post with great insights. I love the reminder that valuing ourselves and setting boundaries is important. But what I love most is the way you tied together the 3 concepts of valuing ourselves, setting boundaries and forgiving others at the same time. I think you’ve hit on a magical combination.

  4. What a beautiful post , in Robert Schwartz book Your Soul’s Plan , he also shares this viewpoint as I do . When we look at our challenges as learning experiences and how people treat us, is that we gave them permission to do so.
    I think you verbalized it beautifully “If we start out abandoning ourselves by consistently putting other’s needs above our own, some people will begin to just expect this from us” Standing in our power and holding ourselves in the highest possible space of always honoring ourselves and being the best version of ourselves.

    • Leanne Chapman

      November 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks Mary – I’ll check out the book you mentioned, sounds interesting. It’s so important to work towards being the best version of ourselves that we can!

  5. Interesting post! I was thinking today about setting healthy boundaries, and how difficult it can be to say ‘no’ with conviction and without feeling guilty, and having the courage to lose someone you don’t want to lose. These are the little traumas that help us grow. Adversity is always a good teacher. Thank you for sharing your positive message.

  6. I so agree with this sentiment …aw and the idea that God has only sent us angels , well that’s just so affirming and beautiful. Thanks for sharing x

  7. So beautiful and comforting… Thank you.

  8. What a fantastic heartfelt post, loved reading it.

  9. Loved reading this Leanne……….a mantra I say is ‘experiences are opportunities for transformation’ and this can be the experiences with other people……it’s amazing when we change our viewpoint and really start to look at what the opportunity for transformation is even in relationships……thx for sharing!

  10. Hi Leanne,

    A very timely post for me as I am currently dealing with a situation where the other person wants me to help them fix a recurring problem. I can see that the only way out is to take responsibility and choose another course of action, but the other person thinks I am being unloving.
    So thank you!

    Your site is beautiful!


  11. Great post. There comes a time when we have to realize it’s time to let someone go. People come in for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s not always clear at first but it does become clear if we pay attention. There is a point, too, where helping someone is not really helping them. It’s enabling. I always ask myself, “is this something they could do themselves?” and “is this a pattern or a blip in their life?” If they really don’t need help and/or it’s a pattern, it’s probably best to say no and perhaps offer other solutions to make it easier to say no.

    • Leanne Chapman

      September 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      So true Michele – I also think if we can’t seem to say no even when we know we need to, it helps to look at what’s going on for us in the situation as well. Thanks for dropping by!

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