Karmic Relationships and Soul Growth

Relationships form one of the most effective vehicles for soul growth in this realm. None of us live in a vacuum; we are constantly relating to ourselves via our interactions with others. 

Did you know that relationships can mirror our internal landscape to us? Relationships truly are gifts; not only do they enrich our lives, they are tools to help us see ourselves for who we really are and how we want to show up in the world.

What is Projection?

Projection is when we act out our unconscious programming onto others.

Here’s an example of a woman who was severely physically and verbally abused by her father as a child. See how she projects her trauma in present day.

In her adult life, she attracts abusive, emotionally scarred men who continue the abuse cycle. She, too, plays her role by claiming her victim status. She’ll act as if she’s powerless, perhaps by relying too much on others for financial support or martyring herself out to her abuser, giving them all her money, energy or time. She’ll act clingy with friends and family, needing a lot of external validation. She talks poorly about herself and puts herself down in front of others, gaining power through the words “poor you”. She’ll also complain about her abusive situation yet do nothing to change it, saying she is trapped and has no way out, essentially waiting for someone else to rescue her. 

This woman isn’t intentionally playing the victim, she’s just behaving as she always has, as if on autopilot. She is acting from her ‘trauma personality’ or her pain body and isn’t conscious of it. 


In this way, people in our lives will often show us their shadow personalities, their unconscious motivations, neuroses, fears and hang-ups by interaction.

Our job is to then question our own behavior, as well as the type of people we’re attracting. Not as a way to shame ourselves, but to uncover the kinds of issues that we still need to heal.

What pain are we carrying around that we’re acting out unconsciously? Have a look at the people in your inner circle for clues. What others project to us is what we are meant to see.

“What you resist persists. What you look at disappears.” This means that until we really look at our relationships as tools for self-reflection, we will continue to experience relationships that mirror our trauma programming. 


“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung


Jung said that what is not brought to conscious awareness and stays hidden will manifest as what we mistakenly call misfortune. It will seem like bad things are happening to us. 

But in reality, this ‘fate’ is merely the magnetic fabric of the matrix we operate in.  Fate reflects back to us the unconscious creation of drama in our lives. This is why karma is like a boomerang. It’s meant to make us sit up and notice the Universal Law of cause and effect; of how everything fits together like a puzzle.   

We are all connected and some of us more than others through Karmic Relationships.

Positive Karmic Debt

In a nutshell, karmic relationships are those with an underlying spiritual contract, sometimes called a karmic cord.

These can be the product of a debt from a past life. For instance, a mother in a past life sacrificed her own desires for her child. She may have given up everything she wanted to provide that child with a better life.  In this lifetime, that child may re-incarnate as a supportive sibling, mentor, friend, boss or parent who performs an especially important (positive) function for the mother in this life.

This is NOT done out of punishment. That child who’d received so much love may insist in this life on repaying the debt out of GRATITUDE to the other, agreeing to play a role of encouragement, support, comfort and spiritual growth in this one.

The Dark Side of Karmic Relationships

Similarly, there are karmic relationships that recur out of magnetic frequency loops and until that frequency shifts in this life, the relationship will play out in the same way as in previous lives. We call this a karmic relationship because often there are fated or negative dramas between the parties.

For instance, I know a couple stuck in a karmic loop carried over from a past life. In a past life the husband stabbed his wife to death. In this lifetime they are once again together as husband and wife and they are slowly killing each other through manipulation, betrayal and abuse. 

I have watched this drama unfold for many years, waiting for the day when the wife finally stands up for herself, sheds the martyr “scorned wife” role and leaves her husband to put her needs first.

But the imprint from the past is very strong and the players do not have a level of consciousness that allows them to see how the same drama is being played out, though on a different stage.

The wife often tells me she feels her husband is “stabbing her” with his behaviour in the marriage. She knows she should leave but feels so (magnetically) glued to her husband and his cycle of abuse.

Over and over, through their fights, they strengthen the magnetic frequency of abuse, and the karmic cord between them only gets thicker and harder to break away from as it is reinforced.

Perhaps you’ve been in a similar situation? You’ll know the feeling I’m talking about.

There’s an irresistible attraction to someone, whether that’s love at first site or a bond that transcends time and space, even if it is repulsion. 

You may know that someone you love isn’t good for you or that they bring out the worst in you. Maybe you find by association your luck starts to take a nosedive. Yet you make excuses for not leaving them, not wanting to abandon them or by trying to fix them.

You do this at the expense of your own well-being and allow yourself to be a dumping ground for their shoddy, selfish behaviour. You may do this even though your heart is heavy and your spirit feels broken after you’ve been with them.

These are some of the dark sides to karmic relationships. The idea is to break the cycle by acting differently in this lifetime.  Sometimes this means ending the relationship. 

Learn more about healing Karmic Relationship Imprints here. 

Service Contracts for Soul Growth

Other times there is a profound service contract between people who are meant to help each other in this lifetime. The contract is made before incarnation and written into the ‘soul blueprint’ of both parties. 

We often reincarnate over and over in soul families. For instance, in a past life you may have been very close to your priest and you shared a special relationship of mentorship and intellectual exchange. In this lifetime, that priest may now be your brother who ‘gets you’ and supports you, acting as a non-judgmental sounding board and intellectual confidante.

If you have a bond with someone in your close circle and it feels healthy and like they are pivotal in your life, you very likely have a service contract together.

I have seen this in the sacred spiritual relationships between parent and handicapped child.  A child may volunteer to be a vehicle of spiritual growth for all the people s/he comes into contact with, especially by helping to open their hearts, be less judgmental and less selfish. At the same time the child has come in with a disability because of a wish to experience life in a much different way than is the norm. 

I’ve seen that the parent had karmically agreed to support the child in their desire to have this experience. Both the child and the parent grow spiritually from this arrangement. As a byproduct, the parent also reaches their spiritual goals in this life through tremendous service and selflessness of providing for a child with disabilities.

Talk about an opportunity for soul growth!

This is no small task, undertaken by ambitious souls and something to respect and revere.  When I see karmic relationships like this, I remember the adage, “Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.” 

We cannot know other people’s soul and karmic contracts with their loved ones. As such, we should never judge by wondering to ourselves what “bad karma” the other incurred in a past life to deserve the hardship they are experiencing in this one.  

Spiritual growth takes many forms through our most intimate and sacred relationships. Like diamonds, we are polished through pressure. The most tremendous soul growth often comes about through the fire and initiation of hardship. 

Relationships provide us with sacred opportunities to reach greater levels of compassion, wisdom, detachment and understanding. Are you honouring that? 

Have you ever wondered about a certain relationship in your life?

Do you think you might be missing the lesson in a particularly difficult karmic relationship?

Would you like to gain insight into the possible karmic template or service contracts behind them?

Are you fulfilling your journey to soul growth through your most important karmic relationships?

For a limited time I’m offering 30 minute Relationship Readings for just $55.

Email me at info@debra-casagrande.com to book one today.


With Love on your journey,

Spiritual Awakening is Only the Beginning

Click here for further reading on Soulmate relationships and Karmic relationships. Read Edgar Cayce on Soulmates: Unlocking the Dynamics of Soul Attraction.