Mostly, you can tell by the particular energy of your karmic crossing.
There are three ways we experience karma (which I define as soul lessons learned over time) with others. These are:
• Karmic crossings that are neutral or over quickly
• Karmic crossings that are complex and resolvable in this lifetime
• Karmic crossings that are deep and cooperative and meant to last
Neutral karmic crossings don't have much energy: we experience this all the time with people we are in contact with in our daily lives: the person we sit by on the bus by don't talk to; the person we date for a short while, but never see again. These people are of course also souls on the path, but they aren't part of our immediate soul circle: we don't have a big soul lesson to learn with these folks in this lifetime. They're brief, don't have much energy, and are over quickly.
Complex karmic crossings represent big karma, big soul lessons. These lessons are so big, so sticky, so dramatic, they usually can't be completed in this lifetime. Do your best... and if this relationship is tricky, ugly or unhealthy, let it go. This kind of karma shows up in abuse, anger, betrayal, anger and so on—if you come across a person where this shows up all the time, you're probably working through big lessons together. Again, this kind of karmic crossing usually needs more than one lifetime to complete.It is okay to let go, and end unhealthy relationships.
Cooperative karmic crossings are relationships that have worked out most of the negative or lower soul lessons, and are now moving on to beautiful aspects such as support, kindness, patience and unconditional love. These are the karmic crossings to seek out and hold on to, for a lifetime.
If you'd like to learn more about the karma of relationships, I'd suggest:
Release Yourself from Family Karma
Heal Your Love & Relationships Karma
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