Life Owes Us Nothing and Why this Truth Can Set Us Free

When I was little I used to yell at my parents when I was angry with them (probably because they always wanted me to be grateful to them for providing for me):

“I didn’t ask to be born!”

I also carried the “I didn’t ask to be born” thing into adult life.

Even though I knew, in a rational sense, that I did ask to be born on a spiritual level, I still felt entitled to an easy ride through life and I often felt like I had drawn the short straw in the game of life.

We had a lot of family problems growing up, and my teenage years were a bit crazy, so by the age of 20 I’d seen and experienced much more than the average 20-year-old (or at least the average 20-year-old who doesn’t live in a war zone.)  When I went to University I couldn’t relate to the lives of some of the people I met. I remember a friend at university being upset that a girl he liked didn’t feel the same way. He told me that this was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. I thought he was being melodramatic so I said surely it isn’t. He said genuinely this is the worst moment of my life.

I realized that he was possibly telling the truth and there were people out there for whom the worst thing that had happened was an unrequited crush in their 20’s.

I remember feeling angry in that moment that this person’s worst moment was an unrequited crush, when mine had been a series of much bigger and more traumatic things, at least in my view.

This strengthened the belief I had that everyone had it easier than me.

Then when I experienced later hardships: the Christchurch Earthquake, and my mother leaving me off the New Zealand residency application (so the rest of my family were allowed to live in New Zealand apart from me); and the ensuing visa difficulties; realizing that my family had provided for me but they had also been abusive and dysfunctional; and subsequently cutting contact with several members of the family in order to heal from this – it’s safe to say that I felt pissed off for a long time. I felt I had known more grief and loss than most people I knew in their late twenties and I was angry.


Occasionally I have a client who feels the same as I used to. Common events to be angry about are health issues, financial issues, divorces and bereavements. It’s especially awful when something happens that is not your fault, or not caused by you. It feels like you are being singled out for bad treatment.

But the answer Spirit gives to such questions is always the same: other peoples’ lives are a lot less easy than you think. And you asked to be born – there is something you can learn from everything that happened in this lifetime.  Cliched but true.

The part about other peoples’ lives I feel is important. It is easy to forget that other people have problems and lose perspective of what the average human life looks like, because our culture is commerce-oriented, narcissistic and based on appearances.

Commercials, businesses and movies tell us overtly and subtly that we deserve an amazing love life, a great body, health, financial success etc. (to name a few.)

People on social media share their successes much more than their failures and hardships which is natural but sometimes irritating when it’s all you hear about.

The realization I came to somewhere towards the end of 2012 was that it was time to stop sulking. Some people had had it worse than me and some people had had it much better. The good fortunes that people were sharing on Facebook were not representative of the rest of the human race. It’s not a competition.  Everything bad that happened to me helped me to learn something, grow and also helps me as a healer.

I am now remembering to be grateful for good things I experience, and to complain less about the bad things.

Past Lives

Something else that I fully understood in practice for the first time in 2012 was that we choose the joys and the hardships that we go through before we’re born. I knew this rationally before, but I didn’t fully apply it to my own life until recently.

I shifted from blaming my family and parents for what happened to me in this lifetime to understanding that we have a complicated past karma that I decided to resolve in my childhood, adolescence and twenties.

One of the reasons for this realization was that I started a course for removing past life traumas through hypnotherapy. My teacher Coletta Long told me:

“A painful and fearful childhood is an indication of an even more painful and fearful past life. The roots of the present painful experiences are in a past life. Your childhood experiences are like the strings that lead to the ball of yarn.”

I saw that misfortunes of this lifetime had their roots, not in my childhood, but in previous lifetimes. Then I began to have the dreams and piece together the clues of one of the most painful past lives I had experienced, which had been a perpetrator lifetime:

One night I dreamed that I was a young, single woman with a new baby I was incapable of looking after. So I rowed out into the middle of a lake in the night and threw the baby in without remorse. It felt inconsequential, like killing a fly.

(Incidentally, all my life I’ve been afraid of lakes, having had repetitive dreams since childhood about loved ones drowning in lakes or being dropped into lakes.)

Another dream I had showed me that I was a religious figure in Europe during the Spanish Inquisition, sentencing people to death for their religion.

Some believe that these dream metaphors are perhaps symbols of guilt from wrongdoings in this lifetime, rather than literal events. Not me – when I woke up from both dreams, I knew what they were and I knew they were being revealed to me for a reason.

I later got an astrology past life report which also talked about the perpetrator lifetimes that I had been through, and the re-balancing of karma as a result that was required. If we are a perpetrator in one lifetime, we become the opposite in the next. And we all experience one or more of this type of lifetime.

The re-balancing of the karma from such a lifetime may manifest as struggles in this lifetime, which teach us the opposite of what was practised in those perpetrator lifetimes; compassion; tolerance; being supported; learning how to ask for help; forgiveness; strength; courage and overcoming adversity. The re-balancing of the karma can heal us, on the soul level and allow our souls to reach a place of wholeness.

We don’t consciously know where the roots lie for the things that we experience in this lifetime. It’s usually buried deep in the subconscious. Until we know what happened in previous lifetimes, it’s safe to assume that one of the rules of the game of life is that this life owes us nothing.  This sets us free. We can stop expecting the universe to deliver a big break or that others will act responsibly or look after us. Our happiness and growth lies in our hands.

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Haley

    Great article! Its great that you posted this today, strangely enough, all day I’ve been thinking about this topic in particular. 😉

  2. Haley

    I, too, have been through a lot for only 18 years old. And I know I’m more mature and much stronger than most people my age. Although, I’m also more sensitive than most people my age. I’ve always wondered, “why me” so often. I’ve been trying harder than usual lately to keep a positive mindset and I know everything is a learning experience, I just have a hard time remembering it ALL the time. Easily frustrated and I always take things so personally. Really wondering about my past lives lately, thanks for the article, Anna!

  3. Iseke

    I always get chills reading about other people’s past lives. My own exploration of my past lives has revealed a lot of that kind of thing to me. And the ones where we were perpetrators are the hardest to remember. I’m trying to keep in mind the wider perspective here, but it’s hard. And I know exactly what you mean.

    I’ve always been really rather sensitive to things that normal people seem to take in stride, and I can see now that I’ve had a very conscious awareness of the effects of my past lives even before I remembered them.

  4. Janet

    There have been many times in my life where I’ve been down and aware that life owes me nothing, and having breakdowns because the challenges seemed too much. “It isn’t fair! Why me?” “Everyone gets all the breaks!” Thoughts like that still get me sometimes and make the rough times worse. But once I get through the hardship, or at least get used to the “new normal”, I realise I am changed by them to become stronger, more aware and, I hope, more compassionate. And I am always happy to “benefit” others with my experience given the chance–I do not know how to say this without sounding arrogant, but I too find it shocking sometimes how sheltered or blinkered–or “lucky” other people can be. But, I don’t react to little stresses–to the point that others have noticed it; I am proud of this because one could say, I worked hard for it. And I have some real good yarns to share that’ve come from the unique challenges I’ve faced–useful because story-telling is a part-time job for me, and I seem to be quite good at it.

    My view on handling challenges now is rather prosaic–How can I get through with the least drama and damage to myself and those around me? Doesn’t mean I don’t hold pity parties now and then, nor wonder what I did in the past to get these things coming to me.

    Thank you for this great post.

  5. Julie Barrett

    This is such a tough one – often I can see the blindness in the pattern for someone else. They won’t see the truth of the matter, and how it is limiting them or how they are self-sabotaging in this life. You can come right out and show it to them or explain it, and still they’re like,”Yup but I’m a piece of crap.” Then they keep right on doing what they’re doing. It’s almost like they have a veil in front of their face.

  6. experience

    Wow Anna so interesting reading about what you have discovered. It sounds like you have been through a lot and it’s a real life changing moment or light bulb moment when you connect the dots via past lives. Recently I have also been showed past lives and it was usually connected with people or my interests. Interestly I have found that I’m dealing with a life long problem well since early teens and I feel it is connected to future events or a future life…it really feels so. I was shocked to find that a problem I have now is connected to future rather than past life…can we sense a future life and be limited by it ‘now’. I have probs making friends and struggle to deal with this…in a future life I was betrayed badly…even to a point of my life being in danger…and it just clicked how I must have trust issues regarding friendships.

  7. Regina

    Yes, Yes, Yes! I’ve just turned 61 years old and have had a life similar to yours. Despite clear awareness of myself as a spiritual being and experiencing much growth and shedding of old energies in the past few years, I continued to slog through this stuff. I couldn’t imagine why my life had to be so hard compared to other family members, friends and people in general. I was feeling as if I’ve endured agony while their lives appear more “normal.” Just in the last few months I’ve come to the same awareness as you – I was the perpetrator, etc. in past lives and so I’m now having to experience the opposite, the karmic balance. Whew! It was quite a relief to finally have answers yet what a humbling feeling inside to deeply realize what had been such agony for me was me having to feel and experience exactly what I’d inflicted on others. Very, very humbling! I can now see so clearly how and why the karmic balance has been playing out. Since then I’ve been growing by leaps and bounds and I’ve come to believe my conscious realization of the “why” of my life has been instrumental in releasing the karmic energies though I’m still working through what I’d call a core issue of my life. Thank you, Anna, for the incredibly realistic and right on post! It is a wonderful confirmation of my own experiences.

  8. Gina

    You and I have so much in common – no wonder I was led to you for spiritual mentoring. My childhood was also a war zone and it took me until the age of 36 to have the courage to stand up to family members and speak my truth. And it took that long for me to stop feeling like a victim in a sad, cruel world. You did a reading for me several years ago where you revealed my soul group origin to me – a Blueprint Changer (the wounded healer). That started a healing process for me that has completely changed my life and how I viewed my reason for being here. Thank you from my soul for that. It is a strong spirit who takes on a life of childhood suffering. Some of us come out on the flip side with much insight and lessons learned, while others aren’t as fortunate (some of my siblings). We who make it are the healers of the world. I’ve finally come to a place (at the age of 40) where peace and trust in the universal plan has taken over. I have been shown how to love…really love, myself and my family. I am so grateful that I came through this with “time to spare” in this lifetime. That extra time I have to love myself and my parents. I believe healing is a lifelong process though and there are still pieces that I haven’t quite had the courage to pick up. Perhaps in another lifetime..we must be patient and loving with ourselves. From one wounded child to another, I feel your pain. Know that you are a gift to yourself and your family. If you’d ever like to talk more, please feel free to email me.
    In Healing Love
    Gina Elliott

  9. Kunal Shah

    Wow, we all have our own painful periods of life. In my case my own dad passed away at the age of 7, then there was a major battle regarding my uncles and their greed for my families inheritance…. I am 24 and my mind still at times shifts to a mild depression state…

    But as the article states that life really owes us nothing. Which by the way is true, and that our problems only make us better and in my case more spiritual. I got a lot of healing through the mother Goddess too.

    Every problem we encounter comes with its own lessons and solutions too. All of this is part of our own evolution. Those who have been perpetrators do get what they gave out. Fault is of the sufferer as my own spiritual leaders says.

    Last of all, whatever energy we need comes to us if we ask for it, so let us all of through our tough times with a lot of hope and zeal for journey that teaches us a lot of wisdom….

  10. Kate D

    Hi Anna! Are you open to recommending your past life report source? There are so many options out there; it can be challenging to find an accurate one.

    Thank you for sharing–this post is honest and freeing!


  11. elisa

    I feel completely caught up in the land of bad situations not perpetuated by me. Its been really difficult to get through it… hard to find a good balance between trying to help and giving too much to people I love that are going through a difficult time/ causing a difficult situation. Trying to be strong for them has been leaving my own heart a tattered mess. I find sone difficulty with the issue if karma… if you are in an abusive situation I guess it kind of makes me think I deserve to suffer instead of deserving something better? thank you for the post. Its nice to read about others getting through a similar predicament and finding strength.

  12. Joey

    Wow that is a poignant article on karma and how you are making a conscious effort to focus on the positive!

    If anything else life would be really boring if everything was just handed to you and that you had no problems. You would think that people with barely have problems are always happy but it’s not often the case.

    I don’t really have any past life experiences that were significant to me nor had any recurring dreams. But one item that did happen was that when I was a kid going to school I was playing around during recess. That day was a dress-up day where some kids could dress up as a religious figure for a show-and-tell. I saw a kid dressed up like a Monk and he even had a hair mask that made him look almost bald. I didn’t know why but I was captivated by the costume and gave the kid a good look.

    Fast forward to my adult life I went to psychic and she told me that I had a past life as a monk and that I really enjoyed it and even lived a long time enjoying the nature, structure, silence and all.

    I thought that was interesting having those two events.

  13. Tomek

    Hi, Anna.

    Your article is great. The same day after reading your article I went to bed with intention of recalling one of my most important past lives.

    In this dream I was an american tourist on a trip with my friend somewhere in South America. I was caught by the police and put in a jail because of drug smuggling. Drugs belonged to my friend.

    It could explain some of my life themes in current lifetime . Especially, my solitary lifestyle and love of freedom.

    (Sorry for my English),

  14. Anna

    Thanks everyone for leaving your comments and sharing your experiences on here.

    Janet – Yes. We gain inner riches from adversity.

    Julie – Yes, it’s hard to see self-sabotaging patterns when the other person is not ready to change.

    Gina – Thanks for your message. I am really glad to hear that the reading we did was helpful to you at that time in your life. xx

    Kate – – it’s past life astrology. It doesn’t talk about specific lifetimes but rather goes into general patterns. Very accurate and highly recommended.

    Elisa – I think that if you’re in an abusive situation, it’s not that you deserve to suffer. It’s about experiencing the opposite of a perpetrator lifetime in order to learn from it. This is called justified karma and can end well if you triumph over what happens. Then there is unjustified karma which is karma that has already been balanced in previous lifetimes, but the soul doesn’t feel like they have “paid” enough so seeks out further re-balancing. This is when healing is needed to allow the soul to see that it’s time to let go of paying for it.

    So abused people may be resolving justified karma or they could be stuck in old unjustified karma.

  15. elisa

    Anna – hmmm. I had not heard of justified vs. Unjustified karma. Thats a really interesting theory, ill have to look more into it. We’ll see if I can wrap my head around it! I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  16. Kelly

    Mmmm… Anna, love, the TRUTH will always set you free. Funny, I just posted a blog on this very topic tonight.

    Everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to happen. The Universe makes no mistakes.


  17. Kelly

    Oh my… as soon as I pressed “submit” I recalled a lucid dream I had when I was about 17. I was lying on the ground, surrounded by lots of people who were just calmly placing rocks on top of my body, one after the other… and I was slowly suffocating. Talk about a nightmare. When I think about that dream i always wonder if I was accused of being a witch. It seems like so many were persecuted for being intuitive, natural healers.


  18. Hilary

    Hi Anna,
    based on your article, it sounds like you definitely were having growing pains. Yes, I most definitely relate because I spent all of last year not being able to live up to a narcissistic man. So much so that I could not take his voice screaming at me to look and dress like a person I am not. I had a nervous breakdown and in June tried to commit suicide. I had to realize that I set myself up for that horrible lesson. Thankfully I am growing and have learned so much, like I am a wonderful child of God. I am still evolving and so I have done a lot of letting go of all my resentments. I continue to daily take my inventory and learn to be honest with love, patience, and tolerance. I say a loud every night a great big THANK YOU to God for every blessing I have:)

  19. Daario

    What you have said about the past life karma and the consequent struggles that we face in this life is very much true. I have experienced in my own life and also from other’s life that we reap(both in this life and the past) whatever we have sown. No one can escape from the life lessons that we are destined to learn and this is true for everyone. We have to take this lifetime as a lesson and learn wisely till you are granted a life where you will get moksha.

  20. JP

    Thank you for the wonderful article, we are blessed to have such a brave and honest person like you that can help us all with understanding life’s difficulties. If I could ask a favor, could you write another article about how a person who realizes what you did in this article, how would they chnage themselve and how would they live? It’s almost like fine, we realized why all the abuse took place, now how to do proceed with life, from let’s say soul’s point of view, rather than continue to lead an ego based life, thinking they life owes us this and that. I think you know what I mean…. and thank you again!!

  21. Sina

    Thank you for such an eye-opening article! In this lifetime, 2 recurring themes keep happening to me. #1- Although I am faithful to my husband (and past boyfriends) love is not returned and I’m taken for granted. #2- I constantly cross paths with sarcastic passive aggressive people. Well, with #1, I started loving myself more and demanding respect, so now surprisingly my husband is much kinder and more loving towards me, but this is after 11 years of struggling through a hellish lonely marriage. I am almost positive that in many of my previous lifetimes, I was an unfaithful spouse. I was tempted to cheat twice in this lifetime, but I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t do it. I actually quit my job once because someone was getting too close to me and I liked the attention (when things were terrible at home). I knew I had to get out of there right away and I did.

    With theme #2, it never occurred to me that I may have been cruel and critical to people in a past life! Both of my parents are very strong willed bull-headed pants-wearing people! Both would never back down from a fight. So, that caused me to have the voice of a mouse and I just let people treat me so poorly in the past. It really affected my self esteem. Over the years however, I developed a strong voice and stood up for myself. I honestly can’t picture myself being a perpetrator because I try so hard to make people feel safe and comfortable around me. But if I was a perpetrator, I’m grateful that this life taught me to really value people and their feelings. 🙂

  22. Belle

    Thank you for writing such a personal blog article. I really enjoyed reading it. You’re right that we tend to assume other people have had it easier since we don’t know their stories.

    The past few days I have been questioning my spiritual path. I was thinking I need to get everything more organized in my everyday life before I pursue such a spiritual path. But I think what your article showed me is that the healing from all of our lives can be helped with the balance of everyday life and spiritual life both.

  23. Leanne

    THANK YOU so much for all you do and for sharing your life with me and the world – I am filled with gratitude.

    Your writing is so easy to consume and very yummy indeed. I am eager to share your blog with others as well.

    Thank you for sharing your life lessons and also sharing the steps you have taken to resolve the pain that partners with many of the lessons we are to learn in this lifetime, so inspirational.

    Love and Gratitude Anna You touch so many hearts and I hope you feel the love and gratitude from me and everyone who reads your wisdom.

  24. Jen

    I enjoy reading your articles.

    I have a different belief about past lives – I don’t believe in reincarnation. I believe that we do plan out our circumstances with God (in heaven) before we come to earth. In doing so it allows our soul to elevate spiritually (like Christ’s). The troubles in our lives are also hereditary sins that have been passed down to the 3rd and 4th generation as it states in Deuteronomy. A lot of the past life information we receive are from our ancestors who need us to help free them – it is often mistaken as our direct past life. We are born into this world with many angelic beings and spirit guides stationed with us and within us to protect and guide us. We are born into humanities with spirits accompanying the humanity as well. Some of these spirits think they are us or we are them. Some of the ‘memories’ are those of our ancestors. We have the power to free them when we remember theses experiences, free ourselves from some the same negative tendencies and in turn free them. This is a simplified, condensed version of what the scriptures teach, but I believe to to be the truth as it comes from the scriptures.

    I hope this makes sense.
    God Bless

  25. Rose

    Hi Anna.

    I’m 23 now and it sounds like I’m in about the same boat you were in around this age… I can’t connect with anyone and can’t catch a break and constantly wonder what I must have done in a past life in order to deserve some of the things I’ve gone/am going through. It seems the hardest things my peers have had to do is maybe write a term paper or ask someone out on a date, while I’ve been homeless and sexually abused…I can’t go to school and have no support system at home. Indeed the only thing that does get me through the day sometimes is, after having read some of Dolores Cannon’s books, tell myself “You chose this life so you could experience these things”… honestly, it’s the only way I can justify it… telling myself it was my own idea.

    Interestingly enough, I’ve had a past life report done and it started talking about a life in Atlantis. I had the same report done for my brother, and his was very… normal. I’d definitely be interested in talking with someone about this.

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