Is it possible that the people who annoy us the most, those we might consider to be our “enemies” in this lifetime, are actually our closest, most beloved, “universal” friends? My Guide Group first introduced me to the concept of “Relationship Villains” during an automatic writing session for my book “Windows of Opportunity” with the following . . .

“We sit and plan our lives here on earth. We are here
with many entities, all of who play many different roles in our many lifetimes, and our point today is that it is those who love us the most who will play the role of the villain. This is because they love us enough to want to make sure that we accomplish what we wish to accomplish for ourselves—even when it means being perceived as the bad guy…The terrible things that go on, the ‘villains’ in your life, most times are really your most amazing friends because they are sacrificing so that you can learn and grow. Sometimes it seems as though we truly dislike or hate someone, but that entity in truth could be one of your most beloved friends outside of this incarnation--someone who loves you enough to do you a big favor.”

What a concept! My Guide Group has dictated much more on this subject, and I frequently re-read all of the passages on this subject as I continue to open my heart and mind to it. When I first became aware of Relationship Villains, and even still bit today, I find it to be a simple, yet difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. I can feel the truth of it in my soul, and for me, learning the concept and using this knowledge to grow hasn’t been easy. Knowing doesn’t make things easy. I had to examine my past relationships in an honest and sometimes painful look to see where I could learn my lessons. Always when I begin to feel it’s too difficult to dredge up the past, I remind myself, “Isn’t this what being incarnated is all about? To search out the truth and then make adjustments in how we live our lives so we can learn our lessons faster and grow spiritually with each lifetime?”

My Guide Group taught me to think about those people in my life that I dislike because the “did me wrong,” and look at how each experience affected me. They asked me to examine perceived “wrong doings” and decide if things actually worked out better for me in the long run (It’s happened more than once!) They also asked to consider my own behavior and decide if I could have behaved/responded differently to a particular person or situation that would have helped my overall growth? (I could have!)

Learning about this concept of “Relationship Villains” has been a huge wakeup call for me. Looking back and searching for them throughout my life has not only helped me learn more from past experiences, but I’ve also learned to take more control of my life to create a less dramatic and more growth-oriented present and future. Once I digested the concept and started looking, my “villains” were remarkably easy to spot—and my Guide Group explained that they exist in every kind of relationship we have: family, friends, work, and of course—in romantic relationships!

I found lots of Relationship Villains in my past, and here’s the embarrassing scoop on the biggest relationship villain in my life: This guy pushed every button I had, and it got worse and worse with each passing week. In retrospect, I believe I was on track to becoming a battered woman—something that no one who knows me would ever believe I would allow. When I first met him, it was all compliments and ego-building—and then it started, very slowly, and then escalating, as he tried to take complete control of my life. He attempted to separate me from my friends, and then from my family. Next he wanted final approval on every thing I did what I ate for lunch, where I shopped) and within six month, he wanted final approval on every purchase I made--from my clothes to dishtowels. I kid you not—I got yelled at one day for buying a new dishtowel without consulting him first! As the relationship continued, he found fault in the way I did my makeup, the clothes I wore the way I did things, and he especially hated my success at work. At first I made excuses for him, but in the end I absolutely exploded. My Guide Group tells me that I “exploded into my power” and that this guy is actually one of my closest universal friends. I still have trouble digesting that, even though I know it’s true. And in retrospect, I learned a lot of lessons from that relationship—not the least of which were learning to stand up for myself and learning not to compromise my beliefs. I took control back from him and put it where it belonged—with me.

After spending a lot of time contemplating this particular relationship, I looked further back into my past romantic relationships. Guess what I found? Each significant relationship was essentially a gentler version of the control-freak relationship I just described to you. Each one, in his own way, attempted to control me, and each time I let it go on until I exploded and ended the relationship. The big revelation from this self-examination of my romantic relationship villains is that I never really stood up for myself, I never really addressed the things that bothered me, and I never attempted to work on or fix a relationship. Instead, I let each relationship get to the boiling point and then I left.

Well! What a classic case of a life script! I see it very clearly now that my eyes are open! And my Guide Group confirms that these guys are all universal friends who agreed to play different variations of the “bad guy” role to help me learn something that I needed to learn, that I insisted on learning, during this incarnation. I didn’t learn to take my power and stand up for myself until I was 40 years old! But I’m glad I learned to do it because my life is so much better now—less drama, and more importantly, I was able to open to a wonderful HEALTHY relationship.

Recognizing life scripts is important is an important part of the Relationship Villain concept--here’s a little something about life scripts that my Guide Group also dictated for “Windows of Opportunity”…

“… recognize earlier on the life scripts that keep [you] in the cycle of Karma, and the windows of opportunity that will get [you] out of that cycle…Recognize that a particular situation is something [you] are here to work on, and [you will] take the steps through those windows much sooner to learn a particular lesson.”

It’s become clear that my romantic relationship villains were each a “window of opportunity” for me to learn the lessons I came here to learn during this lifetime. Had I recognized this sooner, I would have learned my lesson with much less heartache and drama. Oh, and, here’s a scary thought (for me, not for you!), my Guide Group informed me that it’s a good thing I woke up when I did, because “If I thought that last romantic window was tough one, be glad you don’t have to see what you had planned next!” I’m very glad I woke up when I did!
I’m continuing to take my Guide Group’s words about Relationship Villains to heart, and I’ve been working hard looking for life scripts in every area of my life—especially in friendships and family relationships.

Knowing about Relationship Villains means learning our lessons faster and with less drama—we just have to be awake, watch for our life scripts, and learn to recognize our windows of opportunity. The reward is progress with less drama—definitely something I want for my lifetime!
“Windows of Opportunity,” from Ozark Mountain Publishing Street Date: September 2009.

Author's Bio: 

Sherri Cortland, ND, was born in New York State in 1957, and moved to Florida in 1991. Sherri resides in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Ted Dylewski.

In the late 1980’s, while working on her B.A. in Communications at Mount St. Mary College, Sherri began taking psychic development classes in Monticello, New York. It was during one of these classes that her Spirit Guide, Jeremy, first made contact through Automatic Writing. Sherri has been conversing with Jeremy and other Spirit Guides through Automatic Writing for more than two decades. In the early 90’s, Sherri studied Herbology with Rosemary Gladstar, and went on to earn a Doctor of Naturopathy degree from the Clayton College of Natural Health in 1998.

“Windows of Opportunity” is Sherri’s first published book, and she is currently writing her second manuscript, tentatively titled, “Raising your Vibrations for the New Age.”

Sherri is the Director of Specialty Sales for a large vacation resort in Orlando, Florida, where she writes sales training workshops and customer service classes for sales professionals and sales support staff.

Sherri is available for interviews, talks, and book signings and can be reached at