I'll admit right off that I know very little detail about reincarnation, nor how differs in each religion that believes in it. I plan to learn more for the sake of knowledge and because the movie Cafe' de Flores has not left my mind since watching it two days ago.
Without giving away to many spoilers, in 1969 Paris, a mother of a child with Down syndrome loves him fiercely. Almost obsessively; he is her entire life. She bucks society's rule about placing him in an institution. Instead, she places him in music, speech, boxing, any class and activity that will help his cognitive ability. He attends a general education school. One day, a girl with Down syndrome begins attending the same school. The children fall in innocent love immediately. Their parents have to literally pry them apart at the end of the day. In the end, the mother makes a drastic, horrible decision because love has become too painful for all three of them.
(There is something about the love portrayed between the mom and son that tore at my heart, but that is a post for another day. Or not. It is complicated.)
In present day Montreal, a man deals with his guilt over leaving his wife and children for another woman. After so many happy years with his ex-wife, he didn't mean for the marriage to fail, but he and the other woman feel fated for each other. He wonders if a person can have two soul mates at a time. The ex-wife begins having nightmares and sleepwalking. The love triangle is too painful for all of them, and there is a clear chaotic spiral taking place.
At the end of the film, the reincarnation is revealed. Forgiveness is asked for and given. Peace comes for all.
So, I have no idea if that is the classic theory behind reincarnation or not, but I like it: That the people we love, really love, and who really love us, form this continuous circle where all involved must make peace before the soul is allowed to move on. Or maybe not move on, but then perhaps stop meeting the same loved ones' souls in the next life.
It is a beautiful thought. That perhaps the people I love the most, and subsequently hurt the most, will be there next time. We can perfect our love and take out the hurt. We move from being the mother and son, father and daughter, whatever to being siblings. Or husband and wife. Or best friends. We just circle each other life after life until we get it right.
It is a beautiful thought, but I don't believe it.
I believe we have this one time, this one life. No afterlife, no karma, and not much time to get it right.
The chances for peace, forgiveness, getting it right, are unlimited. Until death.