Have you ever met someone who you immediately felt a strong connection to, despite the fact that you'd never met before? This phenomenon could just indicate a random but powerful synergy between two strangers. However, if you're open to the idea of past lives, there's a chance you may have known a familiar stranger at a totally different place and point in time. Many psychics and spiritualists believe that we have past life connections with the people, places, and even pets in our current lives. And if you've ever wondered whether you had a past life, you'll probably want to know how to tell if someone you know was in your past life, too.
Regardless of whether you believe in them or not, past lives and reincarnation are pretty fascinating topics. Many religions (including Hinduism, Buddhism, and some sects of Judaism and Islam) incorporate the concept of past lives and reincarnation into their belief systems, and spiritual past life readings have gained popularity in Western new age circles, too. The concept of a past life hinges on the idea that we have a non-physical soul or essence that moves from one physical body to the next over the course of lifetimes — which means, in theory, that you could have had many lives (and connections with others) before the one you're currently living.
"Everyone has a past life or lives," psychic Andrew Brewer tells Bustle. "People reincarnate because they like to be here." Having a past life essentially means your soul essence has taken physical form in your current life because it's been here before — and wants to be here again to experience something more or grow in some way. Hopefully our souls evolve in some way that brings new wisdom to future lifetimes, but according to Brewer, people don't change drastically from one lifetime to the next. "Think of each incarnation as the soul’s personal expression of self," Brewer says. "Each go round, we come with similar traits, talents, and quirks — as well as consistent physical qualities, regardless of race or gender — that echoes of our dominant soul essence ... There has to be some unique quality reincarnating."
Because we tend to reincarnate "looking, acting, thinking, and processing" in a similar way throughout multiple incarnations, it makes sense that we might also have IRL run-ins with souls that we've known in other lives. Apparently, when you meet someone you've known in a past life, the connection will feel different than with anyone else you meet. And as you can imagine, it's a powerful chemistry.