Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soulmates and Other Myths that Bind Our Love

I feel guided to share some thoughts about soulmates and spiritual romantic love. I think the idea of "soulmates" has been widely misunderstood, and in general, I think the purpose of the loving partnerships that we can engage in has been wholly hijacked by the heterosexual "til-death-do-us-part" ideology that has been married, if you will, to marriage. So let me take a few moments to help create a new framework for understanding soulmates and why you don't need to have them in your lives forever.

Oh, and when you're done here, you may want to check out these spiritual blog posts to continue your discoveries around love and spiritual romantic relationships:

Developing Conscious Relationships

Deepening Shared Love Connections

Meeting the Undying Spark
There's no doubt about it: meeting a soulmate is an amazing jolt. It's like getting hit with a several amp shock and somehow surviving it. Both of you may not really know what's hit you, but you're both incredibly attracted to each other. It's unlike anything else you've experienced, and you have to get to know each other. Thus begins an intense dance--at least initially--where you run headlong into each other's arms and each other's issues.

The undying spark of this relationship is the deep natural connection you have with this other person. If you've never felt so strong an emotional, spiritual, and oftentimes physical connection with someone, this is overwhelming. It usually links into the cultural idea of the person being "the one" for you. I'm peeling away the idea of "the one" from soulmates early in this post because they're not the same. "The one" is a really unhealthy myth that says there's only one right person for you for long-term romantic partnership. What a bunch of nonsense. What if your one true love is in Uganda and you never meet? I'm sure people have a whole bunch of stories in their heads about how they'd be drawn to Uganda, but that's not the point. The point is that you can have intensely connected relationships with a lot of people, although soulmates seem to like to show up to be some of the first that we have. The other point is there is no such thing as "The One" in the way that our culture defines it.

As Issues Arise, The True Nature of the Soulmate Is Revealed
Soulmates are so naturally connected at a deep level that it's like finding another part of ourselves. And that's a key point to understand. When you come into contact with a soulmate, you're being given a mirror to many aspects of yourself that you could not see before. Soulmates often have complementary traits, experiences, and personality pieces, and that's where some of the idea of "being completed" by someone often comes from. But your soulmate is not here to complete you. Your soulmate is showing you the pieces of yourself that you've neglected and the places that you need to learn from. Subsequently, this can make a lot of soulmate relationships very volatile. The deep connection you both have together is activating your souls, and you're being encouraged to go further on your souls' journeys. But to do that, all those blindspots and issues that your soul is buried under have to be cleared out.

And so we see that the soulmate has come not to complete you, but to push you further in the direction of your true purpose and soul plan.

Soulmates That Last and Soulmates That Leave
The amount of work you have to do together often dictates how long you'll be with a soulmate. I would also say that you can have several soulmates of differing intensities. The key really is how you mutually affect each other. If one person is the only one being deeply influenced, that's more of a student-teacher relationship or student-guide relationship. Soulmates simply are deeply connected souls, and you can feel how eternal that connection is. Which is why the ego can be really confused when the path together on this world is complete. How can something so eternal end? It's because we all come together for certain times of our lives. When two soulmates no longer need to continue to do their work together, they'll often part. If you've brought a lot of awareness to the process, then you may part as friends, but sometimes, relationships just complete. And that's okay.

Others are meant to be long-term romantic partners, but I don't want you to confine your soulmate to that box. It will be too limiting for both of you. If that's what is evolving, then consider it a blessing, although this person will likely ignite your issues for your whole life as will you for your soulmate. It's simply the nature of this type of union, but it can be highly rewarding as few others will show you so much about yourself.

Many Soulmates May Come and Go
There's just a resonance to a soulmate that only you can know. And a soulmate doesn't have to be a lover. A soulmate can be either gender, and a soulmate can be a platonic friend. But the spiritual work that you'll naturally push each other towards will be unmistakable. It really is a mutual service. Although when someone is showing you how ignorant you've been about your father issues, this may be hard to appreciate in the moment. It's a relationship for which I encourage you to bring your hardhat; you've got some work to do.

Plus, you may have several soulmates come through your life to teach you different lessons at different times. I've had a couple soulmates of differing intensities, and they've been beautiful and challenging relationships. But they're not to be held onto. They came into and out of my life as needed, and that's an amazing cycle to be a part of.

The Twin Flame Phenomenon
So, those of us in the spiritual world got wise to what soulmates were up to, and now people have moved on to a new term: twin flames. The twin flame is like you're twin. You share lots of similarities. Where much of the soulmate relationship is about showing you stuff you don't have or aren't looking at, the twin flame shares a lot of your same strengths, weakness, and soul path to some degree. If you are happy with yourself, you're likely to enjoy a twin flame. Where you're still hiding from yourself, your twin flame will be a powerful mirror. For instance, you are really stubborn, but you don't acknowledge that in yourself. Your twin flame will likely share that trait, which can really be a challenge.

But the twin flame isn't meant to challenge in the same way that a soulmate will. All relationships--regardless of spiritual mumbo jumbo language--can be challenging and offer so much for us to learn. And I think if you remember that, you're going to thrive in any relationship that you engage in no matter how deep or shallow, long or brief.

Broadening Your Perception of Love
But the big thing that I constantly want to re-iterate is to not get caught up in the idea of "The One" nor a specific way that a relationship will work out. This goes for all relationships and definitely for twin flame relationships, which is now trying to co-opt the idea of the "The One." I think you can have several twin flames because I think life offers us a lot more opportunities for deep love than we give it credit. The more ideas and mythologies we wrap around love, the smaller the space there is in our hearts for love to grow. That's the real problem. It's not about finding your soulmate, twin flame, or whatever. It's about the ideas that restrict you from being in the fullness of your love, and of course, it's about how you externalize your search for love. Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows that the first step to developing great external loving relationships is to create a great loving relationship for yourself.

In that regard, there is a one true love, and that's you. After that, love just becomes easy.

For more on this topic, here's a video you can watch:

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