soul mate. it's a concept -- like "organic" or "feminism" or "conservative" -- that we've taken out of context and repurposed to suit our needs. usually, "soul mate" conjures hollywood ideas of two star-crossed lovers overcoming myriad obstacles in order to spend their ever after happily together.
right. so like, that's not really a thing...
and in fact, a belief in that archetype being some kind of marker of success is detrimental to our emotional maturation.
so what is a soul mate then? in elizabeth gilbert's acclaimed (albeit over-quoted) memoir, eat, pray, love, her dear friend richard from texas suggests:
People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
ah. now we're getting somewhere. soul mate describes a dynamic, an energetic force between two individuals, that allows them to work through an incredible amount of karma in a relatively short period of time. like inspiration or creativity, soul mate energy is interfacing with humans all the time, catalyzing change and redirecting lives. it serves as a force designed to burn through that which is not you, to raze old patterns, and to propel you forward.
soul mate energy has that caustic quality. that feeling that it could ignite at any moment. and it can. soul mate energy is, by definition, a destructive force. and when we step back from our ego identities, we can see clearly that destruction is a natural part of the life cycle. beings are born. beings die. things are created. things are destroyed. there is no good or bad about this. in the macro, the universe has no concept of right or wrong, merely karma that needs to be leveled.
so there is absolutely nothing wrong with manifesting a soul mate and working through your agreed upon karmas together -- it is a necessary step in your personal evolution. however, problems arise when we become addicted to the soul mate dynamic. and as a society, we have. we've fetishized it to the point that it's about the only romantic relationship dynamic that gets any representation.
soul mates tend to come into our lives early on...in the teens or twenties. this is because at that stage of life, our attention spans are shorter, we have less awareness of our true selves, and we have the emotional wherewithal to recover quickly from the destruction. these early loves are essential and beautiful pieces of our puzzle. but their purpose is to teach us experiential lessons and to give us the tools to move on and manifest more appropriate partners.
too often, though, we get caught up in the sweet and painful cocktail of feelings...the longing, the anxiety, the codependency, the fear, the lust, the excitement, and we are unable to move forward. we try again and again to recreate that initial spark, either by clinging to a relationship past its natural end or by looking for new partners who remind us of the previous one. and again and again we are left alone, betrayed, disappointed, exhausted, and asking why we this keeps happening.
it's ok. if this pattern resonates with you, you aren't alone. in fact, you were indoctrinated into a society that romanticizes this pattern and encourages you to believe that it's all there is.
but there is more. i promise.
as soul mate energy is inherently destructive, there is no way to build a life on top of it. it is the lightning force, more powerful than your collective egos can hold. because it is made to strike down the ego identity and release you from all that is not you! and in order to manifest a partner with whom you can build a lasting partnership, you must allow yourself to overcome this addiction.
it's a process, sometimes a lengthy one, and it is different for everyone. just like any addiction recovery. but it comes down to a few clear steps:
i offer these words as a humble response to the misconceptions that caused me tremendous suffering in the hopes that others might also benefit. and i promise you, by following the steps i outlined, i was released from my old patterns, and the universe filled my life with pure and healthy love almost instantaneously.
it's real. :) the universe wants your highest good. you just have to want it, too.