A soulmate is one with whom you feel a strong or instant attraction that usually develops into a relationship. Someone you feel familiar with because you recognise him or her at a soul level. You like them instantly and your familiarity with them goes beyond the time that you have known each other; you may share a similar sense of humour and find yourselves laughing at the same things, have shared values on the important matters in life; you may communicate easily and find that time passes very fast when you are together.
I believe we have many soulmates, and it isn’t just our romantic partners, whom we feel we have soul connections with. We can have relatives and friends who are our soulmates; These bonds we have with our soulmates are further deepened by the decisions we make to enter into emotional intimacy with them.
I have a few soulmates in my life, we are close. Even though we may not see each other for many months, sometimes years. When we meet, it’s like we pick up where we have left off, with the same familiarity and level of comfort with each other.
A soulmate relationship is not necessarily an easy one, but it can bring much depth and learning to your life. It can challenge your way of doing things so that you learn how to let go and be more; and learn to be unconditional and understanding of differences in another, rather than judge them or cut them out of your life for your perception of how they have failed you or your relationship; when we find a way to accept someone for their own humanity and choose to be with that person in a relationship, for however long we can, our souls grow and we mate on a deeper, soul level.
When I met Paul, I found my attraction for him absolutely consuming. So I stayed a little while with him. I had a sense at some deeper level that he was in my life to teach me something important, and this felt like truth.
As it turned out, I was right. Paul turned my life upside down.
But upside down was somehow closer to right way up than I had been before I met him.
Paul is one of my soulmates.
I could not keep away from him, even when ego kicked up many a fuss, and wanted to walk away many times. We argued often, and I watched myself feel indignant at how he challenged so much of what I thought was the ‘right’ way for him to treat me or for me to feel about him. I had my life perfectly in control before I met him.
Or did I?
I had my life reigned in tightly and still crafted to some extent, in accordance with what I felt my family, culture and society would approve of. Even though I was living what seemed to be a life that I had chosen, one that challenged norms.
Being the highly sensitive approval seeking person that I am, it actually pains me to challenge norms. It’s not that I choose to challenge them, it’s that I have to.
My life choices and truth burst out from within my dysfunction and pain from a very early age, because I could contain them no longer without losing some part of my soul and sanity.
To become who I truly am, I had to challenge all that was taught to me by my family, culture and life thus far. Some things I kept, much I let go of and replaced with my own views on what feels right for me, at each point in time.
I had to make some very difficult stands, very early on in life. There were times when I was the only one that approved of what I wanted to do. Nobody else thought I was making the right decision. But that is part of the path I feel, the test is will you still do what feels right for you, even when nobody else agrees. Will you take a stand and follow your heart, when all around you people and society are telling you you should be doing something different. Can you follow the subtle nudges from within your soul?
I consciously decided to go in search of my self when I was 20 and went to live with 2 yogis and learn to be a yoga teacher, meditating every day and studying metaphysical, philosophical and spiritual texts. While my friends were going to University, dating and mating, travelling Europe and the rest of the world as backpackers, I chose to travel within myself to discover inner transcendental worlds.
I have challenged and changed much since I was 20, and when I met Paul, he further challenged me to look at my life once more, to peel back a deeper layer, and see where I was not quite ‘on course’ and living in line with my soul. So I did.
I saw where I needed to let go more and be less controlling and controlled, where I could allow more for life to unfold in it’s own natural way. I saw where I was still trying to prove that I was good enough and how I could let go of that and embrace the fact that I already am everything that I need to be, at each point in time.
I saw how I needed to give myself more time and space to be with my friends and loved ones, to have a social and romantic life, and not fill my time up with work, voluntary work and staying home to rest otherwise, because I was so exhausted by my obligations.
To allow myself to reclaim my femininity, to be vulnerable and open to the intimate relationship that I am seeking. To let my guard down, and give a chance to the right man, that wants the committed relationship that I am also seeking.
So I made the time and space. I let go. I made changes to live a life where I acknowledged that I was good enough and tuning in to when I was living ‘on course’ with my destiny or not and making choices to keep ‘on course’.
I reconnected with the woman in me that I buried beneath the surface, because of past hurt and pain from previous relationships. I resurrected this part of me that still held hope for a healthy, extraordinary relationship.
All this brought me closer to my soul than I had felt in years.
Meeting Paul brought me closer to my soul.
As does each and every soulmate I cross paths with in my life.
The strong connection between soulmates is often what holds us together in order to learn the lessons we need to, to bring us closer to our soul. And though the relationship may not endure, the lessons hopefully do and both parties come out of the relationship bigger and better people.
Much of the work you do will also be personal, for example learning not to react out of fear or insecurity, to come from a place of love, not fear, looking at and healing your past pain and hurt and being mindful to be present to your relationship, at each moment, while still being present and engaged in your own life.
When you are romantically involved with a soulmate, there is a feeling of destiny that underlies your relationship and a sense of fate bringing you together, like a soulmate friendship, this does not guarantee a smooth ride and in fact can often mean the exact opposite, that you will be tested to the very core of your beliefs and personal sense of yourself. I believe that this is because this relationship is there to help your soul grow and this is not a comfortable thing, to go beyond your comfort zones.
If you meet your soulmate on your path, a connection that shakes you to the very bones of your very soul, my invitation to you is to look a little closer, hold still and see how by turning your life upside down, your soulmate may unconsciously be trying to help you turn it right way up.
In my experience, everything that happens in your relationships is there to teach you about yourself, sometimes it’s to teach you to stand up for yourself and not tolerate poor behaviour, to finally decide that you deserve to be treated well. Sometimes it’s there to show you how immature you still are, emotionally, or selfish, and how you need to grow up and start to live with more consideration for another. Other times it’s there to show you that you really deserve all that you yearn for, and more. If you can only accept what is being offered to you.
Your relationships, and what you cannot accept about them mirror back to you exactly what you feel and cannot accept about yourself. For example, if you have a relationship with someone that cannot accept your spiritual side, then you most likely, are not totally accepting of that part of yourself. You may argue this, and it may not be true for you, consciously, but subconsciously, it is very likely that this is the case. Realising this, it’s then a very simple process to fixing it, start to question and then accept that part of yourself, you haven’t. Byron Katie’s work is fabulous for this.
But always, meeting a soulmate, is about learning how to express more of your soul.
You do this by choosing to lead the relationship from the place of your soul, the place where love and choice cross paths. The place of truth. This place will set you free.
By making the space in our hearts and minds, to accept and hold this love and respect for another person’s perspective, no matter how different it is to ours, we grow, and our souls become more.
This is the purpose of your soulmate, to invite you back to your soul.