I believe in soulmates like how Elizabeth Gilbert believes in soulmates.
“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.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
I have had a handful of “soulmates” in my life. Each, with a level of “this is it” in my infatuated, premature love states. Each lasting five years, three years, even just six months.
Each soulmate relationship is a blessing; a gift. Something that helps you shatter your preconceptions, question your life, and asks you to become a better version of yourself. I am grateful for them, because without them, I would not be where I am today.
When soulmates come to me, I know upon first meeting them that they will become significant in my life. I may not know timelines (hint: not forever), but I do know, intuitively, that I will be with them. It’s a click. A magnetic pull. It’s a knowing. A feeling of familiarity. Like we’re old friends even if I’ve never met them.
When I said I was ready for next-level love last summer, I didn’t realize it would come without containers. Of course, next-level love doesn’t require ordinary boxes and is not complacent.
It was a love beyond attachment, beyond my own personal needs. It is what I imagine is the true nature of love beyond our personal requirements and intricacies.
It is a love where you care for the other person’s happiness and fulfillment as much as you care for your own. You value their freedom and their self-expression as much as you value yours. It is a love that doesn’t always keep you safe and comfortable. Instead it asks you to face all of the things inside of you that keep you small, that keep you from stepping into the greatness of your own being.
And that path, my friend, is not always complacent.
In this kind of love, you move beyond the relationship being about you and getting your needs met. Instead your relationship becomes a third living and breathing being. And the question is no longer “what can I get from this?” and instead “what does this relationship contribute to the world? How does what we create together contribute to the wellness of all living beings?”
I have felt non-possessive love that challenged me to let go, release, rebirth, renew. It is in this letting go, this non-possessiveness, that true growth happens. The lesson to trust and surrender to Universe, knowing that good things are meant for me, and life is rigged in my favor, isn’t an easy one to grasp. Through this letting go, I learn to live and let live.
But soulmates are hard work, and soulmates typically do not last, and aren’t truly meant to. They are meant for your life to teach you something, to grow to become a better person. To resolve past karmic issues. They challenge you, and since it is a challenge it may or may not be a tumultuous relationship.
Instead of looking for your “soulmate”, why not look for a kindred spirit? Kindred spirits are easy. You feel at one with them, as in part of your tribe, your community, your home. Their interests and values align to your own. They may have similar goals or mission. They can be a long-term companion, rather than the short-lived soulmate who is only meant to help you through your next phase.
We may have numerous soulmates and kindred spirit connections within our lifetime. Some romantic, and some not. The idea that there is “One” suited person for you, your complete match, your better half to complete you is flawed. You are already whole as you are.
The need to label and compare others, to see where they fit in your social, spiritual or emotional hierarchy is only human nature. To put someone special above the rest isn’t some magic ‘One’, ‘soulmate’ or ‘twin flame’. It’s just a choice that you make that should feel right in your body, and in your heart. One of those choices that doesn’t feel like a choice, like it chooses you, or for you. I want to hold out for next-level love because anytime I am with a “boytoy” is time wasted when I could be with someone amazing. In the meantime, I’d rather be alone. Never settle.