Inside all of us is a deep-rooted, unexplainable urge to find that special person to spend the rest of our lives with. It calls out to us in dreams or while we are watching a romantic comedy or as we are walking in the park observing couples. What is a soul mate and why is it so important to all of us to find this special Other? Why aren’t we content just being alone?
In my first novel Journey to the Heart (2013), the heroine Lucina Pilano has given up on finding true love because she has been in a series of terrible relationships. One day she has a vivid dream in which a tiny elf explains to her what a soul mate is; “Your soul mate will speak to you, make you feel like you want to run away all the time. Like your own reflection, he will show you the truth, he will show you your tears, your laughter, your sadness. He will help you to reach enlightenment if you want to. Your soul mate is a true guide in your life; with him you can reach high peaks and never feel alone”. After this dream, she becomes more aware of her defense mechanisms and slowly lets them down, allowing for her heart to open up again. She meets Teleo and realizes how soul mates play a crucial part in our time on Earth.
Soul mates can be defined as being like a mirror because they help us see clearer about ourselves and the outside world. These special people in our lives usually help us unblock emotions or face realities that were too frightening to face alone previously. They are very much like wise teachers on our paths, taking the form of romantic partners. They challenge us in more ways than one and make us work on aspects of ourselves that we sometimes try to repress or ignore. Some of them come into our lives for short periods of time while others stay longer. The important part is to recognize when we are in front of a soul mate and to have the wisdom to see that we are embarking on a great learning journey with a powerful being.
Why are we so preoccupied with finding these soul mates? John Donne said it well when he wrote that, “No man is an island entire of himself”, which translates to no one can be alone because we are all connected. I strongly believe we are social beings and the search for soul mates proves how most of us need to share our lives with someone special who will understand and support us through the ups and downs. More than anything, we learn better when someone is next to us, challenging us, motivating us, supporting us, even criticizing us. Alone we are comfortable but as a couple we are forced to work on ourselves and make compromises and communicate and work on our inner demons.
So they next time you feel like walking away because someone is pushing your buttons or making you look at yourself more closely in the mirror, remember this: you keep repeating what you need to repeat until you fully integrate your life lessons. If you can evolve with one soul mate for a long period of time, it might save you the hassle of jumping around and constantly rebuilding from scratch.
(As published in the September 2014 issue of Happiness & Wellbeing)