Why Your Soulmate May Not Be Who You Think.
In working with Janice, we've come time and again to the concept of soulmates. I, like most people growing up, was inundated with visions of the classic soulmate. I believed that when I met the person of my dreams, I would know it. I would recognize them, and we would be like two complimentary puzzle pieces.
It took several failed relationships to begin to see that while the idea of a soulmate is romantic; it may not be accurate.
I recently sat down and asked Janice about this. No matter how many times I saw that an instantaneous connection didn't automatically mean I'd met my twin flame; I was still having difficulty releasing the idea that there was one - and only one - person for me.
Janice had much to say on the matter, which I was frankly grateful for as I find the whole thing really frustrating! I am recognizing patterns in my beliefs when it comes to relationships, i.e. that they are hard, that it's scary to be vulnerable, that a partner won't see the real me or value me for who I am, etc. etc. At the end of the day, though, it just didn't seem like there were all that many prospects, which made those strong connections all the more alluring and potent. And yet, they often left me disappointed.
Janice says that a soulmate is someone you have a contract with to fulfill a karmic debt to.
[Edit: Janice mentions here that a "karmic debt to" isn't the exact right way to think about it. Soulmate interactions don't have to be negative, or challenging. They help you resolve issues from past lives. It's not to say that soulmate relationships won't last - they definitely can. But one shouldn't go into every new potential partnership thinking that they may have finally met their one and only. That just sets you up. Instead, remain open to see what may happen.]
If you have had a passionate love affair that left you in ruins; chances are that that person was in fact a soulmate.
But that person won't be the only soul mate you'll have.
A soulmate connection is one in which both parties can use the relationship as an opportunity to learn something new, or resolve past issues. Because we've had many past lives; we have many soulmates.
This was a relief to hear because I had consistently looked at breaking up with someone as a failure on my part. Janice says, though, that many of these meetings are planned, and that they occur for a specific purpose. This has allowed me to look more closely at the lesson I may have missed rather than feel burdened by the mistakes I thought I made.
Still, the soulmate idea is hard to let go of. It's really attractive to think that there is someone out there who is the equal and partner of my spirit. To have someone who would fill your needs totally and whose needs you filled totally would be a dream come true, wouldn't it? It would bring an end to the endless searching, the fear of abandonment or rejection, and the valid concern that eventually one or the both of you would begin to feel dissatisfied, bored, or unhappy with the other.
In a way, though, the "one true love" idea is limiting. I suppose I cling to the happy ending ideal when really - the people who I have had the pleasure of loving were all equal partners of my spirit. When you really think about it; that is a lovely idea too.
There will be many people who come into your life to love you and be loved by you, teach you, and then depart, giving you the freedom to love again and learn something different.
[Edit: Janice mentions that it's not only romantic partners that are soulmates. You can also have a soulmate connection with a friend or family member. The soulmate connection transcends romance.]
Still, I feel familiar enough with the pitfalls of romantic love and am sort of ready to stop experiencing the heartache of separation. So I asked Janice "what are we to look for, what signs are we to find meaning in in the search for a life partner?"
Soulmates can provide us the dynamite that helps to blow up our illusions we have about life and love. There is an aspect to romantic heartache that is almost cathartic. Once the smoke has cleared, you may be surprised to find that overcoming it all has helped you to release many of your false beliefs. We have to be very careful, though, not to fall into the blame game, get caught up on attachment to outcome, or fall into victim mode. We must learn to look for the lesson; what the relationship or experience can tell us about ourselves and what we believe. Unfortunately, many people get scared and close themselves off to learning, don't take any responsibility, and end up closing their hearts to love.
If you can resist the urge to lock up your heart, and instead attempt to open yourself again to love then you may find that the next relationship will be a little easier on you. Especially if you have learned that when things don't "work out;" it is because it was a lesson, and isn't a reflection of your worth.***
[***It should be noted that much of this essay is written from my own experience, and does not imply generalizations for what everyone's soulmate experience will be like. For me, I have used intense connections to prove that romantic love has to be dramatic, that people leave you, and that I am unlovable. Many more people have experiences that are much less charged but are still incredibly passionate, intense and loving. In my life, I have taken passionate to mean dramatic. This is something I am trying to change.]
When this is where you find yourself, you are on your way to finding what Janice terms a "life mate."
"Life mates" are a soul mate that you have worked out more with through the course of your past lives together. [Edit: Janice wants to make sure that we all understand that a Lifemate connection is not a lesser connection. Lifemate connections will be intense connections and passionate. She says that they will also be easier and lighter, however.] The connection with them will feel easier and lighter. To me, in the past, that meant that there wasn't a strong connection, but I believe it may be more subtle, and gentler, which is why it's a little harder to spot. [Again, this is me speaking from my own experience in which romantic love and passion meant drama, having to work to prove yourself, and only really pursuing someone who wasn't acting like they liked you all that much. To me anyone who liked me back obviously wasn't good enough. If they were good then why would they like me? Twisted, I know. For me, it's been work to let someone like me, respect me, and not feel like it was somehow a lesser relationship because of the lack of drama. I'm still learning!]
That isn't to say that there wouldn't still be passion or sensuality between you. These are necessary for any healthy relationship. [Janice points out that this is a pretty dispassionate way to describe passion. She says, in reality the passion between yourself and your lifemate will be wonderful, there will be a great connection, and it will be improved by the fact that you will work together to keep the relationship going. The connection you have will drive you to work to stay together.] What Janice says is that a life mate relationship is built on friendship. "Afterall," she says, "even if you had sex for an hour a day, that still leaves twenty three hours you have to spend with them, so you better like them."
Well, there is certainly alot of truth to that! : )
So, look for who you communicate well with. Who can you be a friend with, and feel supported by and support in return? Why do you feel has your best interest at heart and isn't attempting to dominate you, or on the flip side, have you prop them up? And if you feel that way, can you find a way to talk with them about how their energy is affecting you?
I know that for myself as I go forward, I intend to remain open to possibility and try to look for the lesson rather than clinging to the idea of "the one." Happy hunting!***
***As a final note, Janice and I spoke extensively about this and she wanted me to reiterate that a lifemate is a soulmate that you may have worked out more with. The connection is just as strong as any soulmate. You don't have one soulmate, you have many. The drama and pain that came from my experiences with soulmates resulted from my own mistaken ideas. I believed there would be only one person, one soulmate, and so when I would have a connection; I put all of my hopes into that person, and then would become really heartbroken when it wouldn't work out (especially since I'd put so much effort into and pressure on it). Does this resonate for you? This is still something I'm working out, and trying to understand that the idea that there are many soulmates doesn't make a soulmate connection less important. I am still trying to accept that a lifemate connection is a strong soulmate connection, and not something that would be settling for less, which is sort of how I've been conceptualizing it. Anyway, let us hear your thoughts!
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