There’s a theory that everyone has 12 soulmates:
Seven you never meet due to geographical difficulties.
Three of them you date, perhaps even have a long-term relationship with, but something goes awry and it ends.
One is “the one who got away.”
And the last? That’s the one you end up with.
Okay, that’s a theory I came up with during a particularly jaded point in my life. But here’s the open-hearted thought behind it: Souls don’t mate. They don’t have to; souls by their very nature are already connected to the great mystery, the universe, whatever you want to call it.
What’s to mate?
People, however, do mate. But we need to be at least a little realistic about it. We aren’t going to walk down the street and suddenly discover our perfect partner. We may be attracted to someone at first sight, but sexy does not a soul mate make.
What makes a soulmate? Time.
We meet another human being (Read: Entire psyche that’s had a life time to that point to develop his or her own way of getting along in the world). We spend time together. We share our lives. We care for each other. We build a foundation. And that’s when our souls really connect.
But is it even possible to find a soulmate?
What are the odds that there is just one person on the planet for us? With all the physical, psychological, and spiritual configurations of human beings on this planet, it seems unlikely that there is only one other person who was designed just for us. In fact, it sounds about as plausible as there being no other life forms in the galaxy but the ones we find on earth.
What makes a difference is what we do with the relationships we have. We can, in fact, craft a soulmate with the love we currently have as long as a few basic elements are in place:
Self-love: What you give comes from what you have. Give to yourself enough love, time, solitude, patience, and inner joy so that you will have the resources to offer your partner the same.
Mutual Attraction: This can (and should) mean sexual attraction, but it can also mean energetic and spiritual attraction. Do you find your partner’s very soul deliciously enticing?
Respect: If you cannot align yourself with your partner’s path in life, you will be unable to champion him or her as s/he traverses it—especially when things go awry.
Realism: Ack. No one wants to talk about realism when we’re aloft on the fantastic flight of love. Realism is what it means to love someone even when the flight lands. And it will. Life gets mundane. There are jobs to go to, laundry to do, groceries to buy, children to feed/bathe/entertain/educate/alchemically craft into fabulous human beings… But when we create soulmatedom, we can get that flight ascending again.
Communication: By this, I mean real, honest, and sometimes uncomfortable communication. With words. With compassionate language that serves to help the relationship evolve. Sure, sometimes we mess up. But when we do, we need to acknowledge it and begin again. Personally, my knee-jerk reaction to being unhappy is to withdraw and lick my wounds. It took years (and the right partner) to feel safe enough to voice even my wimpiest insecurities.
Kindness: Above all, be kind. There will be days you don’t feel kind. You’ll feel like putting your fist through plateglass. I know. Some innocuous thing your partner does will trigger your childhood anxieties of being abandoned or unloved. You’ll get snippy and not know why. It happens. When it does, regroup, apologize, and move forward.
The truth is, we don’t find a soulmate; we recognize one.
We see in another human being the spark of our own connection to Source. We take the great leap of intention to embark on a journey of togetherness, traversing our own individual paths as our partners do the same. We may reach across and hold hands, but we honor that our partner is his or her own being.
Only then can we say, “This is my soulmate.” This beautifully imperfect and fallable being is perfect…for me.
Author: Rachel Astarte
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read at Flickr