A Soul Mate is a Mirror: We Accept the Love we Believe we Deserve.

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“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.

 ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

I used to believe a soul mate would be the perfect fit. Like a two-piece jigsaw puzzle that slotted perfectly together to make one whole part—two halves joining to make one.

Up until then I justified being half, as I thought that being whole would happen when another half arrived.

I longed for my other half and always felt an ache inside my chest, a void that needed to be filled.

I had scars and wounds and injuries that needed soothed and I thought the company of my missing half would balm, heal and protect me. Also, I thought my other half would ensure I’d never feel the wrath of another dark and bitter storm.

I was looking for someone to rescue me.

It was an illusion, a fantasy, a fairy tale that could never come true—not because I didn’t believe in happily ever afters, but because my perception of it was so wrong.

I had done the math time and again, half + half = one. One union. One partnership. One love. Right?

No, no, no!

There are two people involved in a partnership, so why was I doing calculations that meant two people would be cut in half? By creating one from two meant that there would have to be compromises, settling and selling out.

It suddenly made sense. The reason I had never found this other person, this “soul mate” and had never felt complete was because I was not standing tall and being counted. I was reducing myself and keeping myself in a box so that when another came along I could mould with them and together we would slot straight into the same shape sorter with the number one etched on it.

I suddenly realised that instead of attracting another whole, I was attracting other halves. People who also did not feel worthy of love and care and who were also emotionally unavailable with barriers and walls built around them.

I understand the concept of calling ourselves halves can sound diminishing. Of course, we are all whole people, however, when we refuse to do the work and to accept both the dark and light shades of ourselves, our energy is not vibrating on full power. We are like a fire that’s afraid to be stoked, so instead we flicker on a low flame.

We are here to burn. Fearlessly. Not to flicker in the background, but to rage and light up the sky.

When our fire is turned up we will attract others whose energy is also endlessly flowing.

Soul mates are mirrors to our souls. Whatever we attract is what we are putting out. When we look at the relationships we have chosen they are reflections of how we felt on the inside. Although their personalities may be very different to ours their words and actions play out and speak our deepest insecurities and fears. We allow them a place in our lives and for a time, we even believe their words.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Until we wake up and recognise the truths about our selves. That we are all deserving of love. We are all a mixture of beautiful and broken. We are all an alchemical blend of darkness and light.

We do not need someone else to stand in front of us and tell us this. We do not need to play small in the world. We do not need to cower or dim our light or to be afraid to rise and demand our worth.

When we attract a soul mate that reflects our dark side, it is because there are things we still need to discover and accept about ourselves. They will show us where our weaknesses are, show us our faults, fears, insecurities, demons, imperfections and the relationship can be deeply painful and destructive. The light will constantly focus on areas that we need to work on and mostly the parts of us that need to heal.

Our open wounds and scars from the past will be torn open for us to delve into, so that we can see what we have kept hidden. Instead of submerging and wallowing in the pain, this is an opportunity to open our eyes and see what is being brought to our attention so that we can learn to love and accept ourselves for all that we are. Instead of being afraid of ourselves and denying who we are and allowing others to rip and cause us to bleed, we must take responsibility and look fearlessly into the mirror and see what we are being shown.

These relationships come to us to teach us and they will be presented to us time and again until we finally stop and recognise the messages they are bringing. That we should not look outwards and blame others, we should look to ourselves and ask why we are allowing someone to project onto us when we are capable of opening up and looking at our darkness for ourselves. We can fool ourselves; we need these relationships to learn about ourselves. But in reality we are just too afraid to stand on our own and look deep inside our souls alone.

We do not need anyone else to show us who we are. We just have to be brave, open ourselves up and face up to exactly what is deep within our souls and accept that none of us are fully in the light or fully in the dark. We are all a constantly changing shade from one moment to the next.

It is not easy to look at ourselves and find acceptance, however, until we do this we will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to attract someone else who is able to accept us as we are.

Until we know more about who we are, all anyone else will receive is an illusion of our truth.

A soul mate relationship is an awakening. However, if we have the courage to work on ourselves we can hold our own mirror up to look deep inside. When we do this there is less chance of attracting the harmful, damaging and destructive soul mates and we can gently learn and grow by ourselves.

Every soul connection or soul mate is a mirror. We will likely meet many of them in our lifetimes, each one showing us who we believe we are at that given period of our lives. However much we love and value ourselves will be reflected in the words and actions of the partner we choose.

When we truly believe we deserve love, it will be shown in the words and actions of the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Soul mates aren’t just found in romantic relationships; they are found in the friends, family and lovers that we connect with and who hold up a mirror so they are reflecting a piece of our soul.

My earliest major breakthrough in life was when I discovered that all of my war wounds, all of my injuries and scars, were inflicted…through battles with no other, than myself.

Relephant bonus:



The Lessons I Ponder on Father’s Day.


Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Jessy Rone/Flickr



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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.

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littlej13_81 Feb 3, 2019 9:10am

This is the best thing over ever read, and it’s already changing my life- thank you for posting ❤️

anonymous Nov 7, 2015 7:14pm

Yeah great article and thanks for ruining the love of my life. The relationship between my sweetheart and me has truly been a fairy tale kind. We are so deeply in love with each other. We are crazy of each other. We shared so much quality time together. Our conversations, thoughts, ideas, philosophy, everything! We are simply MADE FOR EACH OTHER.
one fine morning my sweetheart suddenly stopped talking to me. We did not have any argument or fight! We used to talk about being each other's soulmate. We swore to each other that only death of one of us would do us apart. Knowing her style of browsing very well, I searched the net to see if I could find some clue why she stopped talking to me. I then found this article and also I remembered that she mentioned to me a few weeks ago about some about some 'wonderful thoughts on soulmates'.

All the while she and I were convinced that we were soulmates and that is why our Karma connected us with each other although we live in two different continents. Elizabeth Gilbert should not have put across her belief the way she did – 'But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. ..' When such a statement comes from a person like Elizabeth, it seems and sounds like some natural law to other women!' What the hell!

I have been trying hard to at least speak with my sweetheart but she doesn't even speak with me! I have sent her mails asking her what wrong I did. She has never ever doubted my love and loyalty for her. I have not even thought of anyone else in my heart. It is only her all the time that occupies my heart. She is such a sweet and wonderful woman. What wonderful companions we make. I am not giving up anyway. It has been almost two weeks now. I will wait one more day and in case I don't receive any communication from her, I will try other ways to reach her and then I will fly to her country and land up at her home. If for any reason I don't get my sweetheart back, I promise you Elizabeth Gilbert and of course Aley Myles, I will curse you and wish you eternity in hell. My heart is shattered!

anonymous Oct 24, 2015 11:19pm

Thank you for this post Alex.

It is a hard thing to look deep inside our souls.
However, it is best we do it, rather than someone else, which is often fraught with hurt and anger.

anonymous Oct 19, 2015 9:35pm


anonymous Oct 2, 2015 3:34am

This piece spoke to me on such a deep level that I can’t find words adequate enough to express my appreciation, though I will try: Thank you for recognizing and validating the struggles I’ve endured; then going a step further by lighting the path to self discovery. I will take your wisdom and apply it to my own, fruitless search for a “better half.”

anonymous Oct 1, 2015 11:42pm

All that you wrote; deeply resonated with me. I had to stop reading several times because I got chills. This is absolutely what I needed to read at this moment in time. I have been looking and doing the work for some time and this was some how a validation for me that I am on the right path. Every single word and phrase is how I have been feeling and thinking. So I suppose I have been searching for this. Thank you so very much. I feel I able to move, now, as I have been stuck for a while. Love and light to you. Xxxxx

anonymous Sep 24, 2015 12:51pm

I mean this as a sincere question: Why would someone who does not feel there is a missing piece to themselves to find supplement in someone else and who is happy with their day-to-day life WANT to find someone else? If they are content, they are not needing or wanting in any way, and therefore would not seek out the company of others, right? What would be the motivation to want to find partnership? Wouldn't this just impede their ability to continue being self-sufficient in their happiness due to accommodating schedules to match with another, compromising preferences, and sacrificing their wants?

    anonymous Oct 2, 2015 4:40pm

    For me, it was to share everything there is to enjoy in life with someone whose presence just makes it even more enjoyable. When you're truly happy and secure, learning to adapt to another person's quirks is an interesting challenge, an adventure of sorts. We enjoy making those little sacrifices and compromises that make the other person happy because they appreciate the gesture and return the favour in a way that's mutually beneficial.

anonymous Sep 22, 2015 12:11pm

The first 2 years were painful.. but now I happen to love being with my soulmate

anonymous Aug 5, 2015 11:23pm

Dont quite understand

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 4:25pm

These aren't soulmates.

anonymous Jul 20, 2015 10:27pm

I finally filed for divorce after spending my entire life with who i thought was my soul mate, but turned out to be a narsassist evil psychopathic man, I now understand how true this is. He forced me to see my deep insecurities as he knew what they where to manipulate me with before I ever realized what they where myself.

anonymous Jul 5, 2015 10:09am

Gorgeous and true. Thank you!

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 10:02am

Brilliant article, thank you. Perhaps ideas that knowingly or unknowingly we've encountered many times but you've captured them beautifully and gently presented them as the opportunity for growth that they are – rather than something we should feel shame around.

anonymous Jun 23, 2015 1:01am

Love this, I have just finished reading Eat Pray Love and that quote particularly resonated with me. In fact I it used in an email to my recently ex'd partner to describe our relationship. He didn't get it as he is still deep in denial. I'm now working hard to develop and appreciate my own sense of completeness through therapy and Buddhist practice.

anonymous Jun 23, 2015 12:47am

Wow, very well written! So much truth. Thank you.

anonymous Jun 22, 2015 8:40pm

Having read much on the subject, which I find endlessly interesting, I was much impressed with how articulately you’ve written about it here. I agree with your understanding of soulmates & appreciated this article very much 🙂