“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.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Jessy Rone/Flickr