This is a story of what it means to meet our soulmates and fall in love.
As a young girl, I was taught that a soulmate was someone we fell in love with and spent the rest of our lives with. I learned this through reading books, watching movies and listening to songs. I was always curious about this kind of love, so as a kid, I always kept my heart wide open, kept a sense of vulnerability, and dove in with fearlessness, to experience exactly what this ostensible love was all about.
However, what I discovered—deep in the core of my most loving experiences—was that love has the potential to come from everywhere because it lies in our spirit. Even if love feels dormant at times, it can be awakened from human encounters, animals, and spending time in nature. I learned we are the physical example of love, through these experiences, because there is familiarity in each one.
“To love is to recognize yourself in another.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
To give you a back story of this whole “love” idea, I’ll start by explaining the very roots of where I first experienced love. This was from my family and the environment in which I was raised. I recall that as a child, my grandparents and my mother’s friends were around all the time. This was my tribe; each person took me in as their own, whether they were friends or family. I felt connected to them all.
I felt loved.
I remember my mom’s best friend, Connie. She was a free-spirited slender brunette with a big smile and a contagious laugh. She used to pick me up from daycare in her Volkswagen bug and we’d play, laugh and eat ice cream all afternoon. She took photos and shared them with me. It was the first time I saw such beautiful black and white photos of nature, and realized the connection we have with nature and art.
She moved to Austin a few years later, but she still visited my family. She loved to camp and take my brother and I with her. When she would come over, instead of staying in our house in a bed, she chose to camp outside. She traded her VW Bug for an old school Volkswagen bus named “Oscar.” It was teal and had one of those big VW symbols in the front with a tire. My brother and I spent countless evenings with her hanging out in her bus outside of my house.
That kind of love taught me adventure, playfulness and creativity.
My parents got a divorce when I was a year old even though I have a healthy relationship with my father today, at the time, I immediately started living
At two my mother met a man who would eventually become my step-father. It took some time for them to get married, and because of their nontraditional cohabitation with kids, this was one of the first lessons I learned in what a “traditional” family looked like. He lived with us, took care of us, I watched him go to work and we ate dinner with this man. I watched my parents hug and kiss each other “hello” and “goodbye.” I watched their relationship and how they enjoyed each other, despite raising two small children. I observed them traveling together, going to dinners and concerts, and how their love grew.
One day they called a babysitter for my brother and I, and they told us they were going to get married in the courthouse. I remember thinking this wasn’t a story-book ending, but because I knew they loved each other, and marriage apparently made it official. Because of my step-father’s presence, I learned through him, that love is a gradual process.
This kind of love taught me that love is not characterized, labeled or “traditional.”
After I became aware of the idea of “marriage,” I realized my brother took on a whole new meaning of his own, which didn’t fall far from my interpretation of love. I remember in all his innocence he asked my mom if he could marry her. I watched that entire conversation unfold. My mother giggled at his cute question, and said, “Baby, I love you, but you can’t marry your mommy.” In his inquisitive nature, he asked, “Why?” So my mother explained to him that he will one day meet a beautiful girl and he can marry her.
We were both learning from such an innocent place, but I see now that our understanding of love was not far from that same place of longing we all crave. I thought how sweet it was then to have that kind of innocence to want to marry your mother, and the feelings he had of pure and raw love.
I learned that love is not thought, it’s merely an intuition. To be fully connected to one human being is in our nature.
On the other side of my family, I remember going to visit my dad for the summers, and hanging out with all my cousins. Since my dad lived far away, I only got to visit him in the summer time. Visiting with my step-cousin, was one of my favorite reasons to visit my dad. He was my first crush who I can remember. As a child, I didn’t think about these nuances and taboos of relationships. I didn’t know what was right or wrong, I just went with how I felt.
I remember wanting to spend every waking hour with him. We went fishing, packed lunches and went into the forest. We played soccer in the streets and took family road trips to Disney World. We laughed and giggled and played hide-and-seek. It was innocent and real. It was love with no boundaries. It was two souls loving each other, and flowing in that stream of desire to be near each other.
This kind of love taught me the capacity of the human heart and its desire to love, despite whatever we are taught. It far exceeds any expectations or rules.
From all those childhood experiences up until now, I can say my views of a “soulmate” are so much more than what we are traditionally taught to believe.
I believe when we meet someone who speaks a certain truth, that activates our soul, it’s a glimpse into what a “soulmate” is. We are not limited to one or two soulmates in our lifetime. They come in vast types far beyond our comprehension or expectation.
I think of these soul meetings as a shooting star flying through the atmosphere, colliding into our hearts, creating an explosion of sparks. When we meet soulmates, there’s an incredible energetic sparkle of fairy dust, and light and warmth.
Their essence brings us home. Their familiarity brings us peace. Their energy reminds us of what love truly is.
They make marks in our paths, make ripples in our soul, and make memories we never forget.
They change us.
They move us.
Their memory follows us to our grave, and into our next existence.
They continually challenge us to experience all of the lessons we were meant to learn. They shine a spotlight onto the areas of ourselves we need to pay closer attention to.
Soulmates are the ones on stage dancing the same wild and un-choreographed dance as us. They are the only ones that know the steps because the two of you created this dance together.
In this lifetime, may we all have an appreciation for every individual soul we meet.
These experiences in our lives are the divine conduits to our ultimate truth—which is love.
“…within this infinite sphere, the loving relationships are undoubtedly the most powerful catalyst or activator of the truth. If life is a school, relationships are our university.” ~ Sri Prem Baba, from the book Love and Be Free
Author: Lauren Robbins
Photo: Yaoqi Lai & James Garcia/Unsplash
Editor: Renée Picard
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