I admit it: I used to be a hopeless romantic.
It was even proudly displayed in my bio on Instagram. I love love. In an over-the-top “Moulin Rouge,” “Love is a many-splendored thing. Love lifts you up. The most important thing you will do in life is to love, and be loved in return,” kind of way.
I truly believed there was a special someone out there specifically for me. My fascination with soul mates, true love, destiny, and cosmic soul connections landed on twin flames.
Twin Flame Connection
Twin flames are said to be one soul split in two. They are a mirror to one another, and twin flames will only unite and remain together if both people have done their soul work and have achieved a level of enlightenment that will encourage the connection.
If either of the pair has not done their work, being together will be too intense, triggering, and frightening, and they will run. And so begins the runner/chaser phase of the relationship. It is also theorized that twin flames only come together in their “last” lives.
“According to the mythology of Twin Flames, in the beginning of time we were created from one source of energy and that was split into smaller and smaller units until they were down to just two souls. These souls would journey to Earth to learn and experience duality and the lessons of life, and they would reincarnate over their lifetimes with this same intensifying longing for each other.” ~ Kate Rose
Twin flames have been a popular subject in certain social circles for the last five years. There are an abundance of articles about the twin flame connection here on Elephant Journal, and I’ve probably read most of them. Twin flames captured my imagination and spoke to my soul. It tied my belief in true love with my belief in reincarnation and helped me understand why I felt like I was always running toward something—someone.
It explained that longing I felt deep inside my heart. Explained the emptiness—the hungry void—I felt in the center of my being. It explained why I felt incomplete. For me, twin flames were a big, full-body, yes!
The concept of twin flames resonated with me and also explained an undefinable connection I had with one particular man who spanned two decades—two decades of running into and away from each other between my long-term relationships. Two decades of brief, intense encounters with a man whom I felt connected to in a way I couldn’t explain or understand. An almost relationship that would never materialize, because after he stopped running, and we collided, he would turn around and run away again.
At one point, I had myself convinced that what we had was a twin flame connection. That this man wasn’t just emotionally unavailable, or emotionally immature, but that he was unsettled by the intensity of his feelings for me. Believing in twin flames made it easier to believe this man felt something for me, similar to or the same as what I felt for him. But I’ve wondered if I wasn’t just grasping to this concept of the twin flame runner/chaser mythology to excuse, explain, and justify my desire to continue my toxic relationship patterns.
Was I romanticizing the toxicity of the anxious-avoidant trap by believing in the twin flame connection?
The truth is: I don’t know. Sometimes I think about how I have never wanted him to be anything other than who he is, how I have always been able to love him and accept him for who he is without trying to change him and control him, something that has been a challenge in my other relationships. How I have always been able to accept he isn’t mine to keep. And I think there was something special about our unique relationship.
Sometimes when I look back at this “almost relationship” compared to my other toxic “real” relationships, I can see it was kinder and sweeter. Maybe there is a simplicity and sweetness to something undefined. Maybe there was a trueness to it. Maybe there was an unspoken bond; the mutual connection was not my imagination. Did he feel the same way about me that I felt about him? And were neither of us confident nor careless enough to take the leap of faith and verbalize it?
Sometimes I think about this man, and I think, maybe twin flames exist and I met mine, but neither of us were ready—maybe next lifetime? I’m certainly not going down that road again in this one.
“The twin flame connection is said to be the reunion of two ‘souls’ that were split from a single source of energy, who then travel through many lifetimes until they are ready to reconnect.” ~ Kate Rose
But other times I think, What utter bullsh*t! Those were just pretty little lies I told myself to feel better. Things I told myself to believe I wasn’t wasting my heart on someone who didn’t care enough about me to not let me slip through their fingers. Maybe it was just intense physical attraction, and I want to believe it was something spiritual because I don’t want to believe I could be so easily swayed by lust.
I don’t know what I believe about relationships, soulmates, twin flames, and true love anymore. I know that I have become jaded and perhaps a little disheartened too. When I watch movies and TV shows and read books, I see unhealthy toxic relationships where I used to see passion and fire. I see foolish, sometimes dangerous, self-delusion where I used to see romantic optimism. And maybe this is exactly where I need to be right now. Maybe in the not knowing, with my eyes wide-open and my blinders cast off and forgotten on the roadside, I can see the forest for the trees.
I can finally see the truth of love—it is messy and beautiful, heartbreaking and ugly, confusing, and not always returned with the intensity we hope for. But it is out there. Love is real. Not all love is toxic. Not all love is an illusion. Nor is love perfect. Love doesn’t always last. Every love is different, and we learn something from every bump in the road—all the little almost loves, and the big break-your-heart loves. We learn something from the myriad of loves we let into our hearts.
I hope at some point to come to a place where I can blend the optimism of my youth with the wisdom of my trials. I hope I can take the lessons I have gleaned from studying psychology, attachment theory, and going to therapy, with the more spiritual concepts about love and soul evolution that resonate with me. I hope to find some peace in love. I hope I have come to a place where I can recognize the difference between toxic love and the kind of love that will help me grow into the person I was born to be.
To those of you who have struggled in love, those of you who have vacillated between naïve optimism and jaded mistrust, I hope you too can come to distinguish between the kind of love that will challenge you to grow and the false love that destroys. I hope we all find someone who makes us crazy in the skin and peaceful in the soul.