09 December 2011

Soul Mates

This week has been a roller coaster of  emotional ups and downs - especially on the relationship front. I am anxiously awaiting the end of Mercury's retrograde (last day is December 13th). The cosmos have been weighing on my shoulders and closing off my heart and mind to growth and new possibilities. Oops - surrendering that excuse - I just need to be more aware of my emotions and not so reactive. The other day when I was feeling down about my (romantic) relationship, I "stumbled upon" this quote below from Eat, Pray, Love. At the time I read this, I was feeling pessimistic about the strength of my relationship - but as soon as sifted through this quote, I suddenly felt a passionate desire to defend my relationship and debunk the quote...

“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.

A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
 My first (super unpolished) response was:"What is this crap?!" Your soul mate is not meant to stick around? There is no possibility for longevity once your soul mate reveals these new insights to you? I don't believe that for a second. At this point, the light bulb turned on and my pessimism turned off. I realized that my boyfriend truly is one of my soul mates. He holds up the mirror to me and stands by me even when I refuse to look into the glass. He encourages my growth and holds me accountable when I throw silly emotional fits. He challenges my "stories" and my ego so that I can be more open to possibilities and new ideas. He is a good listener and tries his hardest to get on the same page as me when I'm feeling we are conflicted. He loves me unconditionally and works very hard to act as the level in our relationship. All of these things sound wonderful - and they are - but there is also a significant amount of pain and vulnerability that come with letting someone see your "dark sides" and the layers you are shedding in your transformation. I believe that more often than not, it is probably NOT our soul mate who typically  "leaves," but rather, us! Perhaps we feel like it's "too hard" or "too scary" to feel so exposed, and that it's easier to walk away from the relationship (aka a facilitator of your transformation) than to be patient, surrender blame, and reap the benefits. I know that I have been guilty of that cop out. If it is truly just intimidation and the challenges of growth that are holding you back from your relationship, then why not work through that and stay with your soul mate?

Side note - a soul mate does not only refer to a romantic partner; your friends and family members can also be soul mates. My account above can be applied to any soul mate.

Here is a better quote about soul mates that feels a lot more inspirational:
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
Bob Marley
Musical Inspiration:

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