When I was growing up, like other children I would enjoy listening to and reading fairy tales. I liked in particular how they always seemed to have a happy ending, how good will prevail over evil.
As I got older I started to fantasise about meeting my Prince Charming, the one who would be there to support me, fight my battles. Okay, feminists might have been screaming in the background about this viewpoint, as women had come a long way. But I was still a child, now influenced by the Sweet Valley High books; sneakily reading my mother’s Mills and Boons under the bed-covers. Then came adulthood where the real world did not match with those idealistic views. Love seemed to be more complicated - not as straight forward as these novels. Men were from Mars and women were from Venus.
It is natural for people to want to have a happy ending. This occurs when people enter into a relationship. Girl meets boy and they fall for each other. Sometimes it may even be a brief affair: one night of passion, or a summer loving fling. Others have the intention of going into it for the long-term. The ideal love that people want is a soul mate. The one love who would be your heart; the missing half, the best friend; be your everything. This message was being conveyed not only in the movies, TV, but also in love songs. Here are some: I Can’t Live If Living is Without You; Endless Love and Two Hearts. Yes, the 70’s and the 80’s did have some powerful love ballads.
Where did the term “Soul Mate” come from?
As with some themes, symbolisms and rituals, sometimes there are different interpretations of their origins. I looked at the God of the Internet (otherwise known as Google) and this of course generated pages of links. This was not too surprising considering the subject. One common thread that appeared was how the soul mate was a person who you instantly connect with, and this connection is so strong that you may not be able to imagine a your life without them as the love grows. Another interpretation was from a tale where both the female and male were originally joined together with all their reproductive systems, then were separated. This resulted in the two halves feeling disjointed. I always perceived my soul mate to be my other half, the one I have a strong connection, bond with.
Then came along the “Soul Walker”. What is the matter with aspiring to one true love?
The word aspiration usually has positive connotations. It is hope, a dream, and an ambition. The danger of having one vision may to some be limited. This is why it may be good to have a plan b, c and d. Talking about limitations and connotations, let us take the phrase “soul mate”. This is presently in the singular form. This is deliberate, as often people will refer to wanting to find their soul mate. If it is only one person that can bring that source of love that you are wanting, is this automatically putting pressure on you and that one individual? I would say a resounding yes!
Viewpoints can change and be challenged; after all it is all about perception. Last year, I had a discussion with a psychic that was challenging a belief, perception that I had with the term soul mate. She mentioned how a previous lover was a soul mate. How soul mates were not necessarily long-term. Have you noticed that soul mate has become plural? Yes, there was an addendum – the letter “s” has been added. She then changed the term to “soul walker", defining it as a person that you are connected with instantly, perhaps due to familiarity. This is because you had met them previously in another lifetime; where you parted with “unresolved” issues and now in the present plane you needed to resolve them. How there is a strong bond and they were actually there to be part of your journey. They are not a “forever”; and how this person may not be a romantic partner. Thus can be a platonic best friend. This was not how I had envisioned my soul mate. It was a radical viewpoint. So I retreated and went back to base with regards to my thoughts on this matter.
Will this liberate people?
As mentioned earlier on in this article it is all in the “perception”; how we view things. One person’s rubbish may be another’s treasure. Yes, this may not be romantic in the context of talking about love. Being the romantic that I am, I like a good love story and the concept of believing that there is someone out there for everyone is nice. But that someone - being one person - is very limiting. If we do have that implanted into our minds that there is only one person who can be that special love match, then this gives rise to people thinking that if they do have their soul mate, then they had better not let go.
However a soul mate can be viewed as a soul walker, someone whom you meet and may be there for part of the journey. How revolutionary is this? I often meet people in coaching who are in love partnerships where it seem that it has reached it’s expiration date. I would often ask the question: moving forward where would you like to be? There is usually the response that they find it difficult to “conceive” moving on from their partner. How they cannot envisage a life without them, as they perceived that person to be their “one true love” or “soul mate”. Okay, there may be some self-worth issues tied around this. But what if they understood that yes the relationship has come to an end, they got what was required from that relationship. That their belief of what they thought to be a definition of a “soul mate” was in actual fact an illusion. That it was now the time to be “open” to new opportunities. A soul mate was not their only chance of happiness, would this not be revolutionary?
What is your experience with soul mates? Have you met one or more, and what conclusions do you make about them?