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   November 8, 2006 

UPDATED November 8, 2006



Does Soul Mate Equal Happy Ever After?

 We see that the concept of soul mates is rooted in theories of reincarnation and the premise that the essence of who we are, the soul, returns to earth many times. Each incarnation offers us lessons to learn and obstacles to overcome. And along the way we encounter fellow souls on our road to enlightenment.

These so-called soul mates could be friends, family members or anyone else for that matter. What distinguishes them is our ability to connect at a very deep level as if we have known them all our lives. It鈥檚 sometimes referred to as a sort of spiritual d茅j脿 vu.

Ah, but to meet and fall in love with our soul mate is what it鈥檚 really all about. Or is it? I can鈥檛 help but remember that ancient warning to be careful about what you wish for. Society and conventional wisdom seems to imply that the primary challenge is identifying our soul mate. And after we find him or her, we are taught that life will be easy and love will conquer all.  Somehow I鈥檓 not convinced it鈥檚 quite that easy.

Another way of considering soul mates is to view them as two halves that together form a whole (the so-called Platonic model). They complement one another. In short, this means that what one half is lacking, the other supplies. But because we are dealing with karmic lessons, it doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean that what鈥檚 needed will be handed over on a silver platter. To be sure, it could be that one soul is here to teach and the other soul to learn. An example might help at this point.

Once upon a time, there was a man and a woman. They fell in love and got married. And then one day, the woman learned that the man was having an affair with someone else. The woman was left devastated and the man was left with karmic debt to be repaid.

So in another lifetime, the same man and woman meet for a second time. And as soul mates, their bond was immediate and intense. They again married and all was good 鈥?until the man鈥檚 heart was broken when he found out that his wife was cheating on him. By learning his life lesson at the hands of his soul mate, he progresses spiritually, albeit by way of a painful experience.

It鈥檚 a simple but effective example. The two were soul mates to be sure. They found each other. They fell in love. And yet the fact that they were soul mates didn鈥檛 necessarily mean that they were destined to be together forever. Their destiny, if you will, was to work together as a team to progress their souls.

My point this week isn鈥檛 to throw cold water on the idea of romance and love. On the contrary, I hope to relieve some of the pressure we put ourselves under with this myth that all would be sunshine and roses if only we could find our soul mate to form that relationship of relationships.

Loving a soul mate is powerful. Just don鈥檛 assume it will be a walk in the park. Instead, it might be more apropos to recall that Bette Davis quote 鈥?鈥淔asten your seatbelts; it鈥檚 going to be a bumpy ride!鈥?/P>

Sometimes, however, it鈥檚 not that easy to identify our soul mates and to understand the lessons they are working with us to learn. For example, just because we are intimate with someone or have an affinity with them doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean that they are a soul mate. The key is to identify the type of bond shared and the task that the two individuals are working on.


Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.

                                            - Bertrand Russell


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us .

Ralph Waldo Emerson
American Poet 



























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