Many of us have pondered the concept of soul mates before. What is a soul mate? Do I have one? And if so, where is mine? The idea that there is one special person created just for you is too juicy not to consider.
I definitely believe in soul mates, but my definition extends beyond the traditional idea of The One. What I believe is that a soul mate is a person with whom you are unexplainably drawn to be in relationship.
Soul mates are brought into your life so that you can grow and expand into the best version of yourself.
Let’s think about attraction for a second. We come into contact with many, many people throughout our lives. And we are attracted to some of them. But there are only a few that we are so attracted to that we make a decision to partner-up with them.
Why is it that we are pulled to get into relationships with just a few people?
It’s because, when it comes to attraction, our unconscious is leading the way. Love is not logical; it is of the soul. And the soul knows a thing or two; it’s pretty damn smart. It will match you up with the very people you are supposed to be with, and it does this through attraction.
When you feel a strong urge to enter a relationship with another person, rest assured, you have found a soul mate.
Now, of course, this does not mean that the relationship will last forever. Nor does it mean it’s going to be a walk in the park. In fact, you can assume that you are going to come up against some challenges with your soul mate. Where there is potential for the greatest love there is also the potential for the greatest pain. Soul mate relationships include both.
I know, I know, you don’t want this to be true. None of us do. We all want the love without the pain. We want bliss without breakdown. But it isn’t possible.
Because both love and pain exist WITHIN US. What is within us is going to show up in front of us, especially in our relationships. This means that the unresolved issues that are residing within you are going to come to the surface in our most inmate relationships.
Many of us are quick to write off our relationships when the going gets tough, but I’m here to assure you that challenges aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s supposed to happen this way. Because what does not come to the surface cannot be healed
. We have to look our demons in the eye if we want them to go away.
People spend a lot of time questioning whether or not they are with the right partner. And usually this question arises when we feel pain or discomfort.
But what if we shifted our perception a bit… what if we understood and accepted that discomfort is part of the deal?
And this doesn’t mean that we act carelessly with our partners to evoke more pain. Nor does it mean that we stick around in relationships that are abusive or too awful to tolerate.
But what I am proposing is this: What if we recognized that discomfort comes from within us (no, it’s not their fault) and that it is telling us that we need to change? What if we actually took responsibility for our uncomfortable feelings and approached them as a call to become conscious–to learn where we struggle the most and try to grow beyond these setbacks?
Jung said, “Seldom or never does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain.” Pain is the opportunity; it literally is the call to wake-up and change.
To personally evolve means to grow through the things that challenge us the most. Our Souls long to do this–we inherently want to become greater people. Deep within us we are called make our way through struggles and emerge victorious. Our Soul Mates are the people that give us the opportunity to do so by triggering our issues so we can become conscious of them and create a different reality.
And how do we move beyond the issues that get triggered in relationships? By choosing love instead.
You can say that all feelings are categorized as either love or fear. To state the obvious, love feels good; fear does not. To grow simply means we transform experiences of fear into experiences of love. There are many simple and difficult opportunities to do this within a relationship.
Choosing love means we see people (including ourselves) beyond their mistakes. It means we see the potential in our partners, even when they cannot see it within themselves. It means we are kind, compassionate, understanding, and forgiving, even when it’s hard to do. It means focusing on the good in somebody else, rather than the bad. It means consciously committing to work through our stuff; to clean up our side of the street.
Your Soul Mate is someone to grow with. This doesn’t come easy. They are going to challenge you in many ways, and that’s ok. Don’t write off your relationship because it’s difficult at times–understand that the difficultly is an opportunity for you grow.
The next time you start to question whether or not you have a soul mate, take a look at the person or people you are closest too. They are your soul mates. Quoting Jung once again, know that “in all disorder [there is] a secret order.”
People who are in your life are here to help you become a better person, to expand and grow in love.
All you have to do is accept the challenge.
Published November 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM
About Shelly Bullard
Shelly Bullard is a student and teacher of Love. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA#51081) turned Love Coach. She teaches people How to Get the Love They Want by helping them: (1) understand why they feel like they aren’t getting enough in relationships, (2) learn how to clear the internal blocks to love (aka fear), and (3) learn how to cultivate and an abundant flow of love in their lives everyday. She is currently finishing her book on the subject and creating an online course.
It is Shelly’s purpose in life to help people feel more Love. Love doesn’t have to be so complicated! But when we don’t understand it, it can be challenging and painful. This is where Shelly comes in–she believes that we are all driven by Love; that it is the most powerful force within us. And when we start to gain clarity about what Love is and how it works, then we are able to experience much more of it. We are all intended to live lives filled with Love–Shelly teaches people how to do this.
Shelly coaches people in her private practice in San Francisco as well as on the phone and Skype. For more, contact Shelly below: