Friday, May 20, 2011

Soul or Sole Mate?

Should you simply be looking for a one and only mate – a sole mate, so to speak — OR should you be in search of your soul mate?

Is a soul mate one so similar to us that we feel interconnected, always on the same page? In that sense, a soul mate doesn’t have to be romantic. For example, aren’t there people you meet and within a few moments you feel as if you have known them your whole life? That’s a soul mate connection too! Consequently, you can have more than one soul mate because it can include a mother, a father, brothers or sisters, friends, and, of course, a mate (or multiple mates).

Although the concept of finding your soul mate gets a lot of play, I don’t believe there is only one person in the entire universe with whom you can partner. After all, as you grow and evolve, your specifications probably change too. That is one reason why there are so many divorces; the partners, perhaps once soul mates, start to travel on divergent paths and they lose that special connection. Moreover, besides being an overly romantic concept, it is a very heavy burden to place on the shoulders of partners that each must fulfill every need and on every level of the other. Is that even possible? I really don’t think so, and that is why we have friends with whom we can commune.

Consider what Thomas Moore says. He describes the difference between having a soulful relationship vs simply being with one whom you believe to be your soul mate.

“The idea of a soulful relationship is not a sentimental one, nor is it easy to put into practice. The courage required to open one’s soul to express itself or to receive another is infinitely more demanding than the effort we put into avoidance of intimacy. 

Being in a soulful relationship is to some extent frightening because by nature such a relationship asks that we show our soul, complete with its fears and follies. …. The soul, as our dreams reveal, is not terribly lofty. We may present a high minded image to the world, but the soul finds its fertility in its irrationalities.

Within an individual, too, intimacy calls for love and acceptance of the soul’s less rational outposts. Soulfulness is not so much a matter of knowledge and awareness, as of our relationship to the love and hatred that exist within our own heart. The “unconscious” -- that which we don’t know -- is too often also the “unloved” that which we do not accept. … We not only need to know more about ourselves, we also need to love more of ourselves in an unsentimental way. We need to be close to the movements of soul that run deep and yet have everything to do with the way we act and feel in life.

It is the primary task of the marriage partners not to create a life together, but to evoke the soul’s lover, to stir up this magical fantasy of marriage and sustain it, thus serving the particular all important myth that lies deep in the lover’s heart and that supplies a profound need for meaning, fulfillment and relatedness." 

So, for which do you want to look – sole mate, soul mate, or a soulful relationship?

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