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Love 101: Understanding the Concept Of ‘Soul Mate’

by Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. Psychologist, Marriage Educator, Author, and Speaker/Presenter

July 26, 2012 (TSR) - We are all looking for that special someone to share our lives with… that certain someone who “fits” as if he or she was meant to be there. This exquisite person who is our one true love; the person designed as our match; our soul mate.

For many people, this idea that they have one “ideal mate” is a concept they struggle with. When potential loves enter their lives, they are left wondering if there’s someone “better” out there. The endless search for perfection often leaves these singles alone; more married to the search than they are to an actual relationship. Those who find healthy relationships discover the secret, that our soul mate isn’t actually perfect, but rather that person is “perfect” for us, flaws and all.

When someone takes a look over their life and realizes that they have been single for longer than they wished, often the search for the perfect mate is the cause. The very concept of a “perfect” match sets up the seeker for failure because all humans are flawed. No one is perfect, and while we are not advocating for settling for less than you desire, the notion of “perfection” is a self-sabotaging principal.

Are You Stuck Being Single?

If you have been looking for love and struggling to find it, perhaps you’re stuck in “singlehood” because you’re walking around with a mistaken belief that there is one, and only one, true soul mate out there for you. The truth is, there isn’t just one match for you, there are hundreds of them. People who meet your criteria for emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual connections and who are looking for the same things you are from life and love. You just have to open your eyes and your mind to them. To do this, let’s take a look at what a “soul mate” really is.

What Is A Soul Mate?

A soul mate has been described as a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility. Sometimes the terms “twin flame” or “twin soul” are used to describe the ultimate soul mate. Even the term soul can be too esoteric for some people to understand. The concept of soul can most easily be understood as “your authentic self”, the part of you that remains the same throughout your life although you may not be aware of it. A soul mate helps you to experience “your authentic self”. Some even think of their soul mate as literally the other half to their soul.

The problem with that last idea is that it implies that if your search for the perfect mate fails, then you’re doomed to live a life missing half of your soul.

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A soul mate has been described as a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility. A soul mate helps you to experience “your authentic self”.

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The truth is that you come to a relationship, all relationships, as a full and complete person. Instead of completing a missing part of yourself, what soul mate relationships do is give you an opportunity to experience the parts of yourself that come alive inside of a relationship; parts that do not have a reason or purpose to exist without this relationship.

The only thing that is missing from your life without your soul mate’s presence is the opportunity to experience these other portions of yourself. Think about what happens to someone when they have a child. The parent inside of them comes alive. That piece of their soul was always with them, but this particular part of their soul wasn’t needed until the child came along.

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The truth is that you come to a relationship, all relationships, as a full and complete person. Instead of completing a missing part of yourself, what soul mate relationships do is give you an opportunity to experience the parts of yourself that come alive inside of a relationship; parts that do not have a reason or purpose to exist without this relationship.

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Soul Mates & Soul Contracts

If you can open your mind to the idea that there are many people on this planet to create a soulful connection with, it begins to remove the fear from your search. Suddenly, instead merely searching for “The One” you’re now looking for soulful connections from everyone you meet. The definition of a soul mate changes to be anyone you choose to grow with; be they lovers, friends, children, co-workers or family.

With these people, you form what’s called “soul contracts” and you act out different roles together. Some soul mates become people who teach you things and then they move on. Other people will be in your life for decades to help your soul expand and share more of your true self with the world.

The soul contract that you form with a person you marry or engage in a lifelong partnership with is unique from any others because of the intimacy, vulnerability and time associated with it. This is one of the many reasons we are so tied to the search for a romantic soul mate, we’re hungry to grow together with someone who wants the same thing for their lives.

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Some soul mates become people who teach you things and then they move on. Other people will be in your life for decades to help your soul expand and share more of your true self with the world. The soul contract that you form with a person you marry or engage in a lifelong partnership with is unique from any others because of the intimacy, vulnerability and time associated with it. This is one of the many reasons we are so tied to the search for a romantic soul mate, we’re hungry to grow together with someone who wants the same thing for their lives.

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Learning Your Lessons

Something else to consider is that some soul contracts are played out in light – like best friends who come together or lovers who become partners in life. Other soul contracts are played out in the dark, and are opportunities to experience your mutual flaws and your shadow self. When considering the business of your soul, it’s important to remember that all of our lessons matter; those that bring joy and those that are painful. Learning the lessons experienced from our soul contracts are important so we can avoid repeating them.

All too often people get into similar relationships only to feel like “they’ve been there before”. This is the sign that you’re repeating a lesson because you still need to understand why you got into this kind of relationship to begin with. Understand the lesson and you will move on and stop attracting the same kind of partners.

Timing has a lot to do with how we connect with people and form these contracts. Many singles have had the experience of feeling like someone they were dating had the “possibility” to be the one, only to see it fizzle out because the timing was off. In that experience, you get to taste the parts of your soul that are longing to come to light and the work here is to stay positive and assured that your soul is leading the way; it’s ready for love to come in.

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Ultimately, being with a true soul partner is all about being purposeful in love. We don’t magically “fall in love” with our soul mate, nor do we expect that there won’t be rough patches with the love of your life. It’s all about growing to be a better person.

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The mistake many people make here is to misinterpret the signs to mean that they will never find love because the timing was off. That’s not the case. The truth is your soul is speaking to you now telling you to keep looking; to see this experience as a sign of what is possible when the timing is right and to learn from this experience so when you next feel this connection you investigate the timing sooner than later. Staying optimistic is your way of telling your soul you trust that the right things are going to happen and that you believe love is coming your way.

Growing in love is a lot like being a marathon runner. Every mile-marker they pass brings you one step closer to reaching your destination. The same is true of relationships, in every relationship that doesn’t work out there is insight and truth that can help you continue toward your true heart’s desire. Your job is to not lose hope and to stay the course with your strongest desire true in your heart.

Ultimately, being with a true soul partner is all about being purposeful in love. We don’t magically “fall in love” with our soul mate, nor do we expect that there won’t be rough patches with the love of your life. It’s all about growing to be a better person. When you understand more clearly what your soul is up to, from lessons to desires to fears, you will be more in control of who you attract to your life. From that place you can seek out soul mates who inspire your true self to come to light.

 

Eden Ahbez sums it nicely in the words to his famous song featured in the film Moulin Rouge - “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”
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AUTHOR: Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. with contributions from Orna and Matthew Walters
Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. has authored 17 books, including Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus with over 50 million Mars Venus products sold in 45 languages. An expert in the field of communication, John Gray’s focus is to help men and women understand, respect and appreciate their differences in both personal and professional relationships. Through his books and seminars, John provides practical tools to effectively manage stress and improve relationships. John Gray has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The View, Larry King and others. He has been profiled in Newsweek, Time, Forbes, USA Today, and People.
Orna and Matthew Walters are the founders of the Love On Purpose Revolution a global online event featuring 25 Top-Experts in Love, Dating Sex and Intimacy – dedicated to busting the myth that love is supposed to happen by accident. They have been featured on Fox News, NBC, MSN, USA Networks KFWB and KPFK radio.

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