Spotting a Soul Mate

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It's no secret that I love talking about soul mates.  I'm certainly no soul mate expert (though I am becoming somewhat of an expert on soulfulness), but my experience of soul mates feels different than a lot of things I've read about them. This weekend I saw i Origins to celebrate the Kabbalah holiday  Tu B'av (Soul Mate Day)--and had chills the entire film.

The movie touched on many themes/symbols of soul mate connection including the moon, stars, and of course, the eye. Most of us have heard the proverb, "The eyes are the window to the soul," and i Origins explores the connection of iris patterns and reincarnation. It was beautifully done and I cried through half of it out of pure recognition and understanding.

My first indication upon connecting with a soul mate has always been their eyes. I will never forget the moment I opened the door for a date and upon looking into his eyes I felt as if I known him forever. Years later, I have the same experience of clarity and love even when just seeing him in photos.

I believe I've met a lot of soul mates this lifetime...many as friends and several as lovers. However, it's the ones who show up as lovers who impact me the most.  Truth be told, I have had a few romances that were the stuff movies are made of (and definitely a few that were not). It wasn't until I was 27 that I began believing in soul mates.

I met him through a friend of a friend and I remember quickly glancing at him and feeling like I had known him forever. We met up a year later and I couldn't stop looking into his deep blue eyes, they felt so familiar and comforting. There's a moment in  i Origins when the main character meets his soul mate and describes it as this void in him being filled.

This was exactly how it felt, after years of "soul searching" and "truth seeking" it took one glance and I had the spiritual experience I had been "looking" for.  It felt like everything and nothing I'd seen in movies. I spent the next few months living in what felt like a floating meditation. Until,  he left for the Peace Corps for thenext few years.

I couldn't breathe the moment we said goodbye and my heart literally ached so much I couldn't move for days and certainly couldn't eat food. On my way home from dropping him off at the airport I had a car accident.  My body went into shock from him being gone, as if my entire being had been ripped from my body.  Five years since we said goodbye the first time and I can still feel myheart in pain thinking about it.

I have seen him a few times since and immediately I feel the same peaceful, joyful love. I could recognize his eyes even if they weren’t attached to his body. They feel so familiar and as if I'm looking into my own. He is the most connected soul mate I have had, which I've come to realize doesn’t mean life mate--and I hate that (ever notice how “mate and “hate" are so similar?). I can't pretend to understand why our lives didn't line up this go round for us to be together. I get angry thinking of circumstances and have also learned to trust that there is a soul mate who will also walk next to me as a "sole" mate this lifetime. And have come to realize my soulmate probably isn't who I think it is.

The word soul comes from Proto-Germanic saiwaz meaning "sea" as it was believed this was the dwelling place of souls. In Journey of Souls, there is a similar sentiment when the author discusses a sea of souls, as an amphitheatre that we return to in the spiritual world after death.  It is here we are greeted by our soul "mates" and "soul group."

However, my friendship and soul connection with this man serves a much larger purpose that I've only recently come to understand. Soul mates remind us of our soul as the part of us existing as spiritual beings. They teach us and send us on a journey when we aren’t prepared to do it for ourselves. I truly experienced the divine through a human being and know what it feels like to exist from that place--only now it's time to cultivate it within myself. To source spirit for myself and to recognize when I've lost it and begin yearning for this man to fill my emptiness.

And while, this experience is one type of soul mate, I have come to recognize others who teach me dramatic, important lessons in very different ways.  And so, as a non-expert in soul mates, it seems I had a lot to say/write about them. In the end, I think this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert sums up a lot of similar sentiments:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...{yourself}*”~ Elizabeth Gilbert

*N.B. I added {yourself}