When someone recently asked me if I believed in the concept of having a soulmate, I was initially a bit scathing. I’ve always rather associated the whole idea of the soulmate with the overly saccharine belief of having just one person you are destined to spend your life with and I don’t like the idea of feeling obliged to traipse round the planet until you find them…. That whole world view is a bit Hollywood to me.
I mean, I like my husband. I like him a lot. But I get the feeling that I’d have done equally ok in a passionate sexual whirlwind with Jack Nicholson. (What? I’m a witch, I’m intensely attracted to menacing…) I don’t like this idea of predestined romance. I think we adapt to people as we meet them and that one relationship can bring advantages that another cannot. I don't like the idea that my life is preordained and my only influence is to search rather than to command. And I'm highly sceptical that if relationships really are about searching out that hidden secret soulmate than (given the odds) anybody ever ends up happy. And it doesn't make sense either, as people we are individuals, not single parts of a two piece jigsaw. The idea of always searching, looking, waiting - its limiting and frankly a bit pointless.
But when I stopped and thought about it a bit more, I started to question why the idea of having a soulmate needs to have any association with romance at all. Some of the people who have played the most key roles in my life (and I'm betting yours too) haven't had a romantic connection with me at all. Ask me to list the names of all the men I've had sex with and I'll fall asleep counting. Ask me to name the people who have had a profound impact on myself as a woman and as a witch and I'll give you a complete list of names without any hesitation. Soul mates? Maybe, some of them. But nothing to do with the romance.
My view on the life after death matter is firmly linked to the idea of reincarnation. And following on from that it is entirely logical (to me anyway) that as we reincarnate into new forms and new lives, we are inclined toward those with whom we have previously forged a spiritual relationship. And this doesn’t have to be the stars and hearts idea of romantic love or even particularly close friendships. My own view is that soulmates can play a major role in your life in one incarnation and perhaps a small but significant one in the next. Sometimes you live your lives together, sometimes you are the ships passing in the night. But always there is that spark of recognition, an attraction to one another that is difficult to explain in the context of any one single existence on the planet.
I’ll give you two personal examples. The first is one of my longest friendships. An entirely mismatched affair on the surface of it. We are fundamentally different to each other on every level, we have nothing in common, different backgrounds, different social standing, different aspirations. But despite everything we have an understanding between us and a need for each other that has lasted the best part of 20 years. Our core relationship is based on the most intrinsic parts of who we are, a spiritual recognition that pulled us together and allowed us to become key players in the life of the other.
The second is a stranger example. One night, many years ago I had a crisis. One of those single pivotal moments in your life when everything crashes down around you and you wonder if you will ever actually be able to pick up the pieces. And amid all the existential chaos (the Degu Witch doesn't have practical crises, she has existential collapses) I turned to a friend I hardly knew for urgent emotional support. Not my family, my then partner or any of my close friends but a man who was a peripheral friend at best. We were neither close before nor afterwards but at that point in time he was exactly the person I needed. And as I knew unhesitantly to turn to him, he equally knew exactly what to say to help me going forward. We lost touch shortly afterwards, his role in my life was done. But his help was invaluable and a profound source of support at one of the rare times I very badly needed it.
One of these soul mates was destined to play a long term role in my life, one to give me a single source of support. Do I believe I have met them both before? Yes, it is very likely.
Do I believe I will meet them both again? Yes, I actually think that I do.
I don’t believe you necessarily meet all of your soulmates in any one life. Some may be resting on the astral plane, others may not have a valid role to play in this particular life. But the more I think about it, the more I do recognise the concept that some of the links we forge in our journeys through the world can outlive a single existence. And that some people are destined to be a partner for the entire journey and some for just a part of it.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1281079 (code1name)
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