December 13th, 2020 12:00am
A soul mate search is like going to a romantic movie and yearning for your life to be just like the characters. In these movies, living happily ever after lasts about ninety to one-hundred and twenty minutes. What happens next? Next week? Next year? Ten years from now? Don't get me wrong, I am a romantic and love romantic love. But the idea of a soul mate has always made me wonder. To many, the ideal soul mate is one who connects on all levels—a synergy of mind, body, and spirit. Someone with whom you can laugh or cry; the one who is your fairy tale ending, your happily ever after. The search for a soul mate has been popularized by the American reality TV series The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette). Here the contestants have a discrete checklist as to who is Mr. or Ms. "right." Often a contestant will say, "she (or he) checks all my boxes."
What are the boxes to be checked off? Here are some examples of what every soul mate might be or what characteristics they should possess. They should be able to make me laugh; be financially independent; be incredibly good-looking; make me feel safe; be masculine; be feminine; be smart, but not too smart; be confident, but humble; be strong, but tender. Are you looking for that "perfect" specimen of a man or woman?
As humans, we are social animals, and we crave relationships. It is essential to know what comprises your soul mate, but not be too literal about it. As I see it, we possess a duality—a primitive nature and a divine nature. The latter is where our soul resides. When we look outside of ourselves for "completion," that signals a pursuit directed by our primitive nature, and our soul takes place in the background. Usually, looking for the "perfect" mate takes the shape of a checklist of requirements, as I listed above. Our primitive nature is forever insecure as its primary purpose is to insulate us from danger. And if you are waiting or looking for a soul mate, I suggest you honestly evaluate your requirements. You will see that they fit some criteria to make you feel safer; hence, protect you from the danger of competing humans.
Understanding what you are seeking in a soul mate is an excellent place to evaluate what you may need to develop more in yourself. I know that takes the "fun" out of fantasizing that one person exists out there who will "complete" you.
Rather than a soul mate, strive for a soulful relationship. That is one in which both partners don't need to fulfill the needs of the other. The most enduring relationships are when each party experiences life together or separately, but when together, they share their emotions without jealousy, suspicion, or neediness. Happy, soulful relationships are not needy ones. Our divine nature does not need anything except to be free from the bounds of our frightened, primitive nature, which keeps it down and hidden. Once each party in the relationship unshackles their soul, the two together are greater than the sum of their parts. And that is the making of an enduring relationship.
As I have written, "Before you find your soul mate, you must first discover your soul." This quote means that your priority need not be to embark on a journey to find someone outside yourself to satisfy your needs and make you happy. With purpose and passion, seek to unleash your soul mate within. Doing that will help you attract those people into your life that are right for you. When you first discover your soul, you will be free to begin a soulful relationship.
For my CoachMD Patreons, I go into depth on achieving freedom for your inner soul mate and thereby attracting the person who might be that special one for you. Here are two examples on which I believe you should focus on beginning the process. First, honor your body. Our bodies are the vehicles for our soul and often are outward reflectors of our inner health. An unfit, unhealthy body indicates our vehicle needs repairs. Honoring your body means caring for the totality of you, which includes your physicality. As I have written, "To reach for the stars, we must have both feet planted firmly on the ground." Consider your outer soul mate as being the star for which you reach. It would be best if you were first grounded in self-care, including your physical health and appearance.
Secondly, resist putting a timeframe on meeting someone. Setting parameters on when you are supposed to meet the "right person" will cause unnecessary stress and block the right connection.
Searching for a soul mate is one of the most important efforts of your life. But in the process, don't lose sight of where that journey must start. When you work on yourself, first, then you will attract the right person, at the right time, for the right reasons. Together you will enjoy life through its twists and turns, mutually supporting each other with loyalty, trust, and abundant love.
© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD