Photo by Noemi Gonzalez.
Perhaps you’ve felt it.
A strange mystical connection with a person you just can’t seem to ignore. It’s difficult to understand but it’s there, instant, intense and vibrant. You hit it off right away and it’s as if you’ve known each other your entire life. But then things start to get hard, really hard. And soon, you find yourself in more pain and heartache over this person and less of the love and laughter you used to have. But this connection. This connection. It’s undeniable. It’s cosmic. It’s real. But the truth is, it’s not good for you. And at some point, you need to let go.
“But how can I let them go? They’re my soul mate. We are meant to be together forever.”
Well this person could very well be your soul mate. But sometimes your soul mate’s purpose isn’t to be your one and only.
There’s a bit of a disconnect when it comes to defining what a soul mate is. Often times it’s romanticized as a beautiful long-lasting relationship between two people who love each other deeply. Maybe an instant friendship. But the truth is, a soul mate is someone who is not easy. They are not the person to spend the rest of your life with, and they don’t always make the best friends.
In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert’s friend Richard (a la Eat, Pray Love), a soul mate is the mirror that holds up all of your flaws and shows you the things you need to change about yourself.
A partner is someone who supports you, who loves you for who you are, that person who you can wake up to in the morning and know you’re both living your authentic selves.
This revelation about soul mates might be terrifying to you right now. But please take this as an offering of relief.
We all try to make sense of the connections we have. I’ve been in three intense relationships that brought me joy, shook me to my core and completely destroyed me. They were incredible strong connections full of love, discovery and wonderful memories, but they also brought along some of the most emotionally draining experiences I’ve ever had. There’s the saying, “When it’s good, it’s good” and that may be true. But when being with someone makes you feel more and more like shit on a regular basis, then it’s not worth holding on to. Someone who doesn’t get you or fit into your life moving forward, is not someone to keep close. Someone who holds you back in any way from becoming who you need to be is not someone you’re meant to be with forever. We need to stop pretending like it’s OK to stick it out because it’s your soul mate. Don’t stay and try to make it work. Chances are, the only way anything will get better is for both parties to work on themselves and often times the only way that can happen is if they both get away from each other completely.
Again, I’m not saying this to cause more anxiety; I’m saying this to bring relief.
There is something liberating in understanding that a person came into your life simply to show you something you needed to see and put you back on your life path. The reason why the relationship is so intense is because it forces you off course, thus creating no other choice but to re-examine yourself and change your life. A soul mate is a hurricane that rushes over you from off the coast, destroying everything in its path and blessing you with a chance for renewal and rebuilding.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used “but we love each other” as an excuse to hold on to those people in my life. But it wasn’t enough. And each time, something would spark in me to understand their true purpose and let go.
I look at the term ‘soul mate’ as a role that multiple people will play in my lifetime, alternating and passing the baton from one person to the next. It’s like there’s some secret organization out there called THE SOUL MATE SQUAD (I sound pretty fucking stupid, I know) and the squad will issue the soul mate card to the next person they see fit to fuck up your life and help you re-discover who you are and what you need to change. My biggest struggle has been learning to let go when the SMS (see, I even abbreviated it because I’m extra) takes back the card from each person.
For me, soul mates have popped into my life trying to show me that I’m an extremely codependent person. (I’ll go more in depth in a separate blog post because it deserves a full analysis). But it took three soul mates to show me this. Each amazing individuals I’m blessed to know, but I had to let go eventually. Not just for me but for them as well. I can’t speak for them but I will say that while I noticed how each soul mate was holding me back from personal growth, I noticed the part I had in holding them back as well.
Moving on doesn’t mean the love wasn’t real. It doesn’t mean that the friendship or relationship you had wasn’t special and wondrous and magical. It doesn’t mean that you’re both horrible evil people. But it can mean nothing unless you have a willingness to see what that person’s purpose was in your life and what you now must do to utilize this experience to move forward.
Now, I know it’s sad to think that you’ll never be able to reconnect with your soul mate again, but I will say that sometimes, and only sometimes, they can come back.
When two soul mates realize they must go their separate ways, they are given the opportunity to work on themselves and live authentically, free of distractions. If both people do the work they need to and finally let go, sometimes they can come back together and make it last. But this only works out if both people realize the changes they need to make, work on making those changes, and eventually let go of their soul mate completely. That last part is important. You can’t spend your life waiting for your soul mate to reappear; you have to move on through life without them in order to ever appreciate that person again. This is a rare case.
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I hope this helps you more than it scares you. If you’re struggling to let go of somebody you truly love, I gotchu boo, I know it’s hard. But meditate, journal, write music, cry, drink wine, do whatever you gotta do to come back down to yourself and understand what’s right for you and your life. If ya ever wanna talk about it, I’m here. You know where to find me.
xo thx bbys
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“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…”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love