Soul mates. The mention of that term, for most of us, elicits an image of love at first sight. Usually, when we think of two people as being "soul mates", it is in a romantic context in which a couple comes together to "complete" each other. Many of us also believe that by finding your soul mate, you will be blissfully partnered with your "other half" in an intensely passionate relationship. This concept has been deeply imbedded in our collective psyche and supported by ancient and modern fairytales and legends. But what is the reality of soul mates? What, or rather, who are they? And more importantly, how on earth will we ever find them?
In attempt to tackle this incredibly complex topic, I am first going to start by attempting to define, or rather redefine soul mates. Because I am operating from the viewpoint of being somewhat of a past life specialist, I am going to give my particular definition of a soul mate as a person that you encounter in this life that you have known before in a past life.
Sometimes this soul mate relationship is characterized by a feeling of familiarity or an instant connection upon meeting that is unexplainable. It could be a person that you have known your entire life. But, it could also be the person that you walked by on the street that caused you to feel a strange sensation as you passed them. Anyone that we knew before in any way is a soul mate under my definition.
If you can, think about all of the people that you have met in the years that you have been on earth so far in this incarnation. If you are at all like me, that is more than likely a rather long list of individuals. I have moved around quite a bit in my life and currently reside in a large metropolitan area, but even those of us who have spent their whole lives in a rural and less populated place have encountered many other human beings in various capacities. Now imagine that you have lived many, many other lifetimes in which you have met various family members, friends, co-workers, enemies, frenemies, etc. That is quite a large number of potential soul mates.
And yes, you read that correctly, I included enemies on that list (frenemies might well be a 21st century phenomenon, so maybe we can safely disregard that expression). What that means, under my proposed definition of the term, is that we have lots and lots of soul mates of all different types. The person that you love with tremendous intensity, the person you just can't stand, and everyone else (who more than likely falls somewhere in between) can be a soul mate.
There seem to be several categories that our various soul mates seem to fall into that can help us to further define who they are and what their presence might mean in our lives. Because I am attempting broad strokes in a topic fraught with subtlety, they will be broken down into three different types: karmic soul mates, soul family mates and twin souls.
Karmic soul mates are more than likely the majority of the soul mates that we will encounter in our lifetime. These are the individuals that we have a "karmic debt" to somehow, by the choices that we have made in the past pertaining to them. (Please refer to my previous article on this specific topic for additional clarification.) Or, perhaps they have one to us. It is also possible to have a debt equally to each other that has accumulated over many lifetimes in our dealings with each other.
The reason we have met this person, this karmic soul mate, is to challenge ourselves to work this karma out with each other. I have been told (by my clients under hypnosis, who are my greatest teachers) that we choose the specific challenges that we plan to tackle in a lifetime before we are born. Therefore, when you meet a karmic soul mate, it is a mutually fated event. Every single circumstance in each of your lives has led you to the moment of your encounter because making different choices this time around is absolutely vital for both of your growth and development.
This is often not nearly as ominous as it sounds, as sometimes a karmic debt can be paid in a matter of seconds in a chance encounter on the street. Other times we spend an entire lifetime, or even many lifetimes, with this person working on making better (more loving) choices with each other.
Karmic mates are the soul mates that will force us to do the most work on ourselves. They will make us confront the deepest, darkest, hidden corners of ourselves. We will, through our dealings with our karmic soul mates, face our fears, true motivations and innermost desires. These particular soul mates give us an opportunity to better ourselves spiritually, by confronting situations that will be unpleasant or difficult. The challenge here is to change the way that we act or react to these people in our lives. The additional test comes from the fact that these people change roles and dynamics with us over the course of lifetimes to present these lessons in different ways.
The type of relationship that we are in with our karmic soul mate seems to provide some insight into the nature of the karmic debt, or rather how deep rooted the conflict might be or how far it might go back. The nature of the challenge is somewhat different if your karmic soul mate is your parent versus your neighbor down the street. More than likely, someone that you were born into a family with will force you to confront the nature of the relationship more readily than you would have to with someone that you can more easily evict from your life.
If we have left these various life encounters with others in a way that we (or they) still regret, we will probably encounter them again. Hopefully this encounter takes place in this life, because if it is in the next one, it will probably be a relationship of a deeper sort that will force us to work it out. What that means is that the ex-girlfriend that you treated badly before dumping her ten years ago could possibly come back as your mother in the next life. But then, you will have the full advantage of proximity and intimacy as you work on coming to terms with your true and inner feelings for her, as well as what she makes you feel deep down inside about yourself.
There are the karmic soul mate relationships that we are more deeply entrenched into, due to proximity and circumstance that provide these opportunities for mutual forgiveness and growth on a much deeper level. These interactions give us the chance to "fast track" this learning process as we seek (usually subconsciously) to lighten our heavy karmic load that we are bringing with us from one life to the next.
The most intense, and therefore possibly fraught with the heaviest karma, is when we have a romantic relationship with this type of soul mate. Dating, or even marrying our karmic soul mates can be one of the most difficult of the soul mate encounters. For example, you may date someone who killed you in a past life (yeah, I dated that guy, although not for very long), or you could meet the kind, loving spouse you were married to in the most recent three past lives (and yes, I dated him too). They will both be attractive to you, as it is important to resolve this kind of karma we have with others. How to know which one is which is difficult, and is a topic I cover in other articles, but suffice it to say that it is important to be present with each and every soul mate that comes into your life. Resolving karma properly with them by being loving to both yourself and your soul mate can be an incredibly liberating experience that can lead to tremendous spiritual growth.
Some karmic soul mate relationships, however, are short term by nature. The annoying woman at the supermarket, the car salesman who ripped you off, the waitress that spilled coffee in your lap, and even your boss at Burger King when you were 17 (a real one of mine) are all potential karmic soul mates. These are, more than likely, not incredibly deep-rooted or ancient beefs and probably can be worked out relatively quickly. By working on being conscious of how kind and loving you are to others around you, you may be inadvertently resolving karma on a daily basis with multiple soul mates. These situations are also very difficult to master, however, as we tend to not focus as much on the people that we might perceive as less "important" or "relevant".
The second type of soul mate that we encounter, soul family mates, are the closest people around us. They are here so that we can help each other on our long and arduous journey through many lifetimes. They are the people that we have little trouble relating to, and are generally characterized by being loving, accepting and peaceful. This is not to say that we have completely conflict-free relationships with them, but they are generally easier and more naturally loving than karmic mates.
If you are wondering who these people are in your life, just close your eyes and think of those with whom you feel the closest connection. Most of us have a sibling that we are particularly close with, a specific parent that you feel understands you on a deep level, a very special grandparent, a friend that has been there through thick and thin, a certain cousin that always makes you smile, etc. These are your soul family mates.
Soul family mates also change roles with us over the course of different lifetimes. In one life they might be incarnated as your brother and in the next they will come back as your son, but your feelings for each other will probably not change much. These roles can change gender also, and I do often find instances of a same sex sibling or parent being a former spouse, etc. This is the type of soul mate that makes for the strongest, most loving, and supportive partnerships and marriages.
Although we can accrue karma with this type of soul mate, they are generally those that we have more of a clean slate with than karmic soul mates. They are quite possibly former karmic mates that we have gotten very close with as we spent many lifetimes working together to progress spiritually, as it is hard to say where and how these soul relationships originated. However our relationship started, we are very close to these people who are here to support us as we struggle through the many challenges that come with life in physical form. They are a gift, and should be regarded as such, as they are our "family" on the other side.
The real beauty of these relationships lies in the fact that we make mutual pacts, or promises to find each other and be together. We do this present an opportunity, a new path, or a lesson that will provide the experiences necessary to learn and accomplish what it is that we have set out to do in this life. Many of our encounters with a soul family mate, whether it was a brief meeting or a lifelong relationship, we will reflect on years later as what was needed, when it was needed in order to get to where we are today. This is certainly true in my life.
The third type of soul mate is what I will call the twin soul. This is the closest we can get to the stereotype of a "romantic" soul mate (I have already established that we can and do have romantic relationships with soul mates of all types), in that this is literally our other half. It is called our "twin" because we originate from the same source and have split in half in order to compliment each other.
I am unsure as to how and why this split occurs (I have only been told that it does), but when I use the wisdom that surrounds us in nature, it does seem to make sense. The act of creation, which is happening constantly in all living things, involves the act of a cell dividing into two equal halves. We can see this same act happening on a micro, as well as a macro level continuously as all life forms grow, change and evolve. Therefore, I don't find it hard to believe that our souls would also take part in this process.
It is our twin soul that inspires the fairy tales, being that one person who will "complete" us. Nearly every culture on earth, both ancient and modern, has references to this concept in story and symbolism. The yin and the yang is one of the best examples of this, which is a symbol that mirrors this cell division process, and also represents counterpart and balance. This symbol also represents male and female, as well as a joining of soul mates.
So, what would it be like to be with this soul mate? This is the most intense connection that we can possibly have with another human being. I have been told that we are not supposed to be with our twin soul until we have reached a very high level of spiritual mastery. We achieve this high level by working out karma and learning lessons from the myriad of other soul mates that we have. Being with our twin is like looking into a mirror that reflects back every time little thing that bothers us about ourselves (even subconsciously). Not a pretty sight for most of us, especially coming right back at you from your significant other.
We do, however, occasionally encounter our twin souls as we progress through lifetimes. I have been told that we are like magnets to our twin, and that if you are both currently incarnated, then you will definitely meet at some point in your life. This is why our twin will usually be on the other side when we are here, acting as a spirit guide for us.
When we do meet this type of soul mate before achieving this high level of spiritual mastery, most of the time we do not stay with then very long and are often tragically separated. This is where the stories like Romeo & Juliet and Tristan & Isolde come from. It is interesting to note that because these infamous lovers would have reflected each other's flaws, they probably would have had little success sustaining a long marriage with kids, two careers and mortgage payments after the initial flush of passion subsided.
But yet, we have a deep-rooted longing for this type of connection. I believe that this longing is there to urge us to progress, as we work toward a higher level of spiritual mastery and therefore, our twin soul. Supposedly, when we can handle being with our twin, it is the most blissful union that can occur in human form. And, I think that the reason that we do encounter them here and there over different lifetimes is to remember exactly what it is that we are working for. The twin soul connection is love in its' purest and most spiritual form, and transcends any romantic notion than we could ever try to assign to it.
So, how will we ever find these soul mates? We find our soul mates as we work to uncover our true selves, which is an eternal being who is learning how to better give and receive love. By becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be, we will draw soul mates to us that reflect where we are in our own spiritual progression. That means then, that we need to spend our time working on ourselves, rather than looking for a soul mate. Shakespeare said it best, "to thine ownself be true". Then the soul mate will find us.
When I am doing a past life regression, upon encountering another person, I will always ask them to look into the other person's eyes and tell me if they recognize them. They say that the eyes are the "windows of the soul", and somehow by peering deeply into someone's eyes we can see who it is that they truly are. This is how our soul mates recognize us, on the soul level, which has nothing to do with physical appearance or other circumstances.
We will be drawn to the people and situations that will help us to attain the highest possible level of growth in this lifetime. This is true of the long awaited, loving and kind future spouse with whom we have a deep and meaningful connection, as well as the soul mate who appears in our life to deliver a tough lesson that we need to learn. They are all an important part of the big picture, which is our journey together through many lifetimes.
We are also constantly encountering other souls for the first time as we traverse our path through this life. These are our future soul mates, and our circle expands ever outward as we accumulate experiences that we have in the course of our existence. These future soul mates also need our help and our love, and we equally need theirs. In that regard then, we are all soul mates. All of humanity is connected by these spiritual contracts, to help each other with our growth and spiritual evolution. We are all engaged in the never ending process of learning to love each other more fully, as well as teaching each other to more fully love ourselves.