what does it mean to be a soul mate?
A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other's individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials.
While a heart connection lets us appreciate those we love just as they are, a soul connection opens up a further dimension - seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence. This means recognizing that we both have an important part to play in helping each other become more fully who we are.
A soul connection not only inspires us to expand, but also forces us to confront whatever stands in the way of that expansion.
- John welwood
I resonate with these words on so many levels! But today, I feel like focusing on what it means to be a soul mate.
The term is as overused as it is misunderstood, and so it comes as no surprise when people complain of not experiencing deep connection - a resonance - with their partner. Disconnection is usually caused by misunderstanding, and the same applies here too; often our understanding and expectations of what it means to be a soul mate are misaligned.
Having found this source of resonance on Instagram I decided to spend some time reflecting on connection, relationships, and what it involves to truly be someone's soul mate.
a recipe for potent alchemy
To be a soul mate is to cultivate and share a quality of being. For me, this means being...
Present. To be present means to be conscious and aware. To be present means to see. Resonance is that feeling you get when you feel fully seen, and to be a soul mate is to see your partner in return - their abundant beauty and potential within. You see beyond the personas, labels, facades, and assumed identities, and love them for who they truly are.
Compassionate. You can also see their 'flaws', the bruises from past suffering, and you help them confront those limitations with your kindness, empathy, and compassion. You want nothing more than the very best for them - for them than to live life fully; unhindered by self-doubt, conditioning, and fear.
Supportive. Your purpose in the relationship is to help and support your partner on their unique journey. You encourage them to seize every day and to make the most of opportunities that arise along their path. Sometimes all this takes is an assurance that they are not alone or that you'll be waiting for them upon their return.
Courageous. Sometimes your partner needs to work through something challenging, they need to be courageous and bold, and yet you share their reservations, doubts, and concerns. It is at these times that you must help foster courage for them. Courage being one of the more difficult human qualities to cultivate. You gently nudge them towards who they could become and in return, you trust in the knowledge that they will love you all the more for your quality of being.
Grateful, 'for who we could become under their influence' and for their love, faith, support, and kindness. Grateful that they can see and love us for who we truly are beneath the facades and personas. Grateful that they respect our dreams and encourage us towards fulfilling our potential. And, most of all, grateful that they have chosen to share their journey with us.
If you sometimes wonder why the magic, the potent alchemy, is missing from your relationships, maybe it's time to reconsider your understanding of what it means to be a soul mate?
What does being a soul mate me to you?
Resonant Source: Shared by @mrtasana. From the book 'Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation' by John Welwood.
Words of gratitude: Thank you, Marta, for sharing these resonant words on your beautiful Instagram account. Marta was one of my yoga teachers on my yoga teacher training in India. Her authentic style is both considered and wise, and her teaching comes straight from the heart - in all it's beauty and rawness. For daily doses of Earth medicine, yoga, and travel be sure to check out her Instagram here.