Elizabeth Gilbert recently offered a liberating flake of wisdom about soulmates – a term I try never to use, because I also try never to use the word soul. She said, paraphrased, that it can be a mistake to try to make a soulmate into a life partner, and described her own life partner as someone supportive and comforting, in contrast to the soulmates of her life who have usually been disrupting, upsetting and intensely challenging.
To me the idea of a soul is not very different than outer appearance – a formless other side of the coin. So a soulmate implies someone who has access to, even traipses too freely around that (hidden) side, maybe someone one might even experience as that side sometimes. I remember once imagining introducing someone to my mom for the first time, and the way I might say, he is me. One does not let a person like that into their heart, they are already there.
That person was an intense familiar who revealed so much of that other side of myself vividly, shockingly, instigating a hyper growth of character in some ways, appearing for a short period of time. For a year after I felt as though I had been poisoned though, and shattered … heavy price for that intensity.
Of course there are so many metaphors. Most friends we spend time with on earth, with some we see heaven, but how few do we trust with our hells. Maybe they only appear when we trust ourselves to go there. And go there and return over and over again until we don’t need to return, until there is nothing to escape from.
And after all, that feels like reality, that as creatures we continually wound one another knowingly and unknowingly in ways we can never make up for, yet we can’t resist. Wound and bond are one.
I like to consider many kinds of love… adoration, companionship, whirlwind desire, comfort, joy, celebration, challenge, fate, friendship, one-sided, mutual, collective, devotion, trust, bliss …
My instinct is that a well-suited relationship can be chosen and cultivated intentionally with a person of like capacities — but I haven’t experienced that, yet. For now there are mirror fragments and deep wormhole-like fractals of such… along with that intuition of wholeness.