One Soul Mate or Many?
The term “soul mate” is a familiar one these days and is often used in reference to an almost universal desire to find the single great love of our life. The reality is much richer than that.
During the course of our lives, we may share a soul-mate relationship with several individuals with whom we enjoy a strong, positive affinity through similar values, interests, goals and beliefs. I have been blessed with a few extraordinary friendships that I count as soul mates.
Although the context and duration of our acquaintance has varied, the common characteristic is a feeling of closeness, as if we were members of a soul family. We share a deep, fraternal love and trust that transcends time and space. We may not see each other for years. Yet whenever we reconnect, the experience is as if no time has passed.
I have found that many people we meet on our path of self-discovery can be a friend or teacher. The timeless, spiritual heart-tie is what makes them soul mates.
A Parental Soul Mate
Sometimes a soul mate does exist in our actual family. Growing up, I would not have considered my father and me as soul mates. After all, he was my parent. He was a quiet man who treated everyone with respect—including his little daughter. He seemed to trust me and we had a lot of fun during my childhood. Of course, that is not reason enough to claim him as a soul mate.
The difference is the sacred connection I felt when I meditated on our relationship. I saw clearly that my father had been caring for my soul, not merely having a good time playing games, teaching me to fish or helping me with homework.
Even after I left home and went to college, he remained my soul’s protector. He was always the one to come to my rescue. When he died, I was devastated. At the time I did not understand why I was so heartbroken. Now I see that our bond would always have been soul deep, even if he had not been my father.
We may not be able to identify who is or is not a soul mate except in hindsight. For example, I do not consider my first husband as a soul mate. Although when I first met him, I felt a strong spark of recognition between us, our short-lived marriage was fraught with struggle and misunderstanding. I came to realize that we had a karmic, past-life obligation which required our being married for a while. That was all.