“And, for a moment, they were on their own.
Although she was still talking, he found himself drawn into her eyes, conscious all of a sudden that there was another conversation taking place at a different level… Now that they were briefly alone, the unspoken connection was unmissable.
She hesitated, then stopped talking completely, pulled into his gaze. Feeling slightly awkward, she made an effort to revive the conversation, but the strength of the silence between them was too much and she gave in to it.
How long they sat like that, deeply lost in each other’s eyes, neither could tell afterwards. The energy flowed between them, growing stronger with the openness they felt towards each other. It seemed as if there were no secrets—as if on some unconscious level they each understood the other perfectly, knew the other intimately, and trusted totally. Something was growing in the silence, and both had the instinct to allow it to unfold without words, without conscious manipulation. It had a consciousness of its own….
She was aware of her heart responding to his direct gaze, could feel it opening and showing itself through her eyes. Its unexpectedness disarmed her, as did his ability to be fully present with her.
He, too, felt his heart open wide in response to the love that was wrapping itself around him, quietening his usually busy mind, awakening that secret corner deep within that hadn’t been touched in a long time…”
(from ‘The Beautiful Garden’ by Freya Watson)
Well, do you believe in soul mates? Or twin flames? It’s almost like an adult version of children believing in Santa Claus. Some fervently believe, others mock them as fools and a very small number vouch for their reality through personal experience. Which side of the fence you sit on depends very much on your own experience and psychological make-up.
Having lost someone I considered a soul mate—not through death, as some have, but through his choosing to opt out of the relationship—it left me facing that question all over again as an adult, having rejected it as a teenager.
If my soul mate had vanished from my life, and assuming as I did that we only get one, what hope did I have of a meaningful relationship for the rest of my life? How could I go back to an ‘ordinary’ relationship after having experienced that depth of connection?
I could have turned my back on the whole idea of soul mates and dismissed my experience as delusion—buried my pain in the nearest nightclub or yoga class and tried to forget. But I’d already done that once before and had found out, to my cost, that buried emotion eventually resurfaces, sometimes with destructive force. Instead, I started on my own personal quest for understanding—at least, that’s what I call it now.
At the time, all I really knew was that I had to understand what the hell this thing called soul mates was all about. I read everything I could get my hands on, from esoteric writings on twin flames, to channeled material on soul mates, to heart-wrenching stories of soul mates that wreaked havoc in their wake. It was all so varied but with a few common themes that I recognized from my own experience.
They all had a sense of being preordained, as if something or someone had orchestrated the relationship before the couple had met. A sense of fate, karma, destiny, had brought them together—although those terms didn’t sit easily with me.
They all had an extraordinary depth of understanding and connection, too, that couldn’t be explained through common interest or any other superficial analysis of the relationship. These weren’t relationships that had developed slowly over time as a couple met at the counter of Starbucks every Saturday and started talking about their favorite music.
And they all seemed anchored in a place that was beyond physical and romantic attraction, as if they knew each other from beyond time and space.
In the years since then, I’ve come to understand that we do very much attract what we believe in—although that doesn’t mean that grace can’t intervene at times and surprise us.
The more open we are to our own inner landscape, the more deeply we can connect with another and they with us. And the more sensitive we become to the flow of energy in ourselves as well as between ourselves and others, the more able we are to develop a relationship which is beyond the material world—which is where soul mate relationships really exist.
The first time my current partner came to stay, it was as if we had always known each other, although I had no idea what he ate or any of the other ordinary details of his life. We knew where the relationship was heading and had a sense our role was to find a way of bringing it down into this reality from where it already existed, somewhere out there rooted at the level of spirit or soul.
So when I’m asked now whether I believe in soul mates or twin flames, I usually ask a question in return—what do you mean by the terms? Do you mean someone with whom you have a pre-birth agreement to spend your life? Do you mean someone special with whom you can have a deep and loving relationship? Do you mean someone who touches you so deeply that they push all your buttons, forcing you to grow and mature in uncomfortable ways? However you answer these questions, my own, unequivocal answer is still yes—I believe there are people out there who can meet us in all of these ways, depending on what it is that we are looking for.
And my experience is that we can have that depth of connection with more than one person during our lives, sometimes for short periods of time and sometimes in a way that invites us to set up home with them. The more we deliberately seek to create this depth in ourselves—through meditative reflection, developing self-awareness, cultivating openness and deliberately tuning into the vibration of love – the more we find that soul mate connection with others appearing in our lives.
The caveat I would add is: be aware of what you are asking for! Finding a soul mate is only one part of the story.Bringing that connection into the messy, day-to-day reality of friendship, or even marriage—bill-paying, career and family building, sharing living space and friends—is a different and longer part of the story. And so is dealing with the aftermath of such a connection if it doesn’t last the pace (something which has fueled my current project,‘Letters to a Lost Lover’).
(Originally published in Elephant Journal)