favorite notes from the book (Soulmates: Following Inner Guidance to the Relationship of Your Dreams, by Carolyn Godschild Miller) i've been reading lately--
Soulmate relationships always require us to wrestle with differences. Indeed, teaching us to deal with the anger and frustration our ego generates whenever our interests seem to conflict with those of our partner is, in some sense, their very raison d'etre.
You see, the ability to love another unconditionally is a learning objective of soulmate relationships, not a talent with which people enter them. Our meant-to-be loves are our learning partners in a curriculum designed to awaken us from fearful illusions. As such it is their job to hold our feet to the fire whenever our false self prompts us to act from fear rather than love.
Far from being blissfully harmonious, soulmate unions can be intensely conflictual. This sort of domestic strife resembles the prying open of an oyster to reveal the priceless pearl within. Soulmates have knives that are very sharp indeed, and if we hold still long enough, they will find just the right places to insert them, and pry our defenses apart. When you start feeling as if your soulmate is tearing you apart, it may help to remember that you are the pearl and not the oyster!
Far from being perfect lovers, soulmates generally start out dividing their allegiance between their partners and their own egos. Sometimes they are generous, tender and supportive, but periodically they succumb to panic and try to withdraw from, or control, the relationship. In successful pairings, however, trust gradually comes to take the place of fear. Episodes of ego possession become less frequent, and don't last as long. The lovers eventually come to see separation from their mate as the problem, and not the solution.
If soulmates stay the course, they ultimately discover that Love is safe, and that their egos' tantrums over not getting to control everything aren't their problem. They transfer their loyalty to their partners, and abandon their self-images to their fates. It is only then that these "matches made in heaven" begin looking the way most of us intuitively expect them to be-- joyous, mutually supportive, and harmonious. But never forget that on the way to that happy state of affairs, a river of frustrated tears may be shed, and a great many doors slammed in anger!
Sure, your soulmate is going to drive you crazy from time to time. That's what he or she is there for!
Your job is to stand your ground and continue to love in the face of all the reasons your ego can manufacture to justify counterattack or withdrawal.
Just keep flushing the resentment out of your system with forgiveness, so that whatever is wholesome in the relationship will have a chance to grow.
The fact that you truly love someone is not a sufficient reason to embark upon a life partnership with him or her, and the fact that you aren't sure how much you care isn't always a good reason to duck a commitment.
The defining characteristic of soulmate relationships is shared purpose. What makes someone your ideal mate is neither love nor infatuation, but rather the fact that being with him or her is in alignment with your soul's reasons for being here.
The fact is that meant-to-be lovers don't just mean to be together, they also mean to do something together. Their alliances are spiritual laboratories in which two people unite to jointly discover and create the meaning of their lives.
The Love soulmates cultivate for each other is eventually destined to overflow the bounds of their relationship and nurture a thirsty world.
Recognizing soulmates/soulmate relationships:
- a deep sense of peaceful contentment in one' s soul, despite conflict
- you feel good/ you are who you truly are when you're with this person; and you truly enjoy each other, being with each other; you enjoy hanging out with each other!
- the way everything else seems to fall into place once we make our Love the first priority
- Love rests on a calm sense of deep TRUST
- feels RIGHT
- feeling of great COMFORT in each other's presence
- feeling of QUICK FAMILIARITY with each other's being/ immediate sense of RECOGNITION of each other's being
- feels NATURAL
- a deep sense of SHARED PURPOSE