4 Signs You’ve Found a Kindred Spirit, Not a Soulmate
There is a difference between kindred spirits, soulmates, and twin flames. Learn the different definitions to put your relationships in context.
Spirituality is sometimes referred to as the dimension “beyond” language. Any words used to attempt to describe or explain it will always be poor translations because spirituality is undefinable. Language is a way we view and make sense of the world; we categorize, label, identify, and communicate with words. Words, and language, are no replacement for the direct experience of reality. And yet, there is an infinite amount of information on spirituality.
When it comes to non-ordinary dimensions and spiritual experiences, many people have attempted to apply language to create structure or understanding. Words like soulmates, awareness, oneness, twin flames, and past life, are attempts at describing something. They point to something mysterious, but won’t ever fully capture it.
When it comes to defining relationships, what’s most important is your primary experience. What your intuition and instinct tell you. Here, we’ll explore the definition of the kindred spirit, and how it differentiates from other types of relationships. As you read, trust your gut. Words can take you so far, the rest is how you relate what’s described to your reality.
What Is a Kindred Spirit?
According to Cambridge Dictionary a kindred spirit is “a person who has the same opinions, feelings, and interests as you.” Its origin is unclear, but the structure of the word makes sense — kin means family. So it’s a safe bet to assume the word originated to describe a family not connected by blood but connected in spirit. Whether this was an attempt to literally attempt to define spiritual connections or a phrase used as more of a metaphor, is unclear.
Typically, a kindred spirit is someone you have some type of instant connection with, and life will usually have a way of introducing you in the context of your similarities and shared quirks. Upon mapping this spiritual terrain, some people have categorized kindred spirits in contrast to other types of fated connections, including soulmates and twin flames.
Kindred Spirits, Soulmates, and Twin Flames
Keeping the use of language in mind, all of these definitions aren’t clear facts, but interpretations. To their credit, these definitions have lasted the test of time, as enough people have found them relatable to their experience. As we go through the different definitions, consider how this relates to relationships you’ve experienced. You’ll likely get an intuitive sense of what these labels are pointing to.
Unlike kindred spirits, whose relationships are usually friction-free and based in similarities, soulmates are relationships that are centered around spiritual growth. They are typically karmic relationships that are “designed” to teach. Their dynamics are usually catalytic, and although some soulmate connections can be fairly conflict free, many will have moments of conflict.
The metaphysical idea behind this is that the soul, before incarnating, makes certain karmic agreements in terms of what lessons must be learned throughout an individual lifetime. This worldview incorporates the spiritual dimension as an invisible guiding force that allows for these opportunities to arise. A person can have many soulmates (sometimes called a soul tribe), and they can come in the form of many dynamics, including family, friends, colleagues, or mentors.
Twin flames are soulmates on steroids. Each person has only one twin flame, said to be one soul separated into two. Also with deep karmic lessons to process and heal, many soulmates’ relationships are high intensity, with a level of illumination that means it’s not easy to escape limitations or unhealed wounds in the presence of their other half. Words of warning, though, that sometimes twin flame relationships can be confused for trauma bonds.
The Role Kindred Spirits Play
So what’s the purpose of a kindred spirit? Bring to mind a relationship you feel could meet this definition. What does it mean to you? What does it offer? Kindred spirits are opportunities for connection. It’s easier to form a relationship with someone you hit it off with immediately. It gives you a whole host of topics to discuss, or hobbies to enjoy together. That can lead to trust being built over a short period of time. But another element of kindred spirits is often overlooked.
Because kindred spirits are like-minded, these dynamics are opportunities to develop deeper levels of self-compassion and self-acceptance. Why? It’s often much easier to see the finer qualities in other people and fail to see them in ourselves. We might feel unlovable or different from others, with a subtle but limiting sense of separation. Meet someone who has the same interests, and in seeing them for who they are, you end up seeing yourself.
That person and the mutual deep understanding of the relationship can give you permission to be more authentically you. They can empower you to move deeper into the things that give you a sense of inspiration and excitement, which comes with its own sense of adventure and aliveness. It can offer an outlet where you can share openly and freely, without risk of judgment. All of which is a huge boost to self-esteem.
Signs You’ve Found Your Kindred Spirit
By now, you’ll likely have a clear idea of what these types of relationships are, and what they have to offer. Still unsure about whether you’ve found your kindred spirit connection? Below are the common signs that will give you a good indication.
1. The Instant Connection Is Like A Smile
What do I mean, the connection is like a smile? With a kindred spirit, the connection has a quality of playfulness and lightness to it. In Buddhism, there’s a practice known as the inner smile. It involves visualizing a smile in your heart as you go about the world, in order to cultivate compassion and kindness. The instant connection with a kindred spirit feels similar. You may be compelled to literally smile as you suddenly realize: this is my type of person.
In contrast, while a soulmate meeting can be light, it covers a whole host of contexts, some of them more emotionally challenging; hence the warning of trauma bonding.
2. You Meet In Circumstances That Quickly Show Your Similarities
There’s no slow burn with kindred spirits. No gradual reveal. It’s apparent, often immediately, that there is a shared connection, and life has its way of showing you this. For example, it could be that you’re in a situation where you feel slightly left out, or disconnected. Maybe you feel anxious in a new social situation, or you’re at a workshop and struggling with one of the exercises. Then along comes someone who, at a glance, understands what you’re going through, because they are too.
Again, to contrast this, because soulmates are karmically intertwined, it’s common to initially feel repelled or triggered by their appearance. Usually, this is because what their energy, behavior, or viewpoint is showing you is a part of yourself you’ve rejected or denied, that has to be re-integrated through the soulmate relationship.
3. Harmony Will Depend on Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance
To a much lesser extent than twin flames, kindred spirits are still intertwined with the spiritual dimension, which in its essence is designed for individual flourishing and growth. That does mean that it will require an element of self-awareness and self-acceptance in order to find harmony, even if the relationship is lighthearted. This is hidden in the concept of two people being too similar.
Because kindred spirits are very similar, if they represent certain traits that “clash” with your own, it’ll cause a lack of harmony. For example, if you can both be stubborn, there’s a chance that stubbornness, at some point, will create a barrier to the relationship flourishing. If you both use humor to lighten moments, even when inappropriate, you may experience your kindred spirit making a joke when you don’t feel like it. See the pattern?
When exploring what behaviors you like or dislike with your kindred spirit, you’ll reveal what qualities you wish to cultivate or avoid within yourself. Keep in mind, no person is perfect, and no relationship is free from the usual challenges. Even a kindred spirit will occasionally annoy you or make mistakes.
4. They Become a Sounding Board
No matter how the relationship dynamic plays out, though, a kindred spirit will always be someone you can deeply trust. That means that they will likely become someone you can use as a sounding board, someone to share life’s struggles with, or get a gut check when in a difficult situation. That doesn’t apply to all situations, but if you tune into your intuition, you’ll get a sense of the times when your kindred spirit will be the ideal person to talk to.
It’s important to have diversity within social connections. Using people with different backgrounds and perspectives as a sounding board is always worthwhile, as long as you remain discerning. But the benefit of a kindred spirit is that they will have a deep understanding of your tendencies, and will be able to relate fully to your experience.
As a result, they’ll become powerful allies on the path. Not only the spiritual path. But the path of learning to be fully human.