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With additions by Ricky Derisz What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame, but something wild

With additions by Ricky Derisz

What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with.

Robert Brault

When you hear the word soulmate, you probably think of some unexpected, perfect, just-like-you match that comes into your life one day and takes your breath away. We love to believe this myth. One reason we love it is because it requires little to no effort on our part, as the outcome is written in the stars, and guided by fate.

Sure, it’s frustrating to wait for Mr or Ms. Right, but believing in this myth is the easy path. If destiny is in control, finding love is a passive process. Not only that, but this parable justifies wandering wishes – of discovering someone who causes us little to no friction.

Life is already tough. Wouldn’t it be great to find someone who can finally accept ‘you’ as-is? The irony is, believing in this myth could be the one thing preventing you from finding and developing a relationship with your true soulmate.

Definition

A soulmate, meaning someone with which you have the closest possible human bond. Although this can be platonic, such as a best friend, most people link the idea of a soulmate with romance. As the term implies, the relationship has spiritual connotations — including a shared connection that transcends time and space, or multiple lifetimes.

A soulmate is usually far more disruptive than the false ideal of a missing puzzle piece that will complete your life and make everything okay. At its most intense, this person sees directly into your soul, destroying the inauthentic, false ‘you’ in the process. From this, something beautiful happens, as the real You is acknowledged, celebrated, and revealed. That includes your dreams, your beauty, and the immense strength you carry within.

Consequently, a soulmate is in your life for a distinct purpose or mission. This is an important aspect of this relationship, as a soulmate isn’t here to make you feel comfortable, or make things easy. They know who you really are; they will help you break through the limitations you see in yourself, and if necessary they will upset the very foundation of your ego.

soulmate meaning
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Their greatest gift and most important role is that they don’t fit the myth of perfection. Instead, a soulmate is a loving and revealing transformer. A person who isn’t afraid to challenge the ideas you have of yourself. They will expose you to flaws that keep you from achieving your true potential – in mind, body, and in spirit.

To quote Elizabeth Gilbert, “a soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”

At times, the process hurts. Not because they are here to hurt us, but because if we protect the ideas we have of ourselves with a proverbial death grip, letting go of an ego-identity, to grow into something greater, feels like a risk. But the risk is always worth taking, especially in the company of a true spiritual companion.

Relationships and spiritual growth

When someone comes along who has gotten so close as to see into our truest, deepest nature, we become exposed. We become confused. We become vulnerable. And like any other muscle in our body, the heart and mind must be vulnerable to experience growth; only then can we develop true strength.

As humans, we fear change and love comfort, but it is change that gives us the ability to stand in our own courage and proclaim victory over the challenges we never thought we could overcome, let alone those we never even knew existed.

Fear hides behind ego, behind the illusion of strength… and so, there is a special love reserved for those whose grand, yet humble presence causes us to be so exposed that we actually become better people in our own eyes. We form a new kind of power that is rooted in what most people consider weakness. We find strength in vulnerability.

The world has plenty of powerful people with seemingly indestructible egos, and even more naysayers and yes-men. What we really need are vulnerable people, those who live from the heart. Less fear, and more courage. Less smoke, and more mirrors. What we need are soulmates.

The 6 signs you have found your soulmate

There’s no definitive checklist to confirm you’ve found your soulmate. Meaning and purpose with a partner is something felt on a heart level. Even if there are ups and downs, the connection feels resolute, strong, and nourishing. But if you have thought “who is my soulmate?,” these signs indicate you’ve found a potential contender:

  1. An intuitive knowing: This is the number one sign. Perhaps it feels as if you’ve met this person before, or your gut just tells you this person is special.
  2. The timing is right: There’s a poem that claims people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. A soulmate will appear at just the right time in your life and theirs, to have the maximum impact.
  3. The relationship is built on respect: Without respect, the level of intensity or challenge can move into unhealthy, unsupportive territory. That’s not to say there’s no space for anger, jealousy, or difficult emotions to arise. But soulmate relationships are always underscored by respect. 
  4. The dynamic moves towards authenticity: Any challenge, any reflection, will at its core lead you to yourself. It’s hard, if not impossible, to hide in a soulmate dynamic. Fears around intimacy or being truly seen may surface, but you will be shown the ways in which you aren’t embodying who you are here to be.
  5. You feel like the best version of yourself: A soulmate will help you flourish and thrive, not shrink and hide. The relationship will help you feel like the best version of yourself. Not always, of course, but mostly you feel this person totally gets you and accepts you for who you are.
  6. The practical meets the spiritual: It could be a soulmate appears only to be in your life for a short period of time. But typically, a true soulmate will align with you practically, as well as spiritually. That means having similar goals, visions, and approaches to life, in addition to a spiritual bond.

When will you meet your soulmate?

There is a note of caution with entering such a dynamic. It takes a willingness, independence, and spiritual insight to ensure the process of “destruction” is autonomous. Sure, it will hurt at times, but the ability to discern when someone is reflecting blind spots in a way that catalyzes growth, or when someone is being disruptive in an unhealthy way, is crucial.

As a result, most people will meet their soulmate when they are spiritually and emotionally developed enough to enter such a relationship. For others, a soulmate relationship is nourishing and supportive, if that is what is most needed. Someone who lacks trust or had a difficult upbringing may attract a soulmate who provides a feeling of security and belonging.

soulmate definition
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So the word of warning is to be aware of the line between supportive and at times difficult reflection, and traits that point more towards an unhealthy dynamic. How can you prepare to meet your soulmate? It begins with inner work. And inner work begins by asking yourself some tough questions:

  • Do you trust your discernment? The desire to meet a soulmate shouldn’t lead to accepting damaging relationships. A soulmate relationship isn’t a power dynamic, but a dynamic of co-support that is honest enough to sometimes cause short-term upset. As a result, consider if you trust your discernment on an emotional and spiritual level.
  • Are you prepared to be receptive to any reflection, without blindly accepting your soulmate’s perspective? Part of discernment is the ability not to accept anything you’re told, but to take time to consider what has been presented. A true soulmate will give space for this integration. A partner who attempts to force their viewpoint is a red flag.
  • Do you have a solid sense of self? Falling in love can lead to codependency and a collapse of ego boundaries. As a result, it’s important to have a solid understanding of who you are; that includes your boundaries, your values, your beliefs, wants, and desires. Yes, they’ll be challenged! And you may find them change. But the key is knowing what within you has to change, and what feels true.
  • Have you cultivated self-worth outside of romance? Many people look to romantic relationships to complete them. The intensity of a soulmate relationship can easily mask any issues with self-worth or self-esteem, leading to an overemphasis on your partner to make you feel whole.

Trust that these relationships contain a seed of mystery, and you’re not in full control of when you will meet your soulmate. The best action step is to be receptive, open, and focus on developing self-worth and spiritual growth, independent of any single relationship.

It’s also worth noting that there is a distinction between a soulmate and a twin flame. Throughout life, you might have numerous soulmate relationships — or even a “soul tribe” of like-minded, like-hearted people. Any of these, at different times, can reflect what needs to be reflected. A twin flame, however, has a different quality, with even more mirroring. 

Regardless, no single person is to be pedestalled or to have the final say over your life. A soul mate knows this, and will guide gently, with love and respect.

In conclusion

Today, you may be completely oblivious to people who will mean so much to you in the future—ordinary people who will help you change your perspectives, and in doing so, will change the very quality of your life experience.

We have zero insight into how or when such connections form, and yet, in that serendipity—in our collective blindness—lies the beauty of life. So, next time you feel like you don’t make a difference, think of the power one handshake or one “hello” has to transform an entire human being. Never forget this power.

You can be the soulmate someone never knew they needed. And if you’re wondering when the time is right, just remember: it’s better to live a life of a few “oh wells” than to live a life full of “what ifs.”