Soulmate Myths: I Blame Richard Bach

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Soulmates, twin flames, spiritual partners…

I think nearly every spiritual online subscription I have posts some article on one of those topics.  Richard Bach was the first writer through whom I was exposed to the idea of a Soul Mate.  I was sitting in the University cafeteria, and one of my friends passed me his book on soul mates.  I read it in a day – could not put it down. And so began my life long search for this idea.

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.” – Richard Bach

Then of course we began to hear more about twin flames. “There tends to be a lot of confusion about what a “twin flame” relationship really is. Unlike “soul mates,” which are our perfect matches (or our spiritual family) twin flames are our perfect mirrors. Relationships with twin flames tend to be on-again-off-again, intensely passionate, and sometimes intensely painful. Twin flames help us awaken like nobody else, and they ultimately serve to show us who we really are.” – Thought Catalogue  Or another view is “twin flames, also called twin souls, are literally the other half of our soul. We each have only one twin, and generally after being split the two went their separate ways, incarnating over and over to gather human experience before coming back together. Ideally, this happens in both of their last lifetimes on the planet so they can ascend together. So you probably haven’t had many lifetimes with your twin.” – Soul Evolution  

Finally,  I was introduced to the idea of Anam Cara, which seemed more authentic because it was described as historical: “Anam Cara means “Soul Friend.” Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and Cara is the word for friend. In Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide. With the Anam Cara you can share your innermost self to reveal the hidden intimacies of your life, your mind and your heart. This friendship cuts across all convention to create an act of recognition and belonging that joins souls in an ancient and eternal way.” – Anam Cara Therapy

I bought into the idea, or ideal.  It became the measuring stick for each relationship.  If a relationship was not this, then it was not good enough.  If it was not this, then the Fear of Missing Out would kick in.  I accepted and rationalized unhealthy relationships as evidence of soul work, or of the challenge that comes when twin flames are together.  For the sake of this deep belief, I allowed myself to suffer and call it the price of such lofty relationships.  It fed my egoic belief that I was doing something special and harder than the regular type of love and relationship.

The obvious reaction a person may have is that I am cynical, or because I have not experienced these things I am taking a view colored in bitterness.  In response, I would note that Richard Bach told the world he found his soul mate, he also told the world that they divorced.  I believe it was a growthful relationship, but not the soul mate relationship that he postulated in his books.  Here is why: soul mates, twin flames or any idealized description of how love manifests is the ego attempting to make permanent the relationship that occurs between personalities.  These are attempts at spiritual overlay to make identification with the self seem meaningful.

I have had deep moments of connection with people I am close to and people I barely know.  I have had long healthy relationships.  I have had long unhealthy relationships.  The dynamic of the relationship is a function of the personalities in the relationship.  I believe that the moments of connection are moments where I let go of self. I believe we look for these idealized romances to fill in for when we are trying to feel connected to the Divine.  It could even be a vehicle for that spiritual path.

I rest on the koan “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him” and extend it to “If you meet your soulmate/twin flame/etc, keep looking.”

 

 

 

 

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I Blocked You: Boundaries Are Healthy

I am one of Those people: I delete people on Facebook, I block people in WordPress and I don’t accept LinkedIn invitations from people I don’t know. I see social media as a mirror of human social dynamics and I apply the same rules. 

In real life, if I don’t see you or connect at least once a year, I stop inviting you to parties or sending you cards. If you don’t treat me with respect in real life, I don’t interact with you. So why do we take offense when these things happen in social media?

Simon Senuk has a unique view on this. He suggests that when we get attention on Facebook, or receive a text, we feel positive and rewarding emotions. Over time, our society begins to go to these sources for more instant gratification. A generation may be growing up without the skills to build relationships. 

So why do people get more put off when these things happen in the virtual world? Is it because it occurs more subtley in reality – I am less likely to tell a person we are moving into acquaintance status in real life, we just drift apart. Does Facebook create a new tool of subtle social control – I will make you feel good so you can make me feel good? 

I know one thing: I notice I pull out my phone when I am waiting for a meeting to start and as of today, I will use that time to begin a conversation with my colleagues. I am on a Face fast right now and the difference in my quality of life is surprisingly big. I recommend it. 

Watch the Simon Senik video here: https://youtu.be/hER0Qp6QJNU

When I Let Co-Dependency Sneak In To My Romantic Life

We don’t start out co-dependent.  It isn’t a natural trait.  It is something we learn, and that is modeled to us.  It is a way we learn to survive and cope sometimes too. “The Codependent has adapted their behaviour in order to get their needs met in a setting where someone they cared about was unable or unwilling to take care of themselves and their own problems. After progressively taking on the care taking role the Codependent somehow forgets to look after their own needs and deal with their own problems. As a result even if they physically break free from the person who is dependent on them they take their Codependency forward into future relationships.” – Basics of Codependency

at least you are all comfortable: I started dating when I was 13.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I had good filters back then.  I would begin dating someone, and fairly quickly, know that I did not feel like it was the right relationship.  I would feel icky when I was with them.  And so I would end the relationship.  Often, the man would hang on, or hang around.  I would begin to feel guilty.  Who was I to hurt this man? or the next? or the next? I dated many men for short periods of time.

Obviously something was wrong with me.  I was not good at commitment.  My standards were too high.  I was judgmental.  I needed to be more accepting, tolerant and open to love.

It did not occur to me that I was exercising good judgement.  That I was respecting myself.

These Modern Dames are the strong independent women who refuse to be a victim of anything. They hold their fate in their own hands. They refuse to be a Damsel in Distress or play off the victim card as a way to receive “equality” without the accountability of true equality.:

““There’s a side of him that’s so loving and caring. When he hugs me and doesn’t let go, and how we laugh…we’re so good together! And then, sometimes, he acts so strangely. He withdraws. Then he’s back…I don’t know what to do.”

We give so many chances to people who aren’t worthy of it.

We overlook problems and let things slide.

We make excuses for non-excusable behaviors.

We give a lot of bad things a pass because of the apparent good ones.

Why?

Because someone has a kind and affectionate side, too?

Because they tell you nice things and sometimes make you feel special?

We miss seeing the forest for the trees.

If a person has a loving side but also a jackass side, it should be a huge red flag for you. Their inconsistency should sound a massive alarm.

When dating someone, look at the bigger picture. You need to see the good and the bad—the complete deal you’re getting. Before that, decide what part of the deal is unacceptable to you and you won’t turn your head away from.

Not calling you, treating you with disrespect or neglecting you should definitely be on that list.” – Elephant Journal

Instead, I learned to accept being treated disrespectfully by people, and to find ways to explain away their behaviour.  I was proud of how tolerant and loving and accepting I had become. It was a sign of spiritual growth, wasn’t it?

And so, in three significant relationships, I allowed myself to be treated disrespectfully, felt the pain, and added to it by judging myself for not doing a better job at accepting him.

That is not to say that any of those men were bad people, or that I blame them.  Only I can be responsible for my boundaries.  Only I can be responsible for how I allow others to treat me, and how I respond in a relationship where my needs, wishes, and value are not respected. I know that each man might find a partner who does not find those behaviours that were problems for me to be concerning in a different relationship.  

What are my boundaries in relationship? I find myself echoing the same ones in the article.

“Boundary One:

I never play games

I am done with playing games, calculating who called who first, how many times, playing hot and cold, he wants me but he’s making me wait, he’s cool, one day he’s “all in” and the next one “out”…

I will not show interest in any man who doesn’t show genuine interest in me.

The moment I recognize he’s playing games, he’s out.

Boundary Two:

I will be treated with respect

I want a man who proves that he respects me as a person and as a woman. He respects my feelings and my needs. He listens and treats me with respect. Not only that; he also respects his word. He respects our agreements and values our time together. When he says he’ll be there, he’s there. Any sign of disrespect makes me nip the relationship in the bud.

Boundary Three:

I have zero tolerance for Casanova behavior or me being “the other woman.”

No, no, no and no. I will not look at you ogling other women, flirting on every corner, or having 30 different female friends who are all your “super-close friends” (but whose names you barely remember) and with whom you’re very physical, touchy and tender.

Yes, I want you to treat other women with respect too—but not with an “I’d like to bang you” respect. There’s a clear difference between the two, and we women see it.

Oh, and yes—you already have someone? It’s complicated? Please, throw my number away.”

I am incredibly valuable.  More importantly: my life is full and rich.  If you do not add to my life, I don’t need you.  I will not be in a relationship out of need.  I do not need you to complete me.  I have in my life only those who I want.

My Value Is Not In My Body

To you I sway like sweet waves of honey,and though the way my hips move to unheard music has you hypnotized,there’s more to me than curves to trace with your hands.

My value isn’t in the skin underneath your fingertips as you reach out to touch what tempts you.

Lingering there will not collect my worth, and you cannot kiss me enough to make it known to me.

I do not find value in your arms,

comfort, yes,

arousal

yesss

oh yes

but my space in your bed is not my worth.

Nor is my space in your heart.

Love me.

Please do.

Love me for my body

and the way it fits in the grooves of yours and the way we glide together into each parcel of space.

Love me for the familiar scent of my

skin when you

close in on my neck.

Love me for the heart that

is pressed to yours

and the love you know it has for you—

not because I have told you

but from the undeniable richness of

our colliding energy,

the way your bones know the elixir

of their own marrow.

Love that it is safe here

in Us

and our unwavering honesty—

never has anything we cannot see

or touch

been so true.

Love me for the way I tease your mind

with my thoughts,

and how our dueling perspectives

amplify our senses.

But know that no amount of

attraction will detail my worth.

That while you place value on me,

and I on you

this love is not an exchange.

I do not give you my body,

touch my lips to yours,

feel my bones quake

because to be held by you

makes me worth something.

Your approval

is flattering and

your agreement

fiercely connecting

but I am not validated by it.

I am worth just as much with any of that as with nothing at all;

you see,

my value,

is in my Self

and the purity of my being alive at all—just as yours

should be to you.

An Empowered Woman is a woman who is in tune with her Wild Soul and lives from her heart. She values her intuition and knows her medicine is a powerful force to be reckoned with. She rediscovers herself in her conscious reconnection to the Divine. She transforms from the inside out and is a light of hope helping inspire other women's creativity and spirituality. She lives in her uniqueness as a Modern Day GODDESS...:

Lies, Damn Lies and Excuses: How Excuses Block Love

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I am trying to remember my first excuse. Was it the note that got me out of gym? Or maybe the loose tooth that meant I didn’t have to eat granola?

Excuses are little white lies we use to avoid a conflict. As a grown up, my excuses have been things like a sick child, or my home life. Sometimes it is more elegant, like believing my intuition is pushing me away. I stopped dead when I realized I was teaching my child to come up with them too.

“We have to reschedule our massage,” I explained to my daughter when a birthday party conflicted with our appointment.

“What are you going to tell them?”, she asked.

“Nothing. I am just going to reschedule,” I said.

A concerned look appeared on her face. “You can tell them I am sick. Then they won’t be mad.”

I spent time exploring that with her, and affirmed that honesty is always ok. But then I looked at myself. Why do I make excuses?

“We are scared of the consequence of hurting another’s feelings. We want to let him or her off easy by cushioning the blow of our actions with an explanation and an excuse. Some might call that noble. I call it a cowardly cop out, because the intention of the excuse actually has nothing to do with the other person.

We make excuses to protect ourselves from inflicting any discomfort or unrest within our lives. We hide behind our explanations so we don’t have to stand up and face the consequences that may blow in our direction. All of our actions create wind, whether it be a strong gust or a light breeze.” – Rebecca Lammersen

Out of my top five values, the one I boast the most about is integrity. I have quit jobs with nothing to fall back on for integrity. I have left clients because they did not reflect integrity. And yet excuses pervade my psychology as a practiced conditioned response.

So what is really so wrong with excuses? Aren’t they mostly harmless?

They become a vibration that manifests everywhere. For me, a life of excuses was the vibration that shaped my partnerships.

“In my last relationship, I never realized the type of love my boyfriend and I really had. I thought we had the passion — that connection everyone dreams to have —, but looking back, I realize that false image was holding me onto a love that was not fulfilling my needs. I was in love with what could be instead of what really was.

I loved the idea of what we could be because my boyfriend sometimes revealed small glimpses of an amazing potential relationship, even though about 80 percent of the time, it was not a positive experience. I fell in love with the idea of those glimpses. I imagined that if he just did this or if he just changed that, everything would align and be perfect.

Two years later, I found myself still in love with those ideas, with more and more tears because it never became what could have been. I told my friends about the simple things he did to show he cared. Since they were rare, when they happened, I wanted to prove that I had a great guy, regardless of what they thought. In reality, those little things should have happened regardless; they should not have been rare.

In a way, I was trying to prove that my friends were wrong about my boyfriend and simultaneously convince myself that I was right about him, too. I was trying to justify staying with a guy I loved, despite the fact that he only showed that he loved me part-time.
If you ever find yourself justifying your man’s actions or not wanting to share the truth about things he has said or done, chances are, you are in love with his could-bes. If you cling to every good thing he does until he does something else nice or brag-worthy, chances are you are in love with the “could be”.” – Lisa Thompson

When my ego starts to complain about everything I did for the men in my life and how they left anyway, I stop and ask “is that true?”. Or is it more true that when I became in alignment with my True Self, and would not accept my own excuses, the universe lovingly moved them out of my life?

Excuses will not be part of my Truth any longer. Like anger, the desire to have an excuse will be a pointer for my own inquiry. But I will never make an excuse again.

Cracks As Truth Shines Through

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I once defined betrayal as when one person in a relationship is no longer willing to sustain the illusion of what is.  Within that definition,  I have been the betrayed and the betrayor.

I see betrayal as one of the ways the universe offers an opportunity for awakening. I realized tonight that a lot of my anger from past relationships was about when the other person was no longer trying to be who I wanted them to be. All the times I said I was trying to make the relationship work, what I meant was I kept trying to give the other person a chance to buy in to my illusion. How dare they not keep the illusion going after all I had invested in it?

And then I realized I had done something Adyashanti calls spiritualizing the relationship.  I projected a layer of mysticism or spiritual idealism over the relationship.  We were soul mates. We were drawn together in some mystical way. We were following a past life influence.

While any of that may be true or false, it creates a layer of separation in experiencing what is. It kept me from seeing the whole of my experience.  Once the spiritualuzing fell away, there was nothing left.

Except my sorrow over how I had betrayed myself.

Well, now I am awake enough, conscious enough and whole enough to be a lover of what is. Click.  It all just shifted.

Its Personal

I love you.

Even if I’ve never met you, I love you. If you have been out of my life and never to return, I love you. If I never meet you, I love you. If you show up on my path, I will accept, honor and cherish your beautiful soul. I will act in accordance with my values to show you that love.

But there is no guarantee I will like you. That’s personal.

Personal means the personality you embody as a result of how your conditioning has crystalized into form. Its about how similar our vibrations and values are today. Its about the intersection points we have – whether that’s about how our chakras connect or about how much time we spend together.

Loving You isn’t personal. We all strive to attain this great experience of unconditional love yet its right here all the time when we look clearly. But unconditional agreement or unconditional attraction – that’s personal. And never unconditional.

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Let’s Just Be Friends

~Let’s just be friends.
~I don’t feel a connection.  Let’s be friends.
~I will always love you but I don’t want a relationship with you.  Let’s be friends.

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When did friendship become the fall back option?  Why do we degrade friendship as the right relationship when a romantic relationship fails?

I believe sometimes you need to love someone from a distance, particularly when the intimate relationship has ended. There is a reason the relationship didn’t work, and that reason is still alive in the friendship. You can’t just relabel the dynamic and believe its all fixed.

Are the expectations of friends so much different than what we value in our lover? I believe the only difference between the dynamic of friends and lovers is the degree of deepening that has occurred.

Possibly the reason open relationships have appeal is because we value the same things in any and all relationships. Maybe open relationships reflect awareness that our beloved isn’t some mystical One. Maybe open relationships are the only way our society understands how to reflect the fact that loving everyone is easy. But being in a relationship that endures, elevates and deepens is not nearly as simple. It requires us to deal with the soul as well as the patterned grooves that each person develops on their path. It means committed work towards a third element – the relationship.

Please do not degrade friendship by asking me to be your friend when the deeper relationship has failed. Friendship takes the same work we didn’t do in the failed relationship.

Read this poem, and tell me the difference between friendship and intimate love. And then tell me if “let’s be friends” seems like an appropriate answer to a relationship ending.

LOVE

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

-Roy Croft