“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” ~H. Jackson Browne
The first time I was stung with the notion of a soul mate, I was twelve years old. I had accompanied my mother to the wedding of a family friend. The church was blissful, the bride beautiful, and the way the groom looked at her had me thinking that one day this would be me.
Almost instantly, I felt that I was already one half of the most beautiful love story, like a divine wave of love magically swept me into thinking that my soul mate, my proverbial “other half,” was waiting for me to find him so that we could live our lives together in wedded bliss.
Of course, I was only twelve years old, which was just a little too young for that. But romantic dreams and fantasies soon followed, and they came and went as swiftly as two attractions I experienced as an adult.
These attractions were powerful magnetic pulls, but unfortunately, the other thing they had in common was that both represented unattainable love.
It would have been impossible for these connections to transform into anything lasting. However, at their height, they lured me into a spiral of passion and longing for that sense of completeness that I thought only they could bring.
The first of these attractions was to a man I met at the age of nineteen. A couple of years older than I, he was about to become an ordained priest and was in absolutely no position to be married to anyone but the church. Still, I was enchanted. He mesmerized me and piqued my interest in ways I didn’t understand.
The second was with someone I met later. A free spirit who will, most likely, always want to make his life on the beach, he was not one for any type of commitment or responsibility. However, he liked me. And, I really liked him. To this day I feel happy to have met him.
These men touched something in me, and each brought back my teenage belief in the existence of that proverbial “other half.” But both were also unavailable. If I would have actively pursued them, I would have dived into an emotional cesspool of heartache and drama.
So what was it then that made them so attractive? And why did they make me feel even fleetingly complete?
I only found the answers to these questions later in life when I embarked on my journey back to Self.
It was through meditation and self-reflection, imperative tools to my journey, that I slowly began to understand how these attractions were actually reflecting hidden parts of me.
In other words, both these men in a way were indicative of my soul mate because they were pointing to parts of my true “other half,” my inner soul mate. They were pointing to aspects of my inner self.
As the first man touched upon, what was at the time, my underdeveloped spiritual side which held my need for prayer, meditation, and service to a higher power; the second man connected to another part of me—the part that was undisciplined, relaxed, and carefree, a part I always did my best to fight against.
My heart and soul had picked up on something my brain couldn’t understand. These individuals were representing qualities within myself that needed my attention.
Through my journey, I learned a lot about these types of connections and, the more I did, the less I looked for anyone outside of myself to complete me.
If you are struggling with a confusing attraction, unattainable love, or a complicated relationship that is causing you pain, yet you feel this person, in some way, completes you, I would take time out to self-reflect.
Ask yourself what is pulling you the most toward this person.
For instance, if the object of your attraction is a musician, could he or she be reflecting the musician in you? This is something you may wish to explore possibly through singing, learning how to play a musical instrument, or writing a song.
If it’s not something musical, creative, or artistic, it could also be that they are pointing to an aspect of your sensuality—an underdeveloped inner energy like your inner masculine or inner feminine.
For example, if you grew up in an aggressive environment where there wasn’t a compassionate, nurturing presence, and as a result, did not develop those qualities within yourself, you may be attracted to someone else who has them in spades simply because you’re seeking balance.
When we meet someone and feel a magnetic pull toward them, their purpose in our life may not be one of romantic relationship or even one of deep or long lasting friendship. And, certainly, it does not mean they will or can ever possibly complete us.
Nevertheless, these types of attractions are important and magical because even when we don’t realize it, to varying degrees, we are seeing ourselves in another person.
These attractions come into our lives to guide us. Each, in its own unique way, directs our attention to the parts of ourselves we need to see the most. Then, once seen, we begin to experience true completeness—that sense of wholeness that can only be found within.
And it’s only when we’re already whole that we can feel complete in a relationship with someone else.
Photo by Tony Hall