2. How exactly would you define "soul mate?" Does the term always refer to romantic love?
A soul mate is anyone—or any other being—with whom we have a soul-based relationship. Most of our relationships are based on soul-to-soul bonds, which means that most of our relationships, not only those of the romantic variety, are soul-based. "True" relationships, on the other hand, are based on a connection between our true selves or our spirit. These are less frequent.
Why might this be? Well, our true self knows it is always connected to the Source. Relationships based on a true-self connection are positive and uplifting and encourage the successful accomplishment of our personal life mission. We can engage in true-self relationships romantically but also through friendship and other forms of relationship. Most of us don't feel worthy of or ready to show our true selves and so we have fewer true relationships overall.
In comparison to our true self, our soul doesn't know it's always connected to the Source or Divine and is completely loveable. In order to learn about its innate worthiness, it participates in experiences aimed at helping it get the message. Unfortunately the opposite sometimes happens. Abuse, difficulties, rejection, abandonment, addictions…when subjected to these and other challenges, our soul often shrivels up, believing itself inadequate. It is then willing to engage in sometimes-hurtful relationships, those that don't accelerate the expression of the true self. In order to heal these love wounds, our soul enters relationships with other souls that need to learn the same love lessons. Many of these relationships, romantic or otherwise, are inspirational and easy. But some reflect our darker lessons and are painful.
As you might surmise, this explanation of soul relationships suggests that almost every relationship we engage in is a soul relationship, exchanging wisdom about how to remember what our true self already knows: that we are made of love, that we are loved, and that we can afford to be loving. This broad definition means that almost everyone important in your life is probably a soul mate: mom, dad, siblings, relatives, friends, lovers, even companion animals.
3. Why are soul mates important to our lives?
Soul mates are important because they teach us about love. They reflect our accomplishments to us, but also the areas we still need to work on.
For instance, I have several amazing "best friends." These three men and three women accept everything about me, but aren't scared to tell me where I'm out of integrity. One of my girlfriends calls me "Missy" whenever she thinks I'm making a mistake. Most recently she said, "Missy, you really need to go on vacation more often. You're not doing anyone a favor wearing yourself out."
Soul mate romantic relationships accomplish the same goals. My most recent soul mate relationship was with a man who was very loving and also mirrored the negative behaviors of both my mother and father. Finding that I frequently triggered with his challenging behaviors, I re-entered therapy and was able to deal with my childhood wounds, emerging a more whole and complete person. The relationship didn’t survive my transformation, but it didn't need to do so.
4. Is it possible to tell who in our lives are soul mates?
As explained, almost everyone in your life is most likely a soul mate, a fellow traveler on the pathway of love. Of these, a few have been romantically inclined and can be categorized in three main categories:
5. Our world is vast; is it even possible to find our true love?
Of course! Our true self is constantly humming away inside of our hearts, calling true love to us. Know that there isn't only one true love, however. Just as we have hundreds of soul mates, so might we be able to enjoy true love with several different individuals.
Sometimes two true loves meet, but for practical reasons, they are unable to express their love sexually or through a life-long commitment. Perhaps one is married; maybe we live in different countries. Nonetheless, the connection encourages both to engage with everyone in a more loving way. Sometimes we only meet a true love as a precursor to another one. Maybe a true love comes in to "whet our appetite." But when the timing is right, when all the jigsaw puzzle pieces fall into place, we meet our Eternal One, with whom we can spend the rest of our lives.
I have taught the formula in my book to dozens of individuals who were tired of meeting only soul mates for romance. As I've shared, when the timing is right, true love shows up, which could be characterized in the same way shared by a client who met his true love after two years of being open for one:
"It's inexplicable. We can be everything to each other and still be entirely ourselves."
True love is there for all of us.
And if we're waiting, it's important to know that you can transform ALL your relationships into true relationships, relationships you can be your true self within. The power to show your true self in the world lies within you—you don't have to wait for romance to express your true self.
6. What do you hope readers will take away from Beyond Soul Mates?
In the end, I would like readers to feel empowered, to know that they can increase true love in all areas of their lives.
In fact, it's possible for readers to change themselves in such a way that they can do the following: