Since as far back as I can remember, I have believed in the concept of soul mates. A soul mate, for those who don't know, is a person with whom you have an affinity. This person is, as the theory of soul mates goes, someone with whom your soul has traveled time. You and this other person are constantly brought together in each successive lifetime, because of your comfort levels with each other's souls, and because you have much to learn from each other.
Just because you are soul mates doesn't mean you are destine to be together for a lifetime. Nor does it mean you are going to have pleasant experiences when together. One of the operative points of the soul mate theory is the "learning from each other" phase we all must go through. Some of our soul mates may be drawn to us, not out of good intentions, but because we are to learn a valuable, yet potentially painful or hurtful lesson from them.
While flipping channels the other night, I paused on a program where two people were discussing soul mates, and in the course of the conversation they came to the conclusion a soul mate is the person who forces you to grow the most as a person. Well, hearing this got me to thinking about my potential soul mates, past and present.
I had been mistakenly raised to believe my soul mate would be the person I would fall madly in love with, and we would spend the rest of our lives together in utter bliss. I was raised to believe this by my maternal grandmother, who did just that. She married the first man she fell in love with, and spent a little more than 30 years with him, and mourned his passing everyday for the remaining 30 years of her life. She truly made love and soul mates sound like the most wonderful thing anyone could experience.
Well, if the theory of soul mates is accurate, then my soul mate, the man who forced me to grow more as a person than anyone else in my life, is a self-loathing closeted homosexual who would rather live a life built on a foundation of lies than even attempt to build a relationship based on honesty and truth. Now I don't fault him entirely for his inability to be what I know he could've been, because we each live within or close to our comfort zones, and he wasn't ready to move outside of his comfort zone.
Coming to this conclusion led me to the further conclusion, it was time for me to invoke a soul mate divorce.
Now if you are in anyway interested in the metaphysical or spiritual side of things, you may wonder what I'm talking about, since the concept of soul mates is both physical in this existence, and ethereal in the astral planes. And being physical in this existence, a divorce is a divorce, and two people simply stop whatever they have between them and go on their merry way. Only a divorce, of any kind, is not that simple. Also, in my case, I'm an "I've gotta love one man till I die" kind of guy. So the concept of divorce, quite foreign to most of my youth and actually almost unheard of in my own family (with the exception of two distant cousins), was new to me.
Oh, I knew what a divorce was, having lots of friends with divorced parents. It simply meant they spent less time with their fathers, seeing them every other weekend, and every other holiday. but I never considered what it was like for the people who were divorced. Being gay I figured I'd never have to know, since I legally am not allowed to get married in most places. You see, I was still not getting the concept of divorce as being anything other than a legal paper saying two people were no longer married. I never connected divorce with emotions. It was all about the money, the house, the cars, the material aspects of life.
Well, when my soul mate decided to cut me out of his life and proceed to pretend I never existed, I got my first taste of the true meaning of divorce, since in my mind, on some level, I had given myself to him mentally as one does in a marriage. At least, if it were legal for me to marry, that is how I would view my vow to my partner, as an eternal obligation or promise to love unconditionally and expect the same in return.
Admittedly this is a naive outlook on the obviously antiquated concept of marriage as it is known to be today, what with the more than fifty percent chance of any legally bound relationship ending in divorce, but again I was raised to believe people talked out their problems and tried very hard to work them out before tossing one another aside like worn out shoes.
So, in my state of mind, I had made a promise with my soul, not something to be taken lightly, and thus I was bound to work things out. Now, as I said, my soul mate basically tossed me out of his life and did not make it possible for us to work things out, yet I, on some level, held on to the hope he would not be as single minded and bitter as to literally cut me out of his life completely. I was wrong.
I admit I'm the kind of person who needs to be bashed over the head with rejection before I comprehend it and, in my inevitable style, I tried as best I could to get my point across to my soul mate. Well, I've given up.
It became quite clear he is content with the decisions he's made, decisions which caused me years of emotional pain and scarring to my psyche, leaving me feeling as though I can never again trust anyone, and I have no recourse but to accept his cruelty. Well, I accept it.
However, being the student of the metaphysical I am, I too have made a decision. I want a spiritual severance of our souls. Put bluntly, I want a soul mate divorce. What this means is, for those like myself who believe souls travel from lifetime to lifetime in groups, our souls would never again, for all eternity, reunite in another lifetime. One has to believe in reincarnation, as I do, for this to be plausible.
Now the ramifications of a soul mate divorce are far reaching, since this is something which transcends conventional thinking and enters the metaphysical. To divorce a soul from another soul, to eternally separate two souls, is equivalent to separating Siamese twins. It means eternally feeling a phantom twinge, knowing something is missing from your lives, but not know what it is that is missing. It means losing a part of yourself, a part of your learning or growth process forever limiting yourself to some of the possibilities which may come your way in this or future lives.
This is a serious decision for someone who believes in the concept of soul mates, and I did not reach it lightly. I took into consideration the levels of pain I felt caused me by someone I loved unconditionally, someone I felt I've loved in many lifetimes unconditionally, and came to the conclusion this soul finally pushed too hard and hurt me too much, and is a soul I will be better off without encountering in my future lives.
This doesn't mean I no longer love this soul mate unconditionally, only that I won't love this soul in future lives and will finally be emotionally free of the pain and anguish I felt at being treated the way I had been by his unthinking actions. It means I take back my emotional promise to myself to love this person on such a deep level, and retrieve the right to my own desires without waiting to see if he would change his mind or even want to work things out. Very simply, once a metaphysical divorce is cast it can not easily be undone.
Decisions are made, and consequences must be lived with.
To this end, I am finally ready, after what seems like a lifetime, to let go of outmoded promises, and a soul which caused me grief, in spite of the good I saw in it, and move on to new experiences with other potential soul mates.
Since marriage, in my opinion, is a state of mind, so is divorce. And after wrestling with the notion for a long time, I am ready to put it into practice. Of course this is all theoretical and only on metaphysical planes of existence, but it serves its purpose in allowing me the chance to let go of so much painful baggage and opens me up to new possibilities.
I'm sad my former soul mate and I will never again interact in this or any other lifetime, but happy to know he helped me grow as a person to the level where I can comprehend this experience and let go of the hurt and move on. Yes, it took me much longer than most people to come to these conclusions, but I'm not good with listening to my own advice.
Besides, I'm looking forward to my soul mate divorce party and possibly meeting up with a new soul mate. Hopefully he won't be the one with the lampshade on his head dancing the macarena naked on the beach.
Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.
ABOUT ROBERT A. MELOS
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
4.16.02 @ 1:50p
My favorite Grandma quote on marriage is "Marry a younger man, you'll be a widow for less time."
I never thought about having a soul mate being potentially painful. Then again, I think there are a number of people with which each of us can be happy, not just one. Interesting take, Robert.
4.16.02 @ 2:49p
I don't think a soul mate should ever hurt you. If you were soul mates and unconditionally loved each other, there is absolutely nothing you'd ever do to hurt that person.
And if you can forgive someone who does that to you, you're a bigger man than I. I forgive people for everything very quickly...up until a point. And then I never ever forgive them again. Things are very black and white with me.
So when someone I love hurts me, there is no forgiving, no working things out. That, for me, is unforgivable and just proves they weren't my soul mate to begin with.
4.16.02 @ 2:51p
Wow. Matt, please don't take this the wrong way, but you don't know a lot about human nature, do you? We hurt each other all the time. No matter how much we love each other.
4.16.02 @ 3:01p
No, but I think there's a difference between love and soul mate love.
Yes, everyone's hurt someone they love. But I've always believed that with soul mate love, you'd do literally anything to not hurt that person. It just becomes not an option to even consider.
And then there's muskrat love...
4.16.02 @ 3:03p
Don't forget Mike Love.
4.16.02 @ 3:05p
Or Courtney Love.
4.16.02 @ 3:10p
No, we can forget Courtney Love.
4.16.02 @ 3:11p
4.16.02 @ 3:13p
It's impossible to always know if what you are doing will hurt someone else. You can intend to never hurt your soul mate, but I don't think the odds are very good on actually never hurting them.