Soul Mates and the Healing Power of Love
Love has a great power to heal us. Sounds like a tall order, but loving someone and being loved and accepted in return does make for a happier, healthier life. Ironically too, loving someone can bring us to love ourselves. So where, in an often hostile world, do we ‘find’ this love? Enter soul mates. First however, a sojourn into Jungian psychology to understand that from a psychological perspective, the inner marriage is encompassed in the concept of individuation or coming into wholeness. Jung suggested that the drive to wholeness is inherent to the psyche and is a process of gradual lifetime unfolding. Individuation is a natural process – an inner union that, in essence, is essential to the spiritual well being of every individual. Often though, our love relationships reflect this journey to inner union-to inner wholeness, because through them we grow. Relationships offer us the greatest opportunity for soul growth.
Yearning for a Lost Wholeness
In some deep part of our soul we all have a sense of love, as well as a memory of wholeness, and of belonging. We also have a sense of having lost this wholeness, and this further fuel our search. Psychologists would tell us that what we are searching for is to return to the nirvana that we thought we experienced when we were in our mother’s wombs. My own belief is that while the birth experience is most definitely our first great experience of physical separation, it is merely a reminder of an earlier separation, and causes us to search endlessly for the person who will give us the desired sense of completion. Often this is a nameless yearning we feel in our hearts and we imagine it will be healed through meeting the perfect partner, our soul mate.
Soul Mates: Learning about ‘Otherness’
Loving, and relating, is fundamental to our spiritual growth. How do we learn about love and about relating? We learn through our interaction with others. Soul mates come into our lives so that we can learn about love, about healing, and about compassion. The consciousness of relating to another being opens us to union and wholeness that is not possible any other way. It is only through the constant chaffing of differences that we learn to deal with otherness. Through this acceptance we move to inner wholeness. Outer love brings us to inner love and vice versa. The same principle applies to all inner processes. Once we connect with and change our inner lives it reflects outside in our outer lives.
Jung claimed that fundamental to individuation is the vow to another. In weddings, ordinations and other ceremonies, the taking of vows is a symbolic act, which transcends the individual. A vow to the Other is an essential part of our soul’s journey to wholeness. Sometimes the vow is to the creative muse, as with Rilke and other great poets and artists. It can also be to God as with the great mystics, and it can be to one’s calling in life. For others, this call to the divine, to wholeness is through a lover and soul mate. But ultimately, the vow represents in all human beings a longing for transcendence, for wholeness and is an affirmation of relationship.
We need our soul mates. On an archetypal level, we are primed to have certain experiences and meet certain people as part of our soul journey. Additionally, our psychic inheritance and cultural and family heritage informs our life and possibly the choices we make. Spiritually, our sacred contracts ensure that we meet with and relate to those souls we have agreed to work with to learn certain lessons. In this sense, our emotional wounds and difficult life experiences are in fact spiritual tasks of empowerment. So, though it may be a hard lesson to accept, when our soul mate and lover leaves us, he or she could be doing us a favour. Indeed, as the stories in Love in a Time of Broken Heart tell us over and over, our heartbreak and sense of abandonment may be just what we need to lead us to connect with our soul’s purpose, to uncover and heal emotional wounds that are holding us back and to lead us to eventual inner (and perhaps outer) union-the inner marriage.
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
How blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere
They’re in each other all along-Rumi
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