The term “soul mate,” amor platonicus, was coined in the 15th century by Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficini, but the concept has appeared in many cultures since ancient times. The oldest record dates back five thousand years to the Egyptian legend of Osiris and Isis. Brother and sister, husband and wife, their eternal love lasted a lifetime and beyond. In Celtic lore, our souls begin as one being that gets broken apart. The search to reunite with our soul mate is a search for balance. In Yiddish, finding one’s “bashert” means finding your predestined partner, what’s meant to be.
Soul mates are mirrors for each other, what’s loving, smart, and adorable, as well what’s annoying, negative, or rigid. Thus, your relationship may experience tumultuous periods or you may have disagreements that require the two of you to expand your hearts and surrender your egos, in small and larger areas. For instance: the chick flick or testosterone-charged action film you see to please your spouse; the obligatory visit to your toxic in-laws; or larger arguments about everything from parenting styles to work schedules to dealing with money that require compromise. You surrender to these compromises in service to the “we” of love.
A soul mate union invites you to open differently than you would alone, become flexible, let go of behaviors that don’t benefit you or the relationship. In some ways, for me, it’s easier to be on my own, but moving beyond my comfort level lets me surrender in ways I long for. As fiery as it can get with a soul mate–good passionate and bad passionate–your mutual bond, the familiarity and instinctive trust, motivates you to resolve conflict instead of bolting. Getting to the other side of an impasse, working out a problem, feels marvelous. As barriers dissolve, the space between two people opens; there’s room for ecstasy.
Edgar Cayce, perhaps the most famous American intuitive of the Twentieth century, writes that soul mate relationships aren’t created out of thin air, as the world frequently thinks, but have evolved over numerous incarnations. He says that we have many possible soul mates in our lives, not just one. When a woman asked Cayce if there was someone other than her fiancée who could make her happy, he replied, “You might have 25 or 30 such relationships if you choose to make it so.” (Also he says soul mates play different supportive roles in our many lives such as colleague, teacher, or friend.) Still, Cayce suggested that instead of looking for a person simply to make us happy we’d be better off finding someone to facilitate our wholeness and spiritual growth. This was how he defined a soul mate–not an “other half” who completes us.
It’s important to carefully choose our companions in all areas of life. People can help or hinder our well-being. As a psychiatrist, I appreciate how much we can understand ourselves through our relationships. Therefore, it is critical to find a partner who supports us in becoming our best selves.
There are clear ways to hone your intuitive focus to make it more possible for your soul mate to materialize. Here is an exercise to do from The Ecstasy of Surrender.
Invite Your Soul Mate In:
Surrender into action by setting the stage for a soul mate, then notice the signs that he or she has arrived.
1. Make a wish list
Spend some quiet time picturing the qualities you most desire in a mate. Ask yourself: What would truly be good for me? What do I need? Intelligence? Kindness? Support? Chemistry? Wants children? Good communication skills? Is he or she spiritually connected? Also make a list of traits that are unacceptable to you such as being self-absorbed or rigid. Everyone’s needs are different.
2. Release Expectations
Think of your list as a letter to spirit. You’ve put in your soul mate requests. No need to keep re-sending the letter. Now, let the list go. Hold your desires lightly in your heart but don’t push. Have faith that you’ve been heard.
3. Listen to Intuition
Pay attention to intuitive signs that you’ve met someone of interest, even if he or she isn’t “your type.” These are: A sudden wave of chills, a gut feeling of attraction, or a flash of insight that this person may be right for you. Also stay aware of intuitions such as a sick feeling in your gut or a sense of distrust that warns, “Danger. Bad news. Stay away.” These will protect you from unhealthy relationships.
4. Be aware of synchronicities and déjà vu
Synchronicities are moments of perfect timing when paths effortlessly interconnect. You sit next to someone in a movie who turns out to be your soul mate. Or, out of the blue, you have a chance to go to Paris where you meet The One. Also, notice when you have a sense of déjà vu–as if you’ve known each other before. If this occurs with a stranger, say in the market, act on the situation by smiling and making eye contact. Then strike up a conversation such as asking for directions.
About the Author:
Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life, upon which this article is based. Dr. Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine and USA Today.