Friday, October 22, 2010

Ask Artemis: Are you there, Soul Mate?

***Amended to note that I am aware my viewpoint on soul mates may go against certain religious doctrines. I often hesitate to share my take on God, religion, and other things of a supernatural nature in fear of angering or offending friends and family who believe otherwise. But I am still searching for truth myself and welcome all viewpoints, criticism, and opinions so long as they are not stemmed from hate.***


Dear Artemis,


I recently found your blog through a friend and need your advice and insight on my current situation.  I am in my twenties and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for several years.  We are the best of friends and have a supportive, loving, and practical relationship.  We come from similar backgrounds, enjoy many of the same activities, and love eating the same foods.  I can see us having a very functional and peaceful marriage in the future.  However, I am at a crossroads because as much as we love and care for each other, we have more of a brother/sister relationship compared to a romantic one.  There is no passion or fiery lust.  We are so young and yet already settled.


Should I be happy and content with him or should I risk losing a good and stable thing for the unknown?  Does romance last throughout the years?  If romance is lost, is there a way to get it back?


I love him but can't help wondering if there is a greater love out there for me, someone whose soul I connect with.


-Lost in love

* * *


Hi L&L,

If you’ve ever been at the dinner table with me during one of my soul mate spiels, you’ll know to brace yourself right now. This is something I love talking about.

There isn’t just one person out there for you. I believe in reincarnation and multiple lives and for each life and dimension your soul lives and passes through, you have the opportunity to build strong bonds and connections with other souls. On this earth, you may find yourself inexplicably drawn to certain people or meet someone you feel like you have known all your life; this isn’t just some chemical imbalance in your head—you are attracted to certain people (mind, body, and soul) because you DID know them from a past life. When souls move through their journey from one world into the next, there is an energy that pulls kindred spirits together. You could be sitting in a coffee shop one day, look up at a stranger standing in line, and your soul will say to his, “Oh there you are. I’ve been looking for you.”

That being said, just because your soul has history with someone else’s doesn’t mean your physical bodies came back into this dimension as compatible partners. Your soul could be desperately in love with your uncle’s, your 80-year-old neighbor’s, your best girl friend’s…but these people do not make suitable lifelong companions for obvious reasons. What contributes to a lifelong union on this earth depends heavily on practical day-to-day stuff that keeps marriages together such as compatible physical bodies (close enough in age to produce viable offspring), family and community support, agreeable lifestyles, and congruent spiritual beliefs.

Back to your question, you need to think about what you want for yourself. There is never “settling” in life, be it in your career, your relationships, or even the lifestyle you choose to maintain. Part of being human is this unquenchable thirst to strive to be better, to live for progress, and to deplete your potential as a building block to society. There is something awesome to be said about seeing yourself being able to have a peaceful and functional marriage with your current boyfriend but you can have the same stability with someone who also challenges you to really explore and discover the untapped resilience, compassion, and strength deep inside of you. If you are with someone because your futures together seem safe and predictable, then you are doing yourself a huge disservice as you have taken the excitement and unknown out of a big part of your life.

Please don’t mistake this as encouragement to chase after torrid affairs or fleeting conquests; instead, I am urging you to make decisions based on hope rather than fear. You have other soul mates out there so it’s okay to let your boyfriend go with the promise of a deeper and more powerful relationship with someone else. Rest assured you’ll never let go of something without the universe replacing it with something tenfold.

There is nothing wrong with the unknown and you may find the best times of your life were when a lot of things were exciting and up in the air. You are young and there is still plenty of beauty to be discovered in the world and in yourself. Stay open-minded and when you find that magic combination of kindred spirit and real-world compatibility in someone, you won’t spend even a minute questioning the fate of your futures together. The answer will be YES.

As far as lust and romance goes? Lust is a physical reaction part of the mating cycle (see We Are Not Monogamous) and romance is the intentional acts of tenderness and sweetness in a relationship. Lust begins to leave a relationship as soon as you seal the deal and is probably non-existent in long-term monogamous relationships. Thankfully, you have every control with romance and it only disappears from your life if you and your partner don’t make a concerted effort to woo.

I hope this helps and in the end, the decision is yours and your gut always points you in the better direction.

Regards,
Artemis

13 comments:

  1. My husband was married to someone who was a perfect match for him: similar interests, hobbies, outlooks on life, etc. They were together for almost a decade before they finally admitted that it just wasn't working. They both knew for a long time that something was missing.

    Then WE met. And he figured out what had been missing all along...we have all of those wonderful, amazing things in common too, PLUS the chemistry and attraction. While we're not setting the bed on fire every night anymore, there is an undeniable sexual energy between us that has lasted almost five years now.

    I think you can have it all. It just takes a while to find it sometimes.

    (I love your outlook on souls and reincarnation and all that...not sure if I believe it, but I'd really like to!)

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  2. hi lessons,
    thanks for sharing your story. i have had some things happen to me in past and present that has slowly shaped my beliefs in past lives. i am still struggling with articulating it and it is not something easy to get into since i come from a christian background. i actually just did an interview with my old college newspaper about some of this stuff that i will share on the blog once it is published.

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  3. i totally agree with you artemis

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  4. This is sound advice! I love the fact that you don't believe in soul mates - I think if more people were like that it would alleviate so much of the pressure we all feel to find mr. right and all that.

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  5. interesting perspective...

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  6. Soul-mates...it's a wonderful concept, right? That you don't have to search for someone, or work on being with them, but that one day the "one" for you is just THERE? That you don't have to work hard at keeping them around, but yet because you were "made for each other" it just happens?

    I hate that concept. I think it gives little girls an unreal representation of life.

    Relationships are HARD. Even when they're great, and even if two people have every single thing in common...they still have to work at it. To constantly change and compromise so as to keep yourself and your partner happy.

    I'm not sure if I believe in your reincarnation theory, but what I DO believe is that there is no such thing as being "made for" someone. You have to find that person who is similar to you, that you are attracted to and most importantly...you must KEEP TRYING. Nothing will ever work if you don't compromise; if you don't talk, and continue to change WITH your partner, it'll never last.

    But that's just my opinion. :)

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  7. I've been married to my "earthmate" for nearly 20 years now. Yes, there are times when I know that there is something missing, but I also know that we compliment each other enough to make up for that. It's been said that the most important sex organ is the brain...that's true. You want lust? Think it. I promise that even when the chemistry is slightly off, lust can be created. Meg is right that there is work involved in every relationship. The vows talk about good times and bad. When things are bad - and the bad is an inevitable part of life - comparability beats chemistry every day of the week.

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  8. Hrm. Still not sure what my viewpoint is on soulmates. Maybe I'm just unsure on the "romantic soulmates," but much like you I believe we all have our fellow kindred spirits. I know I have mine but there is definitely no romance between any of us.

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  9. yes, romance just doesn't appear magically -- you have to make a concerted effort to add romance to your relationship. if the partner is right, i think the effort will seem more like a joy. :-)

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  10. To me, if marriage is just function and comfortable, then, none of us would stay married. Though it definitely "cools" after a few years I think you will find that it will "cool" with the next love of your life, or the next. There is more than that, you just have to believe that marriage is a blessing and all those other things will not be the most important thing in it.

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  11. Sound advice and I'm interested in seeing the next post about the past lives/reincarnation perspective! I have always been skeptical of the soul itself, so I've never believed in soul mates. There are plenty of matches for each person but it's a challenging hunt.

    I was in a similar situation to L&L in that I began a relationship with someone who was exactly like me. At some point the romantic part of the relationship fizzled and I wondered if seeing myself every day was what I really wanted.

    In the end I gave up and I met someone that isn't an exact replica of myself. And we are able to grow and learn together. My ex and I are still good friends and he is now with someone else better-suited to him. :)

    As for lust and sexual energy.. my husband and I have recently distanced ourselves from the sex-obsessed society. Sure we were ripping eachother clothes off when we first met, but neither of us feel it is the driving force of our existence. It's kind of refreshing.

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  12. While I don't agree with the reincarnation part, I do agree with the rest of what you said: settling being a disservice to yourself, making decisions based on hope, not out of fear, etc.

    This is the kind of advice that I often give to my friends, but when you're in a situation like that of "Lost in Love", it's really hard to not be afraid of making the wrong decision or of losing something that seems, hey, pretty good.

    "Rest assured you’ll never let go of something without the universe replacing it with something tenfold."

    This is my favourite part of your post. I agree 100%, but it's nice to be reminded of it every once in a while :)

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