By Linda-Ann Stewart Ct.H., Ct.H.A
Do you find yourself attracting the same relationship issues into your life? Your life and relationships are a perfectly polished mirror for what is in your consciousness. One of the unpopular concepts having to do with this is, “When you don’t like something in someone else, it’s reflecting something within yourself that you don’t like.” You might have heard about this spiritual principle, and wondered about it, as I did. How could it be? I didn’t like people to be deceptive or cruel. Did that mean that somehow I was being that way? Try as I might, I couldn’t see that in myself. It took many years of observation and contemplation before I finally made some sense out of it.
Some years ago, I was involved with a couple of men who were deceptive and manipulative. These are two characteristics that immediately offend me. However, while I was in relationships, I wasn’t aware that they were expressing these traits, even when they lied to me. After the second relationship, I decided it couldn’t be a coincidence that I’d attract the same type of man one right after another. So I began to explore where I might be deceptive and manipulative. What I discovered was that I was deceiving the world about who I was. I was hiding great chunks of myself, afraid of being criticized or rejected. I wasn’t lying to others, the way these men had been. Instead, I was lying to myself.
That’s when I began to understand the principle. A person doesn’t have to be expressing the disliked attribute in the same way. For instance, two friends each have an issue with time. One of the friends is chronically late, and the other is obsessively early. The issue is the same, but they are presenting different facets of it. I know this to be true, as I’ve had friends who are always late, and I’m almost always early.
Whenever you don’t like a trait in someone else, it’s usually reflecting something within you that you’ve concealed from yourself. It also may be that you recognize the potential for that trait within yourself, and don’t like it. I don’t like people to belittle others, or are cruel. When I hurt someone’s feelings, even unintentionally, it hurts me. In the past, I would even avoid confronting someone who’d been mean to me because I didn’t want to hurt them. What I finally realized is that the potential to be cruel is within me, as it is within us all, but it’s well hidden. Since I acknowledged that, I can now respond appropriately to someone who is nasty.
You don’t have to act on those attributes you don’t like. But when you find out how the qualities you dislike are expressing in you, and accept them, the energy around them melts away. You no longer have to attract people who are reflecting the parts of you that you’ve masked. The Universe simply sent these relationship issues into your life as sign posts to teach you to accept yourself. All of yourself. Once I began to be true to myself, and convey that to the world, I attracted friends and a partner who were more open with me and didn’t have the same issues in my relationships. The Universe accepts you unconditionally as you are. Wouldn’t you want to accept yourself as much as the Universe does? This is a very empowering realization.
Linda-Ann Stewart is a nationally known hypnotherapist, writer, speaker and leads seminars on empowerment and stress reduction. You can visit her web site at www.cedarfire.com.
Long Term Relationship Advice – Finding Your Soulmate
People ask me all the time, how do I find my soulmate? For many years I was one of the all-time great skeptics of the phenomenon known as “Soulmates”. I knew of many couples who were self-proclaimed soul mates who dissolved their relationship after a few years, and the reasons given seemed shallow to me at best.
I’ve studied several definitions, and my understanding of soul mates is that these are two people who have been linked through past lives, and their essential nature is such that they compliment each other. What one lacks, the other tends to bring out in them, and vice versa. When they are together, they expedite each other’s soul growth simply by being themselves. The esoteric reasons for this phenomenon are varied, and I won’t pursue them here.
Many people are interested in finding their soulmate and I’m often asked how to make this occur. After having my previous skepticism shattered by encountering my own soulmate, I now understand why it’s such a production. Attracting one’s soulmate seems to involve considerable work on one’s own soul. Logical, huh? Finding and being with the soulmate doesn’t seem to make the process stop, in fact it just keeps going and going…
What makes this difficult is the fact that working on one’s soul involves giving the ego a back seat. This means a willingness to be wrong, letting go of fondly held pre-conceived ideas and being able to put the needs of one’s soul ahead of cultural requirements. This is just what happens before a soul mate can enter the picture. It seems that one has to accept love based simply on who you are, not what you do, how you think or what you look like (or any of the myriad other things we feel we must do/have to be loved). After that has been accomplished it seems to be necessary to be able to perceive the lovability in everyone, no matter what.
Encountering one’s soulmate probably varies in nature from one person to another, but the situation gets clear enough very quickly. I’ve often heard that the individual is not one’s usual “type” and this was my experience. There may be silly reasons to not get involved with this person. For example I’d chosen not to date anyone named Tom since I was a teenager. Now I’m in a relationship named “Tom and Jeri”, what I’d tried to avoid (I don’t really mind, but it’s fun to get cranky about it). Odd urges or intuitions may come up. I barely knew this person, in a stifling work situation, but kept having the urge to hug him like he was my best friend. Finally, there’s a synchronicity to the encounters. Situations may keep coming up which throw you together. It’s almost as if the Universe conspires to ensure that you get a really good look at each other and orchestrates way for finding your soulmate.
Making a life with a soul mate requires big steps beyond egoic needs. I’ve found that it’s easiest if one assumes that you’re in it for the duration and that anything which comes up, is for the Higher Good of both of you. No matter what “roles” either of you may be accustomed to assuming in a relationship, they may need to be changed. If you’re used to being passive, get ready to take charge. If you’re comfortable being a teacher, learn to be a student.
Obviously this is a very abridged version of the nature of a soul mate relationship. In my opinion the difficulty in bringing your soul mate into your life is that at a subconscious level, we realize the ego sacrifices which must be made and avoid them. We may hear a lot about how wonderful such a relationship can be, and I believe that this can’t be overstated. It’s incredible, marvelous, wonderful and heavenly. If we want to find our soulmates, the work on Self must be done.
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. ”
–William Jennings Bryan
As we continue our exploration on finding your soulmate let’s discuss a metaphysical approach to relationships. This is very different from the “usual” perspective so in looking long term let’s look at it for a different persepective. The reason for this is that the concept of Universal Good permeates the whole situation and all people involved. I’ve gotten several responses from my readers about difficulties regarding soulmates. Most of these difficulties have involved one person believing that they’ve found their soulmate and the other being either unaware or uncommunicative. I’m going to attempt to clarify the metaphysical position on this sort of situation.
Advice is, it generally takes work on one’s own soul before conditions are right for a soulmate to enter the picture. Metaphysically speaking, a great deal of that work seems to involve being able to accept one’s highest good without restriction, inhibition or delay. The principle is that unadulterated good is available to each of us, dependent only upon our ability to receive and/or accept it.
If there is a problem with finding one’s soulmate, it’s not the soulmate’s problem, it’s one’s own. This is a core principle in metaphysics. It is our own attitudes, beliefs and opinions which form our experience of life. In a relationship, it is our perception of the other, not the other themselves which determines our fate.
For example:I have perceived my desired partner as being incapable or unwilling to accept our connection. If I change my mind about this, decide that my soulmate and I are both ready, willing and able to connect, what will happen? There are a variety of possibilities and here are two of the most probable.
Something may change for the person I’m interested in.
Nothing will change for that person, but another, “righter” individual will show up in my life.
This technique is ruined if we assume that the person we’re interested in, must be the one or that they must respond in a specific fashion. There’s a very simple reason for this, and the term for it is “outlining”. Outlining in a metaphysical treatment demands that the solution to our issue be found within certain predefined parameters. It’s a big universe and the right thing for you probably isn’t within those parameters or you’d already have what you wanted. Such is the nature of the Laws of Metaphysics. When the treatment is done “open-ended”, there is no downside. If you’re going to get what you want anyway, is it so important that it happen exactly the way you think it should? Remember, interaction with a soulmate requires a loosening of ego issues, and our pre-conceived ideas are part of our ego structure.
What if we’re wrong? Like many other life situations which can be addressed through metaphysical techniques, it can be frightening to contemplate how much good can actually be available. For many of us, just the fact of meeting someone we can connect with on a soul level is an amazing experience. There is often a deep sense of familiarity, and a feeling of being better understood than ever before. But what if there were many soul connections available to us? In my opinion, a soulmate is a one-shot deal, but soul connections are many and these people can be in our lives to teach us a number of different things.
I’ve seen a pattern in the events which lead up to a soulmate connection for several different couples. Prior to the connection, one person may get very enamoured of someone with whom they have a strong soul connection. This is unrequited love. The person who is the object of this attention is frequently unaware of their impact, and thus gives unexpected responses. This can be very painful. However, when the attachment to this unresponsive individual is released, the real soulmate is found, usually very quickly.
In my opinion this is a learning experience for the soul to be able to find a long term partner. The soul is always answerable to a Higher Authority, and until that is given seniority over the preferences of the conscious mind, forward movement is halted. If we assume that this Higher Authority has our highest good in mind, it only makes sense to “turn over the wheel” to That Which Has All The Answers.
So what’s our long term relationship advice when trying to find your soulmate? Be flexible and open to possibility while letting attachments go.
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
Finding your soulmate takes a little work to understand the concepts involved metaphysically. I honestly had no idea that this column would generate so many requests for additional information and bring so many long term partner questions about relationship compatibility. I’ll keep advising you on the Soulmate theme either until it runs out or I need to talk about something else.
In the two previous articles I kept mentioning the need to release ego in order to find your soulmate. In this column I’m going to get more specific about what type of ego needs to be released. It’s actually very simple and pretty obvious, if not all that easy to actually do.
In order to meet your soulmate, you have to be willing to open up your soul. This can be very scary stuff. Since many of us are unclear about where our soul resides and what it may be up to, here are some pointers. Your soul is where you keep your deepest needs, feelings, hurts and desires. It’s probably the part of the psyche which is most ferociously defended and it very likely is the most vulnerable part of the Self. The defenses that we may use to protect this and the masks we wear to hide it away are aspects of ego. In order to open up the soul, we have to stop defending and protecting it.
It can be very spooky to contemplate this. Opening the soul means that we speak the truth of who we are, what we may fear and what we deeply care for to a world which isn’t known for it’s compassion in these areas. If we felt that we lived in a compassionate world, there would be no need to hide from it, now would there? Opening the soul requires courage, enough so that we’re willing to endure ridicule or disbelief in our most tender spots. Luckily the soul is a whole lot tougher than we give it credit for being. Also very fortunately, when we come from the soul without defensiveness, most people instinctively recognize and honor our actions.
This may be hard to believe. A major part of the reason we defend the soul in such a dedicated fashion is our memory of having been hurt in the past. Why should it be any different now? The difference is the conscious choice to align one’s loyalties to the soul. When we know that rejection may occur, but are honoring the needs of soul regardless of this, there is power. The power is a spiritual, metaphysical power of Truth. This power is a protective force which ensures that no matter what else occurs, soul growth has happened and we are better for it.
The fact remains that this opening is necessary if we wish to meet a soulmate and build trust in relationships. There seems to be significant difficulty in hooking up with and sometimes even perceiving a soul mate unless we drop these defenses. It makes sense metaphysically, since the Universe draws to us that which we most deeply need. If we’re covering up that need with masks or defenses, there is no way that what we really need can come to us. We are actively inhibiting it.
In order to experience something as extraordinary as a soulmate connection, one has to take extraordinary risks. In this case the risk is the sacrifice of ego for the potential reward of a deeply fulfilling relationship with someone who knows you fully and loves you just as you are. A soul mate.
Finding your soulmate brings up questions on terminology. There are different terms used to describe various aspects of the soulmate phenomenon. For the sake of simplicity I have only used “soulmate” and “soul connection”. Some other terms used in this area are “twin souls”, “soul contracts” and “twin flames”. I don’t dispute this terminology any more than I would the multiple terms for “God”. Some of the feedback I’ve gotten from this series however, does dispute this and I apologize for any offense my choice of terms may cause.
I suspect that any argument regarding terminology occurs for the same reason that there is argument regarding the word “God” or “Love”. Each of these concepts is intensely personal and the subjective experience of any one of them often feels entirely unique to oneself. In my opinion this is as it should be since these are each very special experiences. For the purpose of this column however, I’m going to keep it simple and stick with “soulmate” and “soul connection”.
A great deal of the feedback concerns the differences between a soul connection and a soul mate. Many people are quite convinced that they’ve met their soulmate but… This is the telling point in the descriptions I’ve received. When the “but” concerns mutuality of experience, it’s not a soulmate. I want to be very clear on this. When only one person in the relationship is interested and/or willing to pursue the relationship, it is “only” a soul connection and not a soulmate. They are both very special occurences.
Soulmates have agreements established in the past to come together and share evolutionary growth. When the connection is made, it is very difficult for either party to resist, no matter what the circumstances may be and there is a real desire for a long term relationship of some type. My advice, is a soul connection seems to also be important, but in a different way. In this instance, there is a recognition through one’s soul of the other person. This recognition can be startling and sometimes quite impactful. However, pursuing a relationship tends to be fraught with difficulties of every sort imaginable. Usually the biggest difficulty of a soulmate relationship is the sheer terror which can occur from the intensity and mutuality of the experience. That calms down after awhile.
I’ve also been asked about severing these connections. In my experience there are two scenarios which make this necessary.
The relationship was based on a soul connection which had a finite purpose, such as learning to express love.
The soulmates (both of them) have decided that the evolutionary acceleration is too much to take and consciously choose to “put the brakes on”. If allowed to halt for too long, personality issues become greater than soul issues and the relationship must wait until another lifetime.
Severing a soul connection can be a very difficult task. This is due to the fact there is a soul “indebtedness” or karma between the two individuals. In order to release or get released from such a bond requires a powerful will to do so. This is not the will to escape, but the will to finalize or achieve closure. I’ve worked with several people who felt trapped in such a situation and in each case it required that the individual be willing to call upon all their inner resources to fully let go. And it truly is “letting go”, not getting the other to let go, no matter how much it may seem that way. Sometimes these karmic debts include being able to forgive a debt in it’s entirety, or to forgive oneself for having been in debt. One must be able to do this from the soul.
This issue concludes the “Soulmate” series. The “Long Term Relationship Advice on Soulmates ” column will continue though, on other topics. I’d like to thank all the people who responded so enthusiastically to this series and I hope that you enjoy upcoming topics as well and the following short poem about love.
Short Love Poems: SUDDEN LIGHT
I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before,–
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turn’d so,
Some veil did fall,–I knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?
–DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882)
Universal Synchronicity: The Miracle of Finding a Soulmate
Due to the awesome synchronicity of the universe, we always come into contact with the people we most need in life. Although this may not be immediatly visible in our relationships, a minimal amount of exploration will show that synchronicity is the natural flow of energy. We we meet people we may need these people to teach or guide us in directions that ultimately serve our highest purpose. They may be here to challenge us to perform at a higher level. There could be situations that encourage us to open up to greater love in our lives. Universal sychronicity brings us in contract with our life opportunities which also includes finding our soulmate.
If you take an honest look at what you’ve gained from each contact with another person, you will probably find that they reflected back to you what you most needed from the universe at that moment. Even in uncomfortable situations, you may be learning better how to care for yourself or how to negotiate win-win outcomes. When we approach each interaction from the assumption that this person is a messenger, life changes. If we pay attention to the words, the situations and the context of our contact with this person, we can see the universe speaking to us through them. Universal synchronicity can also bring us karmic relationships.
We are each messengers. Whatever we have to say to another is what they most need as well. It just works out that way. You may look at this as a phenomenon of the Oneness of all life. At some level we are all connected with one another, and tend to respond at that level as well. We needn’t be conscious of this occurring in order for it to work. Increased consciousness of it however, makes us more of a beneficial presence in the world.
Increase your consciousness of the nature of synchronicity and the miracle of finding a soulmate or the reflections of karmic relationships. Listen to those around you as if their words dropped from the lips of a sage, or a saint, or a challenging teacher. You may find that indeed, the timing was as perfect as a miracle.
“It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.”
— Hermann Hesse
Love Advice: Rules of Relationships
When seeking love advice it is important to understand the rules of relationships. Relationship rules are an extremely controversial matters. They have been this way throughout recorded history. Many efforts to legislate them into law have had only temporary effectiveness, and some of the efforts made to enforce these rules have been absurd as well as pathetic. This has been explained as the species’ efforts to control procreation and perhaps that’s true to a limited extent. Viewed from the perspective of metaphysics, the subject takes on a very different light.
We are each infinite, immortal, spiritual beings. For the sake of convenience, we will usually forget that and try to deal with material existence in terms of finite measurements such as balances, weights, distances, time, etc. Perhaps the most difficult area to maintain this pretense of limitation is in the area of the heart. Once we open up to love, we have to quit lying to ourselves about the fact that magic exists, that miracles can happen and that a loved one can be as a god/dess to us. Oops. Now, how are we supposed to lasso this infinite, immortal, spiritual being with the finite regulations of material life? Good luck.
Luckily, we ourselves are equally infinite, immortal and spiritual, so we also will only abide by these regulations for as long as we choose to. We can’t actually be bound by them, or controlled by them, unless we choose to be. For either party in a relationship to honor the agreements made in a relationship, there has to be a self-determined choice to do so. Due to these metaphysical facts of life, there are ways to ease the rule making process. What follows are a few suggestions to encourage both parties to create rules and want to abide by them.
Allow all relationship rules to be re-negotiated. New agreements can be mutually arrived at to accomodate changes in life or perspective. You don’t have to continue to be faithful to me even after I’ve been unfaithful to you.
Decisions made by one party are not binding on both. If you pick out a new house, and even put down a deposit, I don’t have to move in.
Love is the priority. Anything else must be of secondary importance.
Legitimate attempts at forgiveness must be attempted no matter how “heinous” the apparent indescretion.
These are a few ways to ease the strain of two people trying to love each other without also trying to control each other. It keeps the relationship very fresh, though it may be less predictable than some may want. Some advice on love is to consider creating some rules in your relationships to help create guide posts along the path of love.
Helping Others: Creative Visualization and Prayer
When writing relationship articles a subject my readers have brought to my attention is the use of creative visualization to effect others. Also, another approach for sending helpful intentions is through prayer.
Many of writings have gone into detail about using metaphysics to control someone else and why its a bad idea because of the creating adverse karma. This time we’ll be looking at how to use visualization and prayer to help someone else achieve what they want in life. Using these types of approaches can be compared in some ways to other metaphysical techniques but in this article let’s discuss the unexpected benefits for the sender.
There are a couple of tricks to reality creation for the sake of someone else in order for it to be truly effective. Ideally, we would be affirming and creatively visualizing for this person because they had asked us to. Typically, I do this when someone asks me to pray for them. The reason for this is simple. Quite often we may put ourselves through an unpleasant experience for the subconscious reason that we want the growth we can gain from learning how to deal with the effects. Getting the situation resolved prematurely may just require us to set up a more difficult lesson of the same sort in the future. So, if I’m not asked to help, I will ask if it’s alright for me to lend my prayers to the matter while closely watching and listening to the response.
Most likely this person has a specific visualization of what has to happen in order for them to feel better. They have succumbed to the pain so much though, that this image isn’t real to them. Its a far-off dream. Our job is to understand that the healing or resolution they require is available to them right here and now, no more delays in the matter. Additionally, we can accept the resolution for them. For whatever reason, our friend has become unable to accept that the pain or difficulty can be over now. Therefore, we must accept this for them. We would creatively visualize them relaxing their concerns and knowing with deep certainty that life had greatly improved for them and that they were very comfortable with continuing their existence without ever having that particular problem again.
The other “trick” to lending your metaphysical assistance to another is in taking care not to be overly specific. This can be a concern when we are doing metaphysical work for ourselves, but is even more of an issue when we are doing our work for another. Innumerable times I have done a “successful” metaphysical treatment for someone. In this what I had visualized for them came to pass exactly as I had chosen for them. Unfortunately, this was not their solution! I can know that someone’s carpal tunnel syndrome is healed quite well, but its no good if what they need is to resolve their issues with computers. In such a case, it just comes back.
What I had to learn from this was to really listen to what the other person was saying. If my friend wants to stay with the same abusive jerk, but wants to be healed of her busted ribs, I must be very careful in what I affirm and visualize for her. I cannot visualize and affirm her leaving this guy, because then my whole effort will be resisted by her and no good will come of it. What I can do though, is to turn it over to my Higher Power. I can know that there is a perfect solution which includes the healing of her ribs. I can accept that solution for her, whether either one of us knows consciously what it may be. This helps keep me from getting cranky (a real possibility in such a situation) and prevents my friend from resisting a positive outcome.
Doing metaphysical work for those we care for is rewarding and joyful. I highly recommend it. What is particularly lovely about it, is that to some degree we will always reap a similar benefit to that which we have known for another. For instance, I may not have an abusive mate as in the example above, but my relationship with him will show distinct improvement, or my health will get better in some way. Knowing the good for someone else in our own consciousness cannot help but be good for us as well.
Remember we are all connected so your creative visualizations and prayers for loved ones can’t help but include you!