A month ago, I wrote a blog post entitled, “It’s Not Cheating, It’s Just Sex,” in which I reviewed a mountain of neurological, sociological, and psychological research focusing on the battle of the sexes. I cried through every minute of typing that post, having come to the following conclusion: Mr. Perfect is a pipe dream concocted by romance writers to help you orgasm, and that’s about it. Science would have you believe all men are philandering horn dogs (if not in action, than in spirit) and settling is the only way to go, unless you’d rather be alone for the rest of your life.
But then I thought about friends and family members, and the husbands of friends and family members, who do not fit the profile of the beer-guzzling, tail-chasing ape many a woman learns to suck it up and love. I asked several of these rare fellows to tell me how they imagined their ideal relationship, as part of a portrait series I am developing.
“In love, when loved, and when loving is truly the only time that real risk and danger can occur, because it is the only time you are able to discover places within that you didn’t know existed,”said one 45-year-old, divorced, community artist and father of two. “It is not the mystery of withholding, it is the mystery of the explorer, with a partner, on the same journey.”
“An ideal relationship, for me, would be full support in personal development, in every area of life,” said one 23-year-old, single, undergraduate psychology student and semi-professional athlete. “Endless love for one another, and constant communication.”
“Honorable,” said one 34-year-old, single, military man and father of two, “and committed. ”
Okay, so, maybe not all men lack control over their hormones, or equate the value of a loving relationship with porn-site loyalty. Maybe it’s that I attract only these kinds of men, and/or I am only attracted to them. Psychology would suggest maladaptive patterns of relating have unconsciously affected my methods of mate selection (I wrote a blog post about that too). But I’ve had years of therapy. I am, in fact, a therapist. So how can it be that with all the insights and behavioral changes I have made, I still find myself in the same place romantically? Why, God. Why?
Some might argue God has nothing to do with it, but I beg to differ. We often throw around phrases like “Soul Mates,” and my repetitious love life would seem to support the theory of “Karmic relationships,” but what do those words even mean?
I decided to do my own research into the topic, exploring spiritual theories of love. What I found is far too lengthy to include in this article, but I’d like to share the gist, and it begins with the origin of your soul.
One day, God (who is both male and female) gave him/herself a little squeeze, and a drop of “white fire light” fell out. This drop agreed to live a human existence, to learn more about love. So, the drop was divided in half, one half focusing on masculine energy, and the other on feminine energy (though both contain aspects of each, like ying and yang). Together, these halves are called “Twin Flames.” Separately, each is an “I AM” presence.
Each flame, or I AM presence, sent forth a soul, like a fisherman casting a line with bait on the end. The line connecting the bait to the fisherman is considered the soul’s “Higher Self” or “True Self,” the part that connects your soul to the most divine aspects of yourself. Through many lives on earth (embodying both genders), a soul seeks to balance Karmic debts (shameful wounds) through transformative feelings of love, in order to find its way back to its I AM presence, and reunite with its Twin Flame. But this is the soul’s essential misconception.
As Cyndi Dale, author of BEYOND SOUL MATES, asserts, “The soul’s dedication to karma supports one repetitive pattern after the other…reinforcing the idea that you have to earn love. But True Self-based, dharmic relationships suggest you are love. This means you are empowered to allow in only what encourages love and send the same to others.” Dale explains this dharmic short-cut through Karma is not an unhealthy, boundary-less love where you become a doormat and turn the other cheek in a domestic dispute, but a transformative intention to act with love towards yourself and others, instead of only yearning for it.
At times, there will be an emptiness, loneliness and longing that reveals the karmic nature of a relationship, particularly those that result in marriage. These can be difficult marriages because they may be for the balancing of severe crimes, such as murder, betrayal, or hatred; the worse the karma, the more intense the love and attraction upon meeting. As Elizabeth Clare Prophet, author of SOUL MATES AND TWIN FLAMES, states, “Very often the only way to overcome that record of hatred is through the intense love expressed through the husband-wife relationship. We love much because there is much to be forgiven.”
Soul mate connections are somewhat different, and not necessarily romantic in nature. Soul mates are kindred souls seeking to master the same issues as you. Sometimes they are part of the same “soul tribe” you’ve traveled with throughout many lifetimes, and sometimes they are unknown souls you are encountering for the first time. But don’t put your life on hold looking for a soul mate. More importantly, learn to give and receive love from the people you meet, because you won’t necessarily be struck by lightning when you find one.
Char Margolis, author of LOVE KARMA, and frequent guest on shows like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and Larry King Live, states, “We get into trouble when we start to believe that the only relationship worth having is with a soul mate. When the fireworks aren’t immediate or the connection isn’t instant, this belief makes us think the relationship isn’t worth our time. The truth is that we have many soul mates that incarnate in many forms over many lifetimes, depending on the lessons we—and they—need to learn…What if your lesson is to learn about the kind of love that builds slowly?”
Let’s recap. Your soul’s mission is to love itself without feeling like it has to earn it, in order to be rejoined with its Twin Flame, and return to God (this is the general concept of dharma). But in the meantime, your soul isn’t buying it, so instead of taking the elevator, it climbs the stairs by balancing karmic debts. This makes the idea of the happy ending (uniting with our Twin Flame) feel too far away and damn near impossible to achieve.
Sylvia Browne, author of PHENOMENON, and frequent guest on The Montel Williams Show, CNN, and Good Morning America, challenges us to assume a different perspective. “We share a bond with our [Twin Flames] like identical twins would, but we are certainly not joined at the hip. I am not a half person. You are not a half person. Like all spirits on the Other Side, [Twin Flames] can choose when, if and how many times to incarnate… We make these decisions separately, for our own very specific reasons, and don’t forget, in the context of eternity, we leave Home and come back in the blink of an eye. So why coordinate travel plans when you see each other as often as you want on the Other Side?”
Brian Weiss, a prominent psychiatrist and author of MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS, quoted a messenger from “the in-between,” through a patient in a regressed hypnotic state, “Our task is to learn. To become God-like through knowledge…By knowledge we approach God, and then we can rest. Then we come back and teach, to help others.”
And so, with a little willing suspension of disbelief, perhaps life isn’t a shameful balancing act, but more like a party. And you can either mess with the “bad kids,” and find yourself in a heap of trouble, or you can get a little tipsy and dance with your friends until the cows come home. Even if you make a poor decision, there’s always the next party to make a better one. And a party isn’t a party if you sit around waiting for only one guest to arrive. But most importantly, love and happiness doesn’t begin at the finish line; it was with you from the start.
Briana MacPerry is a licensed creative arts therapist and adjunct writing and research instructor. When she is not grading or corralling her four-year-old son, she is blogging and working on making that big break happen. To learn more visit her on twitter @macperrytweets or on her Facebook Page.