Soul Mates and
What Is a Soulmate?
by Nina Lee Braden
What is a soul mate? Is it a buzz word being tossed around by New Agers
and Romance publishers in order to increase book sales and seminar fees?
Is soulmate just another term for true love or is it something else,
something more, something bigger and deeper?
Good question, and I don't have a clear answer. If you browse the Web,
searching under the term "soulmate," you'll find testimonials of How I
Found My Soulmate on the Web, and pointers to Personals Ads for you to
search for a personal soulmate, but you won't find much hard information
on soulmates or much discussion on what a soulmate is.
There is no definitive theory of soulmates, no accepted definition.
Richard Bach, and Elizabeth Clare Prophet have all written at length on
soulmates. Some say that there are different types or categories of
soulmates. Three types frequently discussed are the soulmate as an
essence twin or counterpart--one's other half, the companion or lover
who helps one achieve a goal, and the karmic teacher who comes into your
life to teach you an important lesson. For more on different types of
Soulmates, see My Soulmate Discovery, Part II.
A belief in reincarnation is not necessary for a belief in soulmates
although a great deal of literature on soulmates does presume a belief
in reincarnation. Perhaps I'm just a Soulmates Skeptic, but I just
cannot believe that there is one and only one person for each of us. In
my own life, and in the lives of many friends, I know that there have
been times when we've been convinced that, "This is the one. This person
is my One True Love, my Soulmate."
However, often in these cases, for one reason or another, the
worked out. Were we mistaken? Was that person not our soulmate? Or, was
person our soulmate, and, for one reason or another, we just weren't
able to make things work?
I have no answers; however, I do have a theory of my own. I have a
friend who introduced me to the theory of a soul tribe. To her, there
are many people who have important connections to us, karmic
connections, if you prefer to use that term. To her, these people
constitute our soul tribe.
In adapting this idea, I feel that we can have what the popular press
seems to call or identify as a soulmate relationship with many different
persons who are in our soul tribe. Perhaps in a lifetime, we may run
into five, ten, or twenty different persons who are members of our soul
tribe, and, under the right circumstances, we could have an intense,
karmic, soul-shattering relationship with any one of them, or, with
several of them, in some cases.
Another way to think of this is to say that we have multiple soulmates.
And, although I can't quite swallow the concept of one and only one true
love for each of us per lifetime, I can reluctantly allow the
possibility of multiple soulmates. I don't think that there is an
unlimited supply of soulmates out there for each of us, but I do believe
that each of us has one or more persons who can help us to growth and
become all that we can be, who will support, honor, shelter, guide,
serve, succor, challenge, adore, and love unreservedly. I also think
that most of us manage in some way to miss out on these relationships.
Therefore, we are always searching for the ideal relationship, the ideal
partner, the soulmate, if you will.
Love is love, and love is never to be taken for granted or belittled. To
me, the question is not, "Is this person my soulmate?" but "Is there
real love here?" not "Who is my soulmate?" but "Do I give and receive
love generously and unselfishly?" not "When will I meet my soulmate?"
but "Am I ready to be in an intensely loving relationship, ready to be
challenged for growth?"
Copyright 1996, Nina Lee Braden
All Rights Reserved
Reprinted here by permission of the author
For more info on the author contact her at the
following e-mail address or web site.