From Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven,
She Called Him Forth:


Soul mates. Not surprisingly, people who have had more than one past love feel a strong, lasting connection with some and not others. Often, they use the term "soul mate" to distinguish those especially powerful relationships. Felice talked about "being full met where I was at the time" by her soul mates and having recognized their essences. Mutual "recognition" seemed to be a common experience, as was a persistent need to keep some form of communication open, even if it was in the non-physical, psychic realm. This mysterious connection can persist even if the person is no longer an active part of their life.

All who identified a soul mate had difficulty finding language to explain it. But feelings of connection with a soul mate seemed to result from having glimpsed, together, part of the Mystery, the edge of the consciously unknowable. Through their union, they had touched a facet of their personal truths, even if it was, and is, difficult or impossible to talk about. It was an ineffable closeness.

Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, most individuals realized that they were not to walk their life path with a soul mate. They felt this even though their having touched may have significantly contributed to their journey. With that soul mate, they had experienced an effortless sense of union. It was the inspiration. But the writing of the story that would embody what was revealed in that inspiration would come about in later relationships, through the daily work of refining one draft after another. Although most people use the term soul mate to refer to instances where there was an instant recognition, becoming soul mates may also be, as Felice suggested, a legitimate goal of a long-term intimate relationship.

A prior soul mate connection does not need to hold one back, even with subtle tugs, from a current relationship. On the contrary, the knowledge that there is a deep connection with this other person can be a source of groundedness, fostering the confidence needed for healthy movement into and within a new relationship. The same knowledge can, however, leave a new partner feeling excluded from a form of intimacy available only between the soul mates. Yet, if a couple wants a truly intimate relationship, exploration of that connection is essential.

In a review of the important "pasts" in your life, is there anyone you have identified as particularly special or as your soul mate? Can you articulate what it is about that relationship which has earned that distinction? Did the person enhance your confidence as a woman or as a man? What does your partner understand of the relationship and how does she or he relate to that understanding? Does your partner have a past love who is a soul mate? What would happen if you deeply explored these important relationships with each other? What would it be like to sit down with your partner's soul mate -- or for your partner to sit down with yours?