A Soulmate Or A Lesson? On Why We Choose The Partners We Do

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You may have never thought about love this way. There is a pattern that lurks in the shadows of the heart. It’s not visible to the naked eye. Our subconscious latches onto it and we can live years or a lifetime even in complete denial or blindness to the demons dancing inside our own hearts.

What if I told you there is a blindside to love that holds the golden key to your own personal evolution and true freedom?

For me, the awakening came when I walked with rose-colored glasses straight into the hands of a master manipulator disguised as a caring, compassionate human being. The clinical term is a narcissist, and the mask he wore looked like the real thing. Looking back on it, I see I stepped right into a House of Mirrors, one you’d find at a county fair. That’s what narcissists do; they hold up a giant mirror for us but most people just look away. What we see often isn’t pretty, it’s the unhealed wounds we’ve carried from childhood. These wounds ooze, they weep, and they’re infected with pus.

What are these wounds we carry inside of us? Unresolved trauma, deep-seated pain, our deepest insecurities we hold about ourselves, limiting beliefs such as “I’m not good enough,” “Nobody loves me,” “I don’t deserve to be happy,” “Nobody will take me seriously,” “Who am I to be special?” It’s the shit someone deposited into our psyche that we unwillingly yet unconsciously accepted as Truth. So, we grew up, became adults, and shoved all this not-good-enoughness down deep inside. We carried on as though everything was fine.

Days became weeks which became years. We fell in love one day and this person seemed like the man or woman of our dreams. They sold us our dream life with over-the-top displays of affection and we were so ready to experience the love the world tells us we deserve that we fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Slowly, this perfect partner turned into a nightmare. They began disrespecting us in subtle ways, tearing us down after they built us up. The abuse is silent, yet insidious.

Or perhaps you chose the safer route, which is getting involved with someone emotionally or physically unavailable. This person may not be an abuser, but they can’t give you what you truly need. They are safe. They run no risk of true disappointment or heartache, your subconscious decides. However, the stark reality is that you are playing out a perpetual disappointment cycle. Subconsciously choosing unavailable people to fall in love with, and creating impossible expectations for them, you’re inevitably let you down. Each time, there is a familiarity in your choices, yet you don’t detect this because consciously you are unaware of your own patterns.

The safe place is just as uncomfortable as the true path, it’s just that it’s disguised as the one with white picket fences, happiness, and comfort. It LOOKS like what you want. It may even be a partner who never questions you, or agrees with everything you say. But, deep down you know you cannot grow from this union. It’s a seed that is not being watered by truth and so it stays in one place, and so YOU stay in one place, unawake, unaware of the true power of relationship.

This is why it may feel like you’ve dated the same person in different bodies. Perhaps you’ve blamed the people you dated for not being what you needed them to be. Or you allowed yourself to play the victim, questioning why this ALWAYS happens to you. But, we can find ourselves in a place of keen self- awareness, a place where Truth resides and we have the opportunity to change the story of our heart’s path.

As the former frontman, Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine says, “We gotta take the power back. Come on. COME ON!” Stop giving your power away to others. Stop denying yourself the jewels of your own heart and soul. Begin now by choosing YOU. The right partner will arrive when you are being true to yourself and consciously collaborating with your destiny.

But, what of the shadow side you ask? Why do I need to confront this part of me when all it does is make me feel ashamed, selfish, guilty, angry, and sad?

I’ve lived in both the light and the shadow side. For years, I welcomed only people who reflected back to me all of my deepest, ugliest fears. Why didn’t I learn my lesson and why was the Universe repeating it for me? I refused to see my part in the events playing out in my life. I got fired from a job? It was their fault. They expected too much from me. Assholes. NEXT. I met another unavailable man-child and fell in love with his potential or the way his wavy, golden-brown hair fell into his blue-sapphire eyes. It was, of course, his fault for not being able to give me what I needed. I took absolutely zero accountability for the direction of my own life.

Tears fell, friends comforted me, and my cycle continued for 15 years until I came face-to-face with my own reflection. I discovered myself through six months of fantasy mixed with darkness. I met a narcissist who reflected back to me my own soul, and I fell deeply in love with her. This is what happens when anyone falls in love with a narcissist, which is why it feels like a soulmate. It is! This is also why it’s crushing when it ends. You feel as though a part of you has been ripped away.

The soul lesson here is you’re on the precipice of graduating past this excruciating, but incredibly freeing lesson. You’ve met yourself. Now, what you choose to do with this knowledge and magic is your decision. Many continue to turn away from themselves, blame the other person, and thus the lesson repeats.

Your soul invited the narcissist in to shake you up, wake you up, and deliver the medicine you needed to reclaim your personal power. Yet, hear me out, sisters and brothers. This road is covered with mud and torn down branches from the trees you tried to climb before you were ready. It’s filled with darkness, loneliness, confusion, feelings of betrayal, anger, and profound sadness. AND THEN ONE DAY…it’s filled with powerful awareness, joy, lightness of being, and a connection to your soul’s purpose and your tribe. But, one cannot meet the light without emerging from the dark.

Once you understand why you buried what you buried, you can dig yourself out of the mud and re-emerge. As the Phoenix rises from the ashes of what she never really was, from the illusions of unworthiness and unlovability, SHE SOARS.

Are you ready to connect more deeply with your truth, your courageousness, the Self beyond the veil? Here is the one question you want to ask yourself: Is the person you’re in a relationship with really just a reflection of your own core unresolved wounds? Is this a soulmate or a lesson disguised as a soulmate?

Sometimes we think we’ve done the work and excavated the wounds and then BAM, here comes the same lesson all over again. This can be beyond frustrating, but know that until we fully examine why we do what we do and call on deeper versions of self to rise up and be seen, we will continue perpetuating the lesson. We are a part of the cycle, but we are also the ones with the power to end the cycle.

Now, it can be tricky, because oftentimes a lesson feels like a soulmate. That’s because, in essence, we are falling in love with ourselves. They are reflecting back to us all the good that we are, and we are mirroring back to them all the good that we are. Do you see how that works? We are really in a relationship with ourselves, and I believe we’ve called upon this relationship in order to graduate from lower levels of awareness and lift the veil of illusion. “Oh, so that’s who I really am.”

How do you know if the person you’re with is really just another lesson or an actual soulmate?

Here are 5 simple ways you can use right now to determine whether it’s a soulmate or a lesson.

1. Do you feel like you can totally be yourself around this person? Do you censor yourself when you’re with them, or shine your light a little less? This could be a major warning sign that there is something amiss in this relationship.

2. Do you know who you are both within this relationship and outside of it? Or do you feel as if you only know who you are when you’re with this person? Is your identity tied to this person? Or, on the flip side, do you feel more of who you are when you’re not with them? A lesson makes us feel squirmy, unsure of our footing, of who we are. We toxically bond with the other person, and expect them to fulfill our deepest desires.

3. Does this person feel like a safe landing when things feel out of control in my life, or do I turn to other people for emotional support? If you turn to others for this kind of support in your time of need, ask yourself why? What is it about this relationship that I don’t feel safe to talk about my feelings in an honest way?

4. Does your relationship seem superficial in any sense of the word, or do you truly feel connected? When a relationship is based on a false connection because one partner or another is not living in his or her truth, a deeper connection will not be possible. So, if you’re consistently attracting relationships where you feel like you can’t penetrate the surface of the person, this is most likely a lesson. The Universe will deliver different people to us until we finally get it and come to.

5. Is your partner someone who understands you, the real you? Does this person spend the time and energy to really know you, all parts of you? Do they accept all facets of you, or do they only enjoy the happy you? A soulmate will help us accept our shame, our past, our less-than superb personality “highlights.” However, just to clarify that we do not need to accept a violent past, a cheating spouse, or someone who lies. Boundaries are key when it comes to what we allow and what we don’t inside intimate relationships.

Lessons almost always show up in the form of a partner who can’t quite give us what we need, how we need it, and when we need it. They also make us feel uneasy on some level. It’s as if we can’t quite pinpoint what is off about the person, but our guts are firing from every direction.

Yes, it’s scary to come face-to-face with our truth, but what’s scarier is living out our lives accepting mediocre love. Freeing ourselves from relationships that stifle our power may just hold the key to our own liberation and propel us onto the path we were always meant to find. TC mark

One story, told five ways…

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