Soul Mates – Ultimate Ideal or Limited Focus?
Many people are familiar with the representation of soul mates, two people who are ideal for each, will seek each other out, no matter the cost, in order be together for eternity. The book and movie “What Dreams May Come” demonstrates this striving even unto death but the idea is not new. The legend of Orpheus and Eurydice from the ancient Greeks is an example of great love and seeking for that love into death. When we ponder love I suspect examples like this come to mind as the ultimate ideal, what love is all about and what we should strive for. A love for another person, that is shared, that will go against death.
But is this truly an ideal love?
With soul mates there is an implication of a limit to a great and only love that last through the ages. What about other people we care about, where we want the best for them and to not see them hurt? Is our love less because they aren’t a soul mate? And should we be limiting our love in this way? As I’ve gotten older I’d like to think that my love and caring wouldn’t be limited but that it could grow. This expression of that love would be different with each person because we are unique beings. In some cases it would be a sharing of mental and spiritual, at other times a sharing of physical and spiritual and at some times a sharing of physical, mental and spiritual. Since I am a physical being the expression of love in the physical body can be strongly desired. Yet, now that I am older and those fires of youth burn a little lower I can see that physical sharing is just one piece of love and in some cases may not be an expression of love at all. The key is not the physical pleasures but the sharing and the caring that occurs.
That sharing can occur between two children, giggling as they play their games, two young people, madly in love but also caring deeply about each other or with two older people, one frail and barely holding on but still sharing the love and light that has only deepened with their experiences with each other. So the term soul mates seems limiting when the true expression of love should be allowed to grow. This expression could be shared with many different people in many different ways. This sharing is not limited to only physical, mental or spiritual sharing, rather these expressions of self are the expression of love but not love itself. Love is a light that allows us to care for another and want the best for them even if it may harm us in some way. Ultimately, this caring could lead to death in trying to protect the loved one. And the other person would be working to prevent that sacrifice. That is love which can be shared among many.