Long, long ago I met someone I thought was my soulmate. I was drawn to him, and he turned out to me my soulmate for 14 years. He gave me two beautiful sons. We grew up together, exploring and playing. He supported my desire to finish my education. He celebrated my accomplishments. I celebrated his. But, after 14 years, I turned my life upside down when I was seemingly, inexplicably, drawn to someone else. She seemed to fit with who I had become and my first no longer seemed to fit. Our paths had diverged too much. The new relationship allowed me to explore a hidden part of myself. Twelve years later that second relationship exploded like an over ripe tomato when we diverged. After a very painful recovery which included recognizing my co-dependency and dating a variety of people over ten years, a third person came along who began pointing me toward mindfulness and awareness. We spent 6 years realizing we were not forever, but nonetheless, each of us grew. She helped me start a semi regular practice of meditation. I helped her thru her daughters adolescence. All three of these unions helped me on my path to becoming a person who knew how to be, give and receive, unconditional love. A good therapist might have helped me not make such carnage of my life and the lives of others along the way. Today, thanks to some great therapists, good friends and finding a path, I no longer blow up lives. I bring the wisdom of my very long life and career as pointers to others.
This morning I read an article that pointed out soulmates are not about forever. It hypothesized that they are mirrors to show you what needs to be worked on next to fulfill your purpose, to become the fullness of being. Pointers if you will, to help us self actualize. Said another way, gifts discovered when we are ready?
This seems to have answered a question I could not even find a way to ask. Why did those relationships that started out as sparkling diamonds became coal? That is not how the science works, is it? I tried to blame the other person each time, but as I grew, I knew the only part I could change was me. I have made amends to those I hurt as the truth has been revealed. The 12 steps made popular by addiction recovery was one of two first pointers. Another was about forgiveness as taught by so many before me.
During the COVID pandemic, I uncovered the next piece of my growth which was about learning to love and have compassion for me. My son who asked me to help him learn to be more meditative before the birth of his first daughter(she is now 8), found a little book, The Four Ageements, by Miguel Ruiz, which was my next pointer for this part of my journey to awakening and becoming. My son was the vessel for my pointers for the next nine years as I continued awakening. He found books and people to illuminate his path and my own.
I will be impeccable in my words, thoughts and actions toward myself and all others is the first of Ruiz's four agreements. I had always looked to care for others and had no consideration for how I WAS DOING. Slowly, over the next decade, I became more acquainted with my ego defense mechanisms, being present, and loving and fully accepting myself.
At 74, I know not what lies ahead. Growth is a long strange highway, but well worth the journey.