All the Single Ladies (and Dudes), Thoughts on Attracting a Soul Mate
After reading my post on "Why I Don't Date Guys Who Want To Live Off-Grid (Even Though I Wouldn't Mind Living Off-Grid)", one of my readers expressed concern in the comments that perhaps I was limiting myself by being too choosy:
Commenter: perhaps you need to compromise your ideals about this man to not hinder your growth?
Emily: I see where you are going with that. But naw. Been there. Done that. I'm confident there is an adequate amount of wiggle room in my ideals. If anything I have a tendency to lower the bar far too much. The "you're not just not recognizing him" notion is popular with about 1/2 of people. However, the "work on yourself first" notion is popular with the other half, and that is where I am at now in my life. In my world the best way to attract a real keeper is to be the best me and I can be, and I'm still getting there, so it seems entirely reasonable that he hasn't shown up yet. But that doesn't mean I can't complain :). I view things like creating this blog to express my true self to the world as big steps in the right direction.
Commenter: hmm...i'm worried about your idea of a real keeper-- people change throughout their lives. A real keeper may not keep as long as you or him may want. you are perfect as you are. a squirrel is perfect as it is. even these hurt souls that you write about are perfect as they are. love is a gift you give. i hope you find someone who wants to accept your love. you seem like a fun person.
I thought that these concerns were common and worth addressing but really needed their own post, or several, to go into fully.
Soul Mates vs. Soul Matches
First of all I'm not worried in the least about my idea of a real keeper. I agree that life-time, til-death-do-us-part, soul mates are rare, and that divorce should not be considered a failure. However, I do feel there are people that our souls have enough resonance with that the relationship could easily last 10, 15, 20 years or more. I'd call these people "real keepers", a.k.a. "soul mates".
I yearn for that, as most people do. I hope to experience the essence of this thing we call "marriage". However, I also understand that it takes a certain amount of alignment to draw that in. And that getting in alignment takes some learning and growing, and THAT is often achieved though a series of shorter-term relationships in which we meet a person who has one piece of our puzzle, a "soul match". I had a wonderful, very short relationship with a soul match this last January. We had little in common. I like plants and juicing. He likes comics and coffee. But we were both shattered from our last relationships in the exact same way, and needed to experience love and nurturing again.
I have no problem starting a relationship knowing its approximate expiration date. These stepping stone people help us define who we really are. In that relationship I just mentioned I also benefited from getting to express these kinds of ideas aloud to someone semi-open to them.
Of course, the learning and growing never stops, but in an ideal scenario, we reach some modicum of alignment early in our lives so we can spend the rest of our years exploring our purpose and gracing the world with our true calling, and, you know, do stuff like raise children without custody battles.
Good Boundaries, Selfishness, and Unconditional Love: They Are All the Same
I take my spirituality seriously and if I'm heavily "guided", say through synchronicity, to a relationship that doesn't appear to fit my desires, I won't question it.
However, I have to question the "we are all perfect sentiment". As souls we are perfect, but as people? Aww, Hell No! By that logic (unconditional love and acceptance) I could still be in any number of abusive or unhealthy relationships from the past. There must be a motivation for who to give my love to, and my motivation is this: Who can I open myself to that is safe, and healthy, and beneficial for my sensitive, vulnerable heart and offers me an opportunity for maximum soul growth?
Sure we can learn something from everyone, including serial-murderer-rapists, but most of those people would just be a waste of our time and the negatives would outweigh the positives.
I feel like the type of growth I need for my soul at this moment is precisely the type that says, "There is something better. I know it, and I won't settle for anything less than I deserve". If that reality isn't manifesting immediately that's partly because I haven't proven it yet by being discerning in the face of loneliness and the temptation of a partial, but ultimately unwise, match. In other words, I go on OkCupid and dubiously expand my search parameters. Even entertaining the idea of inviting in Mr. Wrong can lower my vibration and keep away Mr. Right. Whereas strong boundaries act as a magnet to draw in our best match.
On one hand, it is conceivable that our best match has nothing to do what our ego thinks they should look like. On the other hand, reality isn't real. What you want, down to height and hair color, is probably much more reasonable than you think it is.
In my essay "Sensitivity, Invalidation and Learning to be a Cocky Asshole", I explained a little bit about how much better I'm doing being "judgmental" than I was with non-duality thinking. Bad boundaries are a problem I see in just about everyone, but are especially rampant in spiritual folks and empaths. We want to love. We want to forgive. We see people's souls and how beautiful they are including their vulnerabilities and their wounds. But you have to be willing to draw a line.
Two days ago in my post on money I introduced the concept of holistic selfishness. This means what is best for you is also best for everyone and everything, without exception. Of course, best is not always clear, but a simple example: Have you ever known someone who was afraid to leave a relationship because of how much it would hurt their lover even though they constantly complained behind that person's back. Is that love? Is that helping anyone? Breaking that person's heart would be the most respectful thing they could do for them. Alternately, in the case of a consummate jerk, teaching them that there are consequences for their choices by leaving rather than forgiving (or forgiving AND leaving if you prefer), is the best lesson they could receive.
In holding my standards high, I not only give myself the gift of love, but everyone else too.
Keeping a High Vibe and Drawing in a Match
Having impeccable expectations to filter your potential dates is only one way to maintain a high vibration and draw in a match. Other ways include doing self-healing work, eating a healthy diet, limiting substance use and exposure to toxins, maintaining a home environment that feels good to you, and just generally being discerning about all of the people you spend time with and the places you go. In my opinion these practical measures always trump more esoteric practices like affirmations.
On occasion, I get lonely and frustrated, but I try to never let that fall into self-victimization mode. I consider my singleness to be entirely my "fault" or my choice. As I pointed out to my commenter, I'm still working on myself so it doesn't surprise me.
I don't know how close I am to that "modicum of alignment" I mentioned that it takes to draw in a soul mate, but do I know I have some obvious detractors. For one, I have chronic fatigue which is a major deterrent to meeting people both vibrationally, because illness always bespeaks of a fundamental misalignment, and logically, since I don't go out much. Healthy people are more attractive. This is not some irreversible birth defect and I take full responsibility that it is my burden to resolve.
I'm also not very financially stable. I'd feel better if my student loans actually covered my expenses, even though they aren't "real income" but they don't. I believe that this lack of abundance is because I've only just started to step into my calling and put myself out there in an authentic way, for example through this writing. I won't get paid for this blog post directly, but I will attract opportunities that will turn into money and abundance in ways I could never anticipate.
I'm already seeing encouraging signs of more male attention since I started becoming someone worth paying attention to. Keep sending them my way, folks, keep sending them my way.