LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE
By Scott Kalechstein
If You Meet Your Soulmate on The Road...
"The True Soulmate Is A State Of Consciousness, Not A Person"
- Joyce and Barry Vissell
The Buddhists have a metaphor, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." (Hopefully I am correct in describing this phrase as a metaphor!) What it has meant to me is that anything or anyone that I believe has the power to make me happy will have to be relinquished, not for punishment, but for empowerment. In regards to relationships, my search for the right mate has to be replaced by my commitment to becoming the right mate! I believe if Jesus were preaching on this subject today, he might offer something like this: Seek ye first the kingdom of your soul and a soul-mate will be added unto you.
The concept of soulmates has always fascinated me. I was eight years old when I saw West Side Story, and it made a strong impression on me. I adored the way Tony and Maria were in love with each other. Their love lifted them above the hardships of the world. In each other's arms they found meaning, an antidote to the poisonous hatred and prejudice all around them. Never mind that the story ended in tragedy, I was hooked! One day I will be led to a mystical connection with my one and only. Instantly we will recognize each other and merge hearts and souls before the first date. Together we shall rise high above hardships and live happily ever after, untouched by fear, conflict or pain . . . Not!
As an adolescent and young adult I went into relationships with stars in my eyes; with tears I endured their endings. I had a knack for getting involved with beautiful young women with amazing future potential and present moment unavailability, a fact to which my hopes, dreams and projections would conveniently blind me to. I would try to feel my power and self-worth by winning them, but would end up feeling powerless and worthless when they inevitably rejected me.
In 1996 I took an honest and sober inventory of my relationship history. In her superbly helpful book "Are You The One For Me?" Barbara DeAngelis suggests making a list of all your significant partners and writing, next to their names, their qualities that you found most troublesome. Then, look over the list and circle the ones that appear more than once. Drawing on the qualities that repeat themselves, you create what she calls an emotional want ad. My ad looked something like this:
New Age Prom Queen, to cast a spell on me and make me drool with longing. Must be a drama major and enjoy extra-curricular relationships. I need you to be able to stop my heartbeat in a single, adoring gaze, only to withdraw emotionally at the speed of light when I get close. Do you like the crucifixion-resurrection story? Let's re-enact it again and again and again! I'll hang out on the cross while you discuss your feelings about the ex-lover that you haven't quite gotten over yet, or a new man that you just want to 'explore' with. I hate feeling safe, and enjoy sharing enormous challenges and high speed heart chases! Come, blow my mind and help me feel inadequate. Are you just out of reach, larger than life and breathtakingly beautiful? Half-wanting an intimate, monogamous relationship on most nights? Call me now, and make it collect!! I'll accept the charges, and a whole lot more. Only spiritually gifted, emotionally unstable females need apply. You'll be perfect for me, and I'll be a question mark for you!"
These women were great reflectors for where I was in my maturation process: Seeking to perpetuate an extended period of adolescence, and lost in a romantic fantasy world. If you are getting the sense that I've had a tendency for codependency, you're on the right track! Fantasy-bonding and addictive relationships was a great way to distract myself from the hard work of learning to love myself.
In 1995 I broke up with my 'soulmate.' We met three months after a psychic, who had been consistently accurate with me, mentioned that I was very close to meeting my mate. When we connected on a island in the South Pacific (home, for her), there were all kinds of fireworks in the air. Ruth (a fictional name) resembled me physically, with the exception of some much welcomed differences! She had similar values, did similar work in the world, and of course shimmered with both inner and outer beauty. People seeing us together threw around words like 'twin flames,' 'life partners' and, of course, 'soulmates.'
There definitely was a powerful connection between us, and we wasted no time in going public with it. We started leading workshops together on the second 'date', when she came to visit me in California. We did intuitive healing work in tandem as if we had been developing our rapport for years. After sessions with us sometimes people, out of sheer gratitude, gave us twice the amount we had asked for. What a powerful and dynamic duo we were! We had found each other! And we were in bliss...
There were some minor problems. We lived three thousand miles apart, and also, Ruth communicated quite clearly that she didn't want a monogamous relationship. Confident that my skills as a lover and the power of our soulmate connection would change her mind, I threw caution to the wind and involved myself with her romantically. Wide eyed, boundary-less and bushy-tailed, I unconsciously followed my sexual energy like a divining rod being drawn to water. And meanwhile, in my more sober moments, I had a funny feeling that I might be forgetting something.
Ruth did get involved with other men, and the levity with which I am currently narrating this tale was not very accessible to me back then. The idea that I could honor myself by stepping back from the relationship did not cross my mind for quite some time. Because this was my mate, my one and only, I braced myself to endure whatever challenges we might encounter on the road to our union. I wanted to learn unconditional love. What better way to learn it than to get involved with a woman who would push my deepest buttons? Isn't that what growth through relationship is all about? No pain, no gain?
What I came to realize was that loving unconditionally starts with loving me, and I was not loving myself by bonding with a woman whose basic needs for her life, present moment, were in direct conflict with mine. I came to discover that I had a choice, and that although there was a strong attraction and huge potential between us, I had the right and responsibility to take care of myself by setting my boundaries and honoring my own needs.
Eighteen months after we had met, we both came to the realization that the most honoring thing we could do, both for each other and for ourselves was to say good-bye. At the time it seemed a mutual decision, but two weeks into our separation Ruth called me professing her love, expressing her willingness to commit, and inviting me to come back to the dance floor. As I listened I felt caution in every cell of my body. I sensed desperation in her tone.
We had danced the same steps before I moved in close. She pushed me away. I took distance. She got closer. It was the pendulum dance of woundedness, and I was weary of it. When I told her my perceptions she replied, "But how can we heal our wounds if we avoid the relationship? How can we learn to dance differently if we just get off the dance floor?" These were good points, and I wrestled those questions to the ground before making my decision. Was I running away from a commitment? Was I making a big mistake that would cost me the connection of a lifetime? I told Ruth that I needed time to come to my truth and respond to her proposal.
The next few days were excruciatingly difficult. I prayed. I journaled. I counseled with friends, mentors, and some relationship specialists I trusted. Most of all, I tuned in to my inner wisdom. I lit a fire in my heart and waited for clarity to come. It didn't take long. Four days after she had phoned me I called her back to decline her invitation. It was the hardest 'no' of my life.
My good-bye to Ruth has been the lesson of a lifetime. Through my steadfastness in staying away from an addictive drama, I have found a deeper connection to myself. cious if left mysterious and unpredictable. It was only my belief that I needed to know the outcome in order to feel safe that had me asking psychics about the future instead of trusting the unfolding of each moment.
As for Ruth, she may very well be a soulmate of mine. Her presence, and especially her absence, has initiated for me a deep and abiding commitment to know and be close to my soul. What can be a greater gift? As the popular song has said, "Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all."
It has been four years now since Ruth and I have parted ways. After three years of alone time in which my healing process was my main priority, at the end of last year I met a mature, precious, beautiful, available and wonderfully compatible women who has been drawing me out of my monk stage into relationship's journey. None of the patterns or drama from my past is present in this relationship. Fantasy has given way to reality, and I am deeply grateful for the time-out I took to develop my self-connection, and both the internal and external gifts that have come from that commitment.
Scott Kalechstein wears many hats. He is a singer/songwriter/recording artist/speaker/minister/workshop leader/writer. He shares his uplifting music and messages internationally at conferences, workshops, churches, weddings, private gatherings wherever people are open to a heart-centered approach to learning, growing and healing. A pioneer in the field of Song Portraits, Scott is known for his unique ability to create songs spontaneously about a person or a topic. In all that he does, he serves as a wise, gentle and humorous escort for those making the transition from suffering to celebration, from fear to love. For inquiries, contact Scott at (760) 753-2359 or e-mail him at: email@example.com
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