We meet people in different ways; it could be at work, at a meeting, on an airplane, at church ….
one of you says something….
or there is a look….
and it’s as if…
you remember them from the future. (That is how my husband Jim expressed it to me.) Or as Author, John O’Donahue puts it, ” There is a flash of recognition and the embers of kinship glow. There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing.” That is the beginning of soul love. It may not always happen the first time you meet them. Sometimes there is only a small spark …something you may not be able to put your finger on. Sometimes it doesn’t happen till much later. A lot of it depends on how tuned your intuition is. It doesn’t just happen within romantic love either. It can happen within deep friendships. Ever meet somebody once and without knowing why, you instantly like them? My teenage daughter came home one day declaring that she just met her ‘new best friend’ and she really had!
Loving relationships often start with that spark of recognition but then grows and expands. In the case of two people who fall in love, the love expands far and beyond the love of deep friendships. When the two people are spiritually awakened and that well-spring of love is already within them, the recognition can be even more dramatic. From the first conversation I had with Jim, I knew I had met my future husband (though I told myself I was being silly). Real spiritual love starts with the meeting of your Anam Cara. In order for a loving relationship to last, you have to be soul friends first. What this means is loving each other beyond the surface. Being a soul friend first means truly hearing, seeing and knowing each other. You are each other’s best friend and spiritual counselor.
One of the things I have learned many years ago is that couples will often go through a tunnel of chaos within their relationships. This chaotic time tests the strength of our love. The magic starts to fade as ego takes over whispering those powerful lies, “I deserve to be treated better!” or “She really doesn’t love me all that much!” or even “This was a BIG mistake!” It often means that you have stopped loving from a soul level. It may mean that you allowed romantic love to take over soul love. Romantic love is simply not strong enough to withstand everything. Only soul love endures. If you go through this tunnel of chaos and you reach deep within your soul selves, your love can overcome this time and you can come out the other end of the tunnel with your love and relationship renewed, refreshed, restored and strengthened.
How do you get back to loving from a soul level? First, connect with your own spirit and connect your spirit to God through prayer and meditation. Relax in faith as you pray for your partner or spouse and your relationship with them. (As someone once said to me, ‘It is very hard to be angry at someone you are praying for.) Next, spend time remembering all the good your partner has done with a spirit of gratitude. I suggest you write a list to read every time you need to in case you forget in anger. Remember that you were soul friends first. Next, when things happen between you and your partner that cause you to bristle, let go. It often isn’t worth the battle. When you are calmer, you might bring it up asking what was meant. I find it helps to remember who the person truly is. Are they really the type to have meant…THAT? You may find it was often a misunderstanding. As John O’Donahue said, “In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control.” Real soul love is unconditional. If you are still struggling, make sure you continue to cultivate your own spirituality and connectivity with God. Take one day at a time spending time listening to your inner guidance. Remember that love is different when it begins from the soul.
Bibliography and recommendations:
Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom From The Celtic World by John O’Donahue
Restoring The Woven Cord: Strands Of Celtic Christianity For The Church Today by Michael Mitton
Celtic Illustrations: A Prayer Journal by Andy Raine