In a conversation with Oprah, Elizabeth Gilbert who penned the famous book “Eat, Pray, Love” aptly stated that the idea of meeting and marrying your soul mate may not be the ultimate romance you have been waiting for.
Gilbert was married once before but following her heartbreaking divorce she set out on a spiritual journey across Italy, India and Bali.
Her travel journal soon became a book which quickly became a top seller and was later turned into a movie with Julia Roberts as the star.
The reason Gilbert’s book spoke to so many, especially women, was because she touched on subjects that are all so relatable – relationships, marriage and divorce.
Today in the US, divorce rates fluctuate between 40- 50 percent which is definitely not a fairytale ideal, but according to Gilbert we have the love equation all wrong.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit and that’s what everyone wants,” stated Gilbert. “But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soulmate is probably the most important person you will ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.”
Gilbert came to this realization during a conversation with a friend following the end of her first marriage. She believed so strongly that her first husband was her soul mate but her friend was able to shed some light-
“You don’t understand what a soul mate is. You think its all roses and happiness. A soul mate is somebody who changes you. And then, sometimes they have to leave because the intensity of the relationship is so much that you can’t actually have stability.”
Gilbert, who is now remarried has shared what she believes makes the best qualities in a marriage partner.
“Your partner is something else, that’s your friend. My husband is my best friend. He’s not the mirror that holds up my flaws. He is just the guy who is like ‘I think you’re terrific’…It’s just simple, showing up for each other.”
A marriage partner really should be someone who you enjoy spending time with, as Gilbert puts it, its someone who you enjoy waking up to every day and sharing your morning cup of coffee with. Someone who can respect and support you no matter what is going on and someone who will celebrate you. Marriage should be simple and perhaps those hot and heavy relationships are okay short term, but long term could prove to be too stressful and too intense.
Soul mate love is definitely powerful and for those who have encountered it know that it can stir things up that you never even new existed within you, however that doesn’t mean that this person needs to be around forever. Once the lesson has passed, so too will the relationship and perhaps more of us need to accept this.
“Whatever they fired up in you, you might have needed fired up,” continues Gilbert. “And then you might need them to go, so that you can go on your journey.”
So, what do you do if you have met your soulmate and are just realizing now that perhaps it’s not for life? You can read more at: Meeting your Soulmate and Realizing it’s not for Life.