“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.” –Elizabeth Gilbert

When I think of soulmate, one of my most favorite stories comes to mind, the creation myth by Plato called the “Origin of Love.”  Plato believed humans of all three genders (male. female, androgynous) were created in a state of eternal bliss. And when we refused to properly honor the gods we were punished to be split in two where we would be forced to search for and find our other lost half. Once we found that person we would return to our natural state of bliss.

And for the longest time, I thought that’s what a soulmate was, my other half, the yin to my yang, the person who fits me like a glove. I visualized and daydreamed every day about who this person could be and how we would meet.

After enough daydreaming, I met someone randomly at a party and instantly we hit it off.  Within the first 5 minutes of meeting we were having conversations about soulmates and if we believed in them. I was convinced she must have been it, the one I had been waiting for.

We had this intense connection, a crazy chemistry, the kind of love where you couldn’t live with or without the person. We shared a mind-blowing spiritual connection and everything between us just seemed to flow so naturally, a graceful ebb & flow. It felt like I had finally found my missing piece. We dated for about 4 years and in that time our phenomenal connection of passion and depth turned into mental insanity, incessant arguments, deceit and turmoil.

I was perplexed and confused. If this person was supposed to be my soulmate, why did this happen? Was she really my soulmate after all? What happened to that love that made us both fall passionately in love?

And then I realized a soulmate isn’t that other half of you, who fits you like a glove and makes you feel complete. A soulmate is meant to reflect the missing parts to yourself so that you can make the changes you need to grow and feel complete.

We all have our own demons and they don’t just go away when we meet a soulmate. If anything sometimes they become more amplified and that’s what creates such an intense and emotional connection.

Sometimes I think we place so much emphasis on this perfect person and that once we find them all will be well in our worlds. And some of us do find those people who make our worlds complete.

Other times we meet people who will bring out different sides to us. Some will bring out the best and also reflect back things we need to change out ourselves and others will show us our faults, weaknesses and impurities, our shadow side.

And that’s what she was to me, my shadow side. She showed me a side of myself that I despised, I hated with passion and found to be terrifyingly ugly and in turn I resented her for bringing that out in me. After we finally broke away from each other and ceased communication, I made a commitment to myself.

I promised myself that I would work on my issues so that I could be a better person not only to myself but to my partners. And that first week after we broke up I got a therapist and started peeling back the layers of the past so that I could be happy and love even the darkest parts of me.

And years later, now I can look at her and thank her because if it wasn’t for that relationship maybe I wouldn’t be where I am today. She was a soulmate of mine and we were meant to have that experience.

Soulmates may play a small or large role in journey towards true happiness. We may always feel a natural affinity for that person but their purpose in our lives is deeper and to aid us in feeling complete all our own.

Your soulmate won’t be perfect and neither will you. It’s more about learning how to embrace each other’s perfections and working with each other’s light and dark sides so that you can continue to grow and live in balance and harmony. Everyone is there to teach us something.  

Emily Stroia is a professional psychic medium based in New York City. For more information about her, visit www.emilystroia.com. She is available by phone and Skype and also teaches classes on how to develop your intuition and mediumship abilities.

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