"He probably was. Your problem is you don't understand what that word means. People think a soulmate 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's holding you back, and 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. But to live with a soulmate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let go of this one. It's over. His purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of a situation you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you HAVE to transform your life, introduce you to your spiritual master and then beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it's over. Problem is, you can't accept that this relationship had a real short shelf life. You're like a dog at the dump, baby -- you're just lickin' at an empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you're not careful, that can's gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it."
" But I love him."
" So love him."
" But I miss him."
"So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, and then drop it. Your're just afraid to let go of the last bits of him because then you'll really be alone, and you are scared to death of what will happen if you are really alone. But here's what you gotta understand... if you clear out all that space in your mind that you're using right now to obsess about this guy, you'll have a vacuum there, an open spot -- a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in -- God will rush in -- and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. Stop using him to block that door. Let it go."
"But I wish me and he could..."
"See, now that's your problem. You're wishin' too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be." ~ Eat, Pray, Love
No, no, this hasn't turned into a relationship blog. It's still a yoga blog...at least the last time I checked. I may take the roundabout, scenic route, but I'll tie it back to yoga...
The excerpt above was sent to me by a friend of mine after a discussion about taking time in between relationships to be alone (or, as I like to say, in a relationship with the most important person of all -- yourself). I read EPL years ago so it was nice to read a passage now, as it takes on a totally different meaning at this point in my life.
For me, this excerpt isn't just about a romantic relationship but a reminder of how often we rush to fill the void rather than feel "the fullness of the emptiness." [this little snippet of brilliance is borrowed from my partner in crime, E]. What I love about this excerpt is the likening of the vacuum to a doorway. In this instance Liz was using a man to block the doorway. There are many other ways to block it though -- work, TV, shopping, constant socializing, email, cell phone, sex, and the list goes on and on.
And here's the tie in you've been waiting for...for me, the doorway was found through yoga (these days that has broadened to include other pursuits as well). My time on the mat was free of distraction, which made it a place I longed for as well as a place that I avoided. Clarity thy place is on a yoga mat. I got clear on many a things while practicing yoga. I'd say the most ironic of all discoveries was realizing that I needed to drop out of a yoga training...while practicing yoga (who says there's no sense of humor in spirituality??).
It's disheartening to realize that my daily schedule involves more ways to block that doorway than clear a path to it. I'm slowly but surely changing that, balancing out the time spent filling the vacuum for the sake of disconnecting and distracting (and that's how my TV got dumped last year).
"So before it was: I have a feeling, I want to make a call. Now it’s: I want to have a feeling, I need to send a text. The problem with this new regime of “I share therefore I am” is that, if we don’t have connection, we don’t feel like ourselves. We almost don’t feel ourselves. So what do we do? We connect more and more. But in the process, we set ourselves up to be isolated.
How do you get from connection to isolation? You end up isolated if you don’t cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don’t have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we’re not able to appreciate who they are. It’s as though we’re using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us fell less alone. But we’re at risk, because actually it’s the opposite that’s true. If we’re not able to be alone, we’re going to be more lonely. And if we don’t teach our children to be alone, they’re only going to know how to be lonely."
Yes, it's about the doorway again...and the fact that the vacuum scares us. Yet if we just allow ourselves to get to the door and open it, we'd be amazed at rushes in when we do (as explained in the opening excerpt). And that, my friends, is why I practice yoga. I am building up my tolerance for being in the vacuum and creating the habit of opening the door. I'm alone on the mat, yes, yet I'm connected. And I know that from this place I can go deeper with myself and others. Yeah, I'll take that over a soulmate any day...