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Awake in the World

A true soul mate is one who grows your capacity to love.

As spring turns many people’s thoughts to finding love, hearts yearn to finding someone who understands and loves them perfectly. But what if the equation is backwards. What if instead we were to go about searching for someone who we truly love unconditionally? Many of us seek to grow and learn consciously or not through our relationships with others. Whether they’re romantic relationships, friendships or relating to colleagues and family, every relationship offers some path to learning about our capacity to love, to open our hearts and to accept another exactly as he or she is.

It’s as if we carry an imprint or a blueprint within us of an ideal Love. This ideal draws us to search for perfection. It often includes ideals of transcending time and place, of bringing joy and of giving us what we want. But that kind of love is often fleeting because it’s based in what we want rather than what we can give. Often existing relationships are tossed aside too quickly because they do not fulfill our immediate demands and desires. This is especially true of romantic relationships. It seems that in places like India where arranged marriages are still customary, that couples have a better chance of building an enduring relationship because they do not carry the burden of such high expectations of their mates to fulfill an extensive list of demands. Their understanding of the purpose of marriage is to reduce ego and increase spiritual practice. It’s a way to grow and open the heart even when times are difficult and challenging.

The tests and trials that we face with others in relationship are gifts in disguise. It means that soul mates may not only be those who we seek out for romance, but may include sisters, mothers, friends and strangers we pass on the street who give us a chance to help them. Those who persevere on behalf of love may, in the end, find a deep healing and a love beneath the surface that heals and fulfills. As, spiritual wisdom increases, it can actually bring us to see and love the timeless, eternal divine in others.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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