A friend once said to me “My soul mate is whomever is sitting in front of me.” Sounds like a tag line for polygamy…but of course, I know that’s not what he meant. He meant that the term isn’t a romantic one for him. Instead, it describes how he looks at his life, at humanity and at spirituality. If the person in front of me is my soul mate, if that’s how I choose to see them, then I am seeing with eyes that love. I am seeing with a heart that wants to understand and a whole being willing to remember how we are the same.
But this isn’t easy.
My knee-jerk is judgment. There is a voice in my mind that speaks first, though I refuse to give it the last word. It’s ego. Ego sees the person in front of me and makes an instant assessment. It looks for all the stuff that is better and and all the things that are less than. Compare, contrast and judge. It has hand-picked people against whom I am to measure my worth. It’s ridiculous at best and fucking exhausting at worst.
This is what the ego does: it places us ahead or behind and drives us crazy in a teeter-totter of superiority and inferiority. If I feel prettier/smarter/wealthier, I have momentary relief. But then inevitably, something crops up to bring me down. And then I am a plain, matronly half-wit in mom jeans, hiding out, afraid of success.
Ego is such a fickle mistress.
But we’re breaking up.
I’m trying at least. That’s what all of this is for. Judging equals suffering and I don’t want to suffer anymore. There’s this wide space within me that, more than anything else, longs to understand others. I crave intimacy like a drug and it’s because that is my safe house. I am best one-on-one. Turning to God, I ask how both of us can heal. I love nothing more than to hear you out, get a feel for your vibe and tune in. And when it dawns on me, when the source of your pain is clear, I relax. My heart opens up and I become your biggest fan, your fiercest advocate.
I love that feeling. I want more of it. I want to become it.
And it’s getting easier.
Not that I don’t have my setbacks. Not that I don’t have people who trigger me. I do. I fall back into old patterns of thinking sometimes, but I refuse to get stuck there. I observe myself picking someone else apart and then quickly check in and realize how low it makes me feel- how exhausted. This practice of seeing others as brothers and sisters is everything to me. There is such untarnished beauty within us all and it binds us. It reminds us. I take heart knowing that as it says in A Course in Miracles, “Love has forgotten no one.”. We will all, at some point, in some lifetime, awaken to the Light we are. The ego falls away as judgment is no longer required and anyone who crosses my path helps me get there. In that, we are mates of the soul. We are all, as Ram Dass said, “…just walking each other home.”