Many of us have heard of a soulmate and probably even experienced the feeling that we've met ours. The idea of one perfect person out there who completes our soul is a compelling one. It evokes a feeling that our relationships are divinely guided and "meant to be."
And it turns out that our celestial connections extend beyond finding a mate for our soul. In fact, there could be another fiery and passionate partner out in the Universe for you who could provide a relationship that's quite simply out of this world. This person is known as your twin flame.
Then there are those people who you might have a soul, or karmic, contract to fulfill. Yes, when it comes to relationships, the spiritual world has us covered on multiple levels.
So, how do you know if you've met your soulmate, twin flame, or someone with whom you have a karmic debt to pay off? Here's what you need to know.
What is a Soulmate?
If you thought your soulmate was an "easy fit," think again.
"A soul mate is often a more challenging relationship, one that forces growth through difficulty," Danielle Beinstein, a psychological astrologer, tells Organic Authority.
In a soulmate relationship, Beinstein says we're provided with a mirror and the opportunity becomes our own self-actualization.
"These are the 'if/then' or 'if/when' relationships, meaning if only they would x, then we could be together. Though often painful, they catalyze growth and deeper self-awareness."
Another interesting fact about soulmates? Contrary to popular belief there's not just one out there for us. Additionally, most soulmates are romantic in nature, they don't necessarily have to be. Soulmates can be platonic and familial, but often with the same lesson: they teach us to grow.
"Everyone has multiple soulmates," Melissa Lindsay Freedman, Practical Spiritualist and Certified Holistic Health Coach, tells Organic Authority. "Soulmates are people that we share interactions, friendships or relationships with that change our perspective on life, allow us to grow and help us become the people we are meant to be.
Often, there is a common thread among certain soul mates, says Beinstein, in that they mirror the same pattern back to us, over and over again.
"For example, we may be drawn to unavailable partners over and over again. This is a mirror to our own lack of self worth and our own fear of intimacy."
According to Beinsten, what's most important when it comes to a soulmate is how we choose to honor ourselves.
"Sometimes individuals will remain stuck on this idea of a soulmate, assuming they’re meant to be with a certain person," she says. "But this can be a form of spiritual bypass, an avoidance of the human experience. The truth is we know when a contract is complete when we no longer have a charge around that person, when we come to a place of neutrality."
What is a Twin Flame?
While soulmates can feel challenging at times, twin flames can bring an instant connection of "coming home."
"Twin Flames are magnetic," says Beinstein. "These relationships are easy; they flow. There is a sense that the relationship is bigger than the individuals involved, that the relationship is a beacon of some kind."
While Beinstein says some twin flame relationships don't have any roadblocks or delays in being together, there are instances in which twin flames experience challenges, even heartbreak, during early stages of their union, which may cause them to separate for a short time so they're able to address old wounds and heal. However, the connection between them continues to exist until they're ready to be together again because twin flames know they belong together even if they're apart.
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Once they unite, Beinstein says, "Grace and expansion follows."
Twin flames don’t always have to be romantic, says Beinstein, but there is always a feeling of deep connection and unity.
The twist? While everyone has a twin flame, not everyone will meet theirs in this lifetime.
What is a Soul Contract?
Ever just meet someone who you feel that you were meant to meet? Chances are a soul contract exists between you.
"These things are not logical. We know we have a soul contract when we cannot intellectualize our way out of it. There is a feeling that this individual was put on our path for a reason," says Beinstein.
Adds Freedman, "Soul contracts are interactions with others for our own growth purposes. Some of us have many soul contracts that are tied to people we meet who may or may not have shared a past life experience with us."
There's not an exact number of times that we fulfill these contracts in our lifetime, says Freedman, as they are predetermined before we are born. Additionally, she says, these contracts "start the moment that we enter the world and can be fulfilled by family, friends, co-workers, lovers or complete strangers."
The best way to navigate these contracts? Beinstein says it starts through curiosity, self-acceptance, openheartedness and, maybe most importantly, boundaries.
"Just because we have a soul contract with someone does not mean we are meant to be with them or that they are the 'one.'"
And while these contracts can be challenging, Freedman suggests seeing them through the lens of grace.
"Though a soul contract can be excruciating, you should be grateful for the experience because it can cause you to make quantum leaps which allow you to experience life in ways that you have only dreamed of."
The Ultimate Spiritual Relationship
While the idea of soulmates and twin flames give us a sense of purpose and passion to our lives, both Beinstein and Freedman say that when it comes to love and connection from a spiritual perspective, it's not about looking for someone to complete us but someone to join us on our journey.
"I believe we should be looking for someone who we feel emotionally and physically safe with, someone who honors us and whom we honor," says Beinstein. "A conscious relationship requires two whole individuals to come together in intimacy, sharing their deepest selves in sacred communion. I believe the healthiest relationships consist of two wholes, rather than two halves."
Adds Freedman, "Ultimately, you should never choose to look for someone to complete you or make you whole - you should do that for yourself. Once you do that for yourself and can feel loved exactly as you are, the right partner will find you. It will come as a surprise and feel completely unexpected. We always seem to find the right person when we are not looking."
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