How Changing Your Definition of “Soul Mate” Can Help You Forgive and Feel Gratitude Instead

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I found this picture and it made me laugh. It was taken many years ago during a photo shoot for new head shots in Austin, Texas and to get that “look” I was thinking of my husband. I could feel the love I had for him shooting through the camera lens as though he was standing right there.

We were together for 16 years, married for 14, and I thought we’d be together forever.

We had so much fun together. We worked well together, played well together, laughed often, hiked a lot, went camping whenever we could, enjoyed snowshoeing, and we traveled well together. I happily watched him play volleyball in Wash Park with his friends. I hung out with our friends and watched him play beach volleyball and other sports in Southern California. I made sure he always had tortillas in the house and he would slip me dollar bills to put in the tip jar at Starbucks or the red Salvation Army bucket. I married him in Colorado and followed him to Texas three weeks later when he got a promotion. When that job was complete and no longer needed, we moved to California. We worked on his resume together, and he would read lines with me for auditions. He gleefully supported my acting career and was my tried and true light and sound man during my one person show in North Hollywood. I’m not sure I could have done it without him. He could get us anywhere anytime and would drop me off backstage at The Comedy Store for my stand-up set, then park the car and walk back for the show. He always magically got us places on time, no matter what. He came to every performance of every show I ever performed. He would bring me flowers often, and would always add something specific to make the bouquet special. He loved my son and my son loved him. They were great friends, still are I suppose. They filled voids for each other and I loved watching them hang out together. His family became my family and I love them to this day.

That’s all I’m going to write about our marriage because I think those words paint a lovely picture and those are the parts worth remembering. I am grateful. I married a great man. We loved each other.

Obviously, something grew bigger in our marriage, so big in fact that it overshadowed our love for each other and we must have finally become so focused on the problem we couldn’t see the solution. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

Because our divorce was so shocking, so humiliating, confusing and incredibly painful for me (I can’t speak for him) I know that he is indeed my soul mate. How could I possibly feel that is my truth? Because one certain paragraph in the book Eat Pray Love, written by Elizabeth Gilbert, resonated with me so powerfully I started looking for and finding proof. Proof that neither of us did anything wrong. Proof that he didn’t mean to hurt me and I never wanted to divorce him. Proof that all of the times he asked something of me I couldn’t give and I asked something of him he didn’t have, were supposed to happen. Proof that no one is to blame in a marriage that will never end, but has instead taken a different form. It’s not over, it’s complete, and he is now married to someone else. I wish them joy and happiness whenever a memory of him pops up. We all deserve to be happy and it helps me to believe they have found it together.

In Eat Pray Love, Richard from Texas says to Liz: “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’s 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.”

Like the book says, I do believe my ex-husband’s purpose in my life was to shake me up, drive me out of that marriage I needed to leave, tear apart my ego, show me my obstacles and addictions, break my heart open so new light could get in, bring me to such a deep feeling of despair that I had to transform my life, then he was to introduce me to my spiritual path and leave. “That was his job, and he did it great…” For all he did and all he is, I am grateful.

For all I am now and all I continue to become, I am grateful. So very grateful.

I’m sharing this realization with you, my dear reader, because it gave me so much relief and freedom, I began to see changes in all areas of my life. I know there is no room for blame in life, no judgment of others, only curiosity and appreciation. We’re not here to understand each other, we’re here instead to accept others, to love everyone we meet and to be excited about what we learn from each interaction…whether it lasts an hour, a day, or a lifetime.

Love always, T

5 thoughts on “How Changing Your Definition of “Soul Mate” Can Help You Forgive and Feel Gratitude Instead

    1. That is a beautifully written message, it came from every fiber of your being!! It touched my heart and soul..hugs to you, my friend!!! I love you for being…you.

  1. What wonderful insight into the growth and wisdom you have intentionally gleaned. I am super grateful you have and continue to share methods on how to look at things differently, how to turn things around to, “This is happening FOR me, not to me,” with so many. You touch souls in all you do! Thank you for being you and for sharing!

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