In my first marriage, I though I had found my Prince Charming. My ex-husband and I had a very unusual relationship for modern America in one particular way: we were each others’ first and only partners from the time we began dating until we separated, a duration of 22+ years. This came about in part because of how young we were when we began dating. I was 14 years 8 months and a sophomore in high school when we changed from being friends to being romantic interests; he was recently turned 17 years old and a junior in high school. Neither of us had dated anyone else previously.
After many years of chronic illness, our relationship grew apart. We both were raised Catholic though we have each evolved in different ways in response to the tragedies and difficulties we encountered in life. My ex doesn’t believe in past lives; he sees himself as somewhere between an agnostic and an atheist. On the other hand, I have become highly spiritual but not at all religious as a result of all the challenges I have faced. However, I couldn’t explore my spirituality fully while I was still partnered with my ex-husband because I felt intimidated by his belittling tactics towards ideas he didn’t understand or agree with. For me, it felt safer to hide my beliefs from him. (And yes, that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship!)
Once my ex-husband and I separated, I began exploring my past lives in earnest. Learning about my past life relationships with other souls helped me to be less devastated by the loss of someone I thought was my “one and only” for this life. I was able to break away from the cultural myth that we only have one soulmate and instead understood that we the potential for many soulmates in each lifetime. Thus, when one soulmate relationship ends, it doesn’t mean that you have used up all your romantic love for one lifetime. It simply means that the person who was right for you previously is no longer right for this part of your journey. I believe that the option for other love interests, including soul mates, is available to all of us more than once in a lifetime.
As I explored my past lives, one of the first souls I had to deal with was my lover from my three most recent past lifetimes (and probably more that as well). When he showed up to talk to me just before the summer solstice, he tried to convince me he was one of my guides, but things felt very wrong. The more I learned about him, the more I realized what a toxic soul he was and how much work he had to do as an individual. He was very mad at me for reincarnating without him this time around, but it was time for us to move on separate paths so that we (or at least I) could heal. I cut ties with him and sent him away. Yet the experiences with him helped me to realize that my relationship with my ex-husband in this life was definitely not my one and only soulmate relationship. I have been partnered with many souls across the millenia, and some of those souls are still in my life in different types of relationships in this lifetime.
The lyrics of "For Good" from Wicked strike me as a powerful way to explain this relationship with our soulmates. They declare:
I've heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return...
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine
By being my friend.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC