A Journey to the Heart
of a Soul Mate Relationship
by Elly van Veen & Roderic Knowles
Cosmic Dating Service
One sunny afternoon, I was sitting under a tree in my favourite wood in Warmond, Holland, reading a book on soul mates and how to meet one.
“All one has to do is ask the Universe,” it said.
“Amazing!” I thought.
I lay back against the tree, an old sequoia, and gazed out across the canal and meadows. Ducks, swans and waterfowl glided by. Swans, they had found their life-long mates and seemed to be happy. Cows grazed. They shared one randy bull. Not for me!
The sails of a windmill turned gently on the horizon.
Ask the Universe? Could it really be that simple? I wondered. The only way to find out was to try.
I yearned for a companion, a lover with whom I could share intimately and deeply, and lay there dreaming of the ideal man walking into my life.
I dreamed and yes the dream could be real; but who was the ideal man for me?
The day was changing into evening. All was becoming still.
I stretched my body like the trees around me, breathing in the sweet smell of pine. I heard the tapping of a woodpecker and followed the flight of a bumblebee. I felt refreshed and elated. Nature is so healing and inspiring. I sat, visualizing my lover, picked up my diary and drew a picture of him.
He was tall, agile, with wild jumping hair. He had sensual lips and beautiful eyes, blue-grey. I drew big feet, symbolising his thorough down-to-earthness. I didn’t want a wishy-washy!
I imagined him soft to touch, as someone who likes to cuddle and be cuddled. He loves dancing, freely, intuitively; and enjoys sex, desiring like me to reach new peaks of ecstasy in the tantric and transcendental. Mmmh! I was really beginning to get into this.
As the author suggested, I made a list of my requirements, doing so on four levels, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, for a relationship must work on all of these. Having visualized his physical attributes, I lay back and imagined the other aspects:
Emotionally, he is able to show and share his feelings openly and honestly, willing to be vulnerable rather than defensive. I don’t want someone who claims ownership of me or is emotionally dependent or manipulative. While I’m open to supporting him lovingly, I’m not willing to be the object of projections, and certainly not a mother substitute. He’s light-hearted, warm and loving, someone with whom I’d feel safe to share my innermost self.
What about his mind? Intelligent, lively, open, flexible, one of life’s explorers. Not always talking on the purely mental level, which I find boring, he communicates from his heart and soul, focused on the essence and truth of life.
Chapel bells rang, chanting through the wood. Perhaps they were agreeing with me?
On the spiritual level? He must be awake on this, in touch with his higher self, living with it as an everyday reality. I’m tired of dragging my boyfriends into their spiritual awakening. He’s beyond all religions, not locked into the dogmas of any, with a broad view of existence, accepting the immortality of the soul and therefore the reality of past and future lives. He’s a seeker of truth, committed to his inner growth while supporting me in mine. Ideally he’s more enlightened than I, so I can learn from him. He inspires and challenges me. He takes me deeper into understandings of the mysteries of life. Yes, that’s what I really want, a lover wisdom-teacher. I see us meditating together, surrounded by Beings of Light.
What else? This is fun!
He is serious but has a good sense of humour. He’s able to go with the flow and walks his talk. As a Reiki Master*, kinesiologist**, and working with flower essences, I would love to share life with someone who is also interested in vibrational healing. And maybe we’ll have a child together. But as I am in my late thirties, that might be asking too much.
These were my specifications. In putting out my request to the Universe, I was serious but also laughing at myself for dreaming of my White Prince to appear. Perhaps I was being ridiculous?
* Reiki is a hands-on healing art originating in Japan, which involves the channelling of life-force energy.
** A kinesiologist tests muscles for weaknesses that indicate energy blockages in the body, and uses techniques that clear these, relieve tensions, and otherwise permit life-force energies to flow in their natural manner.
Based in the wilds of the west coast of Ireland with many a worldly adventure behind me, I lived a primitive but blissful life close to Nature, cultivating my garden, metaphorically and literally.
I had been celibate for close to four years. Being far from the main streams of human civilisation, the possibility of an intimate relationship had not presented itself, at least not one meeting my requirements. With many interests I was passionately absorbed, so this hadn’t bothered me. I was also writing and my rhythms in this were not at all relationship-friendly, since I often rose at three in the morning or worked into the night. I treasured my freedom and these hours of uninterrupted flow and creativity, which I doubted another would be willing to accept. So, I’d been closed to the idea of an intimate relationship, which was one good reason why one hadn’t happened.
There were others. Over the years, I had been carrying in my depths an unresolved yearning which, while largely unconscious, had been moving me beyond more obvious desires, colouring them greatly. It was for no less than the ultimate: Union with the Divine and Eternal Feminine. I had been projecting this outwards onto various earthly females, thus heaping great expectations upon them in search of the essentially unachievable. On rapturously aspiring flights of love, fantasy creations of my own imagination, I had become like Icarus, believing he could reach the sun, failing of course, ever singeing his homemade wings and landing on the rocks. Evidently, there was something fundamental I had been failing to grasp. I had resolved to fathom what this impulse was and, thereby, what I was really seeking.
Deep down I knew it was nothing on the outside, not even the most beautiful goddess on earth. Rather it was this: My ‘I’ at the level of ordinary consciousness, being but an aspect of my larger Self, yearned for union with its heavenly counterpart, the feminine anima, my own soul, a sleeping princess who was beginning to awaken. It is union with the Eternal Feminine within that represents man’s deepest longing, the mystical union, the alchemical marriage, subliminal subject of all Grail quests. So I had cut myself off from seeking in the world the one great love that would substitute for this, no longer looking for another to complete me or fill emptiness. I needed more time to integrate these realizations before entering another relationship, I felt.
Yes, I declared, lying under my sequoia, I feel ready for my next lover.
I also feel ready for a new way of relating. Relationships todate have got me nowhere, bringing me neither the love nor fulfilment I’ve been seeking, though I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Previous lovers flashed through my mind. I remembered when ‘the man of my dreams’ had walked into my life. His brown eyes, curly hair and soft southern accent had melted me every time I’d thought of him. I had never fallen so much in love, nor been so hurt and angry, particularly as he’d been playing a game of ‘push and pull’ for which I had no answer. Not only had he broken my heart, but shattered my dreams and illusions. “What is a relationship all about,” I’d wondered, “if it doesn’t work with the man of your dreams?”
Later, much later, I was grateful for the separation, for I would have given my life trying to please him, rather than honouring my own. It had been a wake-up call. I had to learn to set my boundaries, speak my truth, and be the centre of my life.
I thought of Jonathan whom I’d met in Australia, with his sensual body and way of laughing, his sense of freedom and the beauty of his face. He’d recently sent me a package of jasmine tea, fresh honeysuckle and a CD of Nat King Cole, which gave me butterflies in my stomach. Was he just a holiday romance or could he be more? He had kindled in me a thirst for adventure. But would he ever want to make a commitment, being the free spirit he was?
Aside from the occasional part-time relationship, I had been living on my own for almost ten years, spending my time exploring, healing and strengthening my inner life, so I’d never lose myself in one again. What I want now is a relationship that honours, nourishes and supports me, which liberates and empowers me; above all, one that includes the spiritual dimension, acknowledging soul not only as a concept but an everyday reality.
Now that I’m clear what I really want, I am ready to fly with the lover of my dreams into the magic of love and life. But shall I ever get what I desire? Or do I need to compromise?
Even in my most ascetic moments, I have never ceased to be intrigued by Woman. I’m easily seduced by her beauty and mysteries. I’m in love with love, have dreams of love, and was born to be a lover. Mystic, fool, or whatever else I may be, I’ll never be other than a sensual animal and incurably romantic. A being of many parts am “I”, with body, mind, spirit, soul, each with needs and pleasures of their own, living a life of unresolved paradoxes.
Which brings me to the sexual! Even in my most ascetic moments, I have always been conscious of this dimension as an integral aspect of life’s wholeness. One of life’s primary energies, no other is so potent. What I find amazing is how little it’s understood, almost not at all in religious circles, nor even in a purely evolutionary context. What is its nature? Why the surplus way beyond what is required for procreation? What are its purposes? I had been pondering on its mysteries for years. Clearly we cannot deny any aspect of our wholeness without serious repercussions. Our churches’ views and teachings on the subject, resulting in ludicrous self-denial, have impacted disastrously on our civilization, “restricting the entire psycho-emotional system of the human being,” to quote Jean Markale in his Women of the Celts.
Yet, if the energy of sex is not to be condemned and suppressed, how, ideally, is it to be expressed? Not outwardly, say the wise, but inwardly, for not only is it the energy of ecstasy but of transformation and creativity. Rather than being released wastefully, it can be retained and consciously directed within one’s system. I had been studying the teachings and methods of the Taoist masters, Mantak and Maneewan Chia. Writing on the flow and control of sexual energy within an individual and between couples, they show how two may come together, love and share more consciously and pleasurably in their unions with the maximum of physiological and spiritual advantages. But theoretical study was not enough. I felt the growing desire for a partner with whom to practise. A teacher was what I needed. A lover-teacher she would need to be. The very best! I dreamed the ideal, a tantric priestess!
I was, I realized, ready for a relationship.
I returned to the thought: Am I being ridiculous in expecting the Universe to fulfil my dreams? To be my Cosmic Dating Service? By what magic?