Below, one of the best essays I've read about relationships anywhere. I hope it's as meaningful and useful to you as it was to me! It's the first of two guest posts by Newton, MA-based Linda Marks, MSM, a super-smart and innovative psychotherapist, lifework counselor, and author. Her newsletter is one of the first things I read when it shows up in my inbox, and you can subscribe for free at her blog. More info on Linda here, and thanks to Linda for kind permission to reprint! – Hillary
So many of us wish to meet a "soul mate," another human being with whom we share a deep connection, with whom the level of intimacy seems rich and endless, and where we may feel like we've known the other person forever, even when we have just met them. With a soul mate, we can talk about seemingly anything, and the potential for joy, growth and fulfillment through relationship seems profound and exquisite. What we often don't take into consideration, and may not be aware of, is that when we have a deep connection with another person, not only do our most positive qualities have the opportunity to shine, but also our shadow parts come to the surface as well.
Deep connections, because they are safe and far reaching, allow us to connect with our undeveloped, unhealed and unexamined parts so that we may heal and integrate them as we grow. When we do this critical shadow work, the rewards are soul rendering. However, if we do not realize that with soul connection comes soul work, we may run from this important opportunity for growth, sometimes abandoning ship--our own and the one we share with a soul mate.
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