Love and Destiny
Destiny. One of the most romantic notions we can possibly attach to the concept of love, that you will meet someone and right away you will both know that it was just “meant to be”. But, is this true? Are we “destined” to meet our soul mate? And, does that mean that it is all predetermined and therefore we don’t have a choice anyway? How does destiny work when it comes to love?
Let’s first define what destiny is. In order to do that, I need to establish here that destiny is a concept that relies on a belief that there is some kind of natural order to the cosmos. Now, I’m not looking to spark a heavy theological debate over the existence or not of God, because what I am talking about here is a natural order. It can be as simple as believing that the sun will rise in the morning and that the seasons will change because there is a greater design, energy, or power greater than us that causes these things to happen. So, if you can make that leap, and embrace that possibility, then you can also believe in destiny.
Destiny is how this natural order I described above impacts our lives directly, or rather how we experience it. If we thought about it, we could sit every morning in the pre-dawn light in awe as the sun emerged and wonder in amazement at how it must have been destined to appear in the sky. Most of us take it for granted that certain things will happen, and therefore we only decide to call it destiny when something occurs that we were not expecting.
We also tend to confuse the terms destiny and fate, thinking that they are identical and interchangeable. Although they are related, they are different in that fate is something that is fixed and unchangeable. Fate is something that absolutely happens, so we can only look back at something that happened in the past and call it fate. This is because nothing in the future is absolute, only the past can be a sure thing. Destiny is how we describe something that can and probably will happen in the future, but yet it allows for choices to be made. So, quite simply, fate happens. But, destiny is something that we actively participate in. We choose our destiny.
So, how does this relate to soul mates? Do we get to choose our destined love? How do we participate in meeting them, especially when we only call it destiny if it is something that we were not expecting? Well, we have many soul mates of different types. And, our meeting all of them is and was destiny. Some we meet because we have karma to work out, and others we meet in order to learn lessons about giving and receiving love. And, each and every one of these soul mates was our destiny, meaning that we made choices that led to our meeting.
The idea of the soul mate has shown up in nearly every culture on the globe throughout history, and it has also consistently been linked to the concept of destiny. In East Asia, there is a legend called the “red thread of destiny” in which a mystical red string is tied to the fingertips of two meant to be lovers that connects them. And, although the string can twist, turn, and bend, this tie to one another will ultimately ensure their destined meeting.
In Ancient Greek mythology, there are three women called “Fates”, or Moirae who were weavers that spun intricate webs of intertwining threads that represented different life paths of human beings. When these threads overlapped one another, they represented two lives intersecting, or a destined meeting. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship can relate to this imagery, that for a time your threads were intertwined and your paths on the same trajectory, and upon separating your threads continue on, but in different directions. This thread idea also shows up in Norse and Roman mythology, in Navajo legend, and in some Pacific and African traditions as well.
In Kabbalah, the Hebrew word for destiny, B’shert, has a dual meaning. It is also the word for soul mate, or the “beloved”. This term actually marries the two concepts together, making them one and the same. Because destiny implies an order to the universe, and allows us to make choices, our path through life (and lifetimes) consists of what the universe throws our way and the subsequent choices that we make. And this path ultimately leads to our B’shert, or our destined love.
Now, keep in mind that the path I am referring to is yourpath. We do not find our destiny by searching for it; we discover it on our journey through life. We meet our destined love by doing what we love doing and going to the places that we enjoy going to. Although you can meet someone nice by hanging out at the golf course because you would love to date an avid golfer, if you are not a golf lover yourself, they will not be your destined love. This is because the journey to our beloved, or our destiny, is actually a journey inward. We meet our destined love by being ourselves and doing what we do anyway.
I have seen this at work in my own life. The last relationship I was in, the only thing I had to do to meet him was to get up and go about my regular day doing the things that I love. And, this phenomenon is incredibly far reaching, as the universe will conspire to bring two people together despite any obstacles. My ex-husband was born completely on the other side of the world from where I was, yet by following my own life path, and he his, we managed to make it to our destined meeting. Which leads me to my next point; destined loves are not always destined to last. Even if a relationship does not work out, it does not change the fact that it was destined for both of you to meet.
When we encounter a soul mate, or someone with whom we have a connection, they come along in order to represent a choice. Soul mates appear in our lives to open up new doors, new possibilities for our future, and show us that there is a fork in the road. We are destined to meet, but how we deal with it is entirely our choice. Do we allow ourselves to be open to love? Or, do we ignore it and let the opportunity to be in a relationship with them pass us by? Once in the relationship, does our fear create power and control issues? Are we cruel to them, and cheat and lie? Or, do we choose to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and let them into our lives and our hearts, thereby discovering the beauty of love?
We make pacts and agreements with one another before we are born, or soul contracts, that our paths will cross in order to present this intersection to one another in order to help each other grow and develop spiritually. So, in this way, each of our destined loves have played a role in propelling us forward in some way on our spiritual paths. This idea might be difficult for some to swallow, because I am suggesting that the abusive and even violent relationships are based on soul contracts as well and came into our lives to teach us and present us with an opportunity for growth. Remember, it comes with a choice, and anyone who has ever empowered themselves enough to leave such a relationship can tell you that the choice to do so was not a step, but rather a giant leap in their spiritual evolution.
This is also why it is important to allow yourself time to heal between relationships, and not jump into a new one right away. By spending some time reviewing the issues that came up in you, and being truly honest with yourself about why it failed, you can honor this soul contract process and really do some work on yourself. If you don’t take the time to do this, you will inadvertently take all of your baggage with you into your next relationship and you will find yourself on a virtual hamster wheel, dealing with the same issues in one relationship after another. Although they might look different, you could end up dating the same person over and over again because you have not spent the time to reflect and properly heal.
During my own meditation practice, I have found it quite useful when I need to reflect on my previous relationships, to conjure up an image in my mind of a past love who has hurt me in some way, or were somehow incapable of giving and showing love properly. If you try this exercise, look at them, in their eyes if it is not too difficult, but you have to be careful not to connect too much energetically to an abuser or someone that you have already worked hard to distance yourself from, and ask them to return to you the pieces of yourself that were lost as a result of the pain you suffered from that failed relationship. Holding out your hands, take these parts of yourself back (they can be literal objects, or symbolic) and return them to you by placing them into your heart chakra, which is located at the center of your chest. But, if you do this exercise, be prepared to do the reverse exchange as well, and give them back the pieces of themselves that they have lost at your hands. Doing exercises such as this help to set a powerful intent to heal the relationship, and to more objectively understand it and the role it played in your life and your spiritual development, and then to move on from it.
When you take the time to do this type of inner work, and spend time contemplating and becoming more self-aware of your issues surrounding relationships, you will heal and subsequently begin to vibrate energetically at a higher level. And, because a destined soul mate is someone whose level of vibration matches your own, you will eventually attract a new destined love of a higher caliber.
By climbing the ladder of your own spiritual growth and development, you will meet someone who has done the same, and enter into a relationship that vibrates at a higher rate as well. Yes, it is true that the higher you climb, the fewer potential partners you will find, but they are out there. The more we heal and learn about ourselves through the work of being in a relationship with another person, the better quality relationship we will be capable of. And remember, your destined love is also doing this inner work and is hoping that their destined path will lead them to you.
What we need to remember here is to keep the focus on ourselves, as the journey to your beloved, or your destined love, is ultimately a journey to yourself. This does not mean that we should be selfish, which is the act of taking power away from others for our own gain, because being selfish will not ever lead to a spiritually evolved relationship. What I mean is that you should keep your focus directed inward, and therefore create your own power within yourself. When you can do that, you will have a real magnetism that will attract all of the right people and circumstances into your life. You create your own destiny by following your own path, and your destined soul mate lies along that path.
In Plato’s “Symposium”, he describes a legend in which Zeus decided to split human beings into two separate halves. These splintered pieces would be doomed to spend many lifetimes searching for one another, longing to be whole again. According to this story, the reason that Zeus did this was because he was afraid of our power as humans. And, hereby is the key to the idea of the power of destined love. When we are with another in a true partnership, we are not twice as strong, but exponentially so. But, we first have to cultivate ourselves so that a true partnership can exist. A relationship based on need, control, insecurities, dishonesty, and fear cannot be such a partnership.
What we are looking for is not our match, but rather our compliment. Like a spoon in a drawer, putting two spoons together implies that one alone is not sufficient, that it needs a “match”. But, if you place a fork next to the spoon, the spoon is fine on its’ own, but when used together with the fork they will compliment each other, work together more efficiently and in result will accomplish a great deal more than they ever could on their own. In order to find our compliment, we first have to learn how to be “enough” on our own. Looking for someone to “complete you” gives your potential mate way too much power, and so you will attract a partner who will exploit and abuse that power. When you are a whole person on your own, then you will attract someone else who is as well, and your relationship will be missing the drama and pain of your previous ones.
We take the time and effort to be incarnated in human form so that we can learn, and life is truly a school filled with lessons of various types. But, the most important lesson we are confronted with during our experiences over many lifetimes involves love. Quite simply, relationships with others is why we are here. And, our relationships reflect our current level of healing; we can see where we are at by examining the quality of the relationship we are in.
And, if you are not currently in a relationship, then it is important to examine that as well. Are you still healing from the last one? Do you still feel anger, bitterness, and resentment toward any of your previous partners? Are you afraid? Or, are you being confronted with the lesson of being patient and waiting for the right person to cross paths with you? Taking note of this, and becoming aware of where you are at regarding relationship issues is a vital step toward uncovering your destiny.
Find out more about who you really are, do what you love, and discover the places that you enjoy. Keep your focus on yourself, create your own power, and walk your life’s path with your heart and your eyes open, because somewhere on the road ahead you will encounter your love.
It is your destiny.