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Article Specs

Article ID: 11836

VoxAcct: 152354

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 3,657

Times Read: 4,996

RSS Views: 60,074
On Past Lives, Soulmates, and Living in the Now

Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 24th. 2007
Times Viewed: 4,996

Recently I got into a conversation with a person online who was involved in an apparently unhealthy relationship. Now, this isnít an uncommon thing (sadly), but s/he justified staying in the relationship because s/he had been involved with the other person in a past life.

ďItís so romantic, Ē another person in the conversation added, ďcarrying on the relationship from life to life!Ē

Needless to say, several people got angry with me for daring to be unromantic.

There is an aesthetic ideal, in American culture, of ďtrue love foreverĒ. For most people, who are in faiths that teach that we each only get one life, the assumption is that your significant other will be waiting for you in Heaven/Paradise/etc. and youíll be together happily ever after (life).

For pagans, most of who believe in reincarnation of one form or another, the idea that you could be reunited with a lover from a past life is ever so romantic (and apparently more special than finding a good match the first time through this life).

Drop the term ďsoul mateĒ into a pagan conversation and I guarantee youíll get at least one person who, despite the incredible odds (especially if you consider the possibility of life on other planets), managed to find the same person (or people) s/he has been with through other lives, and somehow despite all the changes can still get along with him/her.

Unfortunately, the idea of love isnít just blind, but also judgment impaired. (Note that this isnít actual loveóIíll address that more in a bit). People like to be in love with the idea of love, mostly the happy surface traits like not being able to be around another person enough, sharing all kinds of light-hearted talk, and being so annoyingly sweet and adorable that the people around you all have to take a hit of insulin when youíre together.

Thereís the misconception that if youíre really in love, everything will be perfect, and that if there are problems it means youíre not doing something right. Therefore some people will come up with any excuse to deal with the problems that crop up in any relationship.

See, thatís the difference between love, and the idea of love.

Love is realistic. It sees the flaws, and it gets irritated and angry and yells at people for leaving socks on the floor or pokes them in the ribs for snoring at night. Despite all this, it still enjoys good company and partnership, and often is still absolutely crazy about the same people it was chastising for spending too much.

But Love isnít afraid to dig into the really tough issuesólike insecurity over appearances and sexual performance, jealousy of other people, arguing over money and children, and other things that can tear a relationship apart.

The idea of love, on the other hand, would stay in an abusive relationship just to not have the appearance of failure. ďI can change him/herĒ, it promises. In terms of the topic of this article, the idea of love canít get enough of soulmates and true love literally forever. So past lives can become a greater issue with the idea of love than is really healthy.

This isnít to say that thereís no such thing as soulmates, or that you canít run into someone from a previous life and even hook up. However, when judging the health of a relationship, whatís going on here and now is infinitely more important than what happened way back when. Heck, even stuff that happened five years ago is no match for the present time. (Once you bury the hatchet, donít dig it up!)

So letís look at a hypothetical relationship. Say we have a pair of people who, in a past life, were the perfect couple. Completely in love, had it all, legendary status. Now, fast forward to this life.

Say one person is abusing the otherómaybe not physically, but emotionally. The person being abused is entirely stuck on the idea of soulmates, and that eventually this will change, and theyíll go back to that idyllic time, only in a new setting.

Yes, it seems far-fetchedóbut Iíve heard much worse justifications for staying in an abusive relationship. Iíve also seen less drastic problems in relationships justified by past life interactions.

One person may be a bit of a parasite, financially or otherwise. Or the relationship may simply be failing, and instead of trying to work out the problems or put it to rest for good, the participants keep holding onto the idea that ďlove will find a wayĒ (without getting its hands dirty, of course).

What this all comes down to: It doesnít matter one whit what your situation in a past life was. You arenít the exact same people you were back thenóyou arenít even the exact same people you were ten years ago. Time changes us; we grow, and evolve. Some people change enough that the relationships they were in at an earlier point in this life (let alone another one) no longer suit them.

Thatís the way it is with lives in general. Our past lives may influence us to an extent, but this life isnít those lives. It is a unique junction in space and time, and who we are in this life is specific to it. We are not solely internal creatures; our environment and the people around us shape who we are as much as our personalities and other inherent characteristics. Itís like playing a song on different instruments; the melody may be more or less the same, but both the individual instrument, and the person playing it, leaves their marks on the music.

As a bit of a side note, this may sound a little odd coming from someone who identifies as Otherkin; the stereotypical Otherkin-identified person is one who obsesses over his/her past lives and attempts to tie everything s/he is in this life to who s/he was in that lifeóeven down to saying that s/he doesnít like salad because s/he was a dragon in a past life!

However, even in this community in which past lives play a prominent role for many people, the most well-adjusted and successful Otherkin are those who take who they were (assuming they explain themselves through reincarnation; there are several theories), balance it with who they are now, and live comfortably in this life, in the here and now, regardless of how we got here.

Thatís the most important thing to keep in mind with past lives, whether youíre Otherkin or not, whether you think youíve found your soulmate or not. It can be fun and even useful to figure out where youíre coming from, both in this life and in others.

However, if youíre reading this article, chances are that physically youíre not in ancient Egypt or Britain, youíre not physically an elven princess or thirty-foot-tall dragon, and your only choice is to interface with this world through the body and environment that you have.

Sitting around and wishing you were someplace else, in a different body, isnít going to make your life here any better. By falling prey to escapism, youíre just as responsible for your misery as any outside influenceómore so, in many cases.

If you find yourself putting more emphasis on other lives while living in this one, itís time to stop and take a good look around you. So your life sucks. So what? Lots of peoplesí lives suck. It wonít get any better if you donít focus on what can be done in the here and now.

There may not be any easy answers, but then again, there arenít always easy answers in relationships. And if you find yourself in a bad situation in this life, whether with a supposed soulmate or not, trying to fall back on what worked in another place and time wonít do you a bit of good.

You are right here, right now, in the here and now. And thatís whatís most important.




Copyright: Copyright Lupa, 2007. Please only reproduce by posting a link to this page.



ABOUT...

Lupa


Location: Portland, Oregon

Website: http://www.thegreenwolf.com

Author's Profile: To learn more about Lupa - Click HERE

Bio: Lupa is a recent transplant to Portland, OR, with her husband, Taylor, Sun Ce the cat, and entirely too many books and art supplies. She is the author of "Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic", "A Field Guide to Otherkin", and is a contributor to the "Magick on the Edge" anthology of experimental occultism. She and her husband are cowriting "Kink Magic: Sex Magic Beyond Vanilla" (November 2007) . Lupa may be found online at http://www.thegreenwolf.com




Other Articles: Lupa has posted 25 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




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