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It was this part that I was fascinated with. Although I believed before I read this book that soul mates can be anyone with who we have an intense connection, I didn't really think they would be connections that make you writhe in pain, hurt or humiliation. Think not your soul mate can do that? Think again! "There is not a One-and-Only physical partner who we walk off into the sunset with - our soul mates are anyone with whom we have had an intense connection – mothers-in-law, bosses, friends, enemies, partners and lovers of every variety, parents, neighbors and work colleagues," Sue writes. "If you think about your life, who has there been who has made an impact on you? she asks. Oh gosh, I think! All these people in my life who I ended up thinking they hurt me...they were here to help my soul work? Even people I intensely dislike? Gulp. THAT takes some shift in thinking, doesn't it? Precisely what I found fascinating.
I love looking into the picture of life and being able to view it differently - there is no point in leading a life of deadness, thinking that change is an event rather than a lifelong process. According to her, even these painful encounters do not happen by chance - these soul mates push our buttons so that we work on the themes that we have entrusted our soul to grow with. And the ultimate theme of them all - to finding Love. Remember not parental love or romantic love, but a purer form of love - the sort that the Dalai Lama seems to radiate, that sort of Love that can transcend all the issues that we plague love with. She quotes throughout the book from Rumi, one of my favorite writers.
Those who donʼt feel this Love
Pulling them like a river,
Those who donʼt drink dawn
Like a cup of springwater
Or take in sunset like supper,
Those who donʼt want to change,
Let them sleep.
I loved that last line, laughed aloud at that. And although majority of our soul mate encounters appear to be corrosive and brutal connections, it is precisely that we need to thank them for, Minns argues. "The importance of seemingly difficult soul mate encounters is that they give us the opportunity to let go of all those feelings that stand in the way of Love. They are actually polishing our heartʼs lantern, asking us to move beyond past (and present) life dramas, to the heart of our Hearts, where there is no fear." And it is this union with the prettiest flower of them all - the union with your Self is what arises from this polishing.
These are pretty deep themes - but I think they are also pretty simple. They suggest a simple shift in perspective - if we put our mind in a box and expect it to fly, we know the result. Setting our minds free to roam the mountains and the sea means a mind that can fly. Closing our hearts and refusing to change only limits the limitless possibilities and experiences our life can offer. And opening our hearts can only lead to the flowering of the soul - and who wouldn't want that? Umm no. I think a lot of people are pretty happy thinking of the heart as a machine that pumps blood, the mind as a computer that solves Keynesian theories, and the soul as some empty piffle invented by a fool who probably never had a mind in the first place. Me? I think I will try Minns' approach. "The sooner we realise that others are actually reflecting something back to us about ourselves, the quicker our ʻnoteʼ changes pitch," Minns suggests. A bit like a tuning fork. Hmm, I agree. Now, let me try find my pitch. :-).
Verdict : A daringly different book that resonates with honesty and compassion.