There is much conjecture and misunderstanding concerning this subject. When most of you speak of a soul mate, you are thinking of that one special individual that you will fall in love with and with whom you will live happily ever after. You may even feel as if this one special love has always been your lover through many, many lifetimes and that you are simply awaiting his or her appearance in this lifetime.
Many souls do encounter one another in lifetime after lifetime after lifetime, for they have become friends. This friendship is based in the non- physical world, and the friendship, which in essence is co-operation, is based upon their past success in achieving the growth they are seeking. You see, you are growth- seeking beings, and all encounters, both physical and non-physical, provide opportunities for growth. Therefore, if there is a certain soul with whom you have had great success in achieving your goals, you are likely to agree to work with that one again.
It is important to understand how souls are organized. Your journeys here into the physical world are deliberate journeys. You have already mastered life on many other planes of existence, and your purpose for coming to Earth is simply so that you may broaden your experience of yourself through the Earth existence. The ultimate goal is to experience unconditional love, that which is acceptance and allowing. For as you totally accept Earth life and accept all the aspects of it and all that exists within it, you have reached your goal. Some have called this enlightenment. You see, you didn't come here to get better or to prove yourself worthy; you came here for the fun of it, for the game, for the challenge.
Before such journeys are undertaken, souls organize themselves into groups. You could see these as support groups. Souls organize themselves into Families, Groups, Clans, Nations, and Grand Nations. There are seven souls in a Soul Family and seven families in a Soul Group, and seven groups in a Soul Clan, and so on. Eventually, you will work with most members of your Soul Clan, that is 343 individual souls. However, for those of you who are teachers, you will more than likely reach your Soul Nation or Grand Nation, which totals almost 17,000 souls.
The majority of your relationships, close friendships, and associations will be with souls who are from your Group of 49 souls. However, this is not always the case. The more you advance in terms of acceptance (love), the more skilled you will become at working with individuals who have a different energy signature than yourselves. What we mean by energy signature is the following: each Soul Group will be working towards a particular goal.
For example, many members of one Soul Group could be concerned with communication and teaching, another with healing, another with courage, another with self- acceptance. This does not mean that each of you will manifest in the same way and lead identical lives, but it does mean that the essence of your lives will be very similar. You will have similar ideals, aspirations, likes, and dislikes. The people you are most drawn to are almost always members of your Soul Family, Group, Clan or Nation, but as with everything, there are exceptions to the rule.
A Soul Family will work together for many, many lifetimes. Sometimes a Soul Family will regroup and different alliances will be made. This is rare, but it happens. In addition, the entire Soul Family will be involved in decision making regarding future lifetimes and will assist you in assessing your achievements in a lifetime just past. Your Soul Family is always there for you. For the most part, not all members of a Soul Family are incarnate at the same time. Those members who are not incarnate act as spirit guides during the physical life of the one who is incarnate. They can visit you in dreams, inspire you with thoughts, or in some cases, speak to you directly during meditation. Many of the spirit guides that have presented themselves to humans are indeed discarnate souls who are members of the individual's Soul Family. However, many of the Master Teachers that present themselves to humans are either members of the individual's Nation or Grand Nation and are souls whose Earth experience is complete. At times these Master Teachers can be souls that are even broader and vaster than this.
A soul mate is any soul that is a member of this broader group and anyone that touches your life. The net effect of a soul mate on your life will always be positive, even if you cannot see it at the time. For example, many have the notion that a soul mate relationship will be the ideal relationship, full of harmony and love. However, a relationship with a soul mate is likely to be challenging!
The whole point of a soul mate turning up in your life is to show you to yourself. That is the purpose of all human relationships. You learn through viewing in the mirror. The Law of Attraction works in every aspect of your life, and therefore each person drawn into your life is there through vibration, and nothing else. They are present because your vibration and their vibration are matched in some way.
As we have said before, you are growth-seeking beings. So many of you get confused when you meet the person of your dreams, fall happily in love, declare, "This is my soul mate," and then have to pick up the pieces a few years down the road when the relationship breaks up or the person you loved turns out to have some problems or personality traits you do not care for. However, this was your soul mate, and you have many!
As you re-enter each lifetime, you make agreements with many different souls, perhaps as many as 20. You agree on what you will offer one another. These souls can be your children, your best friend, husband, wife, worst enemy, boss, business partner, any number of possibilities, and even the schoolteacher that encouraged you with patience and kindness. However, as you, the personality, have free will, you may create a path that takes you in a different direction, and this is why you have to make possible agreements with so many. The Universe works on the principle of vibration.
Let us give you an example: There is Joe who is a fine soul indeed. However Joe, for quite a few lifetimes now, has been struggling with powerlessness in the physical realm. His struggle has led him into violence and even to developing addictions to alcohol. Mary, on the other hand, for some time now has had difficulties in valuing herself, always choosing second best, and always giving her power away. So Joe and Mary coordinate their lives and set up a strong probability to meet. Their intention is that Mary and Joe will fall in love and work towards resolving their respective issues. In her relationship with the alcoholic Mary will learn that she must begin to make choices that reflect her self-worth. Joe, on the other hand, wants to learn that he cannot possess or control anyone, for power must come from within. However, Mary finds herself often challenged during the course of her life, and at college the establishment challenges her ideas and values. Instead of capitulating, as was her custom in previous lives, she stands up for herself and chooses to value herself. At that moment her vibration changes and therefore Joe is no longer necessary.
It could happen that she may meet Joe, but it would more than likely be a passing meeting and one in which she could share with him what she had learned. She may indeed end up being the counselor at an alcohol rehabilitation center, for example, but Mary no longer requires an intimate relationship with Joe. At this stage both Joe and Mary set up new vibrations so that they connect with their other possible soul mates.
When you look back at your life, you will see there are many people who have had an impact on it. All of these people are your soul mates, and whether they know it or not on the personality level, they love you dearly for you are all working together towards one singular goal, and that is the goal of love.
"When we meet someone and an instant friendship or attraction occurs, does that mean that this is a soul mate and that we have been together in past lives?"
What it means is that there is compatibility in vibration, and this generally means that there is a connection of sorts. Whether that soul be from your Soul Family, Group, Clan, or Nation, there is a connection, a similarity of goal, purpose, experience, and therefore vibration. However, this connection on the soul level does not automatically indicate that you have met before. You may never have met on the Earth plane, but the soul may be known to you in the non-physical world. You do spend rather more time in the non-physical than you do in the physical, for the non-physical world is your natural home. In the non-physical world you have friends in very much the same way that you have friends on Earth. Some friends are close to you, others are intimately acquainted with you, and still others are acquaintances. Friendship in the non-physical world has nothing to do with liking or not liking one another; it has to do with compatibility of goals and aspirations. Your non-physical friends also change, and they change according to your goals.
For example, you may have teamed up with a particular small group of souls to work on survival issues. Each of you have had a few lives together in inhospitable environments. You may have chosen to live in primitive cultures in very cold climates or in desert regions. Such inhospitable environments help you to become resourceful, inventive, creative, and self-sufficient. You may however, choose to return to this adventure at a later stage and not complete all of your 'learning' in one go. Or, you may progress at a faster pace than your group members and decide to move on. Another choice could be to remain with the group and become a leader or teacher amongst them, assisting them to progress, which in turn assists you to progress even further for there is much learning to be done whilst teaching. The possibilities are endless and the choice is yours. If you decide to move on, you will join another group, or perhaps work with one or two other souls. Your work with other souls may last one Earth day, an entire lifetime, or several hundred lifetimes. You choose all of these relationships, and each relationship is based on cooperation and the desire to progress as quickly as possible.
"Are our parents and children Soul Mates and are they part of our Soul Family?"
They are soul mates inasmuch as you not only know them, but you have chosen to work with them for the specific purpose of achieving growth. No birth is an accident, for all souls enter this world by agreement with both parents, even if both parents are not present in childhood.
Your parents and siblings may very well all be members of your Soul Family, but this is extremely rare. Normally, one, perhaps two, members of your biological family will be from your Soul Family, but the rest will generally be from your Group, Clan, Nation, or Grand Nation.
For the creation of a physical family the younger, less experienced souls will tend to team up with souls that are very closely related to them. These souls will often swap roles with one another from lifetime to lifetime, sometimes being the child, at other times the parent, at one time the female, at another time the male mate. The familiarity of the souls, one with another, helps each individual soul to progress more quickly. When souls first enter the physical plane, it seems to them to be a hostile place indeed. They are confused and wary of the physical body and are very susceptible to the biological impulse to survive. They are often caught up in fight or flight choices. The Universe is loving and supportive, and therefore it creates feelings of security to be surrounded by souls with whom you are very familiar. However, as with everything in the Universe, this is only general. It is not a hard and fast rule, for older souls can and do enter into these kinds of arrangements.
Many older souls choose to be born into families where perhaps only one member is well known to them, and perhaps this soul is from their Soul Group or Clan, not as closely related as a Soul Family member. They will make this choice because older souls are really concerned with introspection more than anything else. They may be preparing to teach or to become a leader in one field or another, and the experience of feeling 'the odd one out' will lead them towards self-examination. Instead of getting caught up with the function and duty of 'family' these souls will often be seen to be the 'black sheep' or viewed as different or eccentric by other members of the biological family.
Although these circumstances may lead to difficult personal challenges, the lessons are almost always internal rather than external. This means that there will be an emphasis on self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is an integral part of soul development. If we were to liken the Earth experience to education, mastering self-acceptance is equivalent to studying for your doctorate. Once you have self-acceptance under your belt, you are pretty much on the home run!
"Why do so many of us search endlessly for the 'one true love' in the hope of finding our soul mate?"
What you are looking for is acceptance. You believe that this 'one true love' will accept you without conditions. Your search for that one is in fact the search for self-acceptance. Each relationship is there to provide you with a new opportunity to know yourself. It is through knowing yourself that you can then grow to accept yourself and to love yourself. The one true love is self-love; there is no other love.
The greatest secret of all, discovered by the Christ and the Buddha and many others, was the secret of falling in love with the self. When you love the self, you are in a state of acceptance, total acceptance. As you accept, you cease resisting the world and all that is in it. As you give up resistance, you allow everything to be as it is. As you allow everything to be as it is, God can work through you. It is at this point that you can say, "I and the Father are one," for you will be at one with the source of all life. You will be at one with love!
Excerpt from "Omni Reveals The Four Principles of Creation", © John L. Payne 2001;
published by Findhorn Press, Scotland. www.findhornpress.com