Member Rara Avis
I think I understand what you're suggesting, Iilana, but I don't see that process necessarily requiring a connection to love, souls, or mates. Making choices is simply a part of life. Indeed, I think the most difficult choices, the choices that offer the greatest potential for growth, rarely involve others directly. Don't believe me? Ask a priest, a teacher, or a soldier. Ask Martin Luther King, Jr. or James Earl Ray. Ask Nathan Hale or Benedict Arnold. I don't believe people are forced to make choices because they meet someone with whom they connect. The choices are always there, always waiting to be made.
Moreover, famous names and circumstances not withstanding, I don't think people are shaped by the big choices so much as the big choices are shaped by the people . . . and by the tens of thousands of small choices that inevitably lead up to big moments. The catalyst for all those choices isn't a soul mate, but just day-to-day living. And that's okay, too, because I think, for anyone searching for growth, day-to-day living offers all the challenge that will ever be needed.
Ed, Sue, your view of soul mates is lovely on the surface, but it could never work for me because it implies a static, unchanging relationship between people who either never grow or who, miraculously, always grow in the same direction at the same pace.
"Two pieces that perfectly fit" can never be more than a snapshot. The movie, viewed with an added dimension of time, would either show two pieces that stop fitting quite so well or, if they work really hard at it, two pieces that ebb and flow and occasionally even overlap and pinch.
What works for me isn't a relationship that starts out perfect and always stays that way, but rather a relationship that starts out good and, every passing day, grows into something better. I just can't see that happening without a lot of work and at least a little pain.