Twin Souls and the Lessons of Loneliness.
“It was like coming home, only to no home I’d ever known.” ~ Sleepless in Seattle
When I was young, I was a handful.
I had a certain way about me, and I believed there were certain truths to this Universe.
I believed wholeheartedly that I was going to grow up to be Robin Hood. I was destined to run around in the forest wearing green and saving the world from evil tyranny while shooting a bow, naturally.
I thought there was nothing better that eating soup from my little thermos in the Fall leaves with my dog outside on the wooden picnic table. I believed in the love stories I saw in the movies and read in books, that sisters were always BFF and that rocks were special treasures to give to people.
And that stuffed animals had to be covered with little blankets and paired off before they went to sleep each night.
It may sound strange, but even at that age I believed no one should be alone.
In my mind, it was of the utmost importance that they be paired off, or at the very least in groups.
It was impossible for my mind to come to terms with the idea of them being alone and without their other. To wander around in the night without another little stuffed paw to hold. How awful would that be?
It was worse when I started to bring home strays in the neighborhood. We lived 10 miles out of town by a lake, and people who no longer wanted their animals would often abandon them out there.
I didn’t understand that, but I did understand that I didn’t want them to be lonely, so I always brought them home.
Yes, I was an eccentric and precocious child.
But there was a deep vein of knowing in those thoughts and actions. It made my little heart ache at the thought of being apart from someone, separated and lonely from the one you love.
Now, I wasn’t very old, and I had never known loneliness in my short life.
I had older half-sisters who lived with us when I was little, and a little sister by the time I was two. My parents were always around, and I had a plethora of cousins, neighbors, friends and animals.
Why was I so obsessed and aching for something I had no idea about? Where did this deep vein of loneliness come from?
This spirit deep inquiry led to a lifetime of obsessions involving twin flames/souls for me. I’ve always loved this passage by John O’ Donohue from his book Anam Cara:
“When you find the person you love, an act of ancient recognition brings you together. It is as if millions of years before the silence of nature broke, his or her clay and your clay lay side by side. Then, in the turning of the seasons, your one clay divided and separated.
You began to rise as distinct clay forms, each housing a different individuality and destiny. Without even knowing it, your secret memory mourned your loss of each other.
While your clay selves wandered for thousands of years through the universe, your longing for each other never faded. This metaphor helps to explain how in the moment of friendship two souls suddenly recognize each other.
It could be a meeting on the street, or at a party, a lecture or just a simple, banal introduction, then, suddenly there is the flash of recognition and the embers of kinship glow. There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing.
Love opens the door of ancient recognition. You enter.
You come home to each other at last.”
It was like finding an author speak right into the depths of something I had always believed even if no one talked about it.
I wondered in the years since, and in the continuing obsession with the depth of soul-pairing of this connection, about this draw that guides people together.
Maybe my longing for all things to be together was tied to my knowing that we all had a counterpart somewhere whom we once shared space with, at least on some dimension, and that in the knowing and absence of this, there was longing as a reminder of that which once was.
I knew that somewhere there was a companion for all beings, one that, despite distance, age or upbringing, was the perfect fit for each one.
Plato wrote that humans were once composed of four arms, four legs, two faces and two sets of genitals. They were so powerful that they were split apart by Zeus and made into two beings. They yearned for one another separately in the world while they wandered through lifetimes.
Their souls knew the truth of the other, even if they couldn’t themselves recall it. This depth of loneliness would be with them until they found the other twin soul, their matching frequency.
As an adult, loneliness has so many different faces.
Loneliness can become the familiar companion that helps us along our journey as we work away at our passions.
It can be the bittersweet reminder of changes ongoing in relationships and shifts that occur in our world on a daily basis that fuel and expand our way forward.
It can be a self-imposed moment of grief that reminds us of feeling alive when that ache of solitude etches onto us the desire for connection.
It can be the ache of leaving something behind.
And yet through all of the fog of loneliness, I still could never shake the soul-deep knowing that had been spelled out so clearly to my little self so long ago.
It wasn’t just about stuffed animals and puppies not being alone. It was a deeper spirit call into the darkness of time. It was needing to understand something that I could never describe but knew all along as the deepest and most simple truth of all.
Maybe it is only after great separation and longing that we are able to fully see and appreciate.
Maybe that’s why the lovers’ clay is divided.
Maybe in finding that individual perspective separate of the other, in becoming whole into one’s own truth and loving the very fabric of one’s own being, we become all that we need to be. We learn the lessons necessary to become the truest versions of ourselves.
In that moment of seeing our own truth and brilliance, we are able to recognize at long last the clay form of the other, and are able fully open to them in a powerful, soul-deep homecoming.
In this total love for our own clay, even in the depths of our loneliness, at long last we can clearly see. When we shine in our own light, we draw to us the other.
But how would we have ever known the path if not for the longing of loneliness deep within?
Nothing about twin souls is taking the easy journey, but about a spirit-deep song that pulls you from somewhere beyond the horizon; it’s the beacon you can’t explain or ignore.
It’s not about halves. We need to be whole within our truth to truly see our other.
It’s about being present with what is on our road and not hiding. It’s about owning what needs owning, and stepping onto the path of our truth. It’s about being in a place of embracing all of our shadows and our light. It’s about opening, trust and surrender.
When we live a life authentically as who we truthfully are, we hear the call deep within, and the clarity of knowing pours through our being.
From this place of wholeness, connection and self-love, we are finally able to hear the ancient call that has eternally been etched along our soul.
We can finally make sense of what we have always known: the time to return to our twin has come at long last, and it’s time to go home.