Friday, May 9, 2014

How To Meet A Kindred Spirit

Have you ever had a person walk into your life and "see" you instantly, while others have been around you a lifetime, and still haven't noticed who you really are?

I think of these people as "kindred spirits". It's like our souls know and understand each other. 

They don't always stay a long time, sometimes they share our journey for mere moments or months, but we remember them forever. Perhaps they stay only long enough to teach us, or support us during a specific time in our lives (and us in their lives).

Looking back over my lifetime, I've been blessed with a number of kindred spirits over the last two decades.

Some of them are still in my life today, others have long since moved on, but each time I think of them I offer up a little prayer of gratitude that they graced my life in the first place, and send out best wishes to them, wherever they are now. 

What about if you crave that kind of deep sense of connection, but can't seem to find it anywhere?

Well, there's a few things you can do to increase the odds.

Set The Intention And Then Trust It Will Happen At The Right Time: The most joyous and deepest connections are made when they just “happen”, not from trying to force something that isn't. Your kindred spirit will show up…and probably when you least expect it. Keep alert for opportunities but don’t stress and don’t try to contrive a relationship because you long for that connection.

It can not, and will not, be faked or forced!

They say if you want to find like-minded friends, hang out at places which interest you in hopes of meeting someone with similar interests. But I’m not convinced that’s how it works with kindred spirits. 

In almost every case, my kindred spirit came from a completely different background, had a completely different lifestyle, and even looked different to my usual circle of friends. And perhaps that’s how it’s meant to be? Maybe a kindred spirit is not there to agree with everything we already know so that we can carry on our lives exactly as before. A kindred spirit changes our lives and shows us a completely different way of looking at the world. They are divine teachers, if you will. 

Are you ready to have your life changed like that? Are you willing to embrace someone who turns upside down all your comfortable assumptions and lovingly-held opinions? If the answer is no, you may be unconsciously sabotaging every opportunity for a kindred spirit connection.

Be Authentic: How will your kindred spirit recognize you, if you're busy being someone else? When we show our true selves, without the social masks, we implicitly give other people permission to do the same. This makes it easier for kindred spirits to find each other…rather than trying to wade through all the superficial stuff or simply go by like two ships passing in the night.

Yes, it can be scary to be yourself, in a world that seems to function on the unspoken understanding that we all quench our natural impulses to dance or run or sing loudly, and instead sit quietly and make polite conversation about the weather and the traffic...

Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover: When I look back on my life, the kindred spirits stand out in my memory, even years later because they made an impact on my life, and such a soul connection doesn't happen every day. But rarely were my kindred spirits like me in appearance or fashion sense or even musical taste. 

I was a good church girl, and one of the kindred spirits who opened up my mind to whole new ways of seeing and empathizing was a beer-loving, bass player in a heavy-metal band. Don’t ask me what drew us together, but we whiled away many magical hours talking about the meaning of life and what we would be when we finally “grew up” (whenever that magical event occurs!) and everything in between.

The importance of being open to other people, no matter what their appearance, was really driven home to me recently. Just a few weeks ago, I was blessed by another kindred spirit who quite literally came out of the blue. The circumstances were so unlikely that I can only put it down to divine orchestration.

A missed call from a wrong number, then a conversation that got off on the wrong foot entirely, somehow became that glorious moment when you realize you have stumbled across someone who “sees” you and “gets” you right down to the core of your being.

I didn’t meet the guy for several weeks, and when I did, I was somewhat surprised to discover that he looked nothing like the person I pictured in my head. From our phone conversations, I knew him to be incredibly smart and “switched on” and driven, but also compassionate, humble, kind and a true humanitarian at heart. (A typical Virgo!)

In “real life” I was surprised to discover that he dressed and walked with that typical hip-hop style and swagger. For some reason, I just wasn't expecting that, and it was a reminder to me: Never underestimate or dismiss another person because of they way they look. 

We risk missing out on some of the most amazing, life-changing interactions if we automatically rule out people who look or act or think differently to us.

If I passed that young man on the street, I might never have guessed that he is a complete master of his trade, due to unwavering dedication to learning and hard work, or that most of his work is done for free, for people who can’t afford to pay him. I probably wouldn’t have guessed that he dreams of setting up a factory to train unemployed youth in the poorest neighbour-hood. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that no matter what time he goes to bed each night, he’s up at 4am every morning to do his morning prayers and worship.

Kindred spirits recognize each other by the way they make each other feel, NOT the way they look.

Be honest: It's okay to tell someone that you feel a connection with them and you'd love to stay in contact. You'll know if the feeling is mutual - they'll seek out your presence as much as you seek out theirs...It won't feel like hard work or too much effort. You'll simply find a way to be in each other's lives.

But understand that everyone has their own path and their own journey to complete. Sometimes life pulls us in different directions, and we have to be willing to let them go, with love. It is enough to know that our lives are better for having known them (and hopefully theirs are better for having known us!), and we are better for having allowed them into our hearts...

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