Starting tonight and into tomorrow is a very special kabbalistic holiday known as Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the lunar month of Leo, and it’s commonly referred to as my wedding anniversary, (by me anyways). Most others refer to it as the day of love. It’s one of the most powerful days of the year when the union between the sun and the moon begins and the male and female aspects close in together like two soulmates reuniting as one. It’s everyone’s birthright to love and be loved unconditionally, and this day is the best chance to plant the seeds for the coming year, to find that person or to strengthen the bonds you already have.
In ancient times, on Tu B’av the unmarried girls of Jerusalem dressed in borrowed white garments and went out to dance in the vineyards. Rav Brandwein explained the secret meaning of the borrowed clothes. You must be perfect in order to draw the perfection of your soulmate to you. Since we’re not perfect, how can we possibly attract our soulmate? There is a verse that says, “Borrow for yourself the Light of the Creator.” Essentially, on this day we have the ability to borrow perfection. Everyone will achieve perfection at some point. I know that I am not perfect today, that I am lacking in many areas, but I can borrow that perfected self, what we call the ‘perfected vessels’ of who we are going to become. By borrowing, or connecting to our perfected vessels we can draw our soulmate to us. Another important aspect is that we must have certainty that we will find our soulmate (or have the desire to create a deeper relationship with our spouse).
The most frequently asked question I get is, “When will I meet my soulmate?”
The answer is, “Focus on being the right person, instead of finding the right person.” Instead of looking at a relationship as a way of getting us to Happily-Ever-After, we need to do all the hard work of being authentic and living up to our potential; only then can we get ready for our mate to enter. Examine the expectations you have for love. Are they holding you back?
There are a lot of misconceptions about what a soulmate should be. Simply, our soulmate is someone who both pushes us to grow and who is open to us pushing them to grow.
A true spiritual relationship is a continuous process of transformation for each person individually, for the couple and for the world. Relationships are forces that support not only your own spiritual path, but also a shared vision of having a higher spiritual goal together and greater purpose to bring more Light into the world.
Kabbalah’s teachings on soulmates are explored at length in the Zohar, also known as “The Book of Splendor.” This wisdom is truly timeless and predates any nation or religion, and even the creation of the world itself. One of its most important teachings concerns what people must do to bring their soulmates into their lives. It doesn’t just happen by itself. Through your spiritual journey, you can earn the merit of your soulmate’s presence. Finding your soulmate does not depend on your looks, your income, or how often you date. If you continue with dedication to your spiritual evolution and personal growth, then you will find your soulmate.
We have learned that a man obtains a mate according to his deeds and ways of his behavior. If he is meritorious and his ways are correct, then he deserves his soulmate to join her as they were before coming down to this world.
~The Zohar, Lech-Lecha verse 348
Most people misunderstand a soulmate relationship as one in which they will feel happy, comfortable and mirror something close to perfection. They want someone who will fulfill their desires. In reality, a soulmate is someone who forces you to transform from a life based on “getting” to one based on giving. That’s a big transformation.
This is why I find Kabbalah such a necessary tool to help couples become aligned. Kabbalah is a verb. The foundation of Kabbalah is about change. We speak about change, we learn about it, we try it, and yet, it is the most difficult thing in the world. There is nothing of a physical or spiritual nature in this world more difficult than changing.
When people think of change, they’re usually thinking within the confines of their comfort. A soulmate relationship takes you beyond your comfort zone, which may not even be something you genuinely want. And you should be honest with yourself about that.
The coming together of soulmates is a hugely difficult task. It’s like constructing an enormous building: a lot of energy gets stirred up, including negative energy, debris and dust. If you are in a construction site and building a strong foundation for your future, it’s natural that you may experience a few mishaps along the way. This pain is expected, even natural in the perspective of creating something. Any worthwhile creation requires a major shift in who you are today, you have to be malleable and willing. People who think encountering their soulmate will be a tranquil, conflict-free experience are really mistaken. No big change – including giving birth – can happen without some disruption, flexibility and pain!
The night before my wedding, Karen Berg, my spiritual teacher and my mother-in-law, told me that I needed to be like a palm tree, in the sense that they are able to grow to their great potential, growing as tall as they are, because they bend.
While people often talk about wanting to find their soulmate, in order to actually attract that level of soul, one needs to go through their own spiritual process to become that level of soul themselves. Until this happens, the soulmates will never meet.
When I first married Michael, we didn’t have much in common at face value. But like most people, we intuitively assumed that “being in love” was a way to fulfill our desires and needs – a way to receive what we needed and wanted. But the fact is, this understanding is completely backwards in terms of creating a loving relationship with another person. We may say, for example, that we love eating pizza or that we love going to baseball games. But “love” in this context is just a word that describes the pleasurable sensations we feel in those activities. This “love” in no way impacts the pizza or the ballplayers. It’s comprised entirely of our own responses – the feelings we take from the world, without any giving on our part. This is perfectly reasonable with regard to food or entertainment — but love is much more than just enjoyment of another person.
It is said by the kabbalists that the minute we seek a soulmate for the sake of advancing more than ourselves, and when we desire to share abundance with the world and not just attain it for ourselves, that is when we find everlasting, unconditional love and happiness. For Michael and me, our love encompasses so much more than just ourselves. Our dedication to helping others in the world is part of what makes our connection all the more real.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
The mistake we make is that we think finding love guarantees eternal bliss. The real hard work begins after we fall in love. What kind of work do you need to do, either on your own spiritual journey or within a current relationship?
What is a True Teacher? Remembering Rav Berg
October 6, 2022
Returning to Teshuvah
September 15, 2022
Reflections on Tu B’Av and Our Silver Anniversary
August 11, 2022