Many of us have felt the pull of connection with a stranger, the instant recognition in the eyes of someone who becomes a trusted friend or lover. Or, we’ve felt an unreasonable antipathy with someone we don’t know and been drawn into a relationship with him or her despite feeling repelled.
Leela came to me to better understand a relationship like this that she was in with a man 20 years her senior, David.
“I don’t even really like him,” she confessed. “But for some reason, I stay with him. Why? Every time I try to leave, I just feel like we’re two magnets that have to be together.”
Magnets are an apt metaphor for the feeling that karma mates sometimes engender in us. It’s a relationship that feels compelling, but not always comfortable.
Karma Mates: Working on Life Lessons
Karma mates are those people in our life with whom we have agreed to work out issues from a previous life. They differ from soulmates or twin souls in that they seem to operate on the level of the personality and often don’t involve the magical coherence people feel with the other types of soul bonds.
This isn’t to say that karma mates are bad for us or are always difficult. But typically, they enter our lives (or we enter theirs) for a specific purpose, and once that purpose is fulfilled, the relationship ends.
Karma mates can be lovers, friends, or even enemies. They are meaningful because they create a learning environment for our soul.
When I explained the concept of a karma mate, Leela had an “aha” moment. We did a reading to discover the past-life karma that she had with David. What it revealed helped Leela to understand issues she was working on to further the growth of her soul. The reading also helped her understand that she might not spend a lifetime with this man but that the relationship was important nonetheless.
Understanding the Karmic Agreement — How It Helps Us
In Leela’s case, David had been in a position of power over her in a previous life. As an older man, he had been an important figure to Leela in that lifetime but had abused his power. Leela had been unable to speak up and claim her rights and literally didn’t have the ability to leave the relationship (which had been a family one).
In the present time, both she and David were learning lessons of power. He had the opportunity to learn to have power with another, and she was being given the chance to speak up and explore autonomy. Each was grappling with a karmic pattern.
Once Leela understood that she was being offered a chance to claim her power, she started to do so in small ways. She and David fought a lot over this. They would have breakthroughs, get along for a while, then struggle again. Eventually, David was the one who ended it.
“I’m not good for you,” he told her. “I can’t seem to stop trying to control you, and I don’t want to do that.”
“You’re right,” Leela agreed. “And though I’m scared to leave, I have to. I have to claim my power.”
Leela was financially dependent on David, but she made the leap into the unknown.The transition wasn’t easy, but the sense of empowerment she gained was important. Though she hasn’t seen David since their breakup, she feels the relationship was a crucial step in claiming greater self-reliance and trust in herself.
Repaying a Debt
Karma mate agreements often carry the need for one soul to “repay” another or to make up for some unfinished business from a past life.
Liz met Warren at a yoga teacher training. As soon as she met him, she felt an immediate physical shock of recognition and attraction, even though visually she didn’t find him attractive at all, and they had not met before. What’s more, he was married, though it was an open relationship. Liz wasn’t interested in polyamory, but throughout the month-long training, she and Warren became closer and closer.
On the last day of the training, they admitted their attraction to each other, and Warren suggested that Liz accompany him on a road trip he had planned. She agreed, despite her better judgment. This wasn’t what she wanted in a relationship!
They spent six months traveling together off and on, and Warren even helped Liz move across the country. He gave her money, brought her belongings out to her, and even paid for a few more yoga workshops. He was happy to do it, and their relationship was passionate and loving.
And then it ended. Abruptly, Warren decided that Liz was settled in her new life, and it was time to return to his wife. Liz was shocked and a little angry, but also agreed that it was time for the relationship to end. Two weeks later, she met her current partner and has had little contact with Warren, although there is no ill-will between them.
She came to me to better understand what had happened.
In a past-life regression, Liz discovered that she and Warren were finishing business from multiple lifetimes in those short six months together. Warren had been a restrictive husband in the past and felt that he wanted to empower Liz to realize her spiritual destiny. He repaid his debt by paying for trainings and offering her emotional and financial support.
In another life, the two had been soldiers together in a war. Warren had promised to bring Liz home if ever she was killed. She did die, but Warren was unable to carry out his promise. By helping her move in present time, he was fulfilling this contract that felt unfinished to his soul.
There were more agreements that Warren and Liz fulfilled in that six months. Once those were complete, Warren knew on some level that they were done. And so did Liz. The relationship dissolved as easily as it had started.
“It’s like a dream,” Liz told me. “Almost like it never happened.”
Being Open to the Lessons
Take a look at the relationships in your life. Which ones feel magnetic? Which are difficult? Look back at the past and examine people who were in your life for a short, powerful time. What did you learn? If you are still struggling to understand a connection that ended, an advisor on Keen may be able to help you discover the karmic agreement between your souls.
Even the most challenging relationships have something to teach us. Knowing the purpose of a relationship can help us accept when it’s time to let it go. Heartbreak or struggle are never easy, but if we can assimilate the lessons, our healing can be more complete.