The soul question that is inevitably in every instance of sexual attraction is “Do you complete me?” to paraphrase the line from the Jerry McGuire movie. In other words, there are places in us that do not feel complete or whole and the attractive person, either someone known or unknown, represents to our subconscious what we don’t feel we have in our own selves.
This is seen very dramatically in the Jungian based Myers-Briggs personality types. The vast majority of us choose a mate whose personality is the “opposite” of ours in 3-4 out of 4 categories. For example if you mostly function as a T (thinker) you are much more likely to choose a mate who mostly functions as an F (feeler) and vice versa. I put opposite in quotes because the personality qualities that Jung depicted are not on an either/or scale but rather a continuum. They do not mean that a thinker cannot feel or a feeler cannot think. All of us have both parts to us, but we prefer and are energized by operating on one side of the spectrum. To operate on the other side takes more energy, effort and conscious intention to learn and utilize those underdeveloped skills.
From what I have seen energetically and spiritually, this is true not only about personality, but about ANY quality on some level a person thinks or feels they do not have. For example, a client came in for an appointment obsessed about a new woman. He said, “She’s a real friend, but I’m not ready to jump into a relationship with her, but I can NOT stop thinking about her. What do I do?”
“Well,” I queried, “What does she have in her personhood or what quality is in her that you don’t feel you have?”
He thinks a moment and says, “She’s so self-confident. I wish I had that self-confidence.”
“When you claim self-confidence for yourself, rather than thinking subconsciously that you need her in order to get that self-confidence, your obsession with her will stop.”
“OH!” he said, very surprised.
The next time he came to see me a few months later, I learned that his obsession with this particular woman had ended quite soon after I had suggested he claim his own self-confidence. He had also recently begun a relationship with someone else. Much less intense, perhaps more balanced.
I could go into why our hormones respond to the “opposites attract” rule but it really comes down to the same thing. We are looking for our wholeness, looking for a way to develop all of who we are. That is a pretty tall order and we need others to show us through either direct teaching or example, what it looks like to develop our underdeveloped qualities. When we can acknowledge a sexual attraction though, as our body’s way of trying to tell us to pay attention to what we think we lack, it can be a fantastic tool for spiritual transformation.
I should note that we can also be attracted not just based on qualities we desire, but also qualities we don’t want to acknowledge in ourselves. If we have a shadow that is repressed we might find ourselves attracted to a mate who lacks integrity. Or if we have an aggressive shadow, we might find ourselves attracted to someone who is very passive. This, too, is a matter of the soul’s need to integrate all of its parts and find balance and heal within. There is also the larger karmic question of soulmates. With souls we have traveled with through many lives, we may have some unresolved issues that attract us to them in this life. Yet, this attraction is still based on finding our original wholeness.
How does our spirit (the part of us that is divine and is always in union with all that is) answer this question? Our spirit is already whole. Every one’s spirit is whole. However, we are all healing back into our original wholeness by reintegrating all of our forgotten parts. The more inner integration work that is done, the more choices can be made consciously through thoughts and feelings of love and security rather than subconsciously through thoughts and feelings of lack, limitations and fear.
I should clarify that I am using the word “soul” as the layer over our divine spirit that has traveled through life times. In these manifested “travels” our souls experience duality: light and shadow, extroverted and introverted, etc. until our souls can embrace it all, hold the dualities and the paradoxes and transcend them into non-dual unity and wholeness. It’s all a holy process, no matter who, what, or how we choose, consciously or subconsciously. So no worries! Just claim the best, learn from the worst, and LOVE it all!