For someone who is not religious, I have a lot of beliefs, most of which are not particularly mainstream either.

And two of them come into play these days....

Many years ago, my youngest sister recommended the book "Journey of Souls" by Michael Newton. I don't remember why she did. It was the only new age book she ever recommended to me.

The theory of the book is that our souls belong to soul groups or soul families that keep reincarnating together. (Of course, this assumes that one believes in souls and reincarnation.) The roles and gender may change, but the connection remains. Before we come back to earth for a new life, we make mutual contracts with other souls in our soul group to help us learn whatever lesson we choose to learn in that lifetime. And there would be something, maybe even seemingly innocuous, that would help our soul recognize that other soul. When the contract is fulfilled, we then part ways until the next lifetime.

If that theory is true, I've come up with a corollary to it.

I believe that, when we are attracted to someone, it's because our soul is recognizing one of those souls that we have a contract with. And when we fall in love, we aren't falling in love with that person for the first time. We have loved them from eternity, and we will continue to love them till eternity. Falling in love is just a remembering of that eternal love.

I also believe in synchronicity, in fate, in predetermination. We *perceive* free will only at a certain level. It's just like how we perceive solids to be impenetrable, when we know that there are huge spaces between the atomic particles. Or just like how we perceive our individuality, our separation from each other. I would even argue that the choices we think we're making in the name of free will is predetermined. It's just another effect after a long string of causes. Or maybe a web of causes.

Some of those causes may be psychological because of some past experience; some may be contextual because of the current situation. Sometimes, we might not even be aware of what those causes are. But, ultimately, fate narrows our choices to one, long before we have to make the decision.

Many people could not grasp the idea that I could honestly and deeply love more than one man at a time. Actually, it was a man who questioned it. The idea of monogamy -- or, more specifically, serial monogamy -- has been so ingrained in our culture. People understand having multiple sexual partners, but they cannot understand multiple romantic relationships.

How can you love just one child if you have several, I asked him. He said, this was different; this was a romantic relationship.

But, in some cases, it isn't just a romantic relationship. Or a romantic-and-sexual relationship. In some cases, it's a spiritual relationship, manifesting as a romantic relationship in this lifetime and expressed as a sexual relationship.

And I don't love them as a group, as a celebrity would love their fans as a group. I deeply love each of them individually and differently. Because each of them is different. And the dynamic of each relationship is different.

Loving one child does not diminish our love for another child. Love for one parent does not diminish our love for another parent. Love for one sibling does not diminish our love for another sibling. Love for one friend does not diminish our love for another friend.

Love as an emotion is not a zero-sum game. However, a lifetime is. And so we prioritize and make choices. And the mores of this society demand that we commit to only one mate at a time.

Most of my lovers are married in real life. There was no way the relationship was going outside of Second Life, although I tried once. One unmarried lover admitted he didn't really love the real me.

So I was left with one choice. We had so much synchronicity in our real lives that I thought he would be it. There were so many near-misses -- opportunities where we could have met, but we didn't. And synchronously, we met after his divorce, when we were both free. But his work took him away so often that I rarely heard from him. But the times when I did were so sweet.

The door was only slightly ajar, just enough for me to peek in, but not enough to let me through, though I've tried to push my way in. I had hoped that one day synchronicity would fully open it for me. After all, synchronicity brought us this far, so I figured it was just a matter of time.

Then I met 6969, and another door opened. And it opened wide. The intensity of his emotions created a vortex that was very hard to resist. Even with all my BUT's. It wasn't the future I imagined I would have. After all, I had given up the dreams of my youth. But there it was. He had answers to all my objections.

Fate narrows our choices to one.

But I am also aware that fate is fickle.

6969 wants forever. From this earthly perspective, there is no forever. But, from a higher perspective, he already has that. From a higher perspective, I love him from eternity until eternity.

The good news is that, from this earthly perspective, there is exclusivity and I give him that. From a higher perspective, there is none. I have met many soulmates in this lifetime before I met him, and I love each of them from eternity until eternity.

And from an even higher perspective, there is no concept of exclusivity at all. Because, from that perspective, there is no "other" to be exclusive with.