Previous parts of this series on Soul Mates linked into and through the HEA are:
Part 2 starts with a list of related posts and the Index post to the series of Believing in the Happily Ever After.
And an index to related posts:
There is a theory of psychology that says we treat our intimate partner (spouse, S.O.) the way we treat ourselves inside ourselves (conscious to subconscious or Body to Soul.) If you constantly win by kicking your Soul in the teeth and planting your Body's Boot on your Soul's neck, you won't win.
That is, if your Body always "wins" or your Soul always "gives in to" your Body, you will be headed for recurring bouts of misery. If your Soul always wins, you will be miserable. Balance is the actual goal, not "winning."
How we treat ourselves, inside ourselves, is shaped by how we were raised, and how the parent treats the infant, toddler, etc. We learn "who" we are, and what we're worth by how our parent (nurturing figure) treats us.
Here is a short video explaining the origin of Internal Conflict expressed as Domestic Disputes -- or even Domestic Violence.
In that video, you can see how internal violence happens. The Soul has one goal, the Body has another, totally incompatible goal, and the Soul is the interloper, the invader of the Body's world, thus set up to be the loser.
The Soul is the "weaker" of the two, and the human animal being the Primate that it is, attacks weakness and interlopers. See some studies on the basic animal primate behavior -- primates form tribes, group hunt, and do most of the social oriented things humans do, including creating a "pecking order" and accepting an Alpha Male who is the most vicious bully of the bunch and chases rivals away.
The basic animal human is a bully. Connection to the human Soul mitigates that behavior. More than simply resisting the behavior of bullying, the Soul-Connected Alpha feels less Bodily Need to bully. The stronger the soul-connection, the more tranquil the behavior. The stronger the soul-connection, the harder it is to anger, shame, or insult this individual.
But how does someone achieve this inner tranquility that projects into domestic tranquility in which to raise tranquil children to be tranquil adults?
Are you forever consigned to raging combat in life just because you were raised in a dysfunctional home? Or can you resolve at least some of the issues, defuse your "buttons" and strengthen your connection to your Soul?
The resolution of this kind of internal conflict is to "find common ground" between Body and Soul -- and transform that common element by fire into occupying both the world of the Soul and the world of the Body.
In the video's illustrative case, the common element is Olive Oil, and fire lights up both the material and spiritual planes of existence, joining them, forging a coaxial cable of 7 separate fibers between the Soul and the Body.
We laid thousands of miles of fiber optic cable across the USA a few decades ago, and then recession came, the companies collapsed, ownership changed hands, and for years after that the fiber optic cable lay there, dark. Now it is all lit, carrying signal to the maximum capacity, and we are frantically laying more cable while mastering wireless signallng.
Fiber optic cable is designed to transmit light modulated (like radio signals are modulated) to carry signal. We talked about the Body/Soul model using Signal/Noise ratio analogy in Part 4. Think about the Soul-Body connection as a bundle of fibers designed to carry a "signal" which is analogous to "light" in a fiber-optic cable.
Many traditions use candle lighting in powerful ceremonies. The creation of light in this physical world, light the body sees by, causes "light" to occur on the plane where the Soul is. The Soul and the Body can communicate by this mutual light.
The Couple living on into their Happily Ever After is not without their domestic disputes, screaming fights, retaliatory practical jokes, and other violent interactions. They may not be totally without pure Monkey Sex, or rough sex (usually laughing hysterically all the way), but they will never be without communication.
At every interaction, each Body will be relaying messages from its Soul to the Soul of the other -- wide open, free flowing, communication.
With each encounter, the Soul Mates will joust with each other to spur the "lighting" of more Soul-fire-fibers connecting Soul to Body. Each encounter will increase the strength of the bond between Body and Soul.
The strength of that Body-Soul bond is what we identify as Strength of Character, slow to anger, slow to take offense, level headed in an emergency, goal-focused, and always ready to defend a weaker person, not bully them.
The strong Character has unshakable self-esteem and the ability to transmit that, to light the Soul-Fire of their children. Those children will never experience a need to bully other children.
This is a portrait of the Ideal Strong Character. You can start a novel with a Character who is merely strong -- and over the course of the plot, teach him to light up more of his Bonding Fibers, connect better to the purified essence of himself, understand his Identity and thereby the identity of others. He will come to the end of the novel with a clearly enhanced ability to secure his own Happily Ever After ending.
Readers who have any acquaintance with the unflappable adult, the secure adult, the tranquil adult personality will recognize how much improved this Character's chances are of living a full Happily Ever After life -- because they know people who are doing that.
People who are inwardly tranquil generate a tranquil environment around them, and enjoy it rather than get bored. The strong character does not get bored!
But most real people are somewhere in between, and do not make steady progress toward inner tranquility. They leap forward a lot, sink back a bit, leap forward then sink back and sink back. By staggering and lurching through life, they may get a little more tranquil over decades, but we'll still be between, with lots of room to grow.
Most of your readers, in real life, know real people who are slowly making progress toward become "cool" or well-balanced amidst the inner storms.
Show them a Character who has, despite all vicissitudes, made some visible progress as a result of the Events (Plot) of the novel, and they will be convinced this Character has a fair shot at an HEA.
To make this work as drama, the pair of Characters who are in turmoil, who have not found their Soul Mate yet, who are Soul Mates unrecognized, have to be embedded in an environment which contains two or more examples of Characters living actual HEA segments of their lives.
There should be Characters who are striving toward an HEA, maybe taking chancy shortcuts in life, and losing and losing, getting farther from Happiness and closer to despair.
The essence of Drama (Pluto transits bring Drama) is contrast. Dramatic Events change the Characters but only if the Events find fertile soil within the Character.
A Character's story happens when the Events in his Life do connect with his internal Conflict and cause him to change his Character (remembering Character is the Body/Soul Connection).
After the Events of the novel, the Character who is no longer changing is no longer subject material for another novel. A Character who does not change because of the Events of the novel does not belong in the novel.
Stories are about change, what causes change, why this event caused that change, and is it an improvement?
Most real life lives have a period of 3-5 years when hammer blows of Events cause actual reshaping of Character - redefining Identity. And then whatever the situation is after that, it does not change again, usually for 4 or 5 decades. The Character may end up Happy or Miserable, but whatever prevails will persist creating at least the illusion of tranquility.
To find your Character's story, look for the big, pivotal moment that defines and directs change, a cauldron of events that purifies. The Character's story happens where the Character changes, though the course of Life may change, too. Story is about Character, and Character changes by becoming more or less connected between Body and Soul. Plot happens to the Body. Story happens to the Soul.