When Liz met Richard from Texas at an ashram in India, Richard had no idea of the role he would play in the book she was writing. Yet he became one of the most important characters, teaching Liz about life and love. One particularly eye-opening discussion for Liz was when Richard explained the misunderstanding of the term soul mate. "A soul mate sometimes enters our life as someone to stir us up," he says. "To hold up the mirror so that we can see ourselves more clearly and antagonize us and make us so uncomfortable that we have to change because we can't continue to look at the same thing because we're looking at it clearly now." Richard says this is the reason a soul mate may not last forever. "The encounter is so intense and so clarifying that we burn through those things quickly," he says.
After talking to Richard, Liz says she changed her perspective on the definition of a soul mate and now stays away from using the wordeven when describing her husband. "He's got a soul. I've got a soul. We are each other's mates and we're walking through earth, together side by side, looking outward—not sewn together in a really dysfunctional way."