“Do you believe soulmates exist?”
My friend asked me this as he was telling me about his impending breakup.
“And if they do, how do we know we’ve found our actual soul mate vs. just a deep connection or fleeting love? Is it really worth the energy and potential pain if we’re not sure?”
I answered the first question without hesitation. “Yes, absolutely.” But the second one gave me pause. How do you know, especially in the beginning, when it all feels magical?
But yes, there is definitely a distinction. Putting it into words, however, is the equivalent of trying to explain how it feels to be loved or to have faith.
Love feels like your soul has been kissed. Faith feels like love in its purest form.
But that’s hard to conjure up on a whim, especially while trying to avoid saying all the things that made me cringe when I was in the thick of a heartbreak.
My enlightened response?
“I don’t know…you just know.”
If that doesn’t make you cringe…ambiguities and sweeping generalizations are the last thing you want to hear when your heart is being ripped out. You want fucking answers.
So I decided it best to keep my mouth shut, nod my head empathetically and refrain from rattling off reasons why it’s for the best. All I really wanted to do, however, was encourage him to memorize how he feels right now so he’ll remember the next time this happens: the pain really doesn’t last forever…I think.
Thankfully, I opted to keep my mouth shut.
I saw his relationship unfold from the beginning. There were obvious warning signs, but he couldn’t see them, of course. We rarely can.
We’re too immersed in the present moment, relishing in the excitement of discovery. We finally found someone who fits, who can finish our sentences, celebrate our quirks, shine light on the beautiful parts that get lost when no one’s there to name them. We found someone to play with, to laugh with, to make our hearts fuller, lighter. We found our soul mate…
Or did we? How do we know for sure, if what we found is real, if it’s worth the gamble when the stakes are so high.
We don’t, I guess…until we do.
Okay, I don’t really know that “you just know.”
It makes sense that you would. I’ve heard that’s how it works. But I honestly can’t speak from experience. I’ve never met mine, not that kind, I don’t think. I thought I did. But, I would know, right?
The whole thing got me thinking. Not just about ‘finding my soulmate’, all of it- the different shades, degrees and patterns of connection, love and relationships.
But seriously, I’m still here? 101? I should have a Ph.D. in this shit by now. Or at least be making substantial progress. So why do I still feel like I’m learning how to spell?
Y-O-U A-R-E D-O-I-N-G T-H-I-S A-L-L W-R-O-N-G
No, this isn’t where I want to be- sifting through relationships that are frustrating and unfulfilling. And truly, as much as it might appear to consume me, I’m not on some mad quest to find the one. I’m fine with a break from it all, knowing that I’m still a bit fragile and borderline calloused…not a good place to start from, I’ve discovered.
Yet they continue to surface, and I continue to play them out: these impossible scenarios that turn into an insidious dance- one that gets replayed over and over, making sure I stay a little fragile and increasingly calloused.
So time for a bit more self-reflection (which I assure you, I’m super excited about).
However, I have additional incentive this time; my friend needs some answers.
So I’m doing a little research…
Next week: No assignments. Attendance encouraged, open-mind required.
Extra credit for any shared soulmate encounters.