When it comes to the concept of the soulmate, I am often reminded that I am trying way too hard to put a meaning to that word.
I’ve realized, however, that my zeal for defining this word with the intention of finding said soulmate isn’t really the way to go about it.
But my mind can’t help but romanticize the seven billion people on this planet, the 3.5 billion souls split apart in some far off universe all for one beautiful, ultimate purpose: To find their other half.
Their other half that has been split off into some unknown physical body, with no direct roadmap to where they will live, no insight into what they will look like and no cell phone or Instagram handle to get in touch with them once you feel you are “ready.”
We could spend all day wondering about whether the other half of our soul is a redhead. Is my soulmate a man or a woman? Does the other half of my soul’s body love running, or hate it as much as my body does? Is it covered in tattoos, or is its skin merely painted with freckles? Not knowing is both the best and worst part.
It’s a surprise party for two that no one gets to see coming or prepare for. We can only continue to walk on with the concrete pavement beneath our feet, the sand between our toes, the rain freckling our faces or the moonlight on our skin, just experiencing each passing moment, knowing that a piece of us is incomplete.
“Love is but the discovery of ourselves in another, and the delight in the recognition.” ~ Alexander Smith
And out there, someone stares up at the full moon at the exact same moment as you, and for one second, feels connected, like there is purpose behind all the pain they’ve felt in their life—the miscommunications, the lost lovers—and everything has led them right there to this moment, underneath the cloudy sky that parts itself just long enough to bathe them in the moonlight. Just long enough to recharge their being and allow them to continue on in the journey until they find you.
You, the other half to their soul, who has experienced it’s own version of loss and longing, who has experienced every pain that you have not, both for you and because of you. Who has also experienced every joy that you have not yet found, so that they can share it with you once they find you, to finally look at you after being apart for so long—to finally know that this is why.
This is why they never truly fell in love with that ex of seven years. This is why they picked up their lives on a whim, and moved across the country to a city that felt like home, though they’d never even been there before. This is why their roommates insisted on moving out of their chic apartment into a historic house across town, despite your disdain for the location change. This is why they went to the bar for just one drink, sweaty and without makeup after a hard workout. Small decisions that changed everything, that brought you back to where a piece of you was waiting, with big eyes, and an open heart, ready for you.
For some time, you can play the “the moment you stop looking is the moment they show up” game, and pretend that being single and casually dating is satiating you. But in reality, it makes no difference whether you are looking, or not. Because each horrible first date, each missed connection at a bar, each one night stand, each tear-filled night spent crying into a pillow are steps and sometimes leaps, moving you toward that piece of you that is floating out there surely doing the same (maybe even worse).
Surrounded by other half-souls, it can feel healthy and even exciting to be able to experience others on their journey home. But when you are surrounded by those who have already found theirs, it is sometimes utterly overwhelming. They know how it is, they’ve been there. They remember how that little sliver of your heart could fill with pain and make your entire body ache, because they still feel that way if they let themselves venture to imagining life without their soul partner.
But they can also go home, home to their soul, home to their happiness, home to where everything makes sense and that unquenchable yearning for something greater than you can fathom is satiated.
“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.” ~ Rumi
And this is truly why I look. Why I am always inquiring and wondering how and when and who and where. My search for mine, for “finding my soulmate” is not so that I can have an epic, whirlwind romance that lights me on fire. It’s because when I find myself drifting off in meditation, or late nights lying listening to the rain tap against the window pane, totally unable to sleep, or those intimate moments in the depths of a savasana, I can feel that piece of me that is missing, so intensely, so vividly, that it can no longer be ignored.
One person, one half of a soul can only do so much growth, so much searching within, before it hits the plateau that it cannot and will not cross without it’s other half. You cannot finish a jigsaw puzzle with only half of the pieces, you cannot finish a book with only half of the pages, you cannot even make pancakes with only half of the ingredients.
You cannot become whole until you find that other half of your soul. And I am ready to feel whole.
Author: Elyza Dolby
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Anne Worner/Flickr