We’ve all tumbled down the rabbit hole in the wondrous quest of finding our soulmates, and in this process both becoming the soulmate and being one.
My own misadventures over an illustrious decade of dating have given me many reads of this eight-letter word, but none have brought me closer to its bones until now.
Nothing in my dating life has drastically changed, but I would be mistaken to call that a credible source of good definitions. It’s hard to separate what’s “correct” vs. what’s “wrong” in such fluid contexts, but there is a substantive and qualitative difference between what’s informative and what’s definitive. Life experiences are informative.
If you let them define you, you might become hardened into that—so I search for my definitions elsewhere.
Luckily, “soulmate” is a hot ticket item; there’s a lot being said about it—through movies, through novels, through enlightened journals, through the opinions of others, through the expertise of professionals. Yet, its popularity in storytelling vs its rarity in life-form gives it a real mythic and elusive quality to it.
Learning about soulmates has taught me a lot about irony.
I take it all in, but I just don’t feel it.
Beyond the textbook, there is of course, the unfortunate case-studies of my own experiences of being labelled as such. This is unfortunate, because the first time I heard “we’re soulmates,” it came from a married man, and the last time it was proclaimed to me was from a (not-so-proper) boyfriend after I had caught him cheating.
In disbelief and pain, I laughed in his face, and broke up with him the same day.
It is with such absurdity, that I have been acquainted with this word. Something that should be held sacred, my own experiences have done nothing but adulterate it.
Perplexed by such a skewed and tainted understanding, I continued the deep dive into psychology, therapy, self-help, philosophy. I also read everything I could possibly find on those shelves. But none of what I read, has come close to this. Granted, most of scrolling through Facebook is like sitting at a slot-machine—insignificant gains to justify the wasted time, mild entertainment to justify giving into distractions, but this friend’s status update hit the jackpot.
These words change my life with each read.
These words medicate.
If I were to doctor broken hearts, I would prescribe these words upon waking, before bedtime, with every bite of love, and every sip of wine.
Breathe in every word… then repeat. Feel how your body changes. Feel how your mind changes.
Feel how your heart grows stronger.
Breathe in every word…and repeat.
“The whole purpose of a soulmate is to evoke such overwhelming love, compassion and understanding that the heart(spirit) body and mind become one conscious entity thus inspiring a true awakening of self. Whether you stay with that person or not is irrelevant. Even the experience of losing something so precious ultimately only leaves you with a better understanding of who you are and the good you can do for others. Heartbreak’s a bitch but love never dies.” ~ Luis A.
The paradox of it all is that my “soulmates” only taught me what it isn’t, while in their absence, I’ve learned what it truly is.
Author: Xiren Wang
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Jenelle Ball at Unsplash