Monday, June 2, 2014

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a soul mate....or isn't there?

A lot of my friends are sharing and posting this article a woman wrote about how her husband is not her soul mate
And mostly about how she doesn't want her children to go searching after this unattainable ideal that doesn't exist.

It was interesting to read. Especially as I've been on a love-searching expedition my whole life.

I tend to be a card-carrying member of the great believers in magical love club so I feel as though my opinion might be in order.

Now, perhaps you are already rolling your eyes about what my opinion might be... or you don't really want my opinion at all.  To that I say, that is FINE!  My goodness, if everyone wanted my opinion....
...well I don't really know how to finish that statement.

I just asked Tad. I said, "Tad, finish this sentence: If everyone wanted my opinion..."
He said "They'd be in for a long ride."

There you go.


I think before you go around asking people if they believe in soul mates, you must first clear up the issue of semantics. (I say this as a person who does go around asking people if they believe in soul mates)

I mean, by soul mates do you mean that there is only one person for everyone and that you can only be happy if you find "the one"?

By soul mates do you mean that the other person "completes you"--that you are not whole without them? 

Because if that's what we're talking about, I don't believe in soul mates either. And like Mary Graham, I am not married to my soul mate.

But what if by soul mate you mean kindred spirit.  Ah, so what's a kindred spirit? Someone who is connected to you through a strong and deep bond perhaps.  Someone who you reach on another level?  The first time I heard the term "kindred spirit" is when Anne of Green Gables told her friend Diana that they were thus connected.  And I thought, yeah, I can dig on that kind of connection

So in my friendships and romantic relationships, that's what I looked for.  Kindred spirits.

For me it means a relationship on another level ...almost spiritual.  It is someone who "gets you". It's someone who's eyes you can look into and see deeper.  It's someone who you can talk to without talking.  It's a person who you trust entirely with your full self.  It's a lot of things I guess and hard to explain, but I know it when I see it.

For me, Tad was a kindred spirit before we even became romantic.  Immediately after we became friends, I knew I would know him for the rest of my life.  And when we got together, yeah, I thought what a good partner he'd be for me and what a great friend he already was. And how fantastic to be with someone you laugh with and understand and who understands you.  But when we fell in love, it was magic.  It was outside my logical mind. I can't think of another way to explain that.  And I don't think everyone gets to experience it.  But it is true and real to me.

 In the end of her article, she says that God is her soul mate. And her children's soul mates.  I am a spiritual person, but not a religious one.  And I would no more tell her she's wrong about her soul mate than I would want someone to tell me that I'm wrong about mine.  In the end, what we believe about what LOVE means in our lives, can only be understood and experienced by each individual person.  That's why it's so hard to talk about and explain.  But that sure doesn't stop us from trying!

So yeah, does my husband complete me? No. I am a whole and complete person on my own.  And so is he.  That is one thing that makes our relationship strong, I think.  If he never came into my life, there would be things I would not have learned or experienced, absolutely, but I'd still be me.  If he left my life, it would leave a deep deep hole. But I'd be okay.  I'd still be me.

And if that's there, whatever you want to call it--love, soul mate, kindred spirit...that's a wonderful, beautiful thing.  But you still have to be whole. And you still have to work hard on being true to you.  On being strong in who you are and keep on making yourself whole. And that other person does too. 

So I think that the article is right, that we should not give our children the idea that they should go looking for someone to be their "other half" to make them whole. Let's teach our children to be whole all on their own.  But I feel like it's also okay to look for kindred spirits, both in friendship and in love.  To make sure that when (AND IF) you decide to spend your life with someone else, that you have something between you that connects your spirits, your souls.  Maybe that something is a shared belief in a higher power like God. Maybe that something is a shared experience that bonds you indomitably.  Maybe its something else, something that floats around you in the air that you can't quite catch and you can't give a name to. I don't know.

But I think it's okay to look for that kind of connection.  In that way...if a mate can connect with you soul to soul...I think that can be called a soul mate.

But only if you want to.

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