Soul mates. The term often carries romantic implications in it, although it’s not always the case. I’ve spent at least half of my life finding mine1, only to find myself embracing a larger conception of the term now.
I used to believe in the notion that one person was supposed to complete us, somehow predetermined to be the only one to fulfill our lives. If you think about it, it’s a ridiculous and potentially dangerous concept to hold on to. What if said “The One” lives in another continent and you’ve never had a chance to travel abroad? What if you’re Peggy Carter and your Captain America lives in another century? And what if one day, you become so possessed by this idea that it eats you up, obscures your conscience, and drives you away from those loved ones other than this mystical “The One”?
I know it sounds extreme, but it’s just pointless to spend our entire lives in the finding stage as opposed to facing the trials.
Now that I’m older and marginally wiser, I believe that there are more than one person in your life who were created to be your soul mates. They’re the rare breeds who immediately “get” you. Whether it’s the guy you’re seeing or your BFF, the potential to be soul mates is always there. Some may be more “complete” than others, but just like in any other relationship, until the both of you come together at your own will, the relationship will remain as that – just a potential. It may be easier to bond with them compared to with other people, but it takes just as much work as any other relationships. This is why some soul mates grow, while other drift apart. As long as there’s too little effort from one party, that soul connection can only go so deep.
So what made me go from finding Nemo to plenty of fish in the sea? Logic, The Notebook (both Noah an Lon are Allie’s soul mates, remember?), Paolo Coelho’s books, grandparents’ wisdom, and the best teacher of all – life experience.
In my first relationship, I learned that soul mates don’t always have anything to do with romance. It’s easy to mistake that deep connection with romantic love, because it’s inconvenient to think otherwise. You have a lot (too many, in fact) in common with your “One” – you read each other’s thoughts and understand each other better than anyone else. Despite all this ease, they don’t always mean the stars align and the universe conspires the both of you to be a couple. I was purposely introduced to him by a friend who thinks we would be perfect for each other, and the rest went from Mount Everest to the seabed from there.
In my second relationship, I learned that you aren’t always meant to be with your soul mate. They say timing is everything, and it couldn’t be truer. I was young, he was busy, I was in the formation stage, he was a firm fist on every stance, our lifestyles are barely compatible, our circles separate to the nth degree, our worlds are pretty much different planets, and our outlook on life aren’t exactly on the same page either. Although the last we wanted then was to say goodbye, it wasn’t meant to be forever. This was a tough lesson to swallow for me, as I could hear my mom in the back of my mind saying “I told you so” when it comes to relationships: Love is not enough.
Now that I’m engaged, reminiscing back to the past feels like glancing through a looking glass to some old world. Unlike the first soul mate, I didn’t meet my future husband on purpose. Unlike the second, the timing was on-point. I met him right after I had a major cry fest with my mom, the afternoon I upset her about how I wanted to quit college, wanted to give up my life, succumbed to my depression and to sacrifice everything she’s given me to helping unprivileged people (I felt that useless). The walls around me couldn’t help but crumble for all the helplessness inside me, and it was the easiest moment for others to walk into my life again. That same night, I met le future husband on a casual outing with some friends. Who knew he happened to be my brother’s roommate, my cousin’s acquaintance, my shared circle of mutual friends, and my last glimmer of hope for a guy who neither smokes nor drinks? Here I thought I was the crazy one who wanted to delve into the important things before getting into a relationship (religion, faith, belief systems, life values, etc), and here’s the guy who thinks the same.
It took only 3 weeks for us to become official, though it took me 2 years to reveal to him all of me, and to let him in all of him. From the beginning, I didn’t see him as my one and only soul mate. I’ve gotten along better with other guys, and he’d had it easier with other girls. We disagree on so many things, tolerate so much, and didn’t understand each other like soul mates supposedly do. In fact most of the time, his nature makes me feel unheard while mine makes him feel threatened. All that, plus the fact that he’s an extrovert2, and it boggles his mind that I can live like a hermit.
So what made me trust, put in the effort, and decide that this mate was the chosen “One”? Well, you see, none of these fights compare with the said important things we have discussed before calling it official. We hold the same Truth, we envision the same future, and we live by the same values. None of my other soul mates and I have made it this far before, where we’re like yin and yang qi‘s traveling through the same blood – how often do you get this much assurance before the journey even started? So no matter how much we fight, we know we’re always heading to the same place. It’s an unchangeable system, as it’s not in our power to change the value and truity of our faith3 . Going into this relationship, we already accepted the fact that the only thing that’ll change is us.
Of course, there are other more practical things that made me choose this mate as my partner for life, as much as the impracticalities that tell me he’s my “One”4. But here’s the catch: While it may take a soul mate to tango the whole song, you still have to put in the effort, because there is not one single soul out there who can complete yours to perfection.
Now I want to hear from you: What do you think of the age-old notion of soul mates? Do you take Aristotle’s quote to heart, believe in multiple soul mates, or think all this is ridiculous? If not the latter, have you met your soul mate(s) at this point in your life?
- as I revealed in response to one of the prompts during February 2013’s NaBloPoMo [↩]
- i.e. someone energized when surrounded by people) [↩]
- it’s the Living God [↩]
- like the “strong pull” he felt when we first met, that I feel safe with my words that he won’t judge and that he’s basically the embodiment of both of my elder brothers, that he hates garlic and I love garlic and I hate pork and he loves pork and we never have to fight over food, etc [↩]