The Soulmate Ideal
Isn't the idea of a soulmate attractive?
When you honestly think about it, the idea of your perfect match, the one who will love you and all of you because it's you is absolutely intoxicating. A soulmate- twin soul, twin flame, whatever you'd like to call the concept- is the ideal love, the knight in shining armour, the girl next door, the impossible dream that everyone secretly cherishes a hope of obtaining.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm both pagan and a daydreamer. I too have spent hours gazing dreamily into space thinking about what my perfect love should be.
Therein lies the problem, doesn't it?
While the idea, the concept of a soulmate is very, very attractive to that part of all of us that wants to be all the world to a single person, the reality of it is something else entirely. We don't think- in those half-lidded, wistful moments that all of us don't really speak of to anyone else- that we want our 'soulmate' to find us. We carefully imagine and envision precisely what and who that ideal person should be. In all truth, our own fantasies and longings can be either detail-oriented and specific or vague and idea-focused, but they are ultimately our fantasies. In the longing, the wishing for a soulmate, for someone who will live up to our ideals and who- we think and hope, anyway- will make us insanely happy, all we are doing is creating a dream lover, a demon lover who is supposed to sneak into our rooms at night, bear us away and devote themselves to making life heaven on earth.
How could anyone possibly be the personification of another's desires? Yes, it does happen accidentally. You wish and hope for someone with certain qualities, a person to fulfill certain needs. If and when you find them, like or not, you've probably chosen them because you knew there was enough of them that suited those needs. It wasn't a magical coincidence; it was simply compatability.
People who focus on the idea of a soulmate to the exclusion of all else are the people who believe they cannot stand on their own. There are people who feel as if they have no worth unless someone loves them, reinforces them, adores them. There are others who are honestly terrified to be alone; the idea of facing life without a support system- sometimes a good, solid one, other times it's a weak support they bully into shape- is the most frightening idea of all. These people are highly susceptible to the idea of a soulmate. They would imagine their life to be 'nothing' without that person, and often they'll hop from relationship to relationship, always thinking this next one is THE ONE, and weeks, months or years later, they look back with either disappointment or bitterness because it was yet another failure.
People who live with abusive relationships, who rail against their lack of a significant other, who can't find peace just being themselves are very susceptible to blaming it on not being able to find their soulmate, or waiting for their soulmate. There is really no end to the lies people will tell themselves to avoid thinking that maybe, just maybe, they're not ready for someone to love.
Imagine a relationship, the best you've ever seen, and think about all that goes into maintaining even a minimal level of happiness for each person involved. Is it magical? Do they just "fit" together so well that there are no rough moments, no patches where one is angry at the other, or they yell at each other? No. Relationships that look like that are nothing but lies, and they fall apart very, very quickly. How would a relationship with a soulmate work? In theory, it's wonderous. There are no arguments, no disagreements. Each person flows perfectly with the other, and they anticipate each other's needs, balancing out perfectly. Now when was the last time you saw a relationship that worked like that? People who claim they've found their 'other half,' their 'missing piece' and their 'soulmate' are the type of person who need an excuse for some inexplicable emotion, usually overwhelming lust.
Why this rant against the idea of soulmates? Well, there are two reasons, actually, and I can only suppose they're entirely personal. As follows-
1. People break into and out of relationships every day. I cannot count the people I've spoke to who dropped someone because things were becoming a bit difficult. They found out the person they'd rhapsodized about so recently had...a personality. Had issues. Had a mind of their own, and that they weren't just there to compliment the other's likes and dislikes. I've seen relationships which had such a good chance of bringing fulfillment to both partners fall through, because they weren't willing to work, to compromise. The person they had hooked up with had shown a flaw, clearly wasn't their soulmate and therefore not worthy of them.
Can I simply mention here how much I wanted to slap the #&%* out of those whining pricks? After having worked on a relationship for nearly five years, including dealing with my own f**k ups, his issues, my issues and then seeing just how worthless it was when someone decided that finding their 'other half' was a good excuse for lust... I have no patience with people who give up on a relationship with potential because of such tiny issues. Yes, it's entirely personal, but you would have to admit that it's a legitimate reason to be annoyed.
2. A soulmate, as I have come to understand it, is merely a person you have karma with. Websites and books have all graciously informed me that soulmates are karmic, but twin flames are the REAL thing that everyone is aching for. Now how on earth could the gods be so cruel as to give us a single perfect match that will fulfill all of our dreams and then leave us with no way to find them save trial and error? Believe in an uncaring absent deity if you like, but even that's going a little far. Not to mention, if you imagine that the "twin flame" is your soul's OTHER 'EFFIN' HALF, wouldn't you FEEL them? Couldn't you follow the pull of your 'missing piece' to find them?
...that's just a little too metaphysical to fly, I'm sorry. Yes, I realize I'm pagan, I believe in dragons and unicorns, I'm an angelkin of Thoth and Set, I'm in love with a cat therian, my best friend is a thylacine, but oh bloody 'ell. You've got to be kidding me.
People, the idea of your 'perfect match' exists. The 'perfect match' itself does not. You can find someone who will make you happier than you ever imagined, but it will not be perfect. You will have fights. You will cry yourself to sleep. You will look at them with narrow eyes and hate them silently, for just a moment. You'll think of those you'd dated in the past, wonder what they're doing now, if they ever think of you, and what your life could've been like if you'd stayed with them. You will sit in your living room and wish to be without them, just so your life could be your own.
You will also meet their eyes across the room and feel everything inside of you lift. Their touch will make you smile. Anything they say is liable to trigger a laugh, and when you're in their arms, there is no place on earth or in heaven that would be more comforting. They will laugh at your foolishness, praise your cleverness and remind you that all isn't bad in this world. You will remember their eyes when you're saddened, and clever things they've done will make you giggle throughout the day. They are not perfect. Neither are you, but because you accept and understand that your ideal is just that- an idea- you will enrich and strengthen each other. Your relationship will be worth having.
Dreams of soulmates can keep us going for a time, but if you never let the ideal slip away, you will find yourself eternally searching for something so gossamer only a ghost could hold it.
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