It has never been my opinion that a soul mate is a singular person our hearts search for our whole lives; that when we meet, we know instantly we are meant to be together, the planets align and we are destined to live in happiness with one another until the day we grow old and die. All the magical, fairy-tale love stories never appealed to me, and I found myself constantly accused of being cynical and jaded. The questions I was asked became gruesome to me– “What do you have to look forward to if not marriage and kids? You don’t want unconditional love? Do you not have any goals, then?” While I could tackle each question with a myriad of answers and suggestions, I have, instead, found myself remaining quite silent on the issue until now. Truths don’t always have to be wrapped up with a negative connotation, and perhaps a perception adjustment would allow the smallest opening for the whole slew of new possibilities to blossom inside each of us.
My heart sees the positives in acknowledging the truth– how beauty in reality far surpasses any misconception would could try to convince ourselves of; how the act of maintaining a lifestyle in which we lie to ourselves ultimately bases our entire existence in unattainable expectations that lead to disappointments and far more heartache than necessary. There is an impressive and powerful possibility of living in optimism while simultaneously allowing room for recognition of sensibility.
As I watched the pressures and emotional hoops my friends would go through to pair with another, I found myself questioning the motivations behind monogamous relationships and what ultimately drives us to find a “life mate.” Why do we fill our minds with concepts that defy nature and set ourselves up for failure when there are endless alternatives that could increase our self-awareness and allow us the time and space necessary to learn to love ourselves? We close ourselves off to the idea that loving and being loved by multiple people throughout the sliding scale of our lives is another very valuable lifestyle to choose from; all the while maintaining expectations of life that are incredibly difficult for others to fulfill. We cannot promise the future; we cannot know what tomorrow brings or what changes we will go through to shape and mold the multitude of personalities we will hold in our lifetimes. The pain of uncoupling and heartbreak comes from an expectation– that the person we partnered with promised to stay with us forever, and no one can really uphold that promise.
I choose not to participate; there is nothing about a false promise, one that I know in my heart cannot be kept, that appeals to me. It is not a lifestyle I want for myself and the decision to remain open to the idea I will hold many different loves in my life is not a negative factor that leaves me void of purpose. My mind knows a soul-mate is many– many different people that span over a plethora of changes that will happen as we make our way through life; people who seemingly spawn from nowhere and leave you in a state of shock over the intensity and rapidness of their impact on you. They imprint themselves on you; leaving a stain that marks the before and after of their existence. You will transform right in front of their eyes; you will molt the shell of who you once were and embrace the reshaping of who you will become, and though that change will come from within, it wouldn’t be without the challenges they impose on us. And at some point in time, you will stop and say to yourself “I can’t remember what life used to be like before this person came along.”
Then one day, they will leave and you will be faced with the choice to wallow in the pain of absence or use the experience to follow life into the next stage where you will meet the next soul-mate who will ravish your perception and force you to do it all over again. The cycle will repeat–over and over– until we die, and it would be my hope that we die knowing the impact other’s had made on us was not in vain– that we gave the same love to others in the same fashion. Because the gift of life is that we give and we take; from the day we’re born until our last breath we are a constant machine of emotions, spewing forth energy that affects every surrounding. I choose to give openly and freely without restriction, and therefore accept the same in return. The love in my life is abundant, and I cannot, no matter how hard I try, view that as cynical and jaded.
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