The term ‘soulmate’ has developed a universal meaning which sort of implies ‘forever’ with another human. I mean, forever can be great, if you choose it, but when we weigh up the magnitude of that, there are very few things in this modern life that merit that same label. Careers are transient, homes are bought and sold, people come and go, in and out of your life. Even the pinnacle of permanence – tattoos – can be (painfully) removed! As you’ll guess, I don’t buy-in to this common definition. To me, your soulmate isn’t a label to band about in an attempt to convince the world you’ve found ‘the one’. It isn’t a destination that we’re attempting to find in another person. And it’s definitely not a term that should ever make you doubt your self, or your relationship.
All of the above, I’ve guiltily done. I’ve applied the term ‘soulmate’ to make a social media statement about my relationship in both the throes of a blossoming new romance, as well as the painful end of another. I have also used it as a way to question things with a partner during tough times, where the soulmate concept has sat taunting me in my subconscious. I’ve even had friends ask me ‘but is he your soulmate?’, which usually brings on that horrible breast bone rash that rises up the neck in stress-fest moments. Aghhhh, ARE they my soulmate? How will I KNOW if they’re my soulmate? I mean, I’ve got it so wrong in the past, how can I trust ANYTHING I feel? What SHOULD I be looking for in a soulmate?
These questions have rattled around my head ever since I started crushing on the doped-up skater boy at High School, who was very much the antithesis of said soulmate. Every guy over the last 20 years since has been scrutinised with those same questions as I’ve wrestled with angst over the compatibility, validity and longevity of each relationship, second-guessing us both at every turn. That is, until, I finally got what finding a ‘soulmate’ was really about.
It’s when I realised that it’s not anything to strive for, or be envious of. I learned that we don’t need our partner to be that all-in-one person. I mean just like ‘forever’ what else in life is ‘everything’ (apart from, perhaps, a Lush bath)? Just like there are a spectrum of ice cream flavours, it’s ok to get certain things from different people in your life. And not feel like you would be half a person without your ‘other half’. Hell, it’s better than ok, it’s being a #lifeboss in all her glory. And that brings me nicely onto the point of this post….that really, we need to be our own soulmates.
Right, so before your eyes roll so far into your head that you have to stop reading, hear me out. I don’t mean that you can’t feel like your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/life partner/bff/mum/dad/cat is your soulmate, but that’s the beauty – having a soulmate, or many soulmates, is a feeling, it’s not an actual thing. Soooo, given that we control how we feel through our thoughts, we can make the most important person in this world – you – your alpha soulmate, and then whatever else comes is just a bonus! What an empowering realisation this was for me. When I realised I’ve been having this battle in my brain needlessly, I was like ‘ahhhhhh, that makes better sense!’ I’ve been trying to find what I’ve had all along. That’s not to say it didn’t scare the shit out of me – if we can be our own soulmates, then why the hell have we been treating ourselves so badly? Seeing myself as my own soulmate has allowed me to take myself to task on a number of pretty shoddy behaviours, thoughts and habits that had become my daily life. I’m trying to understand myself better, the way I would a partner, and not to just accept it’s just the way I am, because change is always possible.
When the eureka moment comes, hopefully you get that sensation of exactly where you are is exactly where you should be. That’s the feeling that comes with meeting yourself as your soulmate – the world is right, comfort is endless and you feel home, no matter where you are.