Friday, 26 September 2014

The search for a soul mate - fact, fiction or flight of fancy

Back in November 2011 I confessed my secret but deep held belief in soul mates. I wanted to believe that there is this one person out there that is a true match - the one that 'gets' us the most. The one that we can be the most honest and vulnerable with. Yes the one who 'completes' us just like the corny movie.

I DO want to believe that. I do WANT to believe that. I do want to BELIEVE that.  But there's a problem...you see I know lots of people who have thought they have met their soul mate - announced it, celebrated it - and it hasn't worked out for them.  So that begs rather a lot of questions...Can we have more than one soul mate?  What if they die? What if you're together two years...ten years...twenty years... and then it doesn't work out?..Were they still your soul mate?  Does a soul mate have to be a life partner?  What if you never meet your soul mate...does that mean you're destined to have that missing piece for ever? What if you meet who you believe to be your soul mate, but you are not theirs? What if there is a meeting of souls, undoubtedly and profoundly, but life circumstances threaten (or worse actually are able)  to overwhelm that 'supernatural' connection with boring reality? What if...what if....what if....

I don't have any answers...I wish I did.  I think we all want to not just meet that person who seems to be our perfect fit, but to know that we can give them our soul for safe keeping and know that it really is going to be cherished and guarded forever.

Its a romanticised view...I get that.  I know that it takes more than a few seconds, more than a few months to know someone...to know their soul.  I know that the soul can be dark and ugly and unlovable at times, just as it can be bright and inviting and possibly only a projection of something else at others.  I get that a meeting of minds, a connecting of souls, or any other joining is potentially in the realm of the ephemeral and could well bear no relevance to the realities and vagaries of every day life.  So then what?

Of all the reading I have done on this, the views are completely polarised, and little offers any sensible, rational explanation of why we continue to cling to this ideal of finding a soul mate.  Because that is the key - we are spiritual beings and as such want to nurture that element in ourselves. But on the other hand we are also human, grounded on earth with the wants needs and selfish desires of people, not angels.

To date, the only thing I have found that makes the slightest bit of sense - even thought it rather flies in the face of all that I thought I believed! -  is some writing by an American psychologist (sorry about that) who says:

... if an individual wants intensely-passionate, short-term flings, then belief in soul mates will serve them well. Finding those initial commonalities and connections will feel like magic. It will be an excellent emotional high, at least while the illusion of perfection lasts.
In all relationships, however, disagreement, conflict, and incompatibility will arise. Ultimately, no one is perfect - or a perfect fit for a partner. It takes work, growth, and change to keep a relationship going and satisfying over time. When that happens, soul mate believers often become upset, disillusioned, and uncommitted....if an individual finds they are repeatedly falling in love with the "perfect" partner, only to be disappointed and dumping them soon after, their belief in soul mates may be to blame. It may cause them to give up when things are not perfect (but may be still good or great). It may motivate them to not compromise, work, or change, when others don't love them completely for being exactly as they are. Ultimately, it may continually drive them to believe that life would be more satisfying with someone else and endlessly look for a more compatible partner, rather than working to fit with, and be satisfied by, a very good one.
In the end, it is a bit of a cruel joke. A belief in soul mates may prevent individuals from finding the very relationships they think they are destined to have!

Read the full article here.  As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome.


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