I'm the kind of person who falls head over heels for someone, gets badly burned, then moves on fairly swiftly, wondering, a couple of months down the line – what did I see in that person?
Of course, until I get to that stage, my mind finds so many shared interests between us, and relates the tales from our past, as if we lived through them together. We may be from two different countries, even continents, and yet our childhood tales magically resonate, our pain until meeting each other weighs the same, as if we were cruelly separated at birth but felt the emotions of the other soul across miles of dry land and oceans.
I weave meaning into quite ordinary conversations and situations with the object of my infatuation, multiplying my affection by ten, a hundred, even a thousand intensities, until the person I am infatuated with, ceases to be a real person and becomes simply a projection of my idea of a soulmate. Wow, I always think, this must be it, he is The One. And when that poor, unsuspecting person inevitably fails to act like my projection, I get frustrated at their actions and one of us begins to draw away, if only for the reason that we have begun living in two separate realities.
If I need evidence for this theory, I only need to imagine all of my past ‘loves’ stood in the same room, conversing somewhat awkwardly in the setting of a house party.
As you can imagine, the conversation doesn’t quite flow because these people have absolutely nothing in common, starting with their looks and ending with their interests and life goals. But at some point in my life, I’ve been in love, to some extent, with every single person from this strange assortment of characters. The only thing that all of these people have in common is my desire to find a soulmate.
Judging by its intensity, this desire comes from the same source as my desire to become a writer. I guess the common term for that source is ‘the heart’.
Ok, so that’s great. But if my desire to find a soulmate is not at fault here – then why haven’t I found them yet? Why am I attracted to ‘the wrong people’?
I am a great believer in The Law of Attraction – the idea that we attract that which we transmit with our thoughts, both good things and bad. My desire to find a soulmate is the one that calls out to The Universe to bring its fruit into physical reality. But something happens in the process.
Often my impatience or anxiety, or the need to be in control of every second of my life (the overbearing, well-meaning, ever-practical and boring mind) prohibits my imagination to roam free and look towards the unknown. Stuck in the concrete reality, the mind cannot digest the idea that my soulmate might exist in a landscape which is yet unknown to me.
Instead, my self-imposed limitations cause my desire to settle on familiar ground – it clings onto someone I am already in contact with. The desire for a soulmate is blocked by my inability to trust the unknown. In short – the transmitter which is aimed to cover the magnetic field of the whole Universe, does not get further than my backyard!
What happens then is that my heart leaps frantically from one person to the next, trapped by the limitations of my current reality, clinging onto people I know deep down are not The One. For some reason I always prefer to listen to my mind, which tells me that deep down in my heart, I might be wrong after all, so I better settle down for less than what I truly want. I end up desperately clinging to the short straw which fear offers, instead of taking up the grand cup of faith and drinking from it thirstily - looking bravely towards that which I dream about; ignoring the limitations of what I currently am, and steering towards that which I desire to become.
Of course, I don't have a solid proof that a soulmate does exists.
Perhaps the whole concept of a soulmate seems outdated in the face of all the opportunities we have in our time, in the face of the sheer number of people we will meet in our lifetime. And it may be true that if you don't feel a desire to find one, then perhaps it is not something you need to explore in your life. All I know is that the desire to find my soulmate is alive within me and burns like fire. My working theory is that the only way to find them is to follow the other desires of my heart and discover who I truly am before I can recognise them.
According to one of those 21st century ‘new agey’ websites, which I browsed in a desperate search for answers, the desire to find a soulmate is often a desire for finding and aligning with your true self. It is a quest, firstly, for self-acceptance and realisation who it is you truly are and how to live the life you truly want to live; a search for enlightenment, if you will. Once you have aligned with your true self, then you end up sending the right transmitters out into The Universe, without even having to think – or despair – about it.
If I run for a moment with this idea, then I can’t help but feel a certain level of responsibility not only over my own life, but also that of my twin soul. My choice at following the path to become the person which I feel I am deep down, should then inevitably affect the journey of my soulmate, drawing our lives closer and closer together, until the day we meet. It may be tomorrow. It may be forty years down the line. Or it may have already happened, with neither of us being aware of it, stuck in what we perceive to be our unchanging reality, and smothered under the labels we have attached to ourselves.
How many of us are in a relationship because society tells us that it is the right time to settle down? How many of us have settled down with someone out of habit? How many of us have a job which we are only doing out of our need for security? If you answered yes to any of those statements - answer also this simple question - are you still excited to be alive?
Or do you wake up in the morning, wishing for the day to be over already? If you are currently in a relationship, then you should be able to say that you love your partner. You don't need to know what love is - you just need to be able to say that you love that particular person, though you may not quite be able to put your finger on why it's them and not someone else. No one ever found a way to describe the essence of God, so there is no need to describe the essence of love - only to feel its divine, transforming power.
And you need not be a religious person, or belong to a particular denomination, to feel that kind of love, or have that kind of faith which can bring into concrete reality that which your heart truly craves. The key to life, wisdom and faith, I have come to learn in my modest twenty five and a half years on this planet, is not reserved for the pious. It is reserved, firstly, for the brave. Faith has nothing to do with religion. Religion is about laws and routines, and limitations. Faith transcends these things; its basis is unconditional love and self-acceptance; it is reactive and unpredictable, but infinitely kind.
So be gentle with yourself – you and I haven't missed out on anything; the moment to act is now, and it has never been riper, you have never been more prepared to take action!
From this point onwards, there are only two pieces of advice to follow - 'let go of control' and 'be brave.' In the privacy of your own thoughts, try to dismiss all the obstacles and limitations of your concrete reality. Imagine for a moment that you could do or achieve anything – anything at all. What is your greatest desire, the one that really burns and perhaps even scares you? The one that you know will bring you an abundance happiness, yet you cannot even perceive what would happen if it were to come true? Meditate on that thought for a moment, in stillness, in silence.
And now that you’ve identified it – what is the first, the very smallest step that you can take towards that desire becoming true? That first, shaky, tiny step may turn out to be the bravest step of your whole journey. And maybe that one step will bring you closer to finding your soulmate.