“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” – Elizabeth Gilbert
As you can tell, I read a lot. I’ve thumbed through the pages of books that have characters in them who claim to be “soulmates” and, to be honest, I hate that fucking word. I do! I think its a horrible, limited way of describing your love for someone. I think people say soulmates because they lack a better term for it. Maybe they’re trying to say “My soul was at peace when I met them” or “Our eyes locked and I saw myself in the depths” or “I have never loved anything this monumentally”
I am so fortunate to have more than one soulmate, and though it sounds hypocritical, I say “soulmate” because I lack the vocabulary to explain how I feel. I never met a romantic soulmate of mine and I doubt I ever will. I had a couple soulmates who happen to be men and we fucked everything up by trying to be more. I miss them, every day. I miss how easy it was to talk to them before we “dated” and now that we’ve been inevitably together and gone separate ways, I know that I can never have them back in the way that I did. I don’t know if that’s selfish but I think it might be. I just wish I still had their friendship without all the strange moments of “What are we?”
I have other soulmates. I have a best friend who appreciates that I was probably supposed to be a mix of Hermione and Luna but someone decided I’d have more fun as a hybrid of Bellatrix Lestrange and Remus Lupin. It’s been great, thanks. I work with a girl who makes my heart feel calm whenever I see her. I work with girls who challenge me and understand me and push me. They are all my soulmates. The ones who push me radiate violet, and if I believed in the strings of fate, I think heavy, purple cords would connect us. I’ve had soulmates who broke my heart and left me bleeding all kinds of colors. They remind me of small cherry threads that I will have to cut someday to fully heal. I can feel the cracks in my chest that they left as if they were palpable. I have soulmates that I don’t speak to, out of respect for myself. I have soulmates that I have nightmares of running into and wake up with ghosts of tears on my face.
I have never done things halfway – especially love. As someone who is drained by social interaction and needs to pick her accomplices very carefully, I am either 100% invested in you, or not at all. Don’t come into my life with the intention of giving minimal effort; I carry scissors with me at all times and I will cut the ties that bind us before you knew they were there.
I can recognize my soulmates by one thing: I don’t have to dumb myself down for them. That is the only way that I’ve learned to survive in a world that rejects intelligent women: deny, deny, deny that you are one. I don’t mean to sound egotistical, but I am a woman of high intelligence and survival instincts like you wouldn’t believe. I know that to keep myself out of trouble, I stay cute and sweet and then destroy if I am crossed. My soulmates have never made me doubt my worth, have never made me question my intelligence. They’ve made me question my views, my priorities, and my footing – but never the things that come intrinsically to who I am.
I’ve read so many books where the narrator has said that the person felt like nothing else mattered after meeting this one person, that their lives improved tenfold. I am here to tell you that soulmates are not some shiny package containing the answers to our questions. They are the shakers, the movers, the destroyers of our lives. You will meet them on coffee dates and some of them will only be available for late-night adventures. You’ll find that at least one will hate your taste in music or will be disgusted with how you prepare your tea. They will insert themselves into the marrow of your bones and you will wonder how you were missing such a vital piece all along. I have a soulmate who is three years old and has taught me more about understanding and empathy than anyone else I have known. I had a soulmate die and take half of me with her. They are not here to make things perfect, they are here to show you that life is so much better when it’s messy.
The Book Witch