The concept of a soulmate–#quoi(?)– has consumed humanity since the beginning of time, manifesting in Greek playwright Aristophanes’ introspective plays, in angsty teenage songs #tsoml, and in Damon’s struggle between martyrdom and Elena #vampProbz. As we struggle to ascend on Maslow’s hierarchy, as we enter Erickson’s middle stage of psychosocial development– intimacy vs. isolation– we are implicitly coerced to either pursue our elusive, potentially non-existent other halves or solely utilize logic and settle for secure relationships. As asserted by Thomas Moore, “divine grace” –rather than personal initiative–facilitates our communication with certain individuals, satisfying the soul beyond basic, carnal desires and indicating that life’s sole purpose is the pursuit of this satisfaction.
But how do we maintain faith in this eternal pursuit while enduring an ephemeral life, filled with familial obligations, fiscal demands, and the ceaseless ticking of the biological clock? When should we forgo chasing a Cinderella-complex induced notion of our Prince Charming’s for the security of a trusted and loyal life partner? The answer is shrouded beneath eros and dust (#WHAuden), igniting an affirming flame that illuminates the dichotomous struggle between love and death.
Give me infinity or give me a life partner(?)
Dr. Carmen Harra describes the duality of love in a society that places instant gratification and logic above twin flames and empiricism.While “a life partner can be a great long-time companion”– fostering a relationship built on mutual comfort and stability– she goes on to say that “your soul mate makes you feel entirely intact.” The risk, however, questions whether or not a life partner can provide necessary nourishment for your spirit to reach and sustain its fullest potential.
The seemingly endless wait for a soulmate is often diminished by the brain’s necessity to rationalize desires and prune fears (#dreamdeferred). As a result, most ignore the #unnamedfeeling to be united with their other half in order to seek what society deems as socially acceptable relationships that are prompted by expectations of convenience, rather than happiness. We have an innate inclination to ignore any semblance of pathos due to an inculcated belief that realism reigns supreme (#isthegrassgreener(?). Perhaps the soulmates we’ve been searching for are as intangible as the validation sought after by the perennial second guesser (#fountainofyouth). In lieu of celebrating what we have, we lament on what could have been, neglecting the present. Maybe there simply is no “A-ha” moment; maybe the connection is a bond forged through experiences, convictions, and routines.
Love is a…#freighttrain(?)
While some dwell on the necessity of familial commitment and the preservation of the institution of marriage, there are others that have discovered that soulmates transcend the normal boundaries of carnal desires.
A relationship that is founded on communication—beyond the confines of #wordwordswords– that is sustained through deep, inherent understanding of each other’s nuances, exposes
truth in man’s capacity for emotional connectivity that endures beyond lavish white dresses and chocolate fountains. Rendering a soulmate as one’s “soul slave”–the fulfiller of every internal need–not only garners disappointment, but also suggests that happiness–when contingent upon others–is futile. To rectify placing exorbitant, unmeetable standards on an individual requires either the recognition that multiple soulmates exist–multiple people that appease different facets of our soul’s yearnings– or the acceptance that one soulmate cannot fulfill every desire.
While this inquiry can underscore an individuals capacity for connectedness, what is to be done when the need to be in the company of other like-minded souls fails to nourish the inner-core as it had prior? Does the soulmate on the side leave the insular cave of mental and intellectual attraction, enticed by the light of alternative sexual desires to pursue complete emotional connectivity?
Platonic Love #iwantmore
In his Symposium, Plato asserts the existence of androgynous humans– “created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces”– yet separated by Zeus to inhibit their ambitious union of joint souls. Therefore, love, according to the Greek philosopher, is an innate human predilection, as each individual strives to reconcile their other halves for self-actualization, for return to the original state of nature. Yet, does this union with our other halves necessitate a cognizant search–derived from systematic dialectic–or a moment fated to occur? Regardless, it is the nature of this pure love that defies the simple bond between life partners, as soul mates are amazed, yet cannot explain, the magnitude of love, friendship, and intimacy that is shared between them. While the intensity of their love knows no bounds (#suchgreatheighs) , the intuition fostered by both souls “does not appear to be the desire of lover’s intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell”.
We pursue our other halves at our own peril. Bypass pre-existing familial commitments as well as acquired relationship obligations, and we risk breaching a tacit moral code while fulfilling our life’s calling. Stifle our yearnings for complete intellectual, spiritual, physical fulfillment, and we accept the death of our souls. Thus, love–an empirical force–must be assessed through the realistic lens of opportunity cost, conceiving a pragmatic outlook on fulfillment that enables us to live with the consequences of igniting our twin flames.
In short: “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”― Leon J. Suenes