Soulmates 5/15/22

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

The notion of soulmates is so romantic.  That concept that we belong in pairs, and somewhere out there is that one person who happens to be just the right match, the other half of the whole that is your soul, and when you meet them, that’s it.  You’re partners for life, and the romance will never die.  You’ve found your soulmate, and now you’re complete.

But that’s not reality.  Even with couples that never fight, there are still times of stress.  They’re just too polite to argue, but I can guarantee you that there are discussions, there is tension, there are the dull times.  The passion dies off, hopefully leaving a warm glow, but that intensity cannot continue on indefinitely. 

Recently, I was watching a rom com, as apparently very old men with no love, no partners and no prospects will do.  In one of the scenes, the dialogue included the comment that soulmates are not found but created.  The point that the dialogue was making to the lovelorn who was hoping to “find” their perfect soulmate, and the comment is what I believe to be true.  It takes work to get through the inevitable moments of boredom, it takes work to find the middle ground with disagreements (whether or not there is actual arguing), it takes work to learn emotional cues to determine what your partner needs and when.  

It just takes work.

The Hindu belief of reincarnations meshes perfectly with this concept.  Christians believe that you are born with a soul, a fixed and never changing part of yourself unless you sell it to the devil for banjo lessons, and life is just a true/false question to determine if you belong in heaven.  In the Hindu faith (of which I am not a member), the soul changes.  It’s constantly growing, and when you return in another life, it’s to learn the lessons you did not learn in your previous life as your soul continues to grow until it’s ready for Nirvana. 

This Hindu belief meshes well with the concept I am failing to convey in this post.  People change with time, as, I believe, do their soul.  The human brain continues to grow and evolve until well into a person’s twenties, and while the brain may not change significantly after that, one’s attitudes do.  As we continue to have experiences, our attitudes continue to evolve, and I would argue that our souls do as well.  We are all individuals, and we develop differently whether or not we’re with our life partner, and yet as a couple we do have the power to kind of guide our development in parallel paths.  New experiences can lead to new passions that each partner can enjoy, or at least tolerate for the sake of the other partner.  I love Ren Fairs, but that doesn’t mean that in the time that I was married, my wife did.  I think she did, but I don’t know if she just tolerated it for me.  But whenever we went, regardless of her attitude towards them, they were still shared experiences for our future.  Eventually, she left me, and yet, if I ran into her today, we would still have those experiences in common.  These experiences help two souls to grow together, and through work, create the proverbial soulmates.

For some people reading this, their interpretation would be that soulmates don’t exist, and will take this to be a depressing concept.  I honestly don’t believe that it is.  In fact, if anything, it’s encouraging.  If I’m right, it means that soulmates can be created.  A head start with somebody who already has shared interests and opinions definitely helps, but if I’m right, any couple can become soulmates.  Recently I watched a biography on Warren Buffett, one of the most successful businesspeople in the world with more money in his wallet than I will see in my lifetime.  I’ve always loved Mr. Buffett’s attitude of fair taxation, helping others out, and his political stance, but in the biography, he suggested that in his youth, he was the stereotypical greedy ultra-wealthy conservative more interested in his own fortune than people.  He ended up meeting a woman who was, in no way, his soulmate as she was an extreme liberal and pretty much antithetical to everything that he had stood for at the time (I’m paraphrasing what I understood him to say in the biography).  Through her influence, he grew and came to appreciate the struggles of the less fortunate.  Today he is an entrepreneur and, at the same time, an amazing philanthropist, and an outspoken proponent for fair taxation and the wealthy paying what they should.  He evolved, and grew, and the two of them (at least as it appeared in the biography) are closer than ever.

So yes, find a soulmate if you can, but it’s more important to find a partner who is willing to work with you on the relationship.  The soulmate status will grow.

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