“Do you think everyone has a soulmate?” Lisa asked to me, a casualness to the question covering up her feelings of hopelessness.
“I don’t believe in soulmates.” I told her.
Her eyes met mine and her tone switched. This was serious.
“What do you mean? Everyone that I know that has a great love story tells me that they met their soulmate. I’ve been waiting for mine all this time.” She looked away for a second before coming back. “I thought it was Steve. [They’d broke up the year before.] But I hope it wasn’t. Or maybe he was? Part of me keeps wondering what I did wrong.”
I’d been there too many times to count. In the exact place that Lisa was in. Having the same questions. “Is he really my soulmate? Will we get back together? Will I ever find love?” And then when I was in a relationship I’d still find myself wondering, “Is he the right one?”
Love felt like this thing I was always chasing but could never find.
Back to soulmates and to Lisa.
“Did you notice how when people told you their love story, that it’s a story?” I explained, “The couple has decided to think about their relationship, and about each other in a certain way. They have decided to think that they are soulmates.”
“But aren’t they?” She asked.
“Well, they are if they decide that they are. But that’s the thing – It’s a decision that they make. It isn’t something that just happens or doesn’t happen.”
Lisa wasn’t having it, she’d been waiting for her soulmate to show up for a while.
“But what about feelings? What about that feeling when you look at someone and there is an instant attraction? When my friend met her husband, she said she just knew.”
“I wouldn’t tell your friend to stop believing that her husband is her soulmate. The love story that she’s telling you is how she is choosing to think about her husband – either consciously or unconsciously. In her case, it helps her get through the not so great times and allows her to feel safe and secure in that relationship. It works really well for her, but how does believing that there are soulmates work for you?”
Lisa sighed. “It makes me wonder if I’ll ever find mine.”
And that’s the problem with the idea of soulmates.
It makes us wait, instead of create the relationship we want.
It makes us idealize relationship and imagine that if only we found our soulmate, then we’d be happily ever after.
It takes away our power and choice, which leaves us chasing love, instead of finding it.
“What if love was something you could choose instead of something that just happened or didn’t happen?” I asked her.
“I wouldn’t have to keep waiting for Steve to come back.” Lisa answered more hopeful.
Love isn’t something you find. It’s not something that just happens or doesn’t happen. Love is something we create with someone by the thoughts we think every day.
Which means that anyone can be your soulmate, if you decide that they are.