... On Soul Mates

I was talking with one of my friends the other night about a very complex topic. One that most people don't even like to delve into because of the heaviness of its reality. And she, being a little older and never married, wanted to know my opinion on the subject.

After a few minutes of tiptoeing around the question I know she was dying to ask, probably afraid of my answer, she just came out with it.

"Do you believe in soul mates?"

She wanted me to say yes.

I could feel it. Through the phone, miles away, I could sense her holding her breath. Closing her eyes. Hoping. Not because it would really make a difference what MY opinion was. But because she has been told NO for so long, she just needed some hope again.

She wanted me to tell her that long before I ever dreamed of a marriage, my path was already set. And that path was to meet Adam, fall in love, and live happily ever after. And she wanted me to tell her, that I truly believed, that the same thing was going to happen for her. That the other half of her soul was out there,  just waiting to be found.

And so I sat there.

On the other side of the phone ... in silence. The last thing I wanted to do was get her hopes up or to let her down.

So I asked her to let me think about it. Really think about it. To take it seriously. To research it. To study it. To see what I could find. Not just what my "hopeless romantic" heart wanted to abruptly answer. Not just the words that I thought would comfort her. But what I really feel to be true.

So after a lot of contemplating these last few days, studying, and researching, here is what I've decided.

Do I believe in Soul Mates?


... Kind of.

But not the "soul mates" that society believes in. Not the kind you see in the movies.

I don't think that it necessarily has to be a romantic thing.

In fact, I think that the phenomenon of soul mates can occur with many different types of relationships. Family, friends, and then of course, yes, I think sometimes you can get that lucky blessed, and you can marry your soul mate.

Here is what I mean -

The Bible never says anything about another soul that God had already chosen for us. Sure, I believe that he can answer our prayers for a fit husband or wife, or someone whose heart is prepared just for us and our needs, but I don't believe that no matter what decisions you make in your life, you will ultimately end up finding this one person that was predestined to make you happy.

In Matthew 22:23-30 we are told about a couple where the husband died and the wife then became the wife of his first brother. Then the first brother died and she became the wife of the second brother. The second brother also died and then she was married to the third brother. In fact, a total of seven brothers, including her original husband, died and she became the wife of each until she finally died. So if you think society's view on soul mates is correct, then you must answer this question: Who was the wife’s soul mate?

There is though, in the Bible, examples of great relationships that are influenced by God, and their bond is bound by their faith.

“…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
  (1 Samuel 18:1, NKJV)

Wow. I've read this verse, but I've never really READ this verse. How beautiful. A soul being knit to another soul. Combined. Intertwined. It reminds me of my favorite quote from one of my favorite books - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."

 I believe that a soul mate isn't already picked out for you, but that you acquire one. It could be two girlfriends, it could be brothers, it could be anyone. It is someone that you connect with on a deeper level than just emotional or physical ...but on a deep spiritual level. It's hard to explain how that connection takes place, but I believe it just ... does.
If Jonathan was "knit to the soul" of David, what does that mean, exactly?  
It is the type of connection that makes it easy to feel what the other person is feeling. To rejoice in their happiness and be crushed in their adversity. When you see this person, and get a chance to share life experiences with them, it is like being able to talk to yourself. It is almost like being able to look into a mirror. A different kind of mirror, though. Not one that reflects just you in the here and now, but one where you can see all of the things you are lacking, and all of the things you some day hope to be. It is an inexplicable love for another soul so much so, that you almost feel like you are experiencing what they are experiencing. And I believe that this connection, once you make it, is constant. It isn't something that just goes away. Not over time or distance. And maybe not even death.

I think of my best friend when I think of feeling another person's pain. We have always told each other - "When you hurt, I hurt." And it's so true. When she had a miscarriage a few years ago, and lost her child, I felt a sharp aching in my heart for her that I couldn't shake. I went to bed with it, I woke up with it. My heart hurt when hers hurt. Or maybe, it was my soul. And when she finally did get to have her first child, my happiness for her poured out and spilled over. It was as if I were getting a gift added to my life, as well.
You can also see this type of indescribable loyalty, devotion, and love in Ruth.
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me."(Ruth 1:16-17, NKJV)
And even though I do not feel as though this type of "soul knitting" is always romantic relationships, what a magnificent thought ... that it could be.
I found this British Poem by Donte Gabriel Rossetti while researching soul mates, and it burned itself into my memory.
"I have been here before, but when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell, the sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before - How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar, your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall, - I knew it all of yore."
And so, for you who asked the question ... if you are reading this ....
 be hopeful, my friend.
Not because there is already a soul out in the world that is destined to find you. Not because you have been matched with another in Heaven and must follow that path set before you.
But because you can knit your soul together with whomever you choose. You can love their soul as your own. You can create your own phenomenon of soul mates with anyone you want. To find romantic love is incredible. And loyal friendships, exceptional. But to find another soul to connect with yours on such a beautiful, spiritual level ... seems... well, sacred.

Over the last few years I have come to understand the word love more than I ever thought I would. Getting married & creating a life has definitely helped with this understanding. So has making friends with those who have gotten cancer and have been given only a few months to live. Watching what they find important in their last days. What a beautiful thought that God breathed into us a spirit that can love in so many different ways.

And who says we have to have just one soul mate?
Maybe in our lifetime we can come to have soul collections.

Maybe we are created to knit our souls with many. Maybe that is the ultimate goal. To connect on many levels, but mostly on a spiritual one. To rejoice in the joys of others. To hurt in another person's pain. Doesn't this sound like the type of love that our awesome God would ultimately want? To love another soul as if it were our own?

Maybe, just maybe, the concept of a "soul mate" isn't so unbelievable after all.

{Photos: weheartit.com // Quote: Age Of Innocence, Edith Wharton}
"If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.” 

What are your thoughts on Soul Mates?

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