Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Soul Mates: Those We Are Searching For

Don’t seek a spot in my mind, sometimes it wanders
Don’t fight for a place in my heart, it’s been known to break
Search for an entrance to my soul, and there you’ll truly find me

What do you think of when you hear the term "soul mates"? It's such an abstract concept, and it has always been something I thoroughly questioned, and not in a do I believe it or do I not kind of way, but in an exactly how does this work and what does it mean kind of way.

There are so many different views on the topic and it completely fascinates me. I want to study it, examine it, and learn everything there is to know. I want to hear what others have to say, what others think, what they question, and what they believe.

My view on soul mates is very different from most of the people I know, and over the years I have learned it is something that is hard for many to understand. I could sit and talk to you about it for days and never fully explain what I believe, but today I am going to give you a little glimpse into my thoughts, my beliefs, and maybe even a peek into what’s really in my soul.

I believe that when we are put on this earth there are people we are meant to find. People our souls connect with. People who function on the same wavelength we do. In these people we find answers, we find comfort, and often we find home.  I don’t believe we have just one soul mate though. I think there are multiple people out there who connect with your soul in a way most never can.

Soul mates tend to be thought of as someone’s spouse or life long significant other, and although that’s a nice thought, I don’t think that’s the only thing a soul mate is. I think soul mates fill many different areas of our lives. It could be someone you are destined to spend the rest of your life with, but then again it might not be. Sometimes that’s the hardest challenge of it all.

I, myself, am a searcher. I know there are people out there I am supposed to find and I am going to search and search until I find them. I didn’t use to search, but then one day I felt it, and the feelings you have when you find someone your soul connects with are unexplainable, nothing will ever accurately describe it… no songs, no words, no pictures. It isn’t something that can be defined, only felt. Feeling it is addictive though and when I felt it I realized that if there were other people out there who I could make feel that way, and vice versa I wanted to find every single one of them.

When I was in college I met one of my soul mates and it rocked me to my core. It made me question everything I believed in, everything I thought I knew. It pushed me so far outside my comfort zone that I couldn’t even find solid ground, and yet it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. It wasn’t someone I dated. It wasn’t someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but it was someone who’s soul found mine and in each other we found peace. We could, and often would, stay up all night talking. Discussing anything and everything. I would get phone calls when I was upset just because he could feel something was wrong. He pushed me to be a better person, and when I fell short of what he knew I was capable of he didn’t let me slide by. In fact he got mad, real mad, because when I hurt he hurt and when I was happy he was happy, and in all my actions I carried a little piece of his heart with me, and wherever he went he took a piece of my heart with him.

We had a bond that couldn’t be broken. When people met us they knew instantly that we were a team and as a team we could take on the world. It wasn’t something we ever questioned. Not a single time did we discuss what was going on between us. We didn’t have to, we just knew. That wasn’t the case for others though. Everyone wanted to know what was going on. People didn’t understand the connection we had. People accused us of being in love with each, sneaking around, doing things we weren’t. The thing is none of these questions took place where we knew about them. We were completely oblivious. Until one day someone asked him. I don’t know what exactly went through his head when he was asked, but I know it shocked him enough that then he started searching for answers. He started asking people… “Could she really be in love with me?” “Am I the one she really wants?” “But if that’s true then what about…..” “That can’t really be true can it?” This was happening for weeks without me even knowing. I found out when a mutual friend told me I needed to stop talking about it. Then another friend brought it up with me. They asked me all sorts of questions. They told me the conversations they had had with him, and the questions he was asking. The confusion he was feeling. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered so much went on behind the scenes. I didn’t know he was told not to talk to me and I was told not to talk to him.  I don’t know why I didn’t know. I should have known that. I could feel him hurting but I guess I thought he was hurting for the wrong reasons. I thought he was hurting because he believed what people were saying, and that he made the choice himself.  It hurts me now knowing he thought I wanted him to go away. I never wanted him to go away.

Months later some of us were camping and he showed up to pick us up. We had seen each other a few times since the incident, but this time it was different. We didn’t speak, but when I looked at him I knew. As we continued packing up camp I went to put something in the car and as I walked around the back of the car there he was. He looked at me the way he always had and in the moment I knew that he wasn’t just looking at me, he was searching my soul.  Then he looked down, raised his hand and held out a blue Gatorade (which was my favorite drink) and in a quiet little voice simply said “We’re okay right?” I couldn’t say anything; there was nothing to say. I just took the drink and smiled.

Everyone split up into different vehicles and he told me to come with him. I climbed in his truck and it was like we’d gone back in time, the conversations started again and the connection was there like it’d never been broken, and yet somehow we knew as soon as I got out of that truck it would never be the same. It couldn’t be, because what made it so perfect was we never had to question it. And then we did, and it changed everything. We never defined it, we couldn’t if we tried, but others tried for us and it broke it apart.

It’s been over 10 years now, and as I predicted that day, it was never again the same. We stayed in close contact for a couple years, and then not so close. It’s been a couple years since we really talked, but I can tell you without a doubt that the connection is still there, because on days where everything is falling apart I get messages that say “I know you’re having a rough time, just know someone cares.” And there are days he gets the same from me, because although we were pushed, and we were tested, and everything changed the connection never broke. Our souls are still connected, he can feel me and I can feel him, and together we can find peace.

Many refer to him as my “one who got away,” but not me. It’s never what I thought we were, but I do know our souls speak to each other.

My connection with him was always unique, and I knew it couldn’t be replicated. However, I also knew there were others out there that my soul was searching for and I needed to find them. I needed to search, and search I did. On occasion I would feel something that gave me hope again. There were people I thought I could get to that point with, but it was never right. No one could ever find my soul and feel me the way he had. So after lots and lots of searching and disappointment, last summer I decided to stop searching. I gave up. I couldn’t do it anymore; it was going to destroy me. But as so often is the case, once I had completely given up I felt it again, and once again it rocked me to my core. I walked into a room and it slammed into me. As our eyes met I instantly knew. There was a familiarity as if my soul was screaming, “I’ve been looking for you. What took you so long?”

It happened on a night in September, and my head’s been spinning ever since. I can’t tell you this story yet though, because unlike the story above this is a story without an ending. It’s a connection that’s been thoroughly questioned, and put through the wringer, and yet somehow it’s still hanging on, likely by a thread. It’s there though and in that my soul can find peace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Can You Feel It?

In June of 2012, I was having a conversation and seemingly out of nowhere I was asked when I stopped believing in the Fairytale version of love. I can remember the exact moment like it was yesterday.  I can remember who asked me, where we were, and what we were doing… and I can remember the shocked look on his face when I answered. “I didn’t stop believing. I never started.” In that moment I realized maybe I’m not normal. I’ve never had a fairytale version of love. I’ve never thought love was a perfect thing between people. I don’t think it’s all rainbows and butterflies. I think love is about being there for the ups and the downs. Love is about knowing all the horrible things about a person and loving them anyway. As the saying goes… “We like someone because, we love someone although.”

It took years and years before I realized this isn’t how most people view love. In fact in my entire life I can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who legitimately view love like this (aside from the love between parents and children). Some say they do, but very few actually do. If people loved like this there wouldn’t be so many heartbreaks, so many divorces, so many breakups. Love wouldn’t be a word just tossed around lightly. It would be a word filled with tremendous thought, feeling, and emotion. It would be something that really meant something, and honestly it would be terrifying.

It really doesn’t sound like a big deal. People love differently, so what? Right? The problem is, loving like this leads to confusion and heartbreak. It leads to lots of questions and people who really just don’t get it.  When this is all you know it is hard to understand that other people don’t. I say exactly what I mean, and for some reason I still think other people do the same. I am honest and I trust other people to be as well, and when I love someone I really truly love them.

When you love unconditionally it is a constant battle. People don’t get it. Everyone thinks your crazy. Friends and family try to convince you, and you truly want to listen to them. You hear what everyone is saying. You know you don’t deserve to be hurt. You know that sometimes people aren’t worthy of the type of love you give them, but you can’t stop. You can’t choose to just stop loving someone. You might chose what role they play in your life, you might chose how you act on it, but you can't chose to stop loving them. 

On one of the final episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Ted says “"Actually, there is a word for that. It's love. I'm in love with her, okay? If you're looking for the word that means caring for someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you, its love! And when you love someone y-you just don't stop. Ever". Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just- you don't give up because if I could give up... If I could just, you know, take the whole world's advice and- and move on and find someone else, that wouldn't be love. That would be... That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is." and in that moment I felt like someone else in this world finally got it. Okay so he is just a TV character, but someone had to write that, which means someone else out there knows what that’s like. Someone else has felt it. 

I have always loved like Ted loves. It has broken my heart numerous times, and if I could stop I would, but I can’t. It’s part of who I am. It’s the only kind of love I know. I want to think there are other people in the world like this, others out there who just get it. Others out there you don’t have to explain it to. Others you can just look at and now they felt it the same way I did.

Sometimes I start to lose hope. I start believing there’s no one else like that. I start thinking maybe I am crazy. No one understands it the way I do. No one feels it like I feel it, but then someone will come along and I will see things in them that make me think that maybe, just maybe, they get it. Maybe they understand. Maybe they feel it the way I do, and in that moment even if for just a moment I feel less alone. I feel a slight glimmer of hope, and my heart whispers “don’t give up.” So I pull myself together. I try to keep believing, and hoping. I find myself wishing for there to be others out there, many others,  but the truth is there really only has to be one.