This was going to be a far more in depth post than what’s actually going to result at the end of this entry, but there was no need. What I have to say is simple:
I’m ditching the quest to find my “soul mate”.
Born out of the end of my last relationship, this soul mate ideal got me through that long, slippery climb back up to worthiness and validation. It powered an entire novel in the process, and acted as a lifeboat, a bit of solace whenever I felt low: that there was someone out there for me, made just for me, perfect, just for me.
Obviously, I was bound to run into trouble sooner or later.
Ever wonder how the online activists never seem to run out of actual things to get offended by? How your buddy can buy a new Hyundai that you’d never heard of, but you’re suddenly seeing it every time you stop at a red? Have you ever had a song caught in your head that was so annoying that you wanted to punch someone in the face, but everywhere you went, it seemed to be playing from somewhere?
That’s a function of your filter. Some would say it’s the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your brain that helps you recognize patterns in the data you receive from the outside world. Others would argue it’s Law of Attraction, and there’s some merit to that, I’m sure.
But for the most part, what’s true of the world is that there is every variety of love, hatred, injustice, abundance, beauty, and ugliness out there, and we can calibrate our lenses to see more or less of any of them in our experiences.
Properly calibrate the lens through which you see the world, and you’ll see what you want to see, something real and actually there, and nothing else.
So…you’d think my Soul Mate Lens would help me see a soul mate, then, right? Nuh-uh!
In fact, my soul-mate superstition has caused nothing but damage. My image of a perfect partner is so perfect that it actually has the opposite effect: instead of seeing the person who I want magically appear out of a crowd, I look at women right in front of me who actually exist, who truly love me, and see everything that they aren’t.
That’s right. Presented with the possibility – no, certainty – of true love, I nonetheless reject anyone who doesn’t match the contours of my Soul Mate Lens as I have defined it. Then I go back to my hoping and wishing: “She’s really out there, guys!”
My soul mate superstition is wrecking my love life. It’s keeping me from taking risks in love. It’s already damaged one relationship, and if left intact, it would ruin the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that.
There’s a cliche floating around the meme-verse on Facebook and Tumblr: “love means seeing an imperfect person perfectly”. That’s exactly what I am now committing to doing.
In order to do that, I’m tearing down the altar to this soul mate superstition that I’ve laboured on for years. It will be a hard habit to break, to stop comparing real and beautiful flesh-and-blood human beings to an idea, but now’s the second best time to start retraining my brain. The actual best time was six years and six months ago.
I just hope it’s not too little, too late.