“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I was introduced to this quote, attributed to Mark Twain, by a person who has had a profound influence on me. This phrase provided some much needed motivation to this person (let’s call them B) and helped them make some of those BIG decisions over the years.
B could well be my soul mate.
Not in the traditional romantic, happy ever after, how could I possibly live without you way. There was none of that. Rather, B just “got me” as soon as I met them. As soon as we started talking, there was this “I see you” feeling that has been like a touchstone for me over the years.
Let’s ruminate shall we on that term soul mate. If you believe the romance novels, Hollywood movies and even social media, it’s easy to believe that we only ever get one soul mate per lifetime. If you’ve met them very early in life, does this mean that you won’t meet another soul mate? EVER? What if that person leaves you or sadly dies? Does that mean you’re on your own for the term of your natural life?
What about the people who come into your life at exactly the right time to enable you to learn and grow? In its infinite wisdom, the universe will send that person to you when you need them and if you’re open, they will teach you so much.
B came into my life at exactly the right time (although I didn’t realise it at the time). They live a life without fear and sometimes it blows up rather spectacularly in their face. Since I’ve known them, they have had the most astonishing time; laughing artfully as they skitter and swirl through life with almost carefree abandon. To others it looks like utter chaos. To B, it’s just life with all its richness and adventure, sailing the trade winds, collecting and enriching the lives of willing souls on their way.
B taught me to be open and vulnerable; they taught me how to take a chance and listen with my heart. Most importantly, B taught me that sometimes it’s ok to be just human, with all the shadows and light that brings and I will be grateful to them for this gift for as long as I live.
Perhaps we could replace the traditional romantic view of soul mate with a more expansive one.
I’d like to propose that we hereby rename the “soul mate” to soul companion; someone who for a certain time – a day, a week, a lifetime – provides companionship and nourishment for your soul.