Our world is corporeal. Everything around us can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched. Throughout our lifetimes, we each create a tangible encyclopedia with infinite entries. The soft fur of a puppy, the periwinkle sky as the sun sets, the pain of touching something burning hot, the creamy chill of ice cream, the unbridled laugh that only your best friend has; every single moment of our lives, housed deep within our beings.
Bodies are strong, resilient, and powerful. But they aren’t permanent. They break, they fade, they fall, they erode, and they vanish. They’re meant for just one journey. Some bodies will last longer than others. But no matter what, when it’s time for the curtains to close, so too will our eyes, one last time.
So what is the purpose of being alive in the first place if it’s impossible to leave anything behind?
Because there is something eternal. Our bodies and lives are merely the vessels for our souls.
We may have hearts and lungs and brains that allow us to exist, but the soul is the essence of that existence. Imagine you have a fire burning deep within your body. Flames need air to endure. Yet ironically, that same air can extinguish them. There’ll be times where your fire dances with vibrancy, and times where it’s nearly destroyed by life’s violent storms. And you will cry and you will scream and you will hurt, and sometimes you’ll even wish for it all to end, so that you may finally have peace again. Nevertheless, all storms pass.
The damage they leave behind doesn’t disappear, though; in fact, it can be just as excruciating as the cause. You’ll always have two choices when it comes to how to deal with your pain. You can allow it to destroy you, make you feel like a failure, and carry it as a scar forever. Or, you can let it make you stronger.
Similarly, though fires are magnificent, they can also be terrible. You might, pun absolutely intended, have to get burned a few times, before you find someone who makes your days glow like never before. Because no matter how powerful, a single flame can’t light up the vast entirety of a life. We have to share our souls with one another; become part of each other’s lives, in order to see our futures.
Find our soulmates.
But I don’t believe that a soulmate also has to be a “sole mate,” nor someone with whom you have a romantic relationship.
Love is love is love.
Perhaps, when you’ve long since been married, you’ll look back on all of your years together and realize you’ve shared them with your soulmate. It’s possible you’ll discover your soulmate the first time you gaze into the eyes of your newborn child. Or, despite your countless fights, you may have a soulmate in each of your brothers and sisters. It could be an artist who inspires you to create like no one else, or your closest, truest friends, who’ve been there since the very beginning. Maybe the first soulmate you meet will pass away prematurely, and the one who comforts you while you grieve will become the second. Even a complete stranger who walks into your life one day and never leaves can be a soulmate.
All they must be is anyone. Anyone who sets your world ablaze so radiantly that not distance, age, identity, or death can darken it. Anyone who can keep your fire burning even after you’re gone. Which is simultaneously so little and so much to ask.
Here’s the thing, and it’s perhaps the plainest and most incredible of all:
You don’t have to ask.
You and your soulmates will just be.
*I originally posted this via The Odyssey, but I decided I’d like to share the full text here as well!
(image credit: Galo)