As far back as I can remember, I’ve pondered the meaning of this elusive word, “soul mate.” A soul mate is person who is perfectly suited to you; your ideal mate, with you to the end. Sounds so romantic, right? Or maybe a little too romantic — like the ending of a fairy tale: Prince Charming had finally found his one true love, for no other lady was as perfectly suited to him as Cinderella. And they lived happily ever after.
But do they soul mates really exist?
I think not. In fact, I’m calling bullshit on this definition of soul mate and advocating for us to let it go and embrace a new definition! I yearn for a day when we look at two people and see all the hard work, dedication, perseverance, love, and compassion it took for them to complement each other so nicely. The current definition over simplifies the emotional growth and development these two people took to stay together. Of course, they probably had a ton in common and many similarities, but their union most definitely took some work. And this isn’t just true of romantic pairings — familial relationships and even friendships require attention. In the end, relationships that are long lasting and fulfilling take a great deal of energy, compassion, and love.
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As we jump into this, let’s take a look at the word soul mate. It is made up of two words, “soul” and “mate.” First, what’s a soul? It’s hard to define, but loosely, it’s a spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. And a mate, of course, is one half of a pair. Both words have no inherent judgment, but soul mate is most definitely a loaded term. I believe that’s because, as humans, we have a tendency to categorize and label things, and we might have added in the perfectly suited portion of the definition in an attempt to glamorize the coming together of two individuals. I suppose to some extent this makes sense, because that’s generally how it starts. Fast forward to Prince Charming and Cinderella two years later, and I’m sure even they had to make some compromises. Let’s be real: Soul mate shouldn’t mean, “the only person in the whole wide world who’s totally and completely a match for you,” but rather, simply two individuals coming together to make it work.
If we took this a little bit further and dug into what a soul is actually doing down here on earth, it would bring this sense of learning and growing into view more. Astrology, in itself, is more or less the study and cycles of human growth and evolution. Furthermore, most religions and spiritual beliefs in one way or another share the thought that we are here to become a better version of ourselves. What better way to do this than to interact with other souls that share the same unconscious goal? Moreover, since we know that I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, and actually no one on the planet is perfect, wouldn’t it make sense that any two imperfect individuals who come together are soul mates? And, in the end, maybe a soul mate is just the folks that you enjoy being around while you all work on yourself? It’s something we should really think about deeply. Perhaps anyone could be your soul mate and maybe we could use a break from trying to force this whole idea of perfect on each other.
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As much as it’s fun to glamorize the idea of a soul mate, I think we should all just keep it real and know that when two individuals come together to put in the energy to create a relationship they’re proud of, that should be called a soul mate relationship. They helped each other heal, grow, and flourish. And the best part is, there are lots of folks and types of relationships that could help you do just that. There’s not need to look for just one special one. Keep working on being your best self in all your relationships, and you might find yourself with a bunch of soul mates. That’s a definition that can make everyone happy. — By Shereen Campbell
Shereen Campbell is a 30-something New Yorker striving to create the life of her dreams. She’s an astrologer, ecommerce manager, and the founder of My Little Magic Shop. She loves sailing, southern Italian food, and all things magical.