Have you ever thought of your spouse or significant other as your soul-mate?
Many people do. Many spend years searching for the person they believe to be their soul-mate; the person that will fill the other half of them. They believe there is someone out there made just for them. A special person that they just have to find. Others may knock this for being silly romanticism, but the notion of soul-mates has been around for a very long time.
How long? Well, Plato wrote about it sometime around 385 BC. It is in a dialogue called The Symposium which is a philosophical dialogue that includes such names as Socrates and Agathon. The theory of soul-mates is presented by Aristophanes, a famous comic poet of the time.
“[Primeval man] could walk upright as men now do, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace, turning on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast…Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods... Doubt reigned in the celestial councils. Should they kill them and annihilate the race with thunderbolts, as they had done the giants, then there would be an end of the sacrifices and worship which men offered to them; but, on the other hand, the gods could not suffer their insolence to be unrestrained. At last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He said: 'Methinks I have a plan which will humble their pride and improve their manners; men shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two and then they will be diminished in strength and increased in numbers; this will have the advantage of making them more profitable to us. They shall walk upright on two legs, and if they continue insolent and will not be quiet, I will split them again and they shall hop about on a single leg.’”
Ever since, man and woman have been searching for each other’s half to be complete.
The idea of soul-mates is very beautiful if looked at in a healthy relationship, but it can be very hindering to people when a person uses the “excuse” of a soul mate to stunt their own growth.
To go looking for our soul-mate, we need to know what to go looking for. In order to do that, we need to know who we ourselves are. Many people never take the time or effort to take this very important first step. They just go wandering around feeling “empty” and knowing that if they could only find that perfect someone then they would be complete.
But think of it this way:
You need to get groceries for a dinner party. So you go to the grocery store, but you didn’t look up any of the recipes that you want to make, so you don’t know any ingredients that you need to buy. Even worse, you didn’t look into your pantry or refrigerator to find out what groceries you did have, so you don’t even know what essentials you need to make regular dinner. Then to top everything off, the lights go out in the grocery store, so you have to go around the store in the dark, and find the foods you want by where you think they might be.
This is how many people search for their soul-mate.
In order to know what to look for in your soul-mate, you need to know who you are. Are you a strong-willed woman who is unused to tenderness because your father was a yeller? Then you would possibly need to meet a soft spoken man who is patient and kind. Are you a man who is a work-a-holic, shy, and enjoys outdoor sports? Then your soul-mate is possibly a woman who is going to be a nature-lover, optimistic, and will help pull you out of your shell and your office cubicle.
A soul-mate is there to balance and complete you. They can compliment your best traits, and off set your worst ones. They help make you into a better person, just as you do for them. But you have to know your own soul before you can find the soul to match yours.
Don’t go searching blindly.