73% of Americans believe in soulmates (1). That means Meghan Markle probably believes in it. But what about Harry?
Due to the fact that there are now over 7 billion people on this planet, it is highly unlikely that there is indeed only one person in the world to which we each have the potential to connect with on a deeply enriching and enlivening level.
However, for people that have experienced what we call a soulmate connection, they will tell you none of those facts or figures matter. They know what they have experienced.
In this way writing an article about the nature of soulmates is particularly tricky. That experience of oneness with another person is incredibly subjective.
There are no logical parameters we can point to that explain this phenomena. Yet, maybe that is where we get ourselves into trouble…trying to use the intellect to define an experience that goes beyond the intellect.
In truth, we have no direct control over when.
Sure, we can put ourselves out there, set intentions, meet new people, go on dates, join new activities, travel…
…But the occurrence of when and how we will find our “other half.” We just have no idea. There appears to be something more at work than meets the eye. Maybe that is part of the magic.
Maybe the day when a soulmate finds us out of blue, against all probable odds of ever crossing paths, in a serendipitous encounter isn't supposed to be something we can count down to. Marking off days in our calendar in the same way we do when we are looking forward to our next vacation, would likely take the romantic flair out of the whole ordeal. Yet so many of us are doing a similar unconscious mental countdown.
Again, this is something we don't have to do. It is irrelevant. Because…
We have no way of knowing how old we will be.
Maybe, your soulmate walks in the door of the ice cream shop you are working at during the summer you are visiting your grandparents.
That was the case with Phil and Karla. Phil was working at an ice-cream parlor in the Bronx in the late 1950's. He was 15 the first time he saw Karla. They have been together now for over 55 years.
Or maybe you are the grandparent?
Then, there is the story of Janice. Janice had garnered a reputation for being Joe's rather ornery aunt. Then Janice went on a cruise ship and fell in love. Joe reported that his aunt became a changed person. She laughed more. She became his favorite aunt to be around. Janice was in her 80's when she fell in love and got married.
So clearly, the timing of when a romantic connection that surpasses all of our previous ideas of what love is and isn't, is indeed not something we can fully control.
But maybe we don't have to.
What is love anyways?
So far, this article may not be lending you that much hope. You are probably reading this because you are frustrated with the experience of not finding a soulmate. I wish I could proudly give you a how-to do it, but that is way above my pay grade (i.e.skillset). I would imply that it is way above every person's pay grade.
That is because a soulmate connection defies logic. Yet, if we look at what's underneath that connection, there is immense hope and inspiration to be uncovered.
Because what we are looking for…is already within our reach.
Let's look at what love really is to demonstrate this inspiring truth. We talk about love as if it was a tangible object, like a piece of tupperware, that we can give to one another, take away from one another, or lose under the couch.
But love is not tangible. It isn't material. It isn't made of form. Have we ever stopped to contemplate…what is love really? What is it that we are truly searching for?
Love is an energy. It is a feeling state. It is an invisible framework with which to navigate the world.
It is not a finite resource where there is not enough to go around.
If we look at love as energy, we can see the neutrality of love. We can see that unconditional love isn't personal or dependent on what actions we do or don't do. True love isn't even dependent on what others do or don't do for us. It just is. Like the intelligent energy that turns acorns into oak trees, love is mysterious and invisible.
If we look at love as a feeling state or emotion. Where do feelings and emotions really come from? Ourselves. Our biochemistry. Our thinking. Feelings and emotions are always generated within.
Love as an invisible framework. This is when we investigate the power of living life through the vantage point of love, of understanding, and of non-judgment.
“There is a feeling of inner peace that comes from total relinquishment of judgment. We don't feel the need to change others and we don't feel the need to be different than we are. We can see…the total beauty of another person…and we feel they can see the beauty in us as well.
The world sees that special relationship…as the only valid context for such an experience. That is our primary neurosis, our most painful delusion. We keep looking to the body for love, but it is not there. We embark upon an endless search for what we cannot find–one person, one circumstance that holds the key to Heaven. But Heaven is within us.” -Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
You may be asking…
If all of this is true, why don't I feel love?
If you think you can't feel love without another person, you won't. If you are constantly looking for someone else to give you the feeling of love, you will be blind to the fact that you are capable of generating that delightful feeling from within your own soul, your own biochemistry.
Have you ever had a peak performance moment? A moment when you were walking in the woods or having tea alone on your balcony where you felt immensely connected to life and all living things? If not, at the very least, have you ever had the experience of feeling joy, appreciation, or love even when nobody else is around?
Life doesn't start or end from the moment you find your soulmate. That is the ironic or “funny” part about finding him or her.
Finding our soulmates doesn't give us anything we don't already have. It just amplifies our natural human capacity for love, flow, and connection.
The more we move away from our preconceived list of what we should do or how we should be, the more free we are to lean into our inspired intentions and dreams. The more open we are to the unknown, the more willing we are to give up control…the more clearly we can see the irony of the fact that the love we seek has actually been available to us all along.
[Challenge] Take 15 minutes. Press record on your iphone or grab your journal. Set the intention that you are willing to see something differently about soulmates and the experience of love.
Then ask yourself, what is love really? Don't edit your answers. Just say or write whatever comes to mind.
For a more thorough and immersive experience, Take our 30 Days of Love Challenge Course!