I recently Googled “soulmates” to see what the cyber-world has to offer about finding the one person in all creation who is my perfect companion. The screen displayed the first 10 of 5,590,000 English pages on the subject. I shudder to think how that number might escalate if I added Swahili, Flemish, and Urdu to the search parameters. Besides being impressed by the sheer volume of information – indicating an almost obsessive interest in the subject – I was struck by what these self-proclaimed experts are advising.
The offerings lean strongly toward commercialism – touting services, books, and websites including some that promise an inside edge through the help of psychics and witchery spells. Several sites profess to predict your soulmate’s name; others teach the spiritual laws of attraction, provide compatibility tests, or help you sort through the haystack of six and a half billion mismatches to find “the one.” Most sites turn out to be little more than dating services claiming various unique approaches to the ultimate quest.
The common thread to them all is the curious belief that once we have found that perfect someone out there, our lives are complete. The downside of buying into this deliciously romantic concept is the disappointment it causes. For one thing, assuming such a perfect person even exists, and that his or her age, socioeconomic status, religion, race, and values are a fit, what are the odds of your actually finding each other? For another, when the slightest ripple disturbs the bliss of whatever relationship you might presently be in, how can you help but wonder why you settled for less than the perfection supposedly still out there waiting for you?
Frankly, I’d condemn the quest for the one and only true love as hogwash, except for one thing: it isn’t. For each of us, there is indeed a perfect someone we need to find. And until we do, we cannot experience the fullness of a deep, mystical relationship.
Here’s how I learned this lesson: By my mid-forties, I was a rousing success in the eyes of the world. I had sold my business to a public company and recently downsized from a six-acre estate in Fairfield, Connecticut to a hi-rise condo overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach, Florida. I was married to a beautiful, charming, and very witty woman, and everything seemed in perfect order. Yet something was missing. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that unless I found it, life would have no meaning.
One night, over dinner with my wife, I expressed my thoughts. Our material life wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t living the life I wanted – though I didn’t yet know what that life was. I felt myself dying a horribly slow death. Never one to beat about the bush, she responded with exemplary clarity. She thought I was going through a phase and would soon come to my senses. “Why don’t you go to India for a couple of years,” she suggested, “and get ‘it’ (my yearning for the metaphysical) out of your system?”
Her comment solved my dilemma in a single stroke. I suddenly understood my true nature: I would always be a spiritual onion. No matter how many layers I might remove – in India or anywhere else – there would always be more waiting for discovery. Despite her wishes to the contrary, there was no “it” that I could ever exorcise without destroying myself completely in the process.
Long story short: My wife and I accepted that we were choosing different paths and that it was best for us to part while remaining friends. Driven by a need to get as far away from my old life as possible, I moved to Australia. It took about five years to discover that no matter how far I went or how fast I traveled, there I was. If I was ever going to find the completion I sought, I had to allow my true nature to emerge and stop pretending to be what others expected of me. Moreover, I determined if I ever entered into another committed relationship, it would not be because I needed that relationship to make me whole.
Fate takes deliciously unpredictable twists and turns to present us with the opportunities we need for our growth. Mine came in the form of an amazing twenty-year relationship with a woman who has not only become my new wife but my best friend and, most important of all, my metaphysical partner. She has given me the room and the unconditional loving support so I could at last find my true soulmate.
It’s funny how the most exquisite treasure can already be in our possession and yet we still yearn and quest for it, like the knights of King Arthur’s Round Table bent on finding the Holy Grail. What we are looking for resides not in a chalice or in the body of Mary Magdalene but within our own hearts. I have finally found my soulmate – the one person among all of humankind I am meant to spend my life with in sublime relationship. It’s been me all along.
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. He was a featured weekly columnist for the UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum and is the author of Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense, recipient of both the Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award and the USABookNews.com Award for the Best Metaphysical Book of the Year.
©2004 – 2019. Jean-Claude Gerard Koven / All Rights Reserved.