It appears that the current generation of loving couples getting married in Nepal in an urban context are enchanted and enthralled by the idea of a soulmate. Hence, the idea of someone being your soulmate keeps trending on different social networking sites as an ideal version of being in love together. Although the current generation of loving couples has an idealized image of a soulmate, in reality, for many people, the idea of finding and living with a social mate remains limited to mere appearances—just a tagline posted along with a visual representation of togetherness shared on different social networking sites.
Our everyday idea about the soulmate falls short of its ideals because we rely on imitations of plastic images of love trending in different mediums of pop culture, compare and contrast our possible loving partners with superficial expressions of other loving couples, and also follow the suggestions and guidelines of other people to identify and determine our soulmate. Similarly, we have misguided expectations about a soulmate as someone who brings a sense of security and feelings of comfort, along with the promise of everlasting love, into our lives.
Besides, our criteria for falling in love with another person are such that we give more preference and priority to what the person has, like a bank balance, a green card, a dependent visa, social status, and a handsome or beautiful face, than to who he or she is as a person with inner human qualities such as honesty, trustworthiness, understanding, commitment, and caring.
Many people miss their soulmates because they are so out of touch with their inner lives as individuals that they remain unaware of the person who is carrying the beats of her heart inside his own. Soulmates get married because they are for each other, not for any other reason.
More importantly, without anything as such to connect with, enrich, and nourish a loving relationship together from within, being in love without a soulmate becomes utterly boring, shallow, lost in appearances, and meaningless. Being in love without a soulmate is a tedious struggle of finding one temporary delight after another in the outer world to justify and demonstrate the shallow and soulless love people have for each other.
The idea of each of us having a soulmate was first put forth by Greek philosopher Plato, who in his seminal work Symposium stated that each of us has another half of our own soul in another physical body; hence, as human beings, we have this inner, irresistible yearning for that interconnection with another being that would make us feel undivided and complete, and as long as soulmates remain separated, there will always be an inner sense of lack, as if things are missing out, out of touch, shallow, and incomplete.
Similarly, in Hindu religious tradition, we have the divine union between Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva as Shiva and Shakti expressed in a singular being, Ardhanarishwar; this mythological narrative is a symbolic representation of reunion between soulmates. Indeed, the struggles and sacrifices of Devi Parvati to belong with Lord Shiva indicate that when it comes to a spiritual journey to find a soulmate, it is not about what other people say or what options or preferences you have; to find a soulmate, you must exercise your freedom, follow your inner voice and its determination, and stand strong with your courage. First, you have to connect and stand firm on your true self to find your true lover.
Hence, to get in touch with your soulmate, first of all, you need to listen to the soft whisper reverberating from your heart that gently tells you she may not be the charming person of your dreams, but it feels as if even as strangers, we have already met for thousands of times. There may have been other lovers of youth, beauty, possession, admiration, and passion, but only she can reach deep inside your heart and understand you just the way you are.
Finding your soulmate would be like stumbling onto someone you are surprised to realize has been shaped and carved like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that fit together only with you. With your soulmate, you get that feeling of being at ease within yourself, and there is no need for any other stimulus or incentive apart from each other’s presence to get a sense of interconnection out of this relationship.
Moreover, soulmates are two individuals who have realized that promising romantic love forever is a lie. Falling in love is easy, but the art of remaining committed to each other in love takes many years of practice to perfect. Even when their love is the glue that binds them together, soulmates understand that for their relationship to last, they need to support each other's motivations, interests, and inspirations and find commonalities between them.
Being in love as soulmates means that we are both willing to make struggles and sacrifices for each other because we both realize that our love has the potential to improve, transform, redefine, and make the best out of our lives altogether. Besides, soulmates don’t play the game of pretending to remain at the center of each other’s attention, and they don't want the other person to become the shadow of their expectations, anticipations, and projections.
To conclude, soulmates are two individuals with a sense of shared self that allows them to blend in, support, and sustain each other's beings together. Where there are differences, soulmates supplement and become each other’s inspiration and strength, and where there are similarities, they explore, enhance, and enjoy their mutual interests and passions together. When soulmates sit together and engage in laughter, dialogue, making love, silence, or discussions, they realize that their loving relationship gives their lives a sense of purpose together, which makes them feel complete and inseparable from each other.
(The author is a writer, researcher and educator at different educational institutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)