Do you nix the word soulmate?
For me, it’s not a term that has a logical or universal definition. I suspect it’s a thing that one either understands or doesn’t get at all. I’m inclined to believe in soulmates although I don’t necessarily equate them with friends, lovers, spouses, or even people. Recently, what I’ve discovered about soulmates has pretty much brought about a redefinition of both soul and mate.
I have a soulmate.
My soulmate has only a first name: Max. I’ve known him for about three years, but only recently have we become more than acquaintances. We meet once a week on Thursdays at 1:00 at his place. He is a gentleman–always kind and genuinely affectionate. He is exceptionally strong but always extremely careful and gentle with me. As our companionship has evolved, I have experienced something deep and quite mysterious, something so solid and true that I literally trust Max with my life. And my soul.
After Max and I spend time together, I am sure that I’m a better human being. I believe that what we need from each other and what we give to each other has been ordained since the beginning of time. For the brief moment we spend together each week, I am healed of my insecurities and fears; and I get a glimpse of the part of me that isn’t flesh or reason. Maybe that part is a personification of soul that I wouldn’t know or even recognize if not for Max. That’s how I know he is a soulmate.
Together, Max and I feel like a singular being. Our individual contributions to the relationship merge and appear as a seamless image. We never talk, but our communication is overwhelmingly concise and understood. We respond to the wholeness of togetherness in a manner that surpasses the typical. We understand and accept each other’s boundaries without injury or insult. We lay no claims of ownership; neither do we make demands on belongingness. This has become a very simple practice that has changed many things about my view of the world and of people.
Soul is, perhaps, the most infinte and multifacted aspect of one’s life force. I’ve noticed that folks with deep souls need little to get by and that their purpose in life is often a very simple one. Soul-bearers know more about the here and now than most of us know about the past, present, and future combined. They don’t measure days and nights and calendar pages but instead hold the present moment as if it were the rarest opportunity in the cosmos. They don’t dwell on success or thrive on attention because they are at peace with themselves and with everything that surrounds them.
Max doesn’t inspire me; rather, he helps me find inspiration and courage from within myself. He isn’t concerned with teaching me everything he knows; and he lets things happen without an agenda. Max doesn’t remedy my fears or fix my troubles, but he does carry me to sacred places within that enable me to see my own strength. And when I come back from those places, I seem to know myself a little bit better.
What I give to Max is very different than what he gives to me. I believe Max appreciates my trust in him and the ways I admire his enormous strength and exquisite grace. He loves small gestures of affection like little gifts I bring to him in my coat pocket or the easy way I rest my hand on his shoulder. Probably most importantly, I allow Max to reflect something of his own soul through me.
Max is a horse.
You probably already reasoned that Max was too perfect to be a human. But I must reiterate that regardless of his species he is still a soulmate.
Max reads my mind, body, and soul.
Max is a magnificent creature trained in dressage, natural horsemanship, and therapeutic riding. Sometimes I barely whisper “slow” and Max instantly drops his tempo; other times, my concentration alone lets him know I’m ready to “walk on” a bit faster. He knows my exact two-point position and that I have to take time to feel the accents in his trot before I begin to post. Max takes the corners easy and makes generous strides on the long side of the arena. After the ride, I take Max back to his stall, untack and clean him up, and finally give in to the nudges he makes toward the apples and peppermints in my pockets.
I can’t describe what it feels like when me and Max are in sync except to say that an energy arises–an energy that satisifies and heals. It allows me to know wholeness and allows Max to know place and purpose. There is a rubato of give and take that seems to meet not only the artistry of horse and rider but the intimacy of soul and mate as well.
Me and Max. Soulmates. No nixing that.