By Avery Gaines

It’s engraved in our brains as kids that finding our soul mate is the best possible thing we can hope for in a life: we’re taught – through books and movies and love stories and hopes our parents have – that we should seek the person who competes us, and we learn that we’re incomplete on our own.

We all walk down the street or into a new café subconsciously hoping that someone will notice us and all of a sudden an ordinary Tuesday afternoon becomes the genesis of the love story we tell our grandkids. We don’t admit this though – it’s not cool to be hopeful and romantic.

And it’s not cool to be naive. So we sober ourselves to the idea that we could find a soul mate, a life partner, a certain someone who awakens us in ways we couldn’t even conceive of.

Who is it to say that our souls are only here once, and that the people who we immediately connect with aren’t people we’ve known before? Family from the past, love from a different body, in a different time. Who is to say that we don’t live out a thousand different experiences until we’re evolved past them? Who is to say we’re not necessarily lacking without a soul mate, but rather, they’re in our path to show us how to complete ourselves?

Who is to say that it wasn’t in a past life when you missed each other by a few inches on the train platform, or that looking into each other’s eyes and knowing we’ve been here before means more than you realize.

Maybe you slipped past each other when you sat down at another table for brunch in the 1950’s in New York and they were your waiter, but you never spoke again after that Sunday in the city.  What if they were the person who returned your purse after you left it at that table, but you were rushing and didn’t stop to look up completely? What if your souls were forever being in communion with another, in an eternal exchanged, but never fully realized…

Until now?

And what if being fully realized means acknowledging the passing? What if it means being together for just a moment in time? What if our full connection, the extent of it, isn’t always a marriage and a family and a life together, but a glance, or a short but sweet and transformative love? What if we are meant for just a few minutes in each other’s lives, and our only pain comes from the world telling us it should be otherwise?

Image: Cora Alvarez

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