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GRACE NOTES: Looking for a soul mate

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By Nancy Kennedy

 The other day posted on our newspaper’s Facebook page was a question for discussion: Do you believe in soul mates? Why or why not?

Someone replied “Yes!” Another said he believes God puts the person meant for you in your life, and another said, “No. If there’s one for me, he must be lost because I have never found him. I really think it’s a fairy tale.”

I love that answer.

I’m not sure if I believe in a soul mate, at least not in the way the Urban Dictionary describes one: “A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet — a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before.

“As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior.

“Your soul mate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them...the most significant and satisfying thing you will experience in your lifetime.”

Wow.

Does that sound like your marriage or current relationship? If not, don’t despair. Here are some tips to finding your soul mate that I found on the Internet (so you know it must be true).

Believe you have a soul mate “out there somewhere.” Make your life “love friendly.” Gently say good bye to non-soul mate love. Clean your house for love — your emotional, spiritual and physical house. Don’t go looking for love; it will come to you. Get out there and be actively available. Don’t obsess over finding your soul mate. Finally, don’t confuse chemistry with destiny.

The person who wrote these tips added, wisely, “When you meet someone you’re intensely attracted to, everything in your body could be telling you that this is your soul mate, but that could be hormones and lust talking. Remember that your soul mate could be someone who you already know but never even considered romantically.”

The skeptic in me thinks this is pretty much hooey and these soul mate finding experts probably have a book or seminar they’re hawking.

However, I also know that some couples are, or at least appear/claim to be, perfect complements of each other, yin and yang and all that.

Maybe. I don’t know. I watch a lot of “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?” on Investigative Discovery and the stories all start out with “I thought we were soul mates” but end up with one person being a bigamist, thief or otherwise crazy.

But here’s the problem I see: If your current marriage isn’t as soul matey as you thought it would be, then bailing when things get tough or boring is an easy excuse to leave and look for your “real” soul mate. After all, he or she is out there somewhere waiting for you.

And if you’re human in a relationship with another human, despite what you or I might want to believe, no human can fill up all the empty spaces. Eventually, all human relationships at times disappoint.

One of the Internet soul mate gurus suggested those who are searching should “honor the yearning,” that the “time of longing and yearning for love is the most powerful time. It means love is so close you can feel it, and there is a part of you recognizing that there is something missing. There is something that drives us to want to love deeply and completely, in a relationship we feel is meant to be.”

That, I actually agree with.

St. Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” King Solomon said God has set eternity in our hearts, that we’re born with a knowledge of him. Our hearts know something — someone — is missing.

Theologian Blaise Pascal called this longing and knowing a “God-shaped vacuum.” If it’s God-shaped, then logically only God can fill it.

As the soul mate expert said, “There is something that drives us to want to love deeply and completely, in a relationship we feel is meant to be.”

If that’s the case, then to answer my own question about believing in soul mates, I’d have to say yes, I do believe — and I’ve found mine. Actually, he found me.

His name is Jesus.

Nancy Kennedy can be reached at 352-564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.