"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Saturday, 18 August 2012

soul mate or mates?

Do they exist?  They definitely exist and they don't only have to be the people closest to you.  I am lucky to have a mother, a husband, a sister, a brother, two best friends, children, two nieces and family who I consider to be the people closest to me who understand me best and who I don't have to explain things to (most of the time).  They are my loved ones and all occupy big places in my heart and my soul.  

I have many wonderful friends in my life, they have come into my life at different times and many of them, I consider to be soul mates too.  It is all about the connection and does not matter how little or how much time you spend with them, the connection is there.  Do you believe that there is only one soul  mate for you in this world and for your lifetime?   I don't really think there can be.  I have heard of people who have just one soul mate and that one person touches every part of their soul - they provide friendship and love, happiness, sadness, they satisfy sexual side (or know you desires), you share all thoughts and don't have secrets, they understand your insecurities and your strengths, know about your past and your hopes for the future.  I hope I am not making light of this important title and it must be incredible to have found this one person that satisfies all parts of your soul.

I have this quote on a worn out piece of paper in my jewelry box:-

Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. 
Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, 
oblique side of yourself 
If you do, it will take you where you need to go, 
but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey 

John O'Donohue 
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

To illustrate my point I would like to share with you a few of my friends who I regard as soul mates and who "teach me a kindness in the rhythm of my journey":-

I have a friend who I met at antenatal classes.  The friendship requires little effort on either part.  When we are together we can laugh or be serious and sometimes in a crowd we don't get to chat at all, a wink or a knowing smile is all we need.  She is generous with her love and has the ability to make you feel special.

I have a friend, who my great friend Nicky once wisely told me "Jen, listen to ***, she is older than us but she is so wise, she has already been where we are heading and we will learn so much from her".  Well I am still here (learning), whilst Nix is not (just so unfair), and whenever I meet up with our friend, I am reminded of Nicky's words and grateful that I remember them because, she was right, I learn from her all the time.

I have a friend, another friend who I don't see often enough but who I connected with on the side of the cricket field.  She is a similar kind of mother to me, her children are similar ages, she is a great listener whilst I am a babbler and her very clever, analytical mind, her warmth and understanding is always able to put everything in context for me. 

I have a friend (I can call her that now) who is an aunt, not a blood aunt but she is an aunt.  I don't see her as often as I'd like to, but when I do it is fun.  She has known me since I was born, she loved my father and is friends with my mother. When we see each other it is never heavy or deep, she makes me laugh and tells wonderful stories.  She is one of the funniest people I know and she is good for my happy soul.

I have a friend who left the country.  When she first left we were in daily contact.  From afar she helped me through my divorce with her sensible, no nonsense attitude, wacky sense of humour and x-rated emails.  I think I helped her settle into her new country and admired the courage it had taken them to move their young family far away from their roots and support system.  The communication is no longer that frenetic but I know she is a phone call or an email away.  She is visiting Cape Town in December and I cannot wait for the face to face contact and chats that go on long into the night.

I have a friend - who is really part of our family, but not my family.  Another older friend, a nurse and a wonderful mother.  I arrived at her house with a two week old baby in tears one afternoon.  She made me a cup of tea and sat me down in her chaotic dining room filled with her children, her toddlers and a couple of extras.  She brought me hot face cloths for my swollen breasts and taught me how to breastfeed.  One of the best lessons I ever learnt.  From that day she has been my role model, her home is what I would love mine to be with the door always open and filled with children and grandchildren. I still run to her whenever I am in trouble or doubt (or have a rash on my leg).

I have another friend (oh my word I am blessed to have so many friends). We have not been friends for that long although we have known of each other for years.  She is the kind of friend that you pop in to visit after work, have a glass of wine (or two), lots of laughs and plenty of high speed chatter. When I get home (after a couple of glasses on an empty stomach) I say to Mike "I love her, she just gets me!!" and he gives me a strange look because he does not really use that kind of language but I can't think of any other way to say it.

That is really what a soul mate is - "someone who gets you". 

There are more, but at the risk of sounding frivolous and getting soppy, I will stop. 

I have always understood the heart to be the size of a fist but the soul is so very much bigger.  

I once had a friend who was such a good person and everything a friend should be.  We connected as young wives and mothers with similar dreams for our lives and our children.  My life took a different path and she was there to support me. We traveled and danced and laughed and cried together.  Her life ended too suddenly and too soon.  Now writing about souls and journeys and the love you have for your friends, I realise that her soul lives on in everyone whose life she touched, just as when she left she took a bit of our souls with her.  She was generous in all ways and especially with her love (and soul).

Maybe I am just feeling extra sentimental this morning but as you get older things do start fitting into place and making more sense.  These soul mates and connections are all about our journey of life and leaving something behind, so that when we are no longer here bits of our soul continues to live in everyone we ever loved and were connected with.

Hectic (lucky it is invisible)

Enough Jennifer - something lighter to end with:-

“Have you got any soul?" a woman asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out; now I've got loads, too much, more than I can handle. I wish I could spread it a bit more evenly, I want to tell her, get a better balance, but I can't seem to get it sorted. I can see she wouldn't be interested in my internal stock control problems though, so I simply point to where I keep the soul I have, right by the exit, just next to the blues.”  - Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

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