Capn's Blog

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friends II: Soulmates

I want to reflect for a while on that concept known as a soulmate. While it means many things to many people, to me it means someone you can relate to deeply, who you can communicate all you have to say with only a few words. Someone who understands your heart, and whose heart you can understand, almost before the words are spoken.

In our lives, we will meet some thousands of people, and become friends with maybe a hundred. Over time, I think it's natural for these friends of varing degrees to come and go, according to where you work and which stage of life you're at.

The notion of soulmate is not necessarily about love in the romantic sense. It could be that the soulmate you find may even be the same sex as you. It's about a common frequency on which you both resonate, about a level on which you can both communicate. Talking and working together lifts you both higher.

While it's worthwhile and very satisfying to cultivate and enjoy friendships, you can't make someone be your soulmate. If it's going to happen, you will know about it because of the feeling in your heart. And given care, such a relationship can last a long time.

I think each person may only find at most a handful of soulmates in their life. Indeed, I think it's more difficult to find a soulmate than a wife or husband.

In Chinese, the closest word I can find is "知己", or "zhījǐ". While it's close, I'm really not 100% sure 知己 truly captures the essence of soulmate. Still, it's the best I can find.

I have heard some sayings in Chinese that are pretty good:

  • "人生得一知己,足以。"
    "Rénshēng dé yī zhījǐ , zúyí."
    "In life, to find a soulmate is sufficient."

  • "海内存知己,天涯若比邻。"
    "Hǎinèi cún zhījǐ, tiānyá ruò bǐlín."
    "If you have a soulmate, wherever they are, it seems they're never far away."
As you may have guessed from my first article, I have the pleasure of being married to my soulmate. Marriages are common, soulmates are few, but to combine the two? It doesn't happen often I think.

I am blessed.


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