There’s a little paperback book by a poet named Rupi Kaur entitled Milk and Honey, a little book I found sitting on my friends bed one cloudy afternoon. Although received in the mail only days before the pages of the book were already worn from her excited reading, and as I turned over the cover, the pages habitually flipped open to one specific poem - one that was already ingrained in the binding. Typed neatly there on the page was one simple line of text; “You are your own soulmate.”
“Isn’t it beautiful?” my friend asked me, “Isn’t it incredible the way it’s so simple but says so much?”
I think about that quote often now. I think the idea of a soulmate has been crafted and created in our society into a very specific idea—the idea that somewhere out there in the world is your perfect match, a person who has been constructed as if to complete you. So often finding your soulmate is depicted as the ultimate goal; a goal that once achieved means you have no more worries in the world. That image of riding off into the sunset has been so fixated into our minds that many consider themselves incomplete, and maybe even worthless, if their so-called soulmate has yet to be found.
What if Rupi is right? What if your soulmate rests within your heart, an accepting, caring presence that loves you exactly as you are?
There was a significant period in my life where I did, in fact, feel worthless. I looked at my face and saw crooked teeth and squinty eyes, I looked at my assignments and saw the dashes of red ink covering the paper, and I heard the voices of many around me telling me I was indeed worth very little. I often felt like no one would ever love a person like me, and subsequently felt as if my life were forever doomed to be incomplete.
Perhaps I was somewhat right, I was not truly complete at that time. I saw myself as someone who needed fixing, and I yet I worried I could never be fixed because I couldn’t find a person to do it for me. I wasn’t sure who I was or who I wanted to be, and quite frankly, I was not a very big fan of the girl I saw in the mirror.
The truth is, however, the power to change that was within my heart all along. I may not have been in love, but I began to find things I loved. I discovered my passion for art in all its forms; I developed my own mismatched, unique style; and I began to feel confidant in the goodness and kindness I had within myself. For the first time, I truly felt beautiful—less because I looked any different and more because I truly believed I was someone worth loving.
And while I don’t always feel like the best version of myself, when I don’t feel like a strong, powerful, independent woman, I still know she is always there. My soul is indeed complete, and even in times when I feel lost, I know I always have the strength within myself to find my way back again. I love the person I have become.
So are you your own soulmate? I say yes, with my whole entire heart. Validation comes from within, confidence comes from within, and even love comes from within, a love for absolutely everything you are and will be. There will never be someone who understands you quite like you understand yourself, and so ultimately that’s all we really have to rely on. As scary as that might sound, I also think that’s something powerful - something beautiful.
I think the first step to finding love in all its forms is to love yourself, to value yourself, and to understand yourself exactly as you are. Find the people who love you for you, but remember that no one can determine your worth except yourself. Just because you’re not in love doesn’t mean you’re not someone worth loving, because ultimately, you are your own soulmate.