Discover more from The Cereal Aisle by Leandra Medine Cohen
Thoughts on perfection
I had this thought last night while I was at dinner with a few friends that it is possible I have been walking through life thinking soulmates are one thing when in fact, they are something else.
Or maybe, actually, it’s not that they’re something else, it’s just that I’ve been omitting an entire side of the concept’s coin.
I’ve always been under the impression, probably because of the shape the word “soulmate” has taken — both the way it was spoken about within the creases of my own life, and the way I received its definition from the world around me — that your soulmate is your perfect match.
And you know what, maybe this is still true. In fact, it is definitely still true, but perfect is a weighty word. Like I think the way we consider perfection similarly only considers one side of its coin — the side that is rosey and cheery and bubbly and happy and most of all, that is easy.
In reality, what is perfect for many of us might well be a path of crucial resistance. This path can seem harrowing if you did not expect to encounter it, even more if you try to deny and avoid it. I don’t mean this at all in a masochistic way, which I guess I feel inclined to mention because I have tried in the past to glorify pain, to make meaning of uncomfortable feelings in such a way that I bypass action, resolving I won’t “do anything” about the pain because “it’s here for a reason.”
But what I really mean when I say “I won’t do anything” is that I resolve I won’t change anything about myself.
It —the pain—is indeed here for a reason: there’s a threshold to walk through, yet I just keep sitting while it festers and I languish in this unnatural state of lying consciousness.
But back to soulmates: the thing about them and what constitutes perfect is that it may well be that your “perfect” has edges. That they’re rough, even spikey sometimes. Your perfect might push you to the borders of your comfort zone.
Worth mentioning, too, though, is that the way your perfect, your “soulmate” helps you discover your courage is not by imparted abuse. Not by hitting or kicking or verbal assault. You might abuse yourself, endure your own bullshit, and that part is yours to work with.
A soulmate actually activates enough of a feeling of safety that might register as this kind of gentle pleading with you, for you, to go further inward and deeper until you have all but crossed the very threshold I mentioned, separating your protective measures from the wounds you still carry from, probably, your early conditioning.
The scariest part is actually crossing the threshold but you can do it because you know there is ground beneath you. And once you do do it, after however much time, you find the softest and gentlest and quietest freedom. You can’t understand why you were so scared to stop going so fast, avoiding, denying, rejecting etc. To slow down and to breathe in, to see.
To see, but what I really mean is feel.