I'm such a huge dork. I might be wrong, but it seems like everyone besides me has been over Napoleon Dynamite since, you know, 2006 or so. I still watch it sometimes, and I still crack up. Do you remember Uncle Rico's line about his dream of "making millions of dollars and living in a big ol' mansion somewhere, soaking it up in a hot tub with my soul mate?"
Ridiculous. But anyway, I've been thinking about that lately. Have you seen this article floating around, "My Husband Is Not My Soulmate?" A friend of mine asked my opinion on it a few days ago, and I realized there's something so...indescribable to me about the whole thing. I feel like I agree and I disagree, and am having the darndest time putting into words why.
I get the point of the article, I think. Hannah is saying that her real, live, flesh-and-blood husband is so much more fulfilling than the idealized, guitar-strumming man she imagined as a teenager. She's saying that being his wife involves an intentional, self-giving love that she's happy to pour out to him; it's not a fairy tale. "My marriage," she says, "is not based on a set of choices over which I had no control. It is based on a daily choice to love this man, this husband that I chose out of many people that I could have chosen to love." Amen. I totally get that.
Hannah got me wondering, though, if there really is a such thing as a soulmate for everyone called to marriage. She's wise, I think, to point out that Scripture as evidence tends to come up short, but where to go from there? My instinct says (and feel free to debate me on this) that vocationally speaking, and within the sacramental nature of vocations in the Church, that for a man and woman disposed to the graces of the sacrament of marriage, in which their relationship is literally transformed, the person you marry does become your path to Heaven, and hopefully, a fulfillment of your heart. Grace builds on nature, you know?
At the same time, Andrew and I have had a few conversations where we wonder if we could've married other people. I told my friend that we usually conclude there are probably good, holy people out there whom we'd feel fulfilled by, but that neither of us can imagine being quite as fulfilled, or understood, or as free with anyone else. I love my husband so deeply and feel so seen and so loved by him that I really can't imagine anything else. The other thing, or person really, that makes me tend to think there is such a thing as soulmates, is John Paul II. His writings are all about the immense dignity, value, and unrepeatability of every human person. So, if every person is completely unique and unrepeatable, wouldn't it make sense that the person the Lord intends him or her to enter into marriage with (assuming the person is called to marriage) is someone, not just anyone?
My thoughts are still coming together on this, and I'd love to hear yours. Read the article if you haven't, and tell me what you think! Do you believe in soulmates? Do you think the permanent nature of the sacraments of vocation has a bearing on who you choose as your spouse?