The concept of soul mates is something that has always fascinated me. There is a quote by the writer Richard Bach that sums it up nicely – “A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are…”
A soul mate is not someone you can walk away from that easily, it’s someone you can’t imagine living without. It’s something you just feel and describing it is difficult. There are plenty of books and movies out there that deal with these themes and I admit the Reese Witherspoon movie Sweet Home Alabama is one of my all time favorite movies. Go ahead, you can laugh, but it’s true – if it’s on TV I must watch it. Can’t help myself. You see I found my soul mate when I was 16.
Hard to describe, but we just fit. We are lucky, I know everyone does not feel this way. Although we had a long and winding kind of road and it took us 25 years to actually get married, I couldn’t imagine life without him again.
Of course, not all soul mates are of the romantic kind. It can be a friend, one say you met the first day of college, or a co-worker, or someone who has shared a similar difficult experience. There may be all kinds, but they are not always easy to find.
I was glad when my oncologist told me about a new program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute called SoulMates. Hmmm…I like the name. It connects breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed patients just starting their treatment. It’s a 1X1 program that matches them up based on diagnosis, life stages, geography, etc. They create a community in which the survivors act as peer mentors and help the patients know what to expect and give them someone to talk to that has recently been through it. A cancer buddy that actually gets it! Someone who has also peed red, knows how much your nose runs when you have no nose hairs, and gives you the faith you need that your hair will eventually grow back…
I was “lucky” to have friends, neighbors, and my mom (20 Years!) that had all gone through it and they helped me in a huge way. So, I volunteered to be a peer mentor and help others. I just finished all the training, which in true Dana-Farber fashion was very thorough, and am awaiting my match. Whether we actually become soul mates or not remains to be seen, but at least we’ll give it a try. In the meantime, I’ve already met a bunch of the other mentors, and they all peed red too!