Your Soulmate Might Be The One Who Broke You

Love & Relationships

Something that I've been really getting into lately is watching Black web series. Some pretty cool ones are The Put Down, To Each His Own, The C-Word, Staged and the entire Issa Rae Presents YouTube channel. While I was wrapping up the season finale of The Land of Milk & Honey, something was said that reminded me of my all-time favorite quote on love, as it relates to self-love.

Let me set it up for you a bit. A woman had to choose between a bomb internship in New York or staying where she was in order to be with a man. A man who 1) Refused to give her the title of girlfriend that she wanted and 2) Unbeknownst to her, had a newly-pregnant girlfriend.

As she was grieving over the fact that the guy didn't "fight" to keep her in his life, her homegirl said something that, quite frankly, a lot of us could stand to hear: "I love you enough to tell you the truth. You have such a big future, God couldn't find space for him."

That right there? It complements my favorite self-love quote exquisitely:

"As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I, in a love relationship, do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming."
— Leo Buscaglia, professor and author.

What does all of this even remotely have to do with soulmates? Chile, I'm so glad that you asked.

If there are two words that seem to trigger a ton of different emotional responses and reactions, it's "fairy tale" and "soulmate". The first one, I personally can't stand; especially when I hear women say, "I'm living for the fairy tale." Are you? I wonder how many people know that a fairy tale by definition is "a story, usually for children" and "an incredible or misleading statement, account, or belief". A "childish misleading account" is not my idea of a beautiful (or realistic) love story. But soulmate? I dig that word all day long.

Only, it's probably not for the reasons that you might think.


I grew up in the church. And the church, as a whole, isn't all that big on soulmates. I find that to be weird because there is a clear example of soulmates in the Bible — Jonathan and David. In fact, there's a scripture that says, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul." (I Samuel 18:3—NKJV) This was not a romantic or sexual covenant or connection. It was a powerful bond of friendship. It's also evidence that soulmates can be platonic. OK, but I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Something that I've been studying for a few years now is the Hebrew language. I really dig its definition of soul and soulmate. The Hebrew word for soul is "nephesh". It's a complex word, but it basically means that our soul is not just the spiritual part of us; it's all of us — our mind, heart, and body, our desires, our life overall. The Hebrew word for soulmate is "bashert"; it means our destiny. It's all about being joined to a life partner who will help us grow as spiritual beings. By definition, that literally includes going through the good, bad, ugly, challenging, and annoying things with someone else in order to become who we were truly meant to be.

It's not about butterflies in the stomach or feeling good all of the time. It's about being connected to someone who will make us better individuals.

This is why I believe that a soulmate can be someone who broke our heart. When I think about the man whom I loved more than anyone else, he's also the man who devastated me the most. The story within itself is a novel — well, at least a novella — that I will probably write one day (heads up — always be cautious about getting involved with a writer; you will see yourself in print). For now, I'll just say that during my journey with him, I learned more about love, patience, forgiveness, personal growth, and even acceptance in a way I know I wouldn't have had he not been a part of my life. No one can convince me otherwise.

When things came to an end, heartbroken doesn't begin to describe how I felt. For months, it was like I was in a daze, trying to figure out how to make sense of it all. But as I began to heal, the Leo Buscaglia quote started playing on repeat in my being. "Love is about continual becoming." Love is about having the people, places, things and ideas in your life that are suitable, appropriate, and proper for the individual you are becoming. In order to become that person, sometimes you have to let certain things go.

Since a soulmate is our destiny and one definition of destiny is "meant to be", as painful as it can be to accept sometimes, sometimes our soulmate comes in the form of someone who leaves us broken so that we can rebuild ourselves into who we were truly meant to be all along.

Just think about it. If a soulmate was only someone we always got along with, never caused us to step out of our comfort zone, and/or face some of the "ugly truths" about ourselves, there's a good chance that our souls would never grow and evolve.

We wouldn't become our best selves because it's not the easy things that mature us; it's the hardest ones that do.

It's kind of like the chick I mentioned in that web series. She always wanted to be a fashion mogul and was offered an internship with a top fashion designer. She needed to leave who she loved in order to become who she was meant to be, while the object of her affection needed to stay behind to get his heart and house in order. Staying together, at least in that season, would've probably proven to be detrimental. However, if she chose her future over an unpredictable relationship, the impact of making that kind of decision would change her life for the better. The sacrifice would've improved the condition of her very soul.


As for my real-life situation, I don't know what the future ultimately holds as it relates to me and my "soulmate". I do get why we need this time apart, though. I need the space to become more of who I was created to be — so does he. At least for now, trying to soul-evolve together would stagnate us.

At the same time, it is because of our time together — and the heartbreak that I experienced — that I am the woman I am now. Someone who can clearly see all of this for what it is. Someone who fully embraces that the journey is just what my soul, my life, needed in order to reach my destiny (and to even write this article).

It might not be the most conventional take on soulmates, but I hope it's one you'll consider. Is there anyone who altered your life in such a way that they ultimately made your soul better, even if it shattered you for a season? It may not be the kind of soulmate you wanted, but it was sho 'nuf the kind that you needed.

You may not see it now, but time will reveal. Give thanks.

Featured image by Getty Images.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Maya's story, written by Charmin Michelle.

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