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Soul Responsibility– by scott vener:

Why are we here? Are we born to procreate and die? If so, should
finding the perfect mate be our sole responsibility? Or, should personal goals be our primary concern? Most agree, the answer is in finding the appropriate balance. But, is that really possible?

How do two people balance each other out when they’re realistically
standing on different beams?

If the whole concept of a relationship is to work together and
become one or one unit working on behalf of two, who’s personal
goals become the priority of the unit?

Can two people, who have different personal goals or dreams coexist
in a relationship without making sacrifices that will infect and
eventually change ones own individual soul?

Can your love for another human being change the blueprint of what you thought your life should be about?

And, if we only have one life to live, should we as people allow this to happen?

It’s obvious that making sacrifices is an unavoidable obstacle in every relationship. But, as conscious human beings, aren’t we all silently keeping score?

So, where do you draw the line? In an ideal relationship, how many
sacrifices does it take to stop you from loving someone or knowing
they’re not “the one” for you?

On the flipside, how many times can you allow someone to give in to your needs before you start to lose respect for them?

Sure, it’s a constant balancing act. But, at what point does love
blur the lines so much that it starts to rob you of your own identity or make you feel like you’re stealing somebody else’s?

How can two people be true to themselves and do what’s best for the two?

Are we all organically lonely people selfishly searching for someone to accompany us on our own journey we’ve planned for ourselves or is there a perfect match for each and every one of us?

Do soul mates really exist?

If you agree life is about finding the balance between self fulfillment and your commitment to another human being.

Ask yourself this… if you were the only person or obstacle standing between your loved ones dream, would you risk losing them forever to allow them the opportunity to live it out?

Could you make that sacrifice?

If you didn’t, do you think the relationship could still survive?

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44 Responses to “READER SUBMISSION- something to think about:”

  1. This is so well written. My favourite part is where he write, “Ask yourself this… if you were the only person or obstacle standing between your loved ones dream, would you risk losing them forever to allow them the opportunity to live it out?
    Could you make that sacrifice?”

    I feel like most people wouldn’t be able to make the sacrifice out of pure selfishness.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. ask less and forgive more..

  3. I am replying on the subject of a soul mate. I do believe a soul mate exists for every person in this world. i believe everyone has their perfect match. But, when it comes down to it, the majority of people in this world never wind up with their soul mates. From the moment I stepped foot into the 8th grade ( this was 15 years ago) I knew who my soul mate was. He was a boy in my class. All through out high school and part into my college years, we dated on and off constantly. He was my perfect match, but we are not together now, and we will never be together again. We were so perfect for each other that we wound up hating one another. I am with someone else now whom I plan on marrying, although I know deep down he is not my soul mate. My new man ( of two and a half years) is ten years older than me. We have great chemistry and we make each other laugh constantly. Everything just works. There are a lot of opposites between the two of us. I want a very successful fashion career and he is a print maker, a musician, and a free spirited artist. I don’t believe a person should be with their soul mates. Dating MY soul mate was like dating myself. I believe you need to have someone who is quite opposite of you. In my opinion, it will keep you in check of who you really are and you will learn to respect others that have a different view on things. I’m completely happy and satisfied in knowing that although I know who my REAL soul mate is, I won’t be spending the rest of my life with him.

  4. i think there are a whole lot of fairy tale ways of living that are blasted at us our whole lives. so often people get in the habit of living their life for somebody elses love or approval and i think that is a choice. im so sick of people and their boring dumb unhealthy relationships that are totally ridiculous that i actually want to leave this planet sometimes! just to get away from them! there are so many options and so many ways you could live your live that it constantly surprise me to see what people fall for and accept.

    i just think there are way better things to do with our lives than make more babies (we have enough man!) and be in lame relationships. its BORING.

    i think we could try to figure out how to make relationships work, but we could also chase our tails all day too…if we had tails…

    alexi, i fucking love your blog. i think its one of the best things that has happened in a while. my favorite is when you encourage people to follow their dreams and be all they can/want to be. youre such a badass and thank you so much for being one of the few REAL people under a spot light. as a person who has been boy crazy my whole life, thank you for taking it to the level!

    but also, as a person who has been boy crazy my whole life…i have to say… there has been no boy in my life who makes me feel better than when i feel when i am by myself working towards my true dreams. i have never been in a relationship where i feel i am being true to myself. every time it feels like a lie. the things i love about boys arent just their physicality… i love that part too…but what i really love about boys is how they stick together, and how their dreams come first….before us! so instead of trying to make one of these creatures love me, ive just adopted their way of life….and really there is no turning back. the boys will always be there, but if you dont work on your dreams now, why are you even alive?


  5. I can’t say that love makes any one person completely selfless and willing to do anything for another person, because I think love is most often very selfish. However, I would hope that if you really loved someone, you would want them to follow their dreams and do what makes them happy. I can’t imagine a situation in which someone would have to completely give up a relationship in order to achieve their dreams, and I find it depressing to think that someone would be willing to give up another person that they truly love for the shallow fullfillment of something like a job promotion.

  6. it is possible?, maybe, is it likely, not really. To find THAT someone who will accept what is important to us and the oddities that make us who we are, is so bloody hard. It does take a love of a person to do this however. As we go through this life it becomes much more difficult because of the baggage we tend to accumulate as we go, interfering with what we hope we are feeling for this other person. If it gets to the point the other never challenges you on anything, it is over, if they fight with you every opportunity, they still love you but have no idea why and it’s driving them crazy. PS: TOH and I have no life together in the real sense, just minimal motions now…. So choose carefully

  7. The concept of soulmates is a socially contructed, religious based idea that attempts to manipulate people into continuing unnatural monogamy in our society.

    They don’t exist.

    Even if they did, what are your chances of finding said person in a world of almost 7 billion? Say you were lucky enough to be born in the same era, with socially acceptable age compatibility. Who is to say they’ll live near you, speak the same language or that you’ll be on the same continent? Its entirely laughable.

    That being said, I feel its entirely possible to go about life completely fulfilled career and relationship wise. People are not made for each other. Point blank, but its a choice we make as social beings. I think being 80% compatible with someone can make you happy. People will never gel enough to the point of no conflict, no rocky points. Its perseverance and work, regardless.

  8. sorry to lurk and comment again, but there were a bunch more comments by the time i published my first one. maybe i’m innocent and naive, but i feel sorry for people who think that “why are you even alive” if you’re not “persuing your dream.” do you think just because you can’t be true to yourself in a relationship, no one can? do you really think that your “dreams” are more important than finding happiness and a connection with other people?

    if you’re so caught up in the rat race, in persuing your career goals, that you think that relationships are boring and a waste of time, that is so sad. I’m not just talking about romantic relationships either, i’m talking about friends and family and even simple acquantences. your job, your money, your possessions, your success, can be snapped away in a second. when you’re gone, very probably the only people that will remember you are the people close to you. there’s nothing wrong with persuing your dreams and goals, i completely support it. but for you to place MORE importance on those things, things that might never happen, things that might never last, and forget about people that love you and people you could love, is not what being on this earth is all about.

    i love this blog, but i get really sick of the talk of the inherent differences between women and men. that men always go for their dreams and goals before they would give up anything for a woman, and women always give up their lives for men. people are people, and their actions are based on who they ARE, NOT what gender they are.

  9. Loves it, so beautifly written.

  10. I don’t know. I don’t believe in Soul mates and everything just clicking. I just want to find someone whose annoyances i can overlook, then i’ll know i really like them, and can maybe build on loving them.
    And i wouldn’t stop them. I like the people i date to have a life outside of me. It makes them more attractive. If i truly loved someone. I don’t think i ever could stand in the way of there dream. I think i would feel extremely guilty of doing that. I couldn’t ever do that.

  11. “Ask yourself this… if you were the only person or obstacle standing between your loved ones dream, would you risk losing them forever to allow them the opportunity to live it out?”

    I guess if I was with a person who was going to allow me to be that obstacle, that person would no longer be kind of the person I want to be with anyway.

  12. I can completely relate to this article. I have a decision to make in a few months, I’ll be applying to university. My goal as a little girl was to become a marine biologist. By doing so I would have to go to a university far from home, leaving my friends, family and boyfriend behind. He’s completely supportive, and encourages me to persue my dreams. He said that he wouldn’t want to be held responsible for holding me back on a goal I’ve been longing to achieve. I think this is the part that scares me the most. The fact that he is completely behind me 100% makes me not want to leave him. I know he says he’ll wait for me. But I think I’m at the point where I’ll be willing to make the sacrifice of holding off my dreams. I guess there’s always a chance I’ll regret it later on, but right now I’m just so darn scared..

  13. His 100 written questions immediately made me think of this quote from The Rules of Attraction:

    “If I can’t make a girl come, then why bother? It’s like asking questions in a letter.”

    It’s self defeating to ask questions in such a way. State your position, don’t dance around the point just to look pretty. This is cool for girls, but men aren’t supposed to be pretty. Having said that, the author’s position seems to be:

    Your personal life goals and relationships are typically inversely related, and balancing them is difficult. Furthermore, this dialectic could lead to a person ultimately having to sacrifice one for the other.

    I would just succinctly say what I always say, “Paradox is the crux of human existence.” Balance and contradiction are in everything, not just love. That’s life. End of story. You can question it all you want, but you won’t know for sure until you live it. There is no ‘right answer.’

    The article is started with the most cliche platitude and followed by a false dichotomy posited as the answer. Conversely and rhetorically(if you aren’t already tired of rhetorical questions) –

    What if there is no reason we are here? What if there are infinite reasons?

    Or [if there is a finite number of reasons], what if the reason(s) is neither(or both) reproduction or personal fulfillment?

    The idea of a ‘soul-mate’ or ‘the one’ is a socially constructed norm(nothing more than an idea), and is only true if you decide to believe it. Why can’t you have multiple soulmates for the different stages of your life? Who’s to say what exactly a soul mate is?

    Sorry for the criticism, but between the ‘Why are we here’ question, the false dichotomy as resolution, and the innumerable and unanswerable what-if questions and scenarios, this article offers no real insight. I can come up with abstract ideas and theories on love all day – what I want is real life situations and outcomes. Cause and effect. Tell me about how you sacrificed your relationship to follow your dream of becoming an astronaut. Tell me about how you gave up a six figure salary to stay with your significant other. Keep your sentimental high school playlist to yourself. Just give me a raw, juicy story (or some real advice) – the kind of story boycrazy so often brings.

  14. Erm… where’s that cool, skinny chick who says wild stuff and pretends not to have an uncomfortably high IQ?

  15. Dear THE DUKE,

    While I thought the reader submission was stimulating, you make excellent points and therefore I’d like to be your new best friend.

    Because if I gave you a picture, I think you’d color outside of the lines.

    Need more people like you.

    I’m going to eat some ice cream now. Because I’m not supposed to.


  16. Gag…Gag…Barf…

  17. steven augustine…. who are you referring to?

  18. Ha ha! You are a sly one.

  19. you’d probably like pomplamoose.

  20. This may be a little off topic, but…

    Attention Sex Pistols’ fans, Steve Jones’ show Jonesy’s Jukebox is back on the air exclusively on IAMROGUE.COM. Check out his interviews with an eclectic range of guests, from Alex Wasser to Billy Corgan to Tobey Maguire, Steve Jones never fails to entertain his audience with offbeat interview techniques! Also, Steve Jones has been confirmed to appear as musical guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Tune into CBS on Monday night at 12:35 AM to catch his guitar riffs that bring you back to your days of British punk! You’d be bang on not to miss it!!

  21. scott vener is a pussy

  22. Thank you for posting this.

    I’ve been struggling with similar questions lately, good to know I’m not alone in these thoughts.

  23. the internet is the bathroom wall

  24. “the internet is the bathroom wall”… didn’t I see that on a bathroom wall?

  25. I’m glad you posted this, especially since I think a lot of people find themselves asking those questions often. The part where you say, “Ask yourself this… if you were the only person or obstacle standing between your loved ones dream, would you risk losing them forever to allow them the opportunity to live it out?
    Could you make that sacrifice?”, I think this is the most important question. And I also think not many people would do it, whether it’s out of selfishness or just pure need.

    P.S. That playlist is amazing; it’s pretty much all my favorite songs by each of those bands.


  26. i kind of agree with the author, the concept of a soul mate is hard to wrap your head around because love is rarely ever as easy as a soulmate suggests. like he points out, someone is always bending and the other is being selfish, so to speak. i do think you can find someone who encourages you and supports you, while still maintaining their hopes and dreams – but that doesn’t mean it will make things easy. there are still going to be fights and resentments (and i think it’s safe to say that money and time/attention are going to be big roots of the problems). so, all in all, i believe that the best thing you can do, if you’re in the situation where you’re a real go-getter, is to find someone who has just as much going on in their life, and is okay with a lot of independence as long as time together is spent in a quality fashion. i also think letting go of preconceived ideas of what a soulmate is will help in the long run. it’s often just better to figure out what you want in a partner/lover/friend, but still maintain a balance of letting life happen (i.e. not being so regimented that you completely write someone off that could have been perfect for you).

    in a totally unrelated note, i just found this blog via twitter and i think y’all would enjoy it: pretty sick writing and it features some really dope stuff/people/bands/movies/etc. check it out!

  27. i have followed you for awhile now and i just wanted to say i saw you on york mint’s commercial here in new jersey! 🙂

  28. I love your blog…but I don’t know how I feel about this post…

    I’ve thought and written stuff like this in my lifetime….but I was a young kid when I did…

    as an adult, it should be known now that your personal goals and love interests are constantly shifting…and should never help determine what you should do in a situation…rather, go for what you want, and if a time comes where another person is more important than your personal goals, then there you have it, that other person is now your personal goal. and if the love dies down, then im sure a new goal and direction will arise…

    life is fluid.

  29. Looks like someone needs to listen to some Mariah Carey…

  30. ugh, this post is like when a 9 year old discovers philosophy.

  31. This is my favorite quote from Six Feet Under…

    “Hey, I don’t even know what a soulmate is, do you?”
    “The person that makes you be the most you you could possibly be.
    “Maybe your soulmate is the person who forces your soul to grow the most.

  32. @Stumbling & Falling, Thank you! God, that was pretty unbearable. “But, at what point does love blur the lines so much that it starts to rob you of your own identity or make you feel like you’re stealing somebody else’s?” I almost vomited.

    The entire time I kept waiting for “pass this on to 10 ppl and you’ll find the love of your life <333!"

  33. Scott,

    Great piece. I would like to respond to your assertion that “Balance and contradiction are in everything.”

    I’m not sure which 10K peak you climbed to get that information…maybe you’re just brilliant. Either way, I have to agree with you from the bottom of my heart.

    Likewise – I do believe that soul mates are a tangible thing and that they can and often do exist. I say that as the product of a broken marriage, and also as a divorced guy myself.

    I’m pretty sure that I’ve met mine…at last. As soon as she stops wanting to stab me in my sleep, I’ll write back and report on how it works out.

    (self-deprecation, folks…look it up)

    Thanks again Scott. Cheers.

  34. This is brilliant. This is a though provoking realistic look at love and the individual. In addition to “soul mates” we have other loves in our lives; other people, other interests… and how this all collides together is so amazing.
    I think in our Western society, people have preconceived ideas of ‘relationship’ and what’s appropriate. I think film and other media play on this fascination only enhancing the problem.

    Because there isn’t an answer, the topic will continue to entice thought, while life experiences will lead to different outlooks for each person.

    Thanks for posting Scott.

  35. This piece does leave you with a lot to think about Scott well done.

    I would say that Love is one of the many risk a person can take in their lives. I stopped believing in soul mates a long time ago as with love a soul mate can come in any form, and they can change as quickly as your life, maturity level, and needs change.

    It is human nature to want to walk your path with someone who supports and accepts who you are, the good and the bad parts. I find that it does help to have someone that shares the same interest, but is is nice to have someone that can lend a different perspective to your life. Relationships are about the two individuals and where they are with in themselves. If you are insecure about where your life is going and you are watching your partners life flourish, naturally (unconsciously for some of us) it will be easier for you to be selfish/ fearful that there life’s path will change their relationship. This could be the same for the individual seeing their dreams flourish to become so caught up that they forget to be truly supportive to their partner.

    Though I do believe that their is so much pressure to find that one, get married, have kids whatever, the old ways have taught us. But, I think the greatest thing about a healthy loving relationship is getting through the obstacles of not knowing where things will end up, but just going for it and being okay with letting go if that is the end result. It is even better when you are not searching for it and it finds you.

    You asked “if we only have one life to live, should we as people allow this to happen?”

    I think NO, if it doesn’t make you a better person or diminishes who you are within yourself. I say Yes, if they open your eyes to a life and path you never considered in your “Single Blueprint”.

    You could easily ask yourself the same question about your Career and the sacrifices you make in order to get ahead No??

  36. i love this! and i love the playlist even more!

  37. I just want to find a man before I even begin to ask myself such questions. I mean, I think we can all agree that finding that “someone” is already complicated, haha.

    We can plan all we want about how we’d face these situations but nothing ever goes according to plan.

    Once we’re put in a relationship and faced with such problems, we’ll know. You must be put in that moment to realize the intensity of your feelings and then choose either left or right.

  38. need to love someone? love your friends…

  39. i don’t consider myself heartless, really, but i think it’s pointless to waste energy asking the “what ifs” unless it’s truly a pending situation with a decision needing to be made right then & there. and these questions all sounded pretty cliche. i’m just more practical, i guess. i mean, it’s like wondering, what if i died tomorrow? who cares? you won’t be around to worry about it.

    this is why i sucked at all of my college philosophy courses except those dealing with logic.

  40. Great post: really tough to find the balance. I think manners and really knowing each other before you take a bigger step. Also innate compatibility.

  41. […] think the girl is witty and real.  This is a recent post of hers… well it’s actually a reader’s submission – but still.  It got me […]

  42. I ask myself these questions everyday. I’ve never got any answers just more evidence point to “no”.

  43. Just saying thanks will not only be sufficient, for the tremendous lucidity within your writing. I will without delay grab your rss feed to live abreast of any updates.

  44. Just saying thanks will not only be sufficient, for the tremendous lucidity within your writing. I will without delay grab your rss feed to live abreast of any updates.

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