Susan Paget is a writer, vlogger and podcaster who focuses on issues that impact women at midlife. Her first book “Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife” is available on Amazon. 

What is the secret to finding a soulmate?

It’s kind of a $64,000 question and the awesome exploration that Mali Apple and Joe Dunn forge with this subject provides a deep insight to what many of us consider a cosmic yet “needle in a haystack” type of connection.

I’ve often wondered about what ingredients go into this myself because I’ve been with my soulmate for 30 years now. The wondering comes from the fact that when we met, we were two young people, from opposite sides of the planet, during a time when there wasn’t any email, cable television or iPhones. It was an impossible romance. Long distance and long-term relationships couldn’t have been any farther from our minds, let alone a future of marriage and kids. We had both just turned 21 and our whole lives were ahead of us. But despite all this, a very precious connection was made and continues.

So what were the forces that brought us together and what can I add about meeting the person who is “meant” for you?

For the answer to this question — and I’ve thought about it often — I can only point out to the few hours before we actually met. In fact, that particular evening is very clear in my mind all these years later because it was an absolutely dark night of the soul for me.

When I say “dark” I mean it on all levels; it was pitch black except for the glare of streetlights and occasional car headlights. Psychologically, I was a third-year college student who was completely lost. I had no idea what I was doing in my life. Whether it was feeling disconnected from whatever it was I was supposed to be studying or the dysfunctional life I was living, this was a night where I was compelled to face a hard truth.

I was on my own.

No one was going to come to my rescue. I realized that I could no longer keep waiting for someone or something to make everything okay and all the deflection in the world wasn’t going to change things. I received a very clear message that it was time for me to once and for all grow up. And frankly, I knew that if I didn’t, I would pay dearly.

I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t overcome with emotion. I was steady, certain and agreed with everything that was coming at me.  I had gotten to a place where I was pretty much saying, “Universe, I give up. I’m ready to take responsibility for myself.”

And then, like a true college kid, I walked myself over to a frat party — because that’s what you do when you’re in college and you have an epiphany!

Not long after I arrived at the party, I heard an Australian accent across the crowded room. It was the time of “Crocodile Dundee” and “Throwing shrimps on the barbie” and curious, I made my way over to a table of four Aussies who were on a surfing trip along the coast of California.

One of those boys — and I can say boys because we were all so young — was my future husband, Dale. We connected immediately and long story short, we were together from that first night.

Sue and Dale

It was a magical encounter that I put partially down to extreme dumb luck on my part. I mean I must’ve done something pretty damn spectacular in another life to deserve it. And while I know there’s some of that in the mix, there’s more and it’s a tangible element that anyone can have.

Something stemmed from that very stark night before we met and it’s that both of us take responsibility for ourselves. We keep ourselves strong — mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We continue to grow. We continue to challenge our own thinking. And this in turn allows us to be there for each other, to grow our relationship further, to support each other in the ways we think and move in the world. I can’t help but believe that this common thread through our lives, of not expecting the other to be the rescuer or be the one to do the heavy lifting, is the soulmate fruit that came from that seed that was planted that night that at first seemed like the loneliest of my life.

So that’s my thought process on what makes a soulmate. To have a soulmate, you must first, without a shadow of a doubt, be a soulmate to yourself. You must back yourself a 100% and stand by yourself even when the chips are so down to the ground that you aren’t sure you’ll be able to stand back up.

Change Guru

But you will.

I think that gift of knowing that I needed to be my own soulmate, even on the darkest night, was what helped me meet one.

For more information about Susan Paget and her book “Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife,” visit her website, www.thechangeguru.net.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your love story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love