On Sunday morning, we chanted the chorus of Peaches & Herb’s 1978 hit, “Reunited and It Feels So Good.” It was sexy and soulful. And it felt totally on the nose to celebrate reunion after so long apart.
I kept humming it to myself for several days afterwards. It’s still going, in fact. And because it’s part of my nature eventually to start arguing with myself whenever I think about anything too much, I began to question one of the lines we’d sung.
Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited ‘cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit, and Spirit, this one is it
We all are so excited ‘cause we’re reunited
The phrase that began to bug me was — “There’s one perfect fit.”
Because I’m not sure that’s true. At least not entirely true. Or, actually… it’s probably true and not true at the same time.
I mean, I can get behind the idea that any moment, every moment, is perfect. It’s powerful to practice remembering that whatever combination of people and circumstances and intentions is in play — this-here-now — on some idealized level is always an expression of divine perfection.
This perfect fit, the wholeness and grace of it all, would hold no matter who had happened to in the room together that day. So that works. But is that saying that there’s ONE perfect fit, really? Or is it more like there’s a GAZILLION possible perfect fits? Because in truth, there are an infinite number of ways through which we might manifest our togetherness. And they’d all be perfect, yes?
I know I’m mincing words. It’s what I do. And I suppose I’m just coming up again upon the existential paradox of oneness and multiplicity. There’s one perfect fit, and baby this one is it. And this one, too, and also that one. And all those over there, and the ones that broke our hearts, and the ones that we’ve only just begun to imagine… Hey, hey.
I was listening recently to a podcast called “Deeply Human.” It’s a good one, gets me thinking. It explores from different angles what makes us tick — philosophical musings mixed with a lot of brain science and evolutionary biology, sociological context, and compelling real-life examples. The first episode starts out about dating and then ambles through broader discussions about compatibility, personal satisfaction, and decision-making.
The host, Dessa, shares a story about some of her friends. One called her up to let her know that he and his partner were breaking up. She asked why, and he told her, “We really tried to make it work, and we were like 90% compatible, but we couldn’t get past that last ten percent.” Another friend around the same time called to invite her to his wedding, telling her,“It’s amazing! We both knew we were right for each other because we are 90% compatible.”
I don’t think this is just a matter of glass half-empty/half-full. There may be some of that — looking for what works rather than looking for what doesn’t — but it’s not just that. I think it also has a lot to do with the degree to which we are willing to take responsibility for actively creating our relationships.
And it doesn’t stop with dating and romance. It goes as well for how much we’re willing to put into creating our friendships and families, our communities, our lives, our society, and the entire blooming world.
One person’s perfect fit is another’s deal-breaker.
Compatibility is a more complicated concept to define in a world where we can access practically endless options. Because we value freedom, we tend to think that more choice means more freedom means more satisfaction. But in reality, it doesn’t always work that way. In fact, it is much harder to feel satisfied with anything we choose when we’re hyper-attuned to everything we didn’t select, for whatever reason. Sometimes, we decline to choose anything at all because we’re paralyzed by too many possibilities. So in the name of freedom, we choose nothing.
It’s a set-up for discouragement and disappointment when we approach life as if our work is to find the one perfect soul-match that’s out there for us — the perfect person, the perfect purpose. That’s forever searching for the needle in the proverbial haystack. Perpetual seeking, never finding. And it’s an easy trap to fall into, whether we’re looking for a partner, a job, a political affiliation, or a spiritual community. Any and all of the ways that we long to feel belonging.
On Deeply Human, Dessa talks to professor of psychology and author Barry Schwartz who advises that it serves us to relate to compatibility not only as a matter of discovery, but as one of creation.
Not finding our belonging, but creating it. Not seeking our perfect fit, but being it.
I’ve always loved the Joseph Campbell saying about following your bliss to discover your life’s purpose. I especially appreciate the full quote, in context, which clarifies that it’s not about the greener grasses calling us somewhere else, but rather allowing ourselves to experience the deep joy and contentment that is perpetually available right where we are, wherever we are. He says, “The life you ought to be living is the one you are living.” Welcome to it.
Peaches & Herb declared the perfect fit of their groovy love in 1978. We declared the perfect fit of our loving community as we sang and celebrated together last week. Declaration is a great first step. Now we get to create it together, again and again and again.
I can’t wait to be with you this Sunday, June 20. In-person service at 10:00am at Maple Street Dance Space. Online message posted by 6:00pm Sunday evening at BOSQUECSL.ORG and VIMEO.COM/BOSQUECSL. Happy Father’s Day! XO, Drew
©2021 Drew Groves