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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Yearning For Love


If you thought I only read about neuroscience and spirituality, you are quite wrong. I also read novels and occasionally even peek into a tabloid. That is how I became aware of a 40-ish woman who had built up a very lucrative and successful life for herself and her children. She was twice divorced and yearned for a new partner and true love. Given the nature of her high-octane profession in the investment field, and her lack of time, she sought out the services of a high-end and expensive dating service. It all went sideways and she was unable to succeed in her endeavour.

But the story made me think. Of course most people yearn for love and companionship. Nothing in this article is meant to denigrate her in the least, nor for that matter, anyone, of any gender and any age, who resorts to whatever our modern life in this age of technology affords us in the quest for partnership.

But – this rather sad story tells us so much about the human condition:
  • We become highly proficient at outer success (on any level you care to mention), but hardly know ourselves.
  • We typically don’t know about the importance of knowing ourselves – even if we have postgrad studies and more, i.e., it’s never a question about the degree of our education, but the degree of our awareness of self.
  • Even if we do know about it, we don’t generally have an inkling about how to get there, or even how to simply start the process.
  • We are afraid to be alone … or …
  • We don’t know how to be alone.
  • We may believe that by defining our psychological profile, by means of specialized tests, we will be able to match up with the perfect partner.
  • We are however, unaware of the fact that our psychological profile – at least the typical ones that even high-end dating sites use – will say little to nothing about the state of our emotional maturity, or will focus on so much else that it gets lost in the verbiage.
  • Without knowing the state of our emotional maturity, finding someone will be just as ‘hit-and-miss’ on the street, in bars, or simply in normal social situations, as it would be on a dating site. (See the articles referenced at the end of this article)
  • More importantly (and sadly), we know very little about emotional maturity. Hence we do little to nothing about growing it. Instead, we continue to hunt for the elusive, perfect partner, the soul mate, the one who will complement us so perfectly, that we will be happy, be content, feel fulfilled, and in general, live that good life that heretofore has simply slipped through our fingers.
  • In all likelihood we will never have spent any truly conscious time perfecting the art of loving ourselves.
  • And that signifies that we never learn to fill our own psychological and emotional lacunae – the holes in us that we try to fill with the one we love, if we are loved in return.
  • And of course all of this tells us about what we will focus on in the other, once that other appears. We typically and mainly focus on the external, because we have not yet developed a relationship with our own inner self.
  • Filling the holes I mentioned above happens when we begin to be fully conscious, to love the self, to develop our emotional maturity, and to actively seek a relationship with the self.
So – back to the story of the woman seeking her perfect mate. And remember, it could be a story about a man, or someone much younger, or someone much older. It happens all the time. It’s the eternal story of yearning for love.

Imagine how all of this yearning could be so much easier if those who yearn knew all of the above and were actively working on it. It’s not that they would want love any less, but that they would not “need” to find love to feel good. Of course they would want it. But wanting and needing are two very different things. If you are taking good care of yourself in the ways described in this article, you will live your life very differently, specifically with respect to how you deal with what you want and may not yet have.

What could be done on a higher, societal level to achieve such goals? To begin with – and I’ve been standing on this soapbox for many decades – a school curriculum needs to include many of the items mentioned in this article. School children need to learn about - at a very minimum all of the following (and then they can teach it to their parents):
  • Self-regulation (an important piece of emotional maturity, which many adults lack)
  • Healthy boundaries (also part of emotional maturity)
  • Self-love, or call it self-care. Taking good care of yourself emotionally and psychologically. This is also part of the emotional maturity equation. It leads, of course, to all those other ‘self’ bits that factor so importantly in our lives, especially when we lack them: self-respect, self-esteem, self-approval, to mention only a few.
  • Learning to be alone and being capable of enjoying it, which means developing a relationship with the self.
Lest you think that teaching this in schools is complicated, it is not! One class a week that focuses on these matters from kindergarten level on will take us a very long way. But that is a subject for another article.

My point is that if this were happening in schools already, the scenario described at the beginning about the woman yearning for love would not take place the way it did. Nor would she feel as bereft as she appears to be due to finding continual obstacles in her path (according to what I read), because she would know perfectly well how to take care of herself emotionally and psychologically, not to mention spiritually, until such time as love shows up in her life – or not. And if it does not, she would be fine as well. Knowing that you will be fine, no matter what, is worth all the gold in the world.

It is in the belief that our solution to whatever is troubling us or causing us to yearn (for anything at all) lies out there, that creates pain, frustration, anxiety, fear, and a desire to control matters. Only when we learn to seek the solution on the inside, do we find inner peace and well-being. Look at it this way: if you are yearning for love, and if it is not showing up, or it is showing up, but wearing all sorts of toxic hats, then take that frustrated yearning as a blessing in disguise. Allow it to lead you to set out on the path described in this article. Yearn – and learn - to love yourself first, and then seek the other.

Also see:

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