As humans it's our heart's greatest desire to share love. We crave safe, intimate relationships with others. And when we find someone we think we can have that with, we dive in. So how is it that we fall deeply in love and then later, wind up hurt and alone again? Where does love go?
If you're anything like me, you've been looking for lasting love since you first knew of it. You've read books, taken workshops, and may have even gone to counseling or therapy to heal. You've done your absolute best in every relationship you've had, loved more than you could imagine, given it your all...and still you're alone.
So what's happening? What are you doing wrong? Why can't you find the "right" person to share your life with? Grow old with? Where's the missing piece?
Love is the age-old mystery. No one really knows why we fall in love with some people but not others. Or what the magic key is to lasting love. Or why some relationships fail no matter how great it feels or how hard we try. If I had the answers to those questions, I'd be a super kabillionaire!
The fact is there are a lot of theories about such matters but no one really knows with 100% certainty. What we can talk about are the influences on relationships—what factors impact people's behavior and their ability to do things like connect, communicate, show compassion, be intimate and commit (or not).
THE MERRY-GO-ROUND OF LOVE
Most of us want that lasting love, the one we can rest into from now until...well, forever. And when we get into a new relationship that feels good, we think "maybe this will be the one..." meaning the one that lasts. That is our silent hope.
But then some months or years later we find ourselves hurt and alone again, wondering what happened. The merry-go-round of love can be confusing and tiresome! Plus each time it happens, we begin to doubt ourselves and whether lasting love is really possible, at least for us. We see other people who have it, so why not us?
We begin to wonder what's wrong with us. Our self-esteem and confidence drop. If our ex leaves us for someone else, even worse! We begin to question our value and lovability. We slip into anxiety or depression, fearing true love is out of our reach.
We may even give up on love altogether, closing down our hearts believing we must not be worthy of it. And that is the saddest thing in the whole wide world because when you do that, you've given up on yourself.
FINDING LASTING LOVE
As a life coach and mentor who serves women after a breakup, the questions I hear the most from clients are these: Where did our love go? What did I do wrong? What's wrong with me?
Yes, love is a mystery but one thing I know for certain is this: love is infinite; you didn't do anything wrong; and there's nothing wrong with you.
The problem I see over and over again is that people mistake a lot of things for love and then get hurt and confused when it "doesn't work out." Since we aren't taught the differences between ego love and authentic love, we fumble around in the ring of ego love thinking we are fighting for authentic love. But in that ring, we can't win because we're playing the wrong game.
Okay so I know another thing for certain and it's this: lasting love starts inside. You can't truly love someone else until you know love inside first. That may sound cliché and like you, I didn't totally get it...until it happened to me.
The difference is in finding love versus knowing love. This may sound like metaphysical jargon but it's an ancient truth that goes way back...way, way back to the time of Jesus. And then way, way back some more to the time of the ancients.
The deal is when you believe in finding love, you spend your whole life seeking for it. You twist and turn yourself into a pretzel trying to get it. And if you think you found it, you twist and turn yourself into a pretzel trying to keep it.
But when you believe in knowing love, you seek for nothing but to experience the love that is already inside of you, your essence, the heart of who you truly are. You aren't bothered with the notion of getting or keeping love because you know you already have it. And when you already have it inside, all you want to do is share it outside.
THE JOURNEY OF LOVE
That is the difference between ego love and authentic love. When we seek to find love, what we get is ego love based in fear. And when we seek to know love, what we get is authentic love based in, well, love. It may sound simple enough but the act of knowing love is anything but simple! In fact it is the journey of a lifetime, the stuff of things like mysticism and awakening and enlightenment.
I will say it's the greatest journey you ever make because the truth is you are already on it. We all are. It's our soul's greatest desire—to know love, to evolve. It's just that we've been going about it all wrong but it's never too late.
What better thing is there to do in life than come to know love? For when we do, the lingering pain, the heartache, the grasping and longing for, the hurt and loneliness cease. We feel whole, fulfilled and happy inside, so much so that we want to share it with the world. Imagine what life would be like then—amazing!