How to Find Love
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“A strange passion is moving through my head. My heart has become a bird which searches the sky. Every part of me goes in different directions. Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere?” ~Rumi
Are you searching for love?
Perhaps you are single or perhaps in a committed relationship. But you long for love.
I think one of the loneliest places is to be in a relationship in which you still long for love. When you are single, wishing for love is acceptable because you are unattached. When you are in a relationship, it is assumed by most people around you that you dwell in love. But that's not always true. You may know this yourself.
Either way, a desire for love is one of the core principles of our existence. And the desire is not only to feel loved by another but to share love with another — to give and receive in equal measure so that both people can thrive and live to their fullest potential. That is the essence of a mature, loving connection.
If the desire for love is elemental to the human condition, why is it so hard to find love — and even harder to sustain it? Relationships are failing left and right, and certainly one of the main causes for this is that we enter them for reasons that can't sustain us.
- We are looking for security.
- We fear being alone.
- We feel an urgency to have children.
- We desire to fulfill something missing from our parents.
- We want to stroke our egos.
- We don't know what we want.
Years ago, some of these reasons may have been acceptable for entering into and staying in a marriage — especially for women. But this is no longer the case, or at least it doesn't have to be.
Entering into a relationship for any motivation other than love and mutual respect is a recipe for eventual discontent and potential disaster.
You cannot create a loving relationship within the context of fear, ego-based desires, and unmet childhood needs. Nor can you sustain a relationship without the mutual willingness to place your love and respect at the forefront of your life together.
Of course this is often easier said than done. Our lives and emotions are complicated and potential landmines are everywhere. Finding and sustaining love is a work in progress — a shifting, undulating canvas that requires the steady hand of commitment to its ongoing creation.
When you are committed to love, to real and mutually-fulfilling love, it will find its way to you, because nothing less will be acceptable. It will require some inner work on your part, and it may require some pain and heartache. But once you prepare yourself to find love, you may well discover it at your doorstep.
For those who are single and seeking love . . .
Understand what constitutes a soul connection. Often we just don't know what real love is. It hasn't been modeled to us by our parents. We believe that having our needs met constitutes love. We think that romance will sustain us. You wouldn't enter any important commitment without doing research and gaining understanding. Learn about love so that you know the elements of a deeply loving relationship. (See the resource list below.)
Resolve Issues and Patterns. Examine your own life to recognize what might sidetrack you from finding real love. If you have fears and insecurities, identify them and seek to overcome them so they don't drive your love decisions. If you have wounds from your childhood, seek help to deal with these so they don't wreck havoc on your relationships. If you have hurts from past relationships, address these fully and learn to recognize your negative patterns so you don't repeat them.
Become whole on your own. The healthiest and most loving relationships begin with two people who are emotionally mature, have solid self-esteem, and who have created full lives of their own. One of the first steps in finding love is loving yourself and savoring life. Work on becoming the person you want to be for your beloved.
Acknowledge all of the love around you. Love is everywhere around you, and somewhere in that love your beloved is preparing for you as you are preparing for him or her. Rather than feeling jealous of another person's love or sad because of your lack of it, bask in gratitude for the love you have. Keep loving feelings at the surface of your mind and heart. Show love to your family, friends, pets, and others in your circle. Feel love for the world around you, for nature, for God if you believe.
For those who are in a relationship and seek love within it . . .
All of the above. If you haven't addressed the points above, you can still do this within the framework of your relationship — but involve your partner. Even if you began your relationship with the wrong motives or have stepped on the landmines of old patterns or past wounds, you can work together to create a new, more soul-fulfilling relationship. Of course this necessitates the commitment and work of both partners.
Draw from your early feelings. Hopefully you started your relationship with some foundation of real love. Over time, as romance and chemistry fade, our wounds, expectations, and negative patterns chip away at our feelings and respect for each other. Our intimate connection is weakened as we build defensive walls around ourselves. But you can find your way back to those early feelings of connection if you try. Remembering the powerful feelings that brought you together in the first place can potentially reunite and heal you.
Know when to say goodbye. When you open yourself to real love and a true partnership, you may discover you must say goodbye to your current relationship. You may come to recognize that your initial motives for the relationship aren't enough to sustain you any longer. As hard and painful as this may be, it is a courageous and healthy decision. Remaining stuck and lonely in a partnership for reasons that serve your ego rather than your soul will ultimately lead to despair.
If you would like to find love and want to learn more, here are some of my favorite resources:
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