I have struggled through three marriages now, and I’m in the process of separation from the third. I have been unhappy in them all in the end. I want my freedom, but I also want that great love that never seems to be found. Is there hope for me? Is there truly someone for everyone, or will I now stay single for the rest of my life?
Greetings, Ms. Kay. Your situation is not at all uncommon, and the disillusionment you feel is part of the modern condition of human emotion in relationships. In Western culture, we have this peculiar notion of entitlement, or cosmic right, some sort of divine edict that promises every one of us a passionate, loving, and above all monogamous relationship with plenty of health and wealth and happily-ever-afters for one and all. Now we know the natural world works quite differently, but we’re all a bit spoiled, seeking magical answers and spiritual fixes to nature’s foreboding reality.
You speak of love so lightly, as if it’s just something you get–like a prize for being a good girl. Let me tell you that true love is a perilous business, full of heat and viciousness. It’s not something everyone experiences–many simply can’t because they are sensually dead, numb to the point of nonexistence, rebelling against the reality of love’s dangerous and delicious grasp.
You wish a great love, Kay? Then you must be willing to feel great pain. For that is most often the price. To invite love, you need to delve into more poetic modes of thinking, and that means less text messaging, less Entertainment Tonight, and more literature, even the ballet now and again. Your diet of over-processed foods has to change. You must disregard the mind for the body, and get in touch with your physical self with the help of yoga, dance, and exercise. Mostly, though, you have to forget about obtaining love for yourself in order to obtain happiness. Love doesn’t bring happiness. It brings sheer joy and blinding ecstasy. It also brings desperate despair, even hatred. And no matter what, Love is always about that other person. Not yourself.
Concentrate on others for a time. Forget about what they might bring to you and start focusing on them as interesting beings in their own right. Focus on their feelings, hopes, and joys. Try to see other people as invitations to adventure, each person a new universe waiting to be explored. In dating, disregard all those checklists you have of what you need or want out of a mate and simply take an interest in another person’s experience. I’m not talking about you meeting Mr. Right. I’m talking about changing your perception, and thus your world. We walk before we run. But when we run, we fly.
Be well, Kay.
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