Seeking love is perhaps the most human thing we can do. Being in a relationship is fun and exciting, and you learn a lot about another person as well as yourself.
During my lifetime, I have chased many relationships and failed to attain most of them. During my high school years, I looked at pretty girls and wondered what a life with them would look like. During college, I did much of the same.
When you fail to attain a relationship year after year, it starts to weigh on you. You wonder if there is something wrong with you — if you’re not “relationship material.” The questions build up and there never seems to be an answer on the other side of these failures.
Earlier this year, I spent more than five months chasing after a girl. I spent much of this time in pain and agony, hoping something would happen and worrying what would happen if nothing happened.
I built up an idea in my head of what a relationship with her could look like, setting a much higher bar than reality would end up delivering. Towards the end of this pursuit, I began to ask myself those same questions. “Why doesn’t she want me? How am I so bad at this?”
The phrase “Everything happens for a reason” rang through my head, just as it had in all my previously failed relationship pursuits. Once I turned to more spiritual messaging, however, I realized the real truth behind that statement.
Reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle gave me great perspective on humans consciousness. Tolle discusses how everything we need is inside of us; we just need to look within to find the answers we have always sought.
Tolle spends a good chunk of time discussing how external additions to our life do not bring us joy. They make us happy, but there is a difference between joy and happiness.
Joy is when our complete Being is embraced and conscious. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes, just as sadness and anger.
This line of thinking suggests that a relationship wouldn’t bring us joy either. The relationship will not bring us joy, Tolle suggests, but the love will.
Tolle says that the mind and the body are constantly at odds, with the body staying true to its spiritual Being (love) and the mind simply trying to survive (fear). When the mind (or ego) feels threatened, it will seek to defend itself.
In a relationship, the ego can send us into a state of anger, jealousy, and fear that will bring much stress to the relationship. Our conscious selves, however, which are rarely accessed without practice, don’t judge others for their mistakes. Our conscious selves know that our partners are unconsciously acting out of fear and their true, conscious selves are not being shown.
A conscious person accepts other people’s actions without judgment and accepts the present moment as it is.
My most recent love pursuit revealed to me all the unconscious issues I had, searching for approval from another person to make me feel complete. Now I know myself to be complete as I am, not needing another person to complete the puzzle.
I, just like you, was born complete and have everything I need on the inside. Any external additions can bring me happiness, but not the joy that will carry me through.
“If you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, you will seek a relationship to cover up your unease,” Tolle wrote. “You can be sure that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the relationship, and you will probably hold your partner responsible for it.”
I no longer allow the ego to control my life and determine what makes me “good enough.” I know that I am good enough as I am.
For that reason, I feel completely satisfied with being single for the first time in my life. Instead of searching for external approval and acceptance, I am more focused on accessing my conscious self and revealing what it has to offer.
I believe that through this practice of spirituality and remaining present, I will attract the relationship that I need to help complement me — but not complete me — on this journey to fully discovering the true joy that lives within me.