You long for a lover, a partner to share your life with. But how do you manage to be yourself in the process of searching and finding?
If ‘the one’ doesn’t appear on your doorstep all too quickly, it can be difficult to remain the person you are. Fears pop up: will I meet expectations this time? Or will he leave me in no time? If you think like that, you risk changing your behaviour into something you think they want to see. Are you so focused on capturing the prize that you forget what you’re feeling? Then you’ll lose yourself before the relationship has even started. Writer and psychotherapist Charlotte Kasl looked for help with the Buddha: suppose he had dated, what would his approach be?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could send some sort of cosmic contact ad into the air, and all you had to do was wait until the prince (or princess) would show up? It may sound crazy, but there’s some truth to that concept. Without knowing it, all of us are electromagnetic fields who send signals through words, body language and hundreds of non-verbal clues. All of these have an influence on the interaction in our relationships. Suppose you feel like you are destined to be alone – then you radiate a vibe that doesn’t match what you really want: to be together with someone.
A fight with your brother, a grudge against an ex lover, fear holding you down. All this unprocessed pain takes in more space than you might realise – space you could use for a new, light and loving kind of contact. By leaving old wounds behind and expressing your gratitude, your energy can flow freely and you let go of the tension in your body. So: write your brother a letter and try to clear the air. Offer your apologies if necessary.
Another thing that’s good for a new relationship, is to come to terms with your parents. Or in Charlotte Kasl’s words: ‘In order to find an intimate partner, we have to “move out”.’ According to the psychotherapist, we need to examine the values and mentality we learned in our youth. We let go of everything that stands in our way.
Apart from that, it’s important to liberate ourselves from the apodictic stories we’ve made up about ourselves, based on the way we were brought up and our parents’ behaviour. If we don’t, we’ll project all of it on a new partner: ‘Honey, I can’t see you tonight, because I have to work.’ ‘I see, so work is more important to you than I am…’
There are tons of books about dating that tell you what to do and when to start dating. On the spiritual path, rules are simple, Kasl writes. Ask yourself if you are guided by your higher self or by your ego. The ego says: ‘I want someone who fills my void.’ The higher self says: ‘I want someone who helps me to be aware, who points out my blind spots to me and who will be a companion and a playmate on my journey.’ Oftentimes, fear is the root of behaviour that comes from ego. It’s a fear of being spontaneous, of behaving naturally and trusting your instincts, in other words: a fear of being yourself. It’s important to take a quiet and loving look at what’s below this ego-driven behaviour. You don’t have to fear these human feelings, it’s better to accept them than to lose the way to yourself.
The more you dedicate yourself to self knowledge and self acceptance, the more you will be able to dedicate yourself to loving another person, because you have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of. By letting people see the real you, you’ll find out if your new lover is ready to join you on your journey. And the more aspects of yourself you accept –and feel empathetic for-, the more you will be able to appreciate others the way they are.
You can literally make room for a lover with a little feng shui. The ancient Chinese interior art can make you translate your desire for a lover in your home, especially in your bedroom.
One method is to walk through your house and look at it as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Is there room for energy to flow freely, and make room for a loved one? Or do you need to replace things or tidy up? If your belongings don’t help you to progress, put them away, feng shui says. Clean out your closets: when they are full, a possible partner may unconsciously feel that there’s no place for them. Remove keepsakes of former lovers.
Symbolically invite someone to your bed by putting two pillows there or putting a bedside lamp at both sides. Remove electronics from the bedroom, all they do is distract you. Think about what symbolises love and marriage for you. Translate your wish to be part of a couple by putting pairs of applicable objects in your room: two candles, two roses or two beautiful sculptures.
If you want to be able to love, you will need to accept that change, loss and sadness are inevitable parts of life. If you manage to do that, it will be less scary to you. We suffer less when we acknowledge suffering as part of life, Buddha says. A lot of suffering comes from the unrest we create when we demand life to be ‘fair’. In love, things change and end too. We say hello and goodbye. One moment we are connected, the next one we’re not. Tender moments are always different. Happiness and sadness exist together, they even belong together.
If we follow the spiritual path, Charlotte Kasl writes, we let things be the way they are, we look at them and see how they go by, like a breeze. Our partner will not be the same forever and we shouldn’t want them to be. We should look at each other with a fresh look every day, with clear eyes and an open mind, so we can see the person who’s standing there today – not an image from the past.
Text: Astrid Marlies Kieft – Photo: Pablo Heimplatz
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