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Longing for Love
Posted: 2/21/2013 | Relationships Comments
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I think one must finally take one’s life in one’s arms. -Arthur Miller
Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and for some it brings up such great longing for “the one,” those arms we can finally fall into and call home. There is strong cultural evidence that this person exists. Song lyrics, movies, magazine covers, and books continually support the idea that if we can just find that special person, our lives will be 100% complete. We may have compiled a laundry list of qualities we want our special dream gal or guy to have. Unfortunately, for many of us there’s a big gap between reality and fantasy that must be bridged before we can have a strong, healthy and growing partnership that would truly enhance our lives.
Why do we feel such deep and fervent longing? Most of us, at some point in our lives, have been caught in the illusion that a great love will save us from our human loneliness and our emotional pain. We want a rescuer to take away our self-judgments and ultimately the separateness we experience from others and perhaps even God. We reach for that unattainable fix, wanting someone to fill us up, to complete us. If we have that, we think we’ll never long for anything again.
Of course our loneliness, separateness, and longing cannot be truly fixed or taken away by another person or anything else outside of us, not even God. A new lover or object of our affection can distract us for a time, but eventually that yearning arises again. We blame the relationship and everything outside of us. It’s the wrong man, woman, or time. The very thing we thought would save us now becomes the problem. Predictably, we repeat the cycle in search of that mythical lover who will finally make us feel loved, happy, and safe. We still believe that falling in love or merging with another will heal us.
Where does this yearning come from? There are two aspects that make up our longing.
The first aspect stems from our unfulfilled connection and attachment as well as our incomplete individuation from our primary caretakers, often, Mom or Dad. This is something inside all of us to some degree and must be negotiated for most of our lives. As we bring our attention to the core issues that cause our yearning, we notice where we get hooked or upset with other people. Then we can heal these issues and eventually the longing loses its charge and power. We’re not so needy or avoidant with others and the unfulfilled longing will fade.
The second aspect is that our longing and searching for “the other” is also mirrored in our longing for connection with God. If we believe that God is something only out there, outside of us, we will continually look outside ourselves to “the other” to make us OK. We long for comfort or a fix that once-and-for-all stops the painful uneasiness.

When we cultivate our own internal connection to Spirit, we experience deepening fulfillment. Our psychological healing and spiritual connection allows us to experience another person as just that. We can enjoy them more when we can accept their humanness, warts and all, as we begin to accept our own. We “save” ourselves.
I firmly believe that romantic love is a necessary and joyful bridge to true, authentic love. It begins the adventure of knowing ourselves more deeply as we learn to know another. That process never ends. Sure, we’ll feel disappointment sometimes. Love is not only a feeling, but also a way of being. We can feel frustrated, resigned, bored, or sad and still “be” love. Our work is to continue the process beyond our ever-changing feelings, to grow, to heal, and to extend that grace to another.
Have you ever felt that deep yearning for “the one?”
Have you noticed a shift with psychological work or a spiritual practice?
Please leave a comment. Your thoughts make a difference for all of us.



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