Looking within…..or without?

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – (Anais Nin)

What’s it all about, the male female relationship? Or any intimate relationship for that matter? And what is it that we are seeking from it? I’ve figured out, in my world at least, that it’s all about needing and wanting love and hugs. The Yoga, gives that feeling when practised of bliss and peace. When we feel wanted and cared for and receive a hug and affection it’s a similar feeling. We just all want to feel loved. And people will do practically anything to get that feeling. Some of us can be almost insane in our behaviour as we seek it. And yet what is it that we are truly craving from this cosmic psycho physical emotional connection. What is that feeling, that emotion that we desire in such an all consuming way. This desire that is born of the male and female, or from two souls uniting in some way, the concept of Shiva and Shakti, Yin and Yang. Opposite yet complementary energies connecting somehow.

In Yoga and other similar philosophical systems this union or experience that we seek is said to come from union or connection with the true self. It is not to be found on a dating app, or in any way from joining with another person, but it is always within us, it comes from our true nature, our real sense of self. By constantly reaching outwards to others in order to seek this elusive and exquisite experience of bliss, we only keep pushing it further and further away. We distract ourselves with what we require from our ideal partner and are constantly seeking this holy grail of a person in the flesh, size, shape, colour, music taste, hobbies, location and so it goes on. And the whole time we are not looking within, we are not doing anything that the Yoga texts advise us to do, we are in fact doing the polar opposite of this in constantly grasping for something which may well never exist.

Recently, the last four months or so, I’ve been internet ‘dating.’ I am human, I crave love and affection, and I really really enjoy men! Is it shocking to write this? Who makes the rules? I have no regrets and I hope, dear reader, that you can understand what I am saying here. I very quickly learned that I am able to go online and within 24 hours get a date with an attractive man, and that I seem to be amazingly good at flirting! Whether this is with a suitable person is not always apparent at the time. So far I have been on two actual dates. I won’t go into detail but suffice to say one was absolutely wonderful, one was quite possibly the most bizarre experience of my entire romantic life. I am not in contact with either person any more! But what is it all for? At the time it feeds my need to feel attractive, wanted, desired and loved, but this feeling is not sustainable via this route. Every single interaction teaches me something more about myself, and about this life, opening up my eyes and my world a little more, and for that I am so grateful.

We all crave love and affection. We all want to be understood. We all want companionship and friendship, to be told we are loved and to be held and to feel safe. Our inner child craves comfort and reassurance. Sometimes this yearning is so strong that it can lead us to unwise or desperate choices, with us tolerating or participating in behaviour that we know is not ok but which enables us to still somehow feel needed or indispensable in some way. We want to feel valued even if it’s in a way that we know isn’t good for us, and so we can remain somewhere with someone where we never fulfil our true potential, because the alternative, to be alone, sitting with ourselves, can just be too much to bear.

I have learned, thanks to online and real life relationships, that if we truly value ourselves, we do not ever need to compromise, those who do not have our best interests at heart will very quickly sense our self assurance and courage and they will walk away. Those who value us, who care and respect us enough to want us to thrive and to live fully and wildly, will stay, and help us to nurture ourselves and to flourish as individuals within that relationship.

As far as Yoga is concerned, what we are seeking from others is actually to be found within as a fruit of our practice. I know this and yet I still seek external pleasure, gratification and adoration. I am a work in progress.

This whole journey has caused me to really analyse what I want from a relationship, to really think about this. This is, alarmingly, not something that I have ever given any thought to before. Here’s what I came up with: 
I know what I don’t want. I don’t want egg and chips. I don’t want sitting on the sofa watching soaps every night of the week. I don’t want going to IKEA for a Sunday outing. I don’t want mediocrity. I don’t want sensible. I don’t want beige. I don’t want routine. I definitely don’t want ordinary in any way. I want adventure. I want creativity. I want courage and forthright honesty. I want someone who knows what they want. No fear of life, or of travel, or of being different. Heartbreaking beauty. Poetry and music. Dancing and drumming. Fire on the beach. Sleeping in the woods. Feral and free. I want truth and trust (and if you know anyone who fits this description please direct them to this blog!)

This post is dedicated to all of my past lovers. The next instalment on this great rollercoaster adventure that is life and the never ending quest for love is yet to come. I can summarise my experience in this quest to date with several words: Friendship excitement, illicit, funny, exotic, obligatory, amnesic, crazy, beautiful, incredible, fleeting.
dangerous, madness, kindness, tempestuous, sensible, devilment, timeless, beautiful soul, intense, gorgeous. , exhausting, erotic and exhilarating.

Are we not all of these things ourselves, do we not possess these attributes and qualities within us? Why can we not focus enough to connect with our true nature, to experience these pure aspects of ourselves and to learn from ourselves, to be satisfied with our own inherent bliss nature. Perhaps it’s ok to look at it in this way, to journey with others in order to find the way to ourselves. What we need to learn is not to disconnect from ourselves within and throughout this experience, and this can always be a challenge. As well as this we can practise our Yoga, every single day, so at least now we are now looking within as well as without, and maybe one day we will be ready to sit with ourselves and to only look within, and there we will find what we have been seeking all along.