I would have to dig deep into my cerebral cortex to recall a real date let alone a true boyfriend. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy dating or am too busy, but I currently have a desire to do it in the best way that works for me. So I took the time to look at the men I used to date, how we engaged, and how it ended, which lead to a less than shocking discovery. I’m a love addict.
So I want to clarify I’m not a serial monogamist and not anyone will do. What I found was I enjoy love a bit too much, which caused me to overlook the obvious and continue on with the destructive or inevitable. I wanted a husband to love and show me love so bad I clung to the few good traits they possessed, praying they were enough to grow and build on. I now have looked back and have seen when and where the doom presented itself to me with each relationship. Sadly I can recall ignoring my gut each time that told me they weren’t the one. This is not a new situation for many, or a refreshing revelation, but like most redundant behavior it has to be examined and discussed to overcome what hadn’t been up to this point. ( Check out my short story on this topic ).
One thing I love to do is examine. Some would say looking back holds you hostage, and I don’t completely disagree. However I would say a person is only held hostage if they stay in the past, not if they are visiting with the intent to learn and not repeat. I set out over a year ago to look at my habit energy and find the root causes, and thus far my examinations have bared fruit. The only problem is there are many trees to shake and it can become really intense and depressing to play back the videos of my past. I would be lying if I didn’t share I felt pain, shame, and so much more during this time of self-reflection, but I gained a determination not to rinse and repeat, and a true understanding of my own mind. This process isn’t one that many do for that reason, but I had knowledge of the pit falls of my action, and gave fair warning to friends and family of my plans and the possible need for their shoulder.
When I looked at my dating history, I didn’t like the need. I understood why I wanted someone to love but even then I didn’t like the need for affection and love outside of myself. I never felt I was fully loved for me by my family and later the friends I made. I felt a boyfriend would be able to show me the love they couldn’t and truly what I was unable to show towards myself. The main root of my love addiction was not enough self-love. I wanted someone else to show me my worth, and someone I could show the correct way to love someone in my mind. Make no mistake, while my heart is strong and pure, intent ruled me. My intent in seeking love wasn’t pure and as such I am rightfully single.
So can I say now I am free of my addiction to love? I definitely can. I know how I want to show love to my partner, so until that occurs I am showing that love to myself. I am appreciating my existence and the spirit that I am able to share with those close to me. I am appreciating my empathy and passion for all that is positive and nurturing. But mainly, I am turning love into the my tool and life energy becoming love itself. If that is confusing, let me put it another way. I don’t see love as something I need but something that is ever present in my actions, deeds, and intentions without having to do anything but exist. I am love and love is me. I don’t need a hit or fix of love, its in my breath, its in my warmth, and its in my spirit all day.
Buddhism can be tricky when it comes to romantic love. I am not an expert, but I have spoken with other Buddhist that feel coupling with another is in direct conflict with the Four Noble Truths, specifically attachment. Thich Nhat Hanh has a wonderful book called “Teachings on Love” that explains romantic love without attachment to love and that person is possible. It takes a bit to understand but what I gained was a sense that love isn’t a four letter word. For me, I saw after reading this book, the way to love that nurtures love in the world, with your special someone being able to have direct contact with your love spring that flows for all beings. It might be a Western perspective that wants to rail against traditions, but I can’t see love as the big bad. I only see love as the answer, and for that I am thankful.
Having love on tap is recognizing love is an expression of a kind spirit and heart. I don’t have to search for what I possess. I am able to express love daily, and with that expression I will find a partner who is doing the same. This is how I love, effortlessly and freely to all I encounter. Do I fall into old ways? At this stage I haven’t because I have begun to know and trust myself much better. I can’t stress this enough, love isn’t something that needs to be sought outside of yourself. The expression of love in your deeds and spirit attract a matching love. Will destructive or incompatible love take a go at your pure love? Yes they will but the practice of knowing and loving yourself has the power to see them coming and overcome.
Love on tap man. It’s such a beautiful thing that is the expression of the divine in us all. Who’s with me?