I recently had a conversation with a dear friend around the topic of letting go of what you want and discovering what you need, specifically in the world of romantic relationships. He shared that he used to have a long laundry list of “wants” and even how he’d set out to find his ideal notion of the perfect mate — only to get frustrated and disenchanted. He eventually let go and discovered not only what he wanted, but everything he needed.
I’m guessing most of us have heard of the commonplace advice “you will meet someone when you least expect it.” To clarify, I don’t think in any way this cliché suggests that we can’t want what we want, because on some level we are always seeking what we desire. It’s natural. However, what I do take this to mean is that it is more about not becoming attached to the details, as they pertain to specific personalities, interests, or goals, than about the notion of getting what we want per se. It seems that what we insist on having persists in eluding us again and again. Have you ever noticed that?
My friend learned, as many have, that ultimately what we need is simply someone that “gets us,” ”loves us”, or “sees us” just as we are. Paradoxically, these basic feelings of what we need align us automatically to what it is we truly wanted all along.
What irony, right? When we are finally able to let go of how someone, something, or even life should look, we stumble on what it is that we are truly meant for.
So, how many of us have been here before? I know I have…I remember when this simple well-intentioned feedback from friends would spark frustration, tears, and even incredible pain. Now, fortunately, I respond to it differently as my friend did just before he found the love of his life. For him, this discovery was made through maturity and with age. As for me, I found at a moment’s notice, through the stillness of meditation, it is available whenever we are ready to welcome it. Thus, I’ve kissed my last frog and welcome the unknown.
This is what my friend wrote to me upon his fairly recent nuptials:
“Perhaps, it’s consistent with your breathing and meditation type philosophies, that to find what you need you have to learn to let go of what you think you’re looking for.”