The Core of Longing


OK.  This is philosophical.

If you have been following along so far, you know that I am doing some work on myself, which I believe is totally necessary for anyone to be prepared for a healthy relationship – particularly for people like me who are relationship challenged.  The good news is that I have been, for many years, working in the right direction in terms of collecting tools to make a relationship work.  The bad news I have been using them incorrectly. (More on that in future blog.)

Today I want to share a fantastic summary of what I ultimately want in a relationship as brilliantly defined by Charlotte Kasl in her book If The Buddha Dated:

Our longing is also our desire to be known completely. Imagine having your beloved look tenderly into your eyes, knowing all your secrets, having seen you be crabby and sweet, selfish and generous, and still truly loving you. Imagine being able to do the same.  That is the potential of a conscious relationship.

Based on what I have been reading and learning by observation of successful relationships (yes, I actually know couples who are in healthy, functional committed relationships) is that a key ingredient for achieving the above described love is honesty and the ability to express one’s needs, emotions and opinions healthfully and to have those communications be respectfully listened to and vice verse.  Therefore it is paramount that THE man has those capabilities.

In the previous paragraph Kasl describes my second biggest fear (following abuse) in a relationship, what I call the zombie effect:

If you seek only refuge, security, and comfort, you imprison your relationship and the vitality will wane.  Krishnamurti, the renowned spiritual teacher and author of numerous books, wrote, “If in a relationship there is no tension [meaning no deepening of knowledge of self and others], it ceases to be a relationship and merely becomes a comfortable sleep state, an opiate- which most people want and prefer.”

Security will be important this time around but must be one of several factors to consider.  Dear DBT, please keep this in mind.

COMING SOON:  what I am looking for in a man….


2 responses »

  1. Reading this last post made my helping professional’s ears prick up. What Kasl describes can usually only be achieved by an infant and his/her mother/primary caretaker, and it doesn’t last for very long. It’s hard to know one’s mate completely, because one’s mate may not even know him/herself completely yet/ever. We hide all sorts of crap from ourselves (usually those deep, dark, crabby elements), and so such communications get garbled in the telling to our partner. She does some CYA by attaching the word “potential” in the description of a conscious relationship, but that’s a very high bar to meet.

    I like the second citation, that’s infinitely more reasonable. Tension is necessary and a sure sign of life in a relationship, like a reflex. Enough to require some bending, but not too much that things/people break. Does the guy make the effort to know you? Does he handle you with care without encasing you in glass? Does he still have his own life/identity? Does he inspire some “longing” in you?

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