The overwhelming experience of feeling wrong for wanting what you want and not having it, for having hard, messy and challenging feelings, is especially strong in what girls and women have internalized around love and partnership, deeply saddens me. I know there are men who experience this too and the conditioning is different and something I am not taking up here.
I am not an expert at this, and we are in a moment in history where romantic partnerships have shifted drastically. Women are no longer dependent on men or marriage for their financial and material well-being. This shift, which also includes at times a shift in (and neutralizing of) the polarity between masculine and feminine energies (whether it is in a male or female-identified individual), has caused a re-authoring and experiencing of romantic love. This is clearly the cause of the rampant amount of single people we find in our culture. There’s a lot more that could be said about that, the high levels of separation and divorce caused by this shift and by living in a consumer capitalistic culture.
It is hard as a chronically single person to depersonalize this struggle, I believe both because it is so very human to want love and partnership and so very painful to not have it and because there is a tremendous amount of unconscious blame that gets projected onto and internalized by single people (and partnered people alike), especially in spiritual and personal growth circles. Ideas about being more of a frequency match, clearing blocks, shifting your attitudes and perceptions, being happier and more supportive of what you want, not suffering and struggling as much are rampant; Ideas that are meant to be helpful, but also that do not speak to the larger reality that much of life is out of our control.
It is damn hard to have a deep heart desire and have it chronically not be met and/or to be in continual struggle with it, whether it is about partnership, work, making money, health, self-love…you name it. In some ways, we can heal and change and shift things and in some ways, it is entirely out of our control. This is simply the human condition.
Clearly, what we do have control over is our attitudes and perceptions of how we interact with our struggles and our lives. We can learn to accept ourselves and others regardless. We can learn to be compassionate and loving towards ourselves and others. We can learn to let go of comparisons, conditioning, beliefs and stories created by the mind that perpetuate our suffering. I do believe all of these things will help us feel better about ourselves and life, but they will not necessarily lead to what we want.
The truth is that the issues we all face, especially the more chronic ones that shift very little, even in spite of working very hard, can be demoralizing, engender powerlessness and seem to elicit a sense of deep and often self-hating, shame-based questioning of ourselves.
The truth is that we are human and we have absolutely no idea why certain things happen and have much less control than we would like to believe. Life is complicated, complex and messy. There’s often not one thing that leads to another. Some people can do all this healing work and clear all the blocks in the world and will still not have a partner. Some people go from healthy relationship to healthy relationship (or healthy enough) without ever having to question themselves or life about it.
It’s a given. It’s the same with everything – some people make a lot of money, some people have to work so hard at it and barely make anything. And, work and health and so on…
We all do our best and some of us have to work harder, suffer more, toil with self-worth and self-doubt around certain parts of life and life in general. It is so easy to judge ourselves and judge and have opinions about others. It is so easy to create all kinds of stories about where the “difficulty” is coming from. There’s just reality as it is happening now and all the stories are simply explanations and ideas to try to make sense of a mysterious and unknown universe. We all do our best to move forward.
As a human, friend, partner, therapist and coach, I want to support people in accepting themselves and their lives more, being compassionate and present with all they go through, loving themselves through thick and thin, moving through things that ail and trouble them and having more of what they want in life.