On happiness: Don’t search for love, search for yourself

One-night stands, friends with benefits, half-boyfriends, even full-time relationships. All of them encountered in vulnerable times, all merely serving as distractions from the real issues.  

This morning YouTube suggested I watch a TEDx Talk titled ‘Searching for love to escape ourselves’. My initial reaction was pure surprise and disbelief. Is it that bad? Is YouTube offering me relationship advice now? But then I remembered about yesterday’s night. Snuggled up in a blanket, laptop on my knees, armed with some Ben and Jery’s ice cream I got ready for my dive into the deep waters of YouTube. Just me alone, paddling through never-ending gallons and gallons of videos. I was, after the fashion of many explorers before me, on a quest, a quest for figuring out why all my relationships sucked so much. Why I always felt more stressed, than relaxed and cared for. You won’t be surprised by the revelation that a bucket of ice cream and a few glasses of wine later I finally slammed the monitor shut, moved from my couch to the bed and feeling more confused than before, fell asleep. Now, having described, how exciting and overly social life I live, I’ll return to why I’m writing all of this. I decided to watch the video. What’s the worst that can happen?

Honestly, it was quite a surprise how much the video managed to resonate with me. This brown-haired woman in grey dress standing in the big red circle, was me. Talking about herself and her life story, I felt as though she was describing me. She was in the place I am in now. Lost, confused and just desperately looking for a quick fix, for a distraction, a new relationship, new crush. Just something you can submerge yourself in. She wanted to avoid facing her deepest fears by creating a continuous succession of diversions, keeping her brain just busy enough solving her relationships and sexual escapades, so it had no time to bring up her own issues. Sex, love and dating were a means of pushing the pain and insecurities, she carried deep inside her core, even deeper. She was shielding herself from streams of agonising anguish and despair that would come out given an opportunity.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever felt empty? Incomplete? Lonely? Unappreciated? Like you’re lost in the whole wide world? … and let me ask another one. What did you do in those times of vulnerability, fear and confusion? Did you take time to stop, focus on what it is that’s making you feel this way, where do those fears originate from, what awakens and fuels them…or did you solve it by half a bottle of red and a good-looking blond that just happened to be the same level of neediness as you?

Admitting to myself that I may be guilty of similar practices wasn’t easy and truth be told, it even took me two tries to finish the entire video. Dismissing it initially, after first five minutes, due to the immense feeling of discomfort it awakened. However, my curiosity got the better of me in the end and I came back.

I hate to say it (yes, ‘hate’ cuz it means I must look at my past from a different angle and feel a bit stupid), but I think she is right. Looking back at the last five/four years of my life, it is clear that I was always running from myself. Leaping over emerging problems and galloping away from the pain, self-doubt and confusion that I carried inside. Being on a constant search for something, somebody who’s presence in my life will magically solve all the problems.

You cannot find your place in life through someone else. Although I was too scared to admit it to myself, I’ve known this for long time. Once you get on board with this fact, the hard part comes. If you really decide to face your ‘inner demons’ you might find yourself on a similar path to the lovely Hayley (TEDx speaker), going through moments when you’re alone at home, crying your heart out and feeling deserted by everyone. You yearn for nothing more than that good old ‘plaster’, ‘quick-fix’, that rapid means of gratification and instant confidence boost. Honestly, it sounds like a hellish process. However, I am at a point in my life, where I find myself more than willing to give it a try. To be completely frank, it is the only way forward at this moment. I dread another relationship entered at an extreme point of neediness, one that won’t deliver on fulfilling me. No relationship can do that, for that is a task resting fully on my shoulders and my shoulders alone. What’s more, if I were to enter another relationship sometime in the future, I want to be the loving and happy person my partner deserves. Therefore, I have decided, rather impulsively, to follow Hayley’s path. To abstain from relationships, dating and one-night stands and to learn more about myself, what I want and what makes me happy. I aim to become an observer of my own behaviour, seeing how I react to situations and people and notice when I feel truly happy and relaxed. I want to find out what holds me back and how I can overcome these obstacles. Most importantly I want to be kind and loving to myself so I can offer the same love and acceptance to everyone around.

The truth is that there’s no time to lose and if you want to implement a change in your life, be brave. Don’t wait for ‘the right time’ to come, for there is never ‘the right time’ for anything.  The promise I make to myself is to face the pain inside me, find its source and deal with it head on. It might not be an easy journey, but I’m dead sure the result will be worth it.

… wish me luck ^_^

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