Ever notice yourself wanting your partner to change? He does all of these things that drive you nuts all day, and at night, when you look in his eyes, you feel like something is missing. You long for that magical in-love feeling, the sense of connection and oneness that people talk about in fairy tales. But the love feeling eludes you. You feel empty, lonely, resigned.
I was just like that. I kept looking for love in my partner’s arms and never found it. For years, I wondered, “Why don’t I have that perfect loving relationship? Why don’t I have that in-love feeling??”
I was pretty sure it was my partner’s fault. If only he were different, then I probably WOULD feel more loved and swept off my feet. Maybe if he shared more of himself with me? Maybe if he touched me more? Maybe if he acknowledged me more? Was more present? More sensitive?
I tried for years to figure out what HE was doing to MAKE ME feel so disconnected and separate. I got good at trying to change him. But try as he might, nothing he did ever made any difference. We only got farther and farther apart.
One night, when I was YET AGAIN wanting to feel that in love feeling, I noticed something.
In my fantasy of being deeply intimate with my partner, I was NOT WANTING intimacy and connection. There was NO WANTING at all in my ideal picture. The wanting and longing were GONE! There was ONLY intimacy.
And then I had a realization that changed my life forever:
Wanting and having cannot exist in the same space at the same time.
See, I realized that I could not WANT intimacy and EXPERIENCE INTIMACY at the same time. As long as I was “wanting” love, I could never “have” it! Why? Because my WANTING took up all the space!
No wonder my partner could never DO ANYTHING that made any difference!!
I realized I was STUCK IN WANTING!
In fact, I was stuck in wanting EVERYWHERE.
This was my list (see if you can relate to any of these.)
• to lose weight.
• to make lots of money.
• to have meaningful work
• to be healthy.
• to look young and beautiful.
• a clean house.
• my kids to do their homework.
• new clothes.
• to be a good lover.
• a new car.
Now, it is pretty clear that I wanted a lot of stuff (I still do, actually). So, I started looking into this wanting thing. Because I didn’t want to be stuck in wanting forever. I wanted to HAVE, thank you very much.
Well, it took years, but I finally figured it out how to slip out of wanting into actually HAVING. And I am going to teach you how to do it too.
Okay. Here goes.
You want something.
When you WANT something, you can’t HAVE it, right? Because wanting and having can’t exist at the same time.
Now the only reason you want someTHING, is because you think you will feel a certain feeling when you get it.
You think if you can get your man to listen or share his feelings, for example, that you will feel a certain feeling, like connection. You think if you lose weight, you will feel a certain something, like attractive or loveable.
We have been taught to think this way. Commercials keep us believing that external “things” will bring us certain feelings. They are always giving us the message that if we buy that shampoo, we will feel beautiful; if we buy that mop our kids will be happy; or if we buy that sleek car, we’ll feel powerful.
If you look at this closely, you will see that you attach “feeling” states to certain “things”. You believe that the acquisition of a “thing” will make you feel a certain way. That’s why we keep chasing after “things”. That’s why I kept trying to get my partner to change for me to feel “in love”.
To move from “wanting to having”, you have to first separate the “thing” you want from the experience or feeling you are after.
For example, if you want to lose weight, what do you imagine you will experience after you have lost the weight? Your answers might include feeling attractive, loveable, or energetic. If you want the house clean, what do you imagine you will experience once it is clean? You might say you want to experience peace of mind.
Okay good. Now, the next piece to notice is that the thing and the experience are not linked.
It is possible to feel attractive and not lose a pound, yes?
You COULD feel peaceful even with dirty dishes in the sink?
Or look at it the other way around.
You could lose weight and still not feel attractive.
You could clean the house and still not have peace of mind.
Why? Because there is a difference between the “thing” you want and the experience you hope to feel when you get that thing. The “thing” and the “feeling” are not connected AT ALL!!
So if your good feeling does not live in any “THING”, then how do you get what you want?
You go straight for the experience!
I developed this powerful process I call “Living in the Question”. This question tricks my mind into imagining myself having the experience I really want.
It goes like this, “If I were ______ [experience]______ right now, what would I say? What would I do? How would I be?”
Here, you try it. Let’s say you want the house cleaned so you can feel peace of mind. Ask this question and insert the experience you are after into the sentence. “If I had peace of mind right now, what would I say? What would I do? How would I be?” Ta-da! Now your mind has to imagine you in the state of peace to be able to answer the question, and there you are, experiencing peace!! You didn’t change anything externally!! You stepped into the feeling you want right now! You are HAVING an experience of peace!!!
And if you act on the answers that come from this peaceful state, you will reinforce your feeling of peace.
Live into this question. Ask it many times a day. Act on the answers that arise. Pretty soon, peaceful will be your prevailing experience and you won’t have to ask it anymore. You will have moved out of wanting peace, into having peace.
Living in my question has changed my life. Now, when I am feeling lonely with my man, I don’t try to change him. I know he can’t “make me” feel anything. Instead, I ask myself, “If I were in love right now, what would I do? What would I say? How would I be?” My mind takes me to a love-state to answer the question. I imagine myself feeling in love, and the feeling of love arises from within me. I step into a “love” space. Whatever answer comes, I do. Maybe I look in his eyes, breathe in sync with his breath, or tell him something I love about him. I dive into sweet deep love with him. I give myself the sense of oneness and connection I longed for all those years.
And you want to know what?
It is WAY better than all those imagined fairy tales…