Part One of a Three-Part Series
“What we look for in others is what we believe we lack in ourselves.”
Trained to Believe We Are Incomplete
“You complete me.” That’s the famous, at-the-door, melt-your-heart line from the film Jerry Maguire (TriStar Pictures, 1996) that made so many of us let out a big romantic sigh, “Aww”. And yet that line, if you bought into it, means you believe you need someone else to complete you – that you are not already complete on your own. This is a massive misperception about us that comes from conditioned thinking, not truth. That misperception creates a lot of problems for us because it says we are dependent on others to make us feel fulfilled and whole. But, that system doesn’t work, at least not for long. A relationship based on this belief starts out romantic, full of happiness, laughter and love, but breaks down quickly, no longer serving our needs. Why? Because others don’t have the capability or the capacity to make us feel complete .¨ only we can do that for ourselves. All of a sudden, we are back at square one, feeling incomplete. We find ourselves repeatedly involved in something that gives us nothing. It’s not love. It’s just our ego.
We have been given a false self, or ego, to live with through a conditioned thinking program we were molded to believe in, not knowing we didn’t have to. The false self is a combination of the ideas of who we think we are, shaped by the ideas of who our parents, other family members, teachers and society thought they were at the time of our training. Those ideas don’t belong to us and never have .¨ that is an important distinction to make. Because most people weren’t using their complete self to teach us about us and the world we got this skewed, twisted, made up version of who we are and how we are. We believed in that version .¨ the one that says, among other things, that we are incomplete. It’s not that real love didn’t shine through once in a while, but that wasn’t the driving force behind our training. Certainly, most of us would agree that we did not get the message, “You are complete just as you are.”
Believing we are incomplete, or living in the ego, only brings us pain and suffering. In order to survive, we are desperate to find ways to hide from that. Although we hide behind jobs, groups, hobbies and pets, we hide the most in relationships. But, hiding only serves to validate our belief of incompleteness as our hiding places never provide the necessary healing. Healing only comes from correcting the misperception. Each one of us must do this for ourselves.
In a world where we feel incomplete, we don’t love ourselves either. That is an unbearable predicament and to rectify it using the ego, which is highly limited in scope, the only solution we can seem to come up with is to find someone else to make us complete and to love us. It never dawns on us to love ourselves, which would bring an automatic knowing that we are already complete on our own. If we did that, we would no longer search for someone else to take away our pain, but would love another for the sheer joy real love brings to ourselves and others.
Opportunists and Commodities
At the end of every relationship I have ever had, I was a mess. My entire sense of being valuable was wrapped up in that one person, a person I made special in my mind. The ending of that relationship meant the beginning of me feeling valueless again, or incomplete. At the time, I would have told you that person was special in my heart, but this would have been a cover-up – just part of the story my mind, or my ego, was telling me and the world so neither of us would know the truth .¨ that I was with this person for the sole purpose of alleviating my own pain and suffering caused by the belief that I was incomplete. The false self, or ego, is an opportunist and the people we love from this perspective are mere commodities to us.
As an opportunist, the ego seeks out other people to form a relationship with under the guise of real love. But, such relationships are our desperate attempt to dampen the noise of our own thoughts of inadequacy. Here’s how it goes for most of us. “I feel unhappy, discontent, sad, lonely and empty. I must find someone to love me and make me feel happier and complete.” In this state of mind, we don’t love the other person. We merely identify in them the thing or things they can give us or do for us that quiets our unhappy state of mind. We become attached to the commodity, not to the heart. It is not a love connection, it is a business deal. In effect, we are with someone because of the services they provide to us. And as long as we depend on someone or something outside of us to make us feel complete, we never get the chance to feel complete on our own. As long as we depend on someone else to love us, we never have to love ourselves, a concept that is foreign to most of us.
We can’t find that place of completeness and love that exists within us through someone else. We must find it on our own .¨ we must find it within. As Guy Finley says, “It is impossible to love another human being as long as you cannot be completely content and comfortable being 100% alone. The more that you need accompany the less capable you are of love because you use company to hide from yourself the fact that you are empty without it.”[i] Being 100% alone doesn’t mean not having a family, work or social life. It means not looking to others to fulfill you, to make you complete. The moment any of us does this, that relationship is a mere commodity to us.
There is no way to overcome the lies of the ego, or the false self, because nothing false can be overcome. Everything false is an illusion. There is nothing there. So it is not possible to find enough people to love you and make you feel complete because the beliefs that you are incomplete and unlovable are illusions. It is time to let that entire system crumble. It doesn’t work. We must realize that anything the ego tells us is simply not true. When we do this, we create the space from our ego-driven thoughts that allow us to become what we have always been .¨ love itself. In that moment we will know we are and always have been complete.
Real Love is Within You
It is difficult for us to believe we are complete and already full of love. We treat this news as if it is a fairy tale or story that happens to other people. But, it is not a fairy tale and it doesn’t happen to others. So, why do we run from the truth when all we really want to feel complete and loved? Why do we believe so easily in a story that says we are not complete or lovable? We do it only because of our training. All training can be altered. Knowing this can help us align with our truth and allow the real us to shine through.
Each one of us has within us the capacity to love endlessly and effortlessly. It is our natural state. It is our state of healing, of joy and of continual presence. The formula for experiencing real love begins with the awareness that it exists in us at all times, awareness that the false self is not us and that we are, and have always been complete in every way.
Allow a space to develop between your thoughts about you as you listen for old patterns of thinking that tell you that you are incomplete. Do not actively participate in them-let them sit there. Once you stop being a partner to these thoughts, they no longer have any power over you. Eventually they will leave your mind if you do nothing with them. See them for what they are- just thoughts. Then your real self, your loving self, the one who knows you are complete, will come through. It’s there now.
Does real love Exist? Yes. Outside the boundaries of the ego, where you are free to love someone, not because they complete you, not because they fill some need in you, not because you have any expectations about what the relationship should look like, how it is supposed to make you feel, what status it gives you or how it hides your personal pain, but simply because you love.