When I was younger, I used to look to the outside for the feeling of fulfilment and love. Naively, I thought that I could only get this feeling of inner joy and happiness from the other person.
I think that I really lost the connection to myself after I became a teenager. People around me were always worried what other people thought or felt about them. So as a young adult I concluded that love and happiness come from the outside.
The opinions of others seemed to really matter to people. Nobody ever asked me, what do I think about myself? Do I like myself? When do I feel joy? What am I longing for? Strangely, it all centred on what other people thought. Someone else and not me was supposed to make me happy.
After a while I started to realize that other people were as lost as I was. All the people who I so gladly burdened with the responsibility of making me happy, seemed unable to help me and left my life pretty quickly. They too, were looking for infinite love and fulfilment. It became obvious to me that the other was not the answer.
When I first met my spiritual teacher, Shiv Charan Singh, he explained to me that our need for love and union is infinite, because we are longing for the Infinite, which is our inner essence. The need is infinite because it is the need for the Infinite. And it has always been there. But we do not realize that. Instead, we take the other person or sometimes other things, as the Infinity, and we want them to satisfy all our needs and longing. We treat the other person as if he or she is the Infinite itself—as if the other is our own essence and our foundation. We give away all our power to the other, willingly.
Sometimes we put this infinite burden on our life partner. Sometimes on our kids, our parents, our teachers or our friends. Anyone really, but not ourselves. We try to avoid this infinite longing or we deal with it by filling it in with anything we can possibly find. Sometimes the roles reverse, and we become that Infinity for the other. And that is also a heavy burden to carry.
Meditation completely turned this around for me. I stopped looking to the outside and turned to face my longing. To stop, was the first step. Stop seeking and searching, and start breathing, feeling. This longing that we feel inside is a relationship in itself. Because on the other side the Universe is also longing for us. It is a call of the soul and nothing from the outside can ever satisfy it. Really, we are looking for ourselves, for our inner essence. It is like negotiating a meeting with this Infinite Intelligence. Do we meet? Or do we avoid and miss the most important meeting of our life? It is a choice to make.