Once upon a time, I told myself I wanted to date a certain kind of guy. For some puerile reason, I was very specific about what my ideal guy would look like. He had to have a beard, a scarf and trekking boots. He was supposed to be mature, sociable and we wouldn’t hold hands.
I’m not sure how long I held on to this thought, perhaps about a year or more. Fast forward, we were going up an escalator.
“Listen,” I said, “why don’t we hold hands?” Him, smiling, “Because we’re cool like that.”
That was a key moment when I realised something might have gone wrong. I had my guy and every single box had been ticked. But somehow it didn’t feel right. I had my guy, and yet, I didn’t.
A long saga ensued and you might find bits and pieces of it scattered along this blog. But the point of it all is that I had to learn some important lessons.
Primarily, I had to recalibrate my entire way of thinking and that was no easy task. Perhaps the greatest lesson that revealed itself was learning how to hold on to an awareness of the present, moment by moment, without getting dragged into a wishful thinking mind-space.
The mind-space is where, while growing up, we have stored a multitude of notions that do not serve us. Notions that we have accepted as true and that keep us away from being happy.
Just recently, a friend was telling me that her ideal partner would have to be a messy eater, with a good grasp of grammar and an athletic body. That is an example of coming from a very mind-based place where we assume that finding those qualities in someone would make us happy. Which is as far away from the truth as it gets.
Holding on to that kind of thinking pushes us away from the present moment which is infinitely embedded with possibilities. Possibilities which we cannot easily grasp. Not using our mind, at least. Thinking that we absolutely know what we want in a person closes the doors of actually realising when someone uniquely compatible is standing right in front of us. We are not open enough to feel the connection because our brain is incessantly passing judgement and creating a solid filter that limits our intuitive perception.
To share a concrete example, I spent close to half a decade with my bearded, scarf-wearing, boots-loving, social, mature, holding-hands-is-uncool guy, trying to make a relationship that I thought should work, work.
Likewise, I spent more than a year, in total unawareness, being chat buddies with someone who ended up being the missing piece on my road to finding happiness; all because I thought I knew what I wanted.
What I now understand with joy and awe is that life is infinitely more extraordinary than we can ever predict with our mind-based perception. And that is so important not to limit ourselves thinking we know better. What we should know is that we have been raised with limiting notions and that there’s a long road to coming back to our senses.
That being said, although the road is long, there is a simple and magical way to make choices that are right for us, without feeling trapped by misleading limitations.
The way is by staying humbly present while being aware of our heart’s whispers. Whenever faced with a choice, don’t think about it. Feel about it. Feel your way through everything, not being emotional or judgmental, but with gratitude and impartiality. You will notice life presenting itself with unexpected contours, different shades and magical occurrences.