When my therapist recommended the therapist Richard Schwartz’s book, “You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For,” I felt it’s truth in my body, like someone playing a G major chord on a perfectly tuned acoustic guitar inside my chest.
It might be true. But putting it into practice in dating or relationships is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do.
As Schwartz writes, “We are primarily oriented toward getting from our partners what we need to feel good and don’t believe we can get much from ourselves. We want to transform the source of pain in the outside world rather than the source within us. That external focus will only provide temporary relief at best from the inner and outer storms that gradually erode the fertile topsoil of our relationships.”
This is especially so for someone like me. I have a dismissive (or “avoidant”) attachment style. Hearing that I’m the one I’ve been looking for feels good because it confirms a belief I picked up at a young age to protect myself: that all I need is myself.
Which, of course, isn’t true. Schwartz is talking about something different. He’s talking about the possibility of knowing that someone else isn’t going to make you feel whole while also loving fully and openheartedly, without surrendering to fear, without letting the beliefs we picked up as little kids for protection hold us back.
That’s what I’m after.
Hi, I’m Jeremy, a writer, therapist, and meditation teacher. Subscribe to my weekly email on how to feel more authentic and connected at your job, in your relationships, and throughout life here.
Photo by jessicahtam.