The Most Important Journey of Our Lives
A new way to understand our search for love
Posted Dec 29, 2010
I'm Ken Page, LCSW, a psychotherapist whose work focuses on the search for intimacy. I'm delighted to begin this blog for single people and those who support them in their growth. It's a subject very close to my heart.
In my experience, the quality of love in our lives is the single greatest determinant of our happiness. So many things seem urgent, but finally, it's love that gives life its deepest meaning. And, as I describe in my book Deeper Dating, the true skills of dating are the skills of love.
Yet single people are being sold a terrible bill of goods. Look at the cover of almost any magazine that claims to help with dating and sex. What are they telling readers to do? Lose weight, dress better, stop being so needy; in other words, improve yourself if you hope to find love. Unfortunately, this type of "hold your breath and pull your stomach in" advice is doomed from the start. When we grasp for a goal by trying to reshape ourselves, we end up disempowered and diminished.
I think there's a wiser path to finding love. And it turns out that this path is also the path to personal greatness. It is the path of our gifts.
Let me explain with my own story:
My inability to find healthy, lasting love led me on a decades-long search. What was I doing wrong? What could I do differently? I got lots of help -- because I really needed it. One thing became painfully clear: the way I was dating had become my biggest obstacle to finding love. I was hiding my most essential self, instead of leading with it, because I thought it would scare people off. Show my soul? Maybe, but only after I knew someone loved me. Or in tiny doses, small enough to keep me safe. And therein lay the cause of my failure.
This, then, is the insight that changed me, and finally led me to the love I was seeking: our greatest gifts, our most beautiful and moving qualities are also the very places where we've become most wounded, vulnerable and insecure. Yet it is these very qualities that lead us most unerringly to love and a sense of life-mission.
I call these qualities "core gifts." They are not the same as talents or skills. They are the places of our deepest sensitivity and passion -- and they are as unique as fingerprints. More than any other factor, our relationship to these gifts determines the quality of our lives.
Yet our most painful wounds surround these gifts. So we learn to bury or cover them up, or to craft airbrushed versions of ourselves to keep them safe. Every layer of cover-up, however, moves us one step further from love.
This blog will explore the ways in which we can extricate these gifts from the wounds that keep them buried, and express them with bravery, generosity, and a fierce sense of discrimination in our dating life and in all our intimate relationships.
Ultimately, this isn't about the simple search for a mate. It's about something much greater; a discovery of the place we love from. If you follow the ideas that ring true to you in these entries, your dating life will change. You will meet people who are more available and more worthy of your heart. I can almost guarantee it.
I hope that this blog can also become a community of learning. So please share your comments, reflections, ideas and questions. We'd love to hear anything you have to say.
© 2010 Ken Page, LCSW. All Rights Reserved
To learn more about my book, Deeper Dating: How to Drop The Games of Seduction and Discover The Power of Intimacy, click here
To receive my free gifts including The Four Most Powerful Insights for Your Search for Love and my free downloadable audio micro meditations, click here