"I need his love."
Is that true?
What is the reality of it? You only ever need exactly what is. You need his love. He doesn't love you. That means you cannot possibly need his love. It cannot be. It is a lie, an untruth. How do I know? You are still here. You haven't disintegrated into thin air for want of his love. You still sit, stand, lie and breathe, in the moment, right now.
To breathe - that is what you need. How do I know? You are breathing.
To sit - that is what you need. How do I know? You are sitting. And you will need to sit until you don't. And when you stop sitting, I will know you no longer need to sit, even if you don't.
It is hopeless, but a perfect kind of hopelessness. It is the joyful hopelessness of someone who is mature enough to face reality. And it is not the begrudged, bitter anger with reality. It is not the spiteful obedience of a child who knows he cannot gainsay his parents. It is the full acceptance, from the depths of the heart, that our outer experience is here to stay.
Read that again: Practice hopelessness.
If Life came with a secret motto, it would be this: "Lose ye all hope who choose happiness, and ye will find joy in every moment."
Why? Because you can hide in hope. You can somehow pretend and say, okay, this is reality, and I accept it. And you don't! You hide and nurse this secret hope that someday it will be different, that someday he will love you. He may or he may not. That is HIS business. Not yours. Nowhere, no how.
So practice saying this: "This is his business. It is not mine. My mind is my business. My peace is my business. Everything is just a story." You want peace? Do it. When you ride a bike, you ride. When you drive, you drive. Talking on the mobile phone while eating pizza and drinking coffee while on the road is not driving. You want to drive? Drive. Full on. You want to live? Live in your business. Getting into someone else's business is about as useful as trying to steer the bus coming at you from the opposite lane. Even if the bus comes into your lane headed for a head-on collision, whose business is the driving of the bus? The bus driver's. YOUR business is to get your car out of the way. If you can get something simple like that, then you can also get that it is the same with the mind. You drive YOUR mind. And keep it out of other business. If you don't, road accidents may occur. Road rage, too.
"I need his love." Can you absolutely know that is true?
No! You don't. Before you knew him, you didn't need him. After you met him, you still didn't need him. I see that. You may or may not see that, based on the story you tell. The tendency is to enter a relationship, and then feel obligated to give up some of your personal power. This is how the world conditions us - tit for tat. When we want something, we pay for it. Love is funny - it is the one area where people actually pay first! We "pay" the story of how we need a person, of how we would do anything for them. That ALONE is fine.
But check the underlying motive. You may find some of the following:
"I love you. I have convinced myself in my mind that I love you. Tag. You're it. Now, I have done something very special for you in my mind, and you must do the same. This is how we will transact our love. I will love you a bit, and you will love me a bit. I will do something for you, but I will remember it! It will go into our running account. And all hell will break loose if I find you aren't paying it back! Oh, and I get to put the values on what you do, of course. You have no say, and you have no clue. Not at first, anyway. But I'll be watching. I'll know when you don't send flowers. I'll know when you forget my birthday. I'll know when you don't take out the garbage. Oh, you won't have a clue, but it will all be going into this little black book, here in my head. In fact, I keep it so efficiently even I may not see it for a long time. But eventually I will. And boy, honey, you are going to get it when I do. Because YOU will not have played by the rules. Who wrote the rules? Oh, I don't know. I just know they're the rules. No, you are not allowed to have different rules. I've convinced myself they are the rules, so we will play by it. Don't you dare question my rules! I won't question them either. So I won't have to expose my thinking, or myself. I won't have to change. Oh no, honey, that's your job. YOU change. Just watch."
What a horrendous way to love! And tiresome. And tiring. You want to love someone? Have the guts to love them full on. That is true love. You love them without condition. You love them without needing them to act in a certain way. You love them without needing love in return. How do you even know they love you anyway? THEY don't even know themselves! That is reality. And it is here to stay. If you want to change anyone, in ANY way, I don't care why, how or who, you are playing in the dream world, the inner world. You are believing a story and acting it out. You want to change the person you love? You don't love him. You love your story of him. If you loved him, you wouldn't want to change him, because that would be him. Changing him is his business. None of yours.
"I need his love." How do you react when you think that thought?
Oh this is a merry one. We become miserable. We go into self-pity. And boy, are we good at this. All of us. We're trained to do it since childhood, actually. No one needs to go to school for this. We figure it all out on our own. And if someone challenges our right to be miserable, we hiss at them. We go out desperately looking for people to join our new religion. Your religion is "I need his love." Find someone else who agrees with you and you've got a cult. And we will expand this cult - we will add to it people who agree with us. And together we will ostracise those who don't. It's a wonderful cult. Until it crumbles. Because it does not bring happiness. Or it may not crumble. And you may be able to keep the story going awhile longer. Ignore the pain a bit more. Maybe even a lot more.
Did you know your thoughts can weigh you down? You think and think and think until they become so heavy that you cannot move. You just want to curl up and die. Until you finally figure it out - you are pushed back because you are arguing with reality somehow. HOW are you arguing with reality? Find it, and repent. And it will fall away. That is my religion - reality.
"I need his love." Who would you be without that thought?
You would be the person you were before you thought that thought, before you met him. You would be the one who went around, oblivious to the fact that he existed. You would be free to live your life, free from the pain. Is that why he is so perfect? Because he causes you pain? Recognise the price you are paying for this thing you call "love". You call it love. I call it manipulation.
So here's the question: You were brave enough to endure all that pain you built into your story. Are you brave enough to be free?
Any idiot can build story upon story filled with misery. We're all experts in it. Nothing special about it. You want to do something special? Drop all the stories. Walk around mentally naked. And you will see the world with new eyes. And you will fall in love with reality, with what is.
"I need his love." Turn it around and give 3 examples of where that might be true.
Byron Katie traditionally says there are 3 turnarounds (to the self, to the other, and to the opposite), and some may struggle to find even one. But, she also says, if you sit with it long enough, other turnarounds will appear. Some will work, some won't. But sit with them all, and you may find that they all work.
To the self: "I need MY love."
Give me 3 examples of where this is true. You need your love.
1. I am withholding my love from myself because in my mind, I am giving him all the power to love me. So when he does something, I allow myself to feel loved. But I could just allow myself to feel loved directly.
2. I need my love in dealing with him. I am so busy telling myself I need his love, that I don't recognise that I need my love. I beat myself up in my mind, and knock myself out. I could definitely use some of my love there.
3. I need my love because it is the only love I can get. I will never know that he loves me, or anyone loves me anyway. I can spin stories around how this or that means they love me. But really, I am building that love into those stories. It's really my love for myself that I am hiding in those stories for myself to discover. It is the only love I have really experienced in my life!
To the opposite: "I don't need his love."
Give me 3 examples of how you don't need his love.
1. I don't need his love to live. I can wake up, I can dress, I can walk, I can run, I can eat, I can drive, I can work, I can read, I can watch television. All without his help! Wow. I really don't need his love. I'm still here. I'm still alive. If I needed his love I would have died a long time ago, because there is no real way to communicate love.
2. I don't need his love in order to love him. Hey, I can still love him. But this is a grander love, an even better one. I can love him, and not need his love in return! I can love him if he is in another part of the world. I can love him when he is here, and when he is not. And it doesn't matter if he doesn't pay me one whit of attention. Because I don't need his love to love him.
3. I don't need his love to find love. Whoa! I don't need his love, because I can find love. There are so many people out there. He is but one. I don't need his love at all, because there are billions of human beings. He is free not to love me, and I am free to find love elsewhere. I can quit bugging him and irritating him and begging him to love me, and making HIS life a misery because I don't need to.
To the other: "He needs my love."
Give me 3 examples of where he needs your love.
1. He needs my love to be himself. Not to manipulate him, not to support him, but to be himself. He needs my love because he is exactly the way he is, and all the arguing, the manipulating I have done has done nothing to him. He doesn't need that. He needs me to love him enough to step away. He needs me to love him enough to let him go and grow up. That is the extent of my love. I love him enough to let go.
2. He needs my love to understand that he needs what he is going through, that he needs to be the way he is. I have to love him enough to let him do what he does, because that is what he does.
3. He needs my love to quit bothering him. He needs me to love him enough to let him have peace in his life, and to take myself out of it. That is the compassionate thing, for both of us. Because only in that is there happiness. How do I know that is true? Because things are the way they are.
NOTE: I do not represent Byron Katie's work. The questions are hers, and the explanations are mine. It is my way of relating to them. I have a deep respect and appreciation for The Work, but I am not affiliated with them.