Searching for a true heart

June 24, 2013

I am a 34 year-old female. I have lived a fairly hard life and have been on my own learning life since age 15. Through many experiences and pain I have learned a lot. Seems like I am never single but can never find anyone (including friends) that are real and true inside. I am a Leo through-and-through. In case you don’t understand, I have a big heart, care about people deeply, am very spiritual, and have a very open and accepting mind/heart.  Seems like I am destined to be ‘alone’ for life because I feel its a requirement that someone has a true heart for me to have any type of relationship with anyone.  Sad and lonely in a way, but I am a very positive person never giving up and work daily at bettering/understanding myself and people as a whole…..

Confused?? –any advice?

I feel that the only way I can answer your question is to get a bit personal and  call myself out on some of my own behaviors.   I wouldn’t say my life was hard, but it certainly wasn’t easy while I was living it.  In junior high I got smacked in the face with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and since then I’ve done an amazing job at having a lot of friends and partners, and managing to keep them all at arms length.

In my mind, I’m very aware of myself.  I know what my issues are and I communicate them to help my relationships be slightly more functional, but I still allow them to get in the way.  I know some of the most amazing people that have ever existed and for some reason they think I’m pretty darn swell too.  But I don’t know how to be part of a community.  I’m used to fending for myself, being the only person I can really depend on, and because of that I manage to convince myself that the wonderful people around me aren’t sincere.  The more I convince myself of this, the further removed I allow myself to become (both mentally and physically).  No one can live up to my standards because I’m still holding onto the idea that life can be perfect if I just find the right people.

The problem with this (aside from feelings of loneliness, even in a crowded room) is that there are no perfect people.  You and I are searching for something that will always feel safe and perfect.  But this is unrealistic; we all have moments where we forget who we are and fall short of our ideal selves.  The most generous person can be greedy.  A loving friend can have a moment of anger.  A sincere person can have a moment of hypocrisy.   No matter how perfect someone might be they have imperfections (at least occasionally).  It may be possible that the folks in your life are the type of people you’re looking for and that your unrealistic standards are keeping you from truly the seeing the awesome beauty in the people around you.

Rather than searching for someone who has a real and true heart, cut yourself and others some slack and settle for someone who has a mostly good, honest heart.  Surround yourself with people who also try to better themselves and grow; be supportive of them when they fall short of their ideals, and go easy on yourself when you fall short of your own.  It’s easier to live up to one’s own standards if we have a support network that helps us remember who we are.

Sometimes when we’re searching for one part of ourselves we’re running from another.  You mentioned that you’ve never really been single.  If you’ve been practicing serial monogamy it might be time for you to try being on your own for a bit.  Jumping from one relationship to the next can make it difficult for a person to find a solid sense of self (even if they’ve done a lot of soul-searching).  Feeling grounded as an individual can make it easier to connect to people because there is less of a need for people to meet a perfect ideal.  It may also help for you to find a therapist in your area who can help you sort out what your looking for & develop a plan to help you feel more connected to the people in your life.

Good luck.  I hope we both find what we’re looking for, even if all we have to do is take another look at the people who already love us.

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