Years ago, alone on a long car trip, I mused about my ideal partner. I saw someone compassionate and kind, easy with himself and able to put others at ease as well. I saw someone gentle, open to new ideas, able to enjoy the simple moments of life and to help others do the same. And then, in a flash, I realized–I wasn’t fantasizing about a love affair. I was seeing a vision of who I wanted to be.
In both our daydreams and our waking lives, we often project onto others both our hopes and our fears. We are annoyed by qualities we fear we possess; we long for people who embody the type of person we want to be. But because no relationship can ever replace the one you have with yourself, you cannot find without what you have not found within.
Once we realize that, and learn to cultivate within ourselves the qualities we admire in others, we find that we are the ones we have been waiting for. And that others who have those same qualities are drawn to us effortlessly, naturally, reflecting back to us the person we are, the person we have become.
You don’t need anyone to complete you; you are already complete. Everything you long for, everything you long to be, is already a part of you, waiting for you to realize it. I once played a game with family and friends, asking each one what quality they most wished they possessed. Without exception, every single person answered with something that they not only already had, but had in abundance. One, the soul of kindness and patience, wanted to be more kind and patient. Another, always organized to the last detail, wanted to be more organized. The life of the party wanted to be friendlier. I said I wanted to be calmer, serene no matter the circumstances; everyone laughed.
Let your friends and partners be your playmates, sources of joy and strength in your life, but remember that everything you long for already exists within your own soul. Once you do, you cannot help but find it everywhere you look.