How to Find the One.

Via Suzanne Jones
on Feb 14, 2011
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Kiss me by Scented_mirror, on Flickr

Photo: Mariana Amorim

The One Lives Inside of You.

Just over 20 years ago I thought I had found The One. He was tall, strikingly handsome and extremely charming. He was intelligent and sensitive. He liked cats for goodness sake! He was a lover of children, took long bubble baths and was willing to give up watching football–for me!

“Oh my God,” I thought, “I have found The One!” I just couldn’t believe that I was his One too. Me? I never thought I would ever be anyone’s The One, let alone this smokin’ hot, super-sensitive, funny and charming superman! It was a drug more powerful than any I have ever known.

Anything I wanted to do he would do. Anywhere I wanted to go he would follow. We moved to Maine, we traveled to Spain. We got married (okay, that one took some convincing), bought a house and had a baby. I started a business and he became a house husband. I had a Mr. Mom and every woman was jealous of me. We lived in Italy, bought a cabin on a lake and had another baby. From the outside we were the envy of everyone who knew us, and even those who didn’t. We looked like we had it all: love, money, health and happiness. Over the years he told me over and over again, “you are the love of my life,” and yet, something was just not adding up.

In the early stages of our life together I recognized one powerful and important dynamic: I did not like the way I felt when this man spoke to me. I felt misunderstood, I felt stupid and most of all–I felt disrespected. I was young and hopeful, but the sinking feeling that I had in my body, mind and spirit when he spoke to me was so palpable that after one year of being with him, I had to say something.

“I don’t like the way I feel when you talk to me,” I told him, “and the only way to address this is to leave the relationship.” He was crushed. He cried and said he would change. He begged and pleaded for me to give him a chance. In the end, I couldn’t leave him. After all, he was The One. Finding The One means that there is no other. That’s it. The. One.

We began couples therapy and continued for ten solid years. Each therapist would say the same thing: “Well, it’s clear that the love is there,” but was it love, or was it just not wanting to let go of The One and end up with The None?

The years went on and he did not change, but I did. I became smaller, less strong. I felt so lucky to have someone to love me as much as he said he did. On top of that, he was able to see all of my flaws and was not afraid to point them out to me. He would make me a better person. He told me so often “you’re selfish” and “you don’t know what compromise is” and “you don’t know what it means to be in a marriage” and (the kiss of death), “you don’t know the meaning of the word compassion.”

How can it be that I simply did not see these things about myself? Over time, I couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to be anywhere near a wretch like me. Thank the stars above that I had him to make me likable, tolerable and approachable. Just being near him made me better and, like finding a needle in a haystack, I felt like I had won the relationship lottery. I had found The One and boy, where would I be without him? Still, I found myself questioning and becoming angry. I judged myself for this anger because he loved me so much. Why couldn’t I just be thankful?

Like a dog that is hit repeatedly, he eventually believes he deserves the treatment and so had I become. The questions still remained but I gave up on doing anything about it. Perhaps my greatest moment of learning acceptance was in my marriage. I accepted my life, my husband, my marriage and what I saw to be my future. Many years had passed. We had two children, a life, a house in Maine–and I saw that there was no way out. I was in it, together, with The One for the rest of my days. Trapped.

Like that aforementioned dog that eventually snaps, I had a moment of rebellion and turned on my husband. In one last expression of my voice I sat him down and angrily declared, “I feel like I am married to an asshole, and I do not want to be married to an asshole.” I mentioned a few instances that I felt were especially “asshole-ish,” and his response to my pronouncement was, “I’m sorry that you think I’m an asshole.” We got nowhere. After that I kept silent.

Six years passed and we moved to Boston. I had discovered yoga, had a personal transformation and began to find my voice again. I began to see that though he was my husband, he was not The One, I was. I saw that I was the one needing to find the light inside of me. Only I could cultivate that feeling of love and acceptance, and it came from deep within. I founded an organization that helps women in crisis see their value, their worth and their light.

Eventually the things he said to me had less punch and I chose not to let them hurt me. When someone hands you a fork, you decide if you want to put it to use, toss it aside, or poke yourself in the eye with it. And so it was with the criticism, belittling and sarcasm that my husband sent my way. I simply did not make use of them as I once had.

He did not approve. I did not care.

Seventeen years after I had met this man I made a shocking discovery. For all of these years, this man had been telling me that I was the love of his life, that I was The One and that he didn’t know what he would do without me. I had felt 100% responsible for his happiness. I felt that if I left I would be the most cold-hearted person alive. I would be destroying another person’s life. Yet for the entirety of our  marriage, all of the years that I believed that this man was so much better than me, he had been living a double life. For real. To speak of the details of this would be giving it energy that I just don’t feel it deserves. It is enough to say that when I retell the story to people, they usually respond with comments such as, “Your life sounds like a Jerry Springer Show!” And yes, it does. It has also taught me some incredibly powerful and beautiful lessons:

1. Trust your intuition:

My intuition was speaking loud and clear in that first year when I felt something that just wasn’t right. My head, my ego and my insecurities allowed me to doubt that intuitive voice, all because I didn’t want to lose The One.

2. Your choices in life will reinforce what you believe about yourself:

Though I was not aware of it, somewhere in my deep subconscious I believed that I was desperately flawed. Being with my husband helped me reinforce this belief. I chose to stay. It doesn’t mean the way he behaved throughout our marriage was okay, but if I did not on some level have a false belief about myself, I would not have stayed.

3. The One lives inside of you:

There is no Prince Charming, no winning the lottery or magic bullet. Life is a process and experience of joyful times and challenging times. When you have found The One deep inside of you, your ability to navigate through all of these times with grace, acceptance and continuous learning happens naturally. You experience a freedom and a love that you may have never thought possible.

So on this Valentine’s Day I will be telling The One that lives deep inside of me how much I love and appreciate her. Without her, my life would be empty.

Relephant:

Maitri! Learn it, love it, do it:

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About Suzanne Jones

Sue Jones, Founder and Executive Director of yogaHope has practiced yoga for over 15 years and is a leading voice in the subject of mind body practices for self regulation and personal empowerment. For the last six years Sue has trained, inspired and lead hundreds of volunteer yoga teachers who have donated their time in substance abuse rehabilitation centers, domestic abuse safe houses and homeless shelters for women. She dedicates much of her time to researching the effects of yoga and mindfulness practices on survivors of trauma and those suffering from traumatic stress response. Sue’s life and work have been profiled in Yoga Journal, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, Body + Soul Magazine, Martha Stewart Whole Living Magazine and on CNN Headline News.

Comments

97 Responses to “How to Find the One.”

  1. cupid valentino says:

    very smart. very strong. very brave.

  2. helene_rose says:

    Beautiful! I join with you in the ritual of self-love this day and everyday.

    Helene

  3. iloveginger says:

    thank you for sharing this! outstanding piece- i am in tears. what a life this is! love!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sue Jones, Les Elephants. Les Elephants said: How to Find The One this Valentine's Day http://tinyurl.com/4l6m8de #elej […]

  5. Sue says:

    I am feeling so touched and moved to have resonated with so many. Thank you, thank you. From my humble heart to yours on this Valentine's Day <3

  6. luminous_mortal says:

    Your words came at the very time I most needed to hear them, and I'm so thankful. Like yours, my story reads like a country western song with a really bizarre twist. Seems my husband and I fell in love with our own press a long time ago. We managed to coast on that until a dear friend of mine recently entered the picture and forced us to see what our relationship was really made of. After 30 years of marriage I knew it was time to take action. I'm now in the midst of divorcing, packing, moving, looking for work and dealing with breast cancer all at the same time — an emotional nightmare at times, and often paralyzing. Still, I'm so much happier knowing that a future on my own means I don't have to beat myself up one more minute trying to figure out how to make "the love of my life" happy. The best decision for me has been to strike out on my own, to create my own happiness, and to allow the husband and once dear friend to plan their life together without me as a witness. I feel great sadness at times, but there is also the knowledge that something good is coming. It's going to be phenominal…I can feel it.

  7. You write and feel beautifully, Sue.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
    (Join Elephant Yoga on Facebook)
    Follow on Twitter

  8. Sue says:

    Thank you Bob. I think I'm making up for lost time 🙂

  9. Jenny says:

    I too thought I had found The One. Now I look back almost 15 years, and wonder if those tears that streamed down my face that night as I walked down the aisle to meet him were really the tears of joy that I have so desperately tried to convince myself they were. Here I am now in the midst of an acrimonious divorce and don't recognize the man he has become. I am sure in some ways, I am unrecognizable to him too. That's ok. Stepping out and making the decision to leave the marriage has been the one of the hardest and scariest things I have ever done. It wasn't a decision that I made lightly as we do have the most amazing daughter, and I kept convincing myself that it was "best for her" if we stayed together. But it really wasn't. How much more damaged she would be to see her parents constantly engaged in conflict. Now, I begin the process of slowly rediscovering myself and learning to love myself again and nurture my daughter through this painful process.
    Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt story.

  10. Nancy A says:

    Sue, this post seriously took my breath away. It was so raw and strong. Thanks for sharing your story and the power you had to move forward. Wowsa!

  11. Maureen Miller says:

    Sue, your last two lines are beautiful. Thanks for sharing so others may learn. xo

  12. jeni eileen says:

    Amen, sister!!!

  13. Sue says:

    I love that my article was a flag to help you along your path. That really helps understand that writing about my experiences has a purpose. Thank you for telling me xoxoxo

    sue

  14. […] never particularly wanted to end up single, but I sure as hell didn’t want to end up divorced. And as a child of divorce, I never ever […]

  15. […] and there are plenty of bars to choose from. With Acadia National Park right in our backyard we (my future husband and I) chose a different hike to explore each weekend and by the end of the summer we still hadn’t […]

  16. […] of them. If a man treats a woman poorly so early on, how is he ever going to get to know her and find out if they could fall in love in the future? Not to mention, the women most worthy of love are not going to put up with bad […]

  17. […] How can we wrap our heads around what had happened? How can we make sense of it? How can we feel safe when the very people that we trust to be living authentically can allegedly turn on us and cause such hurt, pain and suffering? (and boy, do I know this one very well) […]

  18. […] month later my world came crashing down. Actually it was more like a rapid dismantling which began with what I like to call the moment of […]

  19. Katherine says:

    wow, intense. Red flags for me in my relationship from the beginning too, now I am facing up to the fact that I should have left years ago. Had to wait for things to get so miserable that I am forced to leave. I wish I would have listened to my intuition from the beginning and saved everyone a lot of pain.

  20. […] accept the unwanted advances of men. And here’s the clincher: Eventually I had decided that I was better to stay in an emotionally abusive and dysfunctional marriage where I felt preyed upon by just one man, than to be out in the world and vulnerable to any number […]

  21. […] absolute key to freedom and mental health is to find compassion for your self. Think you have it? Here is a check-list for you to help you determine if you have that tiny flame […]

  22. sue says:

    I appreciate your comments Ryan and in general I agree that there are effective communication tools that can be utilized in any relationship (friendship, love relationships, mother-child relationships etc) and I feel that I am skilled at using those tools now that I am out of my abusive marriage.

  23. nina says:

    It's sometimes difficult to listen to intuition when that conflicting "evidence" of The One is "positive" like romantic words and taking care of the kids; society hasn't taught us to look out for those signs. Thank you for listening to your intuition and sharing. So many of your thoughts and phrases I have experienced directly, almost word for word.

  24. This is beautiful and very timely for me…thanks so much for writing it. xoxo.

  25. […] sky. Reach inside and see what’s there. Dare to do the thing you’ve been afraid to do. Be your own happily ever after. Live […]

  26. Wow. One word: Powerful. It is too evocative, raw, brave and beautiful for me to really say more than that. Powerful. I am also a fellow EJ contributor and I am sharing this with my fan page, because I know it will resonate with thousands of people. I've shared it here: https://www.facebook.com/JeanniePageWriter

    Thanks so much for your brave, beautiful heart.

  27. Thank you for sharing. This spoke straight to my heart. I was just telling my self moments before I read this “You are enough. Exactly and perfectly enough.” Then I read this. Thank you.

  28. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Also, there is not ONE mention of any attempt by you to make amends, apologize for anything you may have done, or make restitution, which would absolve you from any wrongdoing on your part, and thus place the onus entirely upon him.
    Thus even the "double life" mentioned could actually be a narcissistic projection.
    My wife told me she walked out on her ex. After speaking with him and KNOWING HE WAS NOT LYING, I learned she had been lying the entire time.

    Yes, I know this type all too well, so please forgive me if I only see this as a well designed narcissistic projection yet again.

  29. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Why do I mention any of this?

    Because your article seems to be the exact opposite of what Patanjali intended with yoga.

    You may have been justified by the fact that he led a double life, but I did not so where is my wife's justification?
    I went to work, sometimes for 24 hours a day and meanwhile she spent everything on LuLu lemon and personal pursuits.
    In our relationship she had the best clothes and the best car always and I always had nothing except the heel of her boot, which is why we never traveled and why her taking my dreams of traveling is so much more a slap in the face.
    She took everything I had to give her, said I was at fault, then took even more.

    And even after all of this, demanded forgiveness while offering no apology or restitution, and when I refused decided, childishly, that because she would not be allowed to have her way WITH me, then I was of no consequence.
    She hasn't even taken any of the money she took to file for a divorce.

    If she read this article she would feel justified in her actions.

    That is how misleading it is.

  30. Harleigh Quinn says:

    There is no mention of what you did. There is no mention that maybe he was correct and you did not really know compassion or what it is like to be in a marriage.

    There is only "He made me feel bad and eventually I didn't care" without the possibility that maybe he was valid in how he felt.

    I have seen MANY in the last year doing exactly what you have described, my wife included, and I have been from the outside looking in and realized over 90 percent of these people just want excuses to be irresponsible and use things such as yoga, or buddhism or "impermanence" as catch all excuses for such action.

    This is everything I cannot stand in the New age spirituality movement of today.

    Self absorbed narcissistic pursuits swaddled in the blanket we call yoga or buddhism or spirituality.

    There was nothing objective about this. It was more "Lifetime" drama ego masturbation and nothing more.

    I am actually very disappointed to see such an article on elephant journal.

  31. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Also, there is not ONE mention of any attempt by you to make amends, apologize for anything you may have done, or make restitution, which would absolve you from any wrongdoing on your part, and thus place the onus entirely upon him.
    Thus even the "double life" mentioned could actually be a narcissistic projection.
    My wife told me she walked out on her ex. After speaking with him and KNOWING HE WAS NOT LYING, I learned she had been lying the entire time.

    Yes, I know this type all too well, so please forgive me if I only see this as a well designed narcissistic projection yet again.

  32. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Actually, narcissist are very skilled a mirroring. Their personalities are not their own, but an amalgam of those they wished to emulate.
    Eckhart Tolle is a narcissist. He is skilled at mirroring.
    And your prescription, though it may be the best practice, will only exacerbate the issue, as narcissism has become not only epidemic, but pandemic in society. It will be nearly impossible to NOT have to interact with a narcissist. It is nearly impossible now. It is an accepted social norm (thank reality TV for that one….)
    Also, that prescription can just as well be used by the antagonist against the protagonist. Believe me. I know this all too well. And they feel justified in that, if for no other reason than they do not have to be responsible for their actions toward those they hurt and can still seem the victim in the process.

    Yes, a narcissist could easily have regurgitated those three rules and the "one's self" mantras, just as many narcissists have regurgitated dharma and made millions in book deals and speaking engagements by doing so.

    I will include my Facebook here as it further illustrates why this bothers me and what has been written would take to long and too much space to reiterate here (as well as be out of context) :
    http://www.facebook.com/shivabodhidharma/posts/17

  33. Lani says:

    Beautifully written and inspiring. In my work with survivors of domestic violence, I have often counseled women who are so beaten down that they forget who they are. So glad that you found your way forward and inward and now support others in empowering themselves, too. <3

  34. Harleigh Quinn says:

    If someone IS selfish, displayed over and over again, and every nice way of attempting to confront this is done, and they still ignore it, that is not emotional abuse, it is a statement of FACT.
    MY wife would not let someone, a friend left out in the cold, literally, sleep on our couch for a night, but would raid anyones refrigerator when she entered their home.
    In YOUR (and her view) my finally stating after years of this that she is selfish is "name calling".
    That is a narcissists attempt at reversal. It is an interesting tool of how the aggressor has now suddenly become the victim through use of words.
    For years my wife had a Honda S2000 that I paid for half of. I drove a 1991 Honda civic hatchback that was on her insurance for a better rate. When I and a tow truck driver were nearly killed in an accident (we had a blow out and I broke the lug nuts getting the wheel off the vehicle. AAA was called, the car was well in the shoulder yet a semi struck my driver's side door that was closed around me, hitting the tow truck driver with it, flinging him back on the bed of his truck. I immediately called 911, though I could have been killed, took the tow truck driver that was 3 times my size and pulled him further into the side of the road, wrapping hymn in a blanket that was in the car, all by myself while she just stood there) and the insurance came back for the vehicle, she took the $1,700 gotten and spent it on….HERSELF. I never saw a dime or got another car, even though it was my car and I had paid for it.
    But that's not selfish, is it?
    You are coddling someone that has all the earmarks of a narcissistic and borderline personality disorder crying for sympathy, which is a tool of these disorders, with the above comment.
    Feeding a limitless ego, as those disorders are "ego diseases".
    I do not mean to be confrontational, but I have issue with the constant coddling of people that actually fit the descriptions placed upon them but look for validation to state they are not that description from strangers that do not actually know them.

    As my relationship ended I was being told by people that knew my wife for less than a year how much they knew her, while I had dealt with her constant, usually PUBLIC abuse, for TEN years and obviously know her inside out.

    I feel you can see the imbalance of this view.

  35. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Okay, we aren't seeing a "theme" here?:
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/note-to-se

    Serioiusly?!?!?!?!?!?

  36. Sue says:

    thank you Jeannie. I really appreciate you sharing the piece. xoxoxo S

  37. Sue says:

    Harliegh,
    It is clear that you have lot of anger in you 🙁 While I don't feel the need to explain or defend myself I would like to just say that I thank you for the opportunity to find compassion for someone as angry as yourself. I really do appreciate the opportunity and I sincerely hope can find some ease in your suffering.

    blessings,
    sue

  38. Harleigh Quinn says:

    I only just mentioned “projection”, “mirroring” and “narcissistic reversal” in my previous comments and here they appear again.
    Also the attempted use of the “love mask” and the “serenity mask”.
    The emoticons at the end of statements? Narcissisic manipulation to make the actual aggressor seem “cute” and not dangerous. To make the actual victimizer a victim in the eyes of others.
    Also notice the immediate attempe to paint the “offending” party in a negative light, while ignoring valid statements of fact. That story and it’s details were included for a reason: to see how you would respond. You ignored all other responses, but when on came up that made someone look better than you in your eyes you HAD to respond to attempt to “smack down” someone who could in no way look better than YOU.

    I spent a decade with someone JUST LIKE YOU.

    I can see it from a mile or more away.

    Thank you.

    You assisted in helping me prove who the narcissist was in your relationship and who was at fault and the fact you should be offering advice to NO ONE until you actually succeed in getting over yourself.

    My only complaint is that people such as yourself and the toxic “oprah style advice” you pollute the world with, has made the narcissism epidemic a PANDEMIC.

    And to be honest, I’d rather not have to seclude myself in a monastery to escape it. I would instead address the instigators in a hope it can be quelled AT THE SOURCE.

  39. Ben_Ralston says:

    "Eckhart Tolle is a narcissist".

    That might be the funniest 5 words I have every read in my entire life. Classic

  40. craig tindale says:

    its interesting there is almost no introspection of what was happening to him, you have dehumanised him, he has no name he is "the man" was there anything of any worth about him ? I find with a lot of these "stories" the narrative is pitched in a worthy and unworthy context, the assumption from the narrative is that the teller is the worthy one and the other "the man" (in this case) is assumptivly the unworthy one. Each relationship that ends has one of these stories, it doesn't matter whether its told from the male of female perspectives, each partner has a convincing narrative that they attach to the relationship, that casts they ex partner in shadow and themselves in light. We dont know what "the man" did, its likely it was somekind of long term deception as it cant be "told", he could have been gay, a child molestor, we dont know but to take the lessons you have from it , to me suggests there is more growth to unfold for you. Self awareness, love, self value are extremely important, although it seems this story is as much about you and what is within you, as it is about him. Youve concluded that very broadly that life is not about knights etc and you have defined a strategy that doesnt expose you to hurt again by casting doubt on the existence of a higher plane. The American cultures definition of successful relationships is very transactional, Ryan in another comment says its about getting your needs met, its a very self centric way of thinking. There are lots of beautiful loving thoughtful , beautiful and honest men out there as there are woman, dont have your world defined only by what you have experienced, to do so is very limiting. We can try and learn everything about the world through our personal experiences or we can broaden our practice to include the spiritual and philosophical teachings of yoga or buddhism, we can try and learn all through ourselves , or we can lean on 1000s of years o teachings to show us the path

  41. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Thank you.
    Though I have been less than tolerant or compassionate in my responses, this is exactly what I have been trying to evoke.
    Thank you for being an additional voice of reason.

  42. Harleigh Quinn says:

    In his five disk CD set he says he was a banker, but quit his job and sat on a park bench for two years.
    The buddha story says that he was being groomed for royalty (ad lib) and he shunned that and sat under the bodhi tree for thee days.

    Are we not seeing a similarity here?

    Maybe if he had equated himself to jesus christ and his origin story it might become more apparent?

    So he has utilized the self help public speaker formula to gain monetary satisfaction as well as egoic satisfaction, while telling everyone the ego is bad, and money and the want of it is bad, all while preaching a defanged version of buddhism that solves nothing, as the actual difficult parts have been removed for mass consumption (to feel more books, speaking arrangements, etc…)
    Not to mention close friends [of his] have stated concern in the fact he seems hypocritical in what he is teaching versus how he is living.

    Yes, I will definitely stand by my statement, funny five words or not.

  43. Harleigh Quinn says:

    I apologize for the typos.

  44. omairsaeed says:

    Good article Ryan,

    Seems like an article describing each typical man, men have always been dominant and are likely to remain that way. Call it evolution, God's creation or the evil way men have manipulated the planet. Whats new about this ? How do both men and women live happily in such a world ?

    If I may, I think that our whole life we just search for a partner and feel that if we found the right partner and a good living, we can find happiness and the purpose of our life. Do not take me wrong but human beings are seldom satisfied with what they have, they always want more. It is quite possible that even though you got everything in life but you still did not see a purpose in your life, which is very common among women specially in the west during this time time and age. You wanted something more in life and you were frustrated with not moving forward and on top of that having a negative husband made things worse.

    You lived with a man for seventeen years and had two children with him, there must be something more then what you mentioned in the blog above that kept you with him. I feel we need to appreciate what we have in life, we need to learn to be content with what we have and need to manage with the available resources that we have around us. I feel very sad while travelling when I usually see lonely western women travelling, when you talk to them and get to know them they are all very nice individuals however they are all looking for a purpose, they are single mostly have the same stories as you or even worse.

    For example like you have taken yoga as a time out or something to keep you busy or keep your mind away from "what your purpose of life is" they take travelling time out every six months just to divert their minds from a lonely life. Even with all the freedom women have in this day and age, they have lot less happiness then the women who came before them.

    Both men and women need to learn to be happy with what they have and try to work around it. Yoga, discovery of your inner self, travelling to find a purpose in life are healthy but they are not purposes in life.

    I would have liked the article if you would have been able to change your negative husband or found someone else who had a balanced personality and were living a happy life. And I would have never commented or even thought of replying to this blog if I did not feel sad at the amount of sad single western women that I met in Zanzibar who would hire beach boys services just to feel better.

    I hope that you will lead women and yourself towards a positive track where happiness is guaranteed and not where you can just have a high self esteem but not happiness inside you. Balance is the solution to life and your right there is no mr one or mr perfect, because perfectionism does not exist in this world unless you want an angel as your husband. Men and Women both need to learn how to make things simple and not complicate them, how about an article about that next time?

    (I apologize if I might have hurt or offended anyone with this reply)

  45. Cassie says:

    I didn't mean to dislike your comment, darn phone. I loved it and agree with you completely. I was only with the person telling my intuition was wrong for 6 years before I realized how very manipulative he was. I can't imagine 20+ and yes, this article needs to be read by everyone. Just wanted to let ya know about the "dislike" and namaste. <3

  46. Lindsey says:

    Had a reeeeeeally hard time with this one, so confused.