photo: vv@ldzen on flickr

photo: vv@ldzen on flickr

We’ve all been there.

There’s that special someone. Someone who is totally out of reach. But still we pine for them. We want them. If only we could have them, our whole lives would be so much better.

The first part of my life was filled with this kind of torture growth opportunity.

Indeed, it seemed that the more unavailable someone was, the more I was attracted to them.

Good times!

photo: Vincent on flickr

photo: Vincent on flickr

And yet, even though my adventures with the unattainable weren’t working for me, I persisted.

Yes, I knew that attraction to the unavailable kept me from true intimacy with an actual person. Yes, I knew that I would have to let go of this pattern to truly be happy.

 But I couldn’t seem to help myself.

My last great adventure with the unavailable came with a woman I met through a mutual friend.

She appeared to be everything I was looking for. She was gay. She was single. She even looked like my internal image of the perfect partner.

And yet, as I got to know her, I began to find multiple barriers to intimacy. Substance abuse. Lack of empathy for others. An inability to be honest.

And that was just the small stuff!

Despite these barriers, I still pined for this woman. It made no sense. But she made me feel . . . special. She made me feel . . . alive.

photo: Courtney Carmody on flickr

photo: Courtney Carmody on flickr

It felt as though pursuing her would bring me some sort of amazing reward that only she could provide.

This went on for years. Others came and went, but my attention seemed to invariably shift back to her. The possibility of her.

Finally, it came to a head.

Given that most of the action was taking place in my mind, that’s where the resolution happened.

As I was making dinner one night, I was anticipating/dreading/fantasizing about seeing her soon. Maybe it could still work out. Maybe she really was the one for me. Maybe she’d changed.

As my mind persisted in the old, tired patterns, a new idea came in.

Ask your Higher Self.

photo: Alex Griffioen on flickr

photo: Alex Griffioen on flickr

There are many ways to dialogue with our Inner Knower. I have often done so by journaling or automatic writing. But this time it was just me and my mind. I opened to a different view. A higher one.

And this is what I heard:

You think that by being in a relationship with this woman, you will feel better. But that is not the case. Being in a relationship with her will make you miserable.

photo: Ryan Weisgerber on flickr

photo: Ryan Weisgerber on flickr

It was such a powerful thought, I had to stop what I was doing. I put down the knife I was using to make my salad, and I basked in the awareness of what I’d been told.

It was true, I could feel it immediately. I was finally ready to hear it.

And from that moment on, my attraction to her greatly diminished.

It’s not that it was gone altogether. I still tried to entertain the notion of her as a possible partner. But every time I did, I remembered what I’d been told.

She will make you miserable.

A few days after dialoguing with my Higher Power, I had a revelation.

Obsessing about this woman had made me miserable. And yet while I was in the middle of the obsession, my brain was telling me that the only way to feel better was to fulfill my obsession. My brain was telling me that this fulfillment was the cure for my misery.

But once I let go of the obsession, I woke up. I realized that my addiction to the unavailable was the cause of my misery, not the cure.

Like any good addiction, I had been fooled into thinking that help was found in the harmful.

Tricky, tricky!

There was another revelation that came after my Higher Power’s intervention. I realized that part of the allure of unavailable people (or places or things) is the idea that if I can just make myself “better,” then I can have the desired, unavailable thing.

But “better” is elusive, and ultimately impossible. Given that the object of desire is unavailable, there is no “better” that will bring it to us. “Better” is a stick we use to hurt ourselves. It’s “proof” of our unworthiness.

Crazy, yes. But it’s all part of the addiction. And addiction, by nature, is cunning and baffling.

Which is why the Divine/Higher Power/Grace/Love is the only answer.

photo: Peter Shanks on flickr

photo: Peter Shanks on flickr

There was one more gift for me in this particular round of chasing the unavailable.

When it was all said and done, I saw that the real unavailable person in the scenario was me. I was unavailable to myself and my own life. I was ignoring my own needs and desires. And my own worth.

Once I fully connected with my Higher Self, I was able to unhitch my claws from that which was bringing me pain. I was able to open to the love within and around me.

And, eventually, I opened to a real-life relationship with an amazing, real-life person.

photo: Sharon Dunn on flickr

photo: Sharon Dunn on flickr

I’m not saying I’ve never pined after unavailable people, places and things again. But I’ve been quicker to ask for Help. To remember my worthiness. And to not abandon myself in the process.

Ultimately, my adventures with the un-available catapulted me into an opposite state:

Availability.

To myself. To my wife. And to the Divine.

That’s where the magic really happens.

photo: Karen Fry on flickr

photo: Karen Fry on flickr

Have you had adventures with the unavailable? Share your comments below!

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