Beyond Complexity

Flower catching the light

What drives us is the incessant need to be loved. At the heart of things, we are incredibly lonely, desperate to be fully understood, fully touched, fully appreciated. All of human interaction could be reduced to our fundamental need to be loved. Even the most horrifying of acts. Even the most mundane of interactions. Because it is not simply human love that we crave; for many of us, it is only something beyond humanity that we feel can love us and know us in the deepest and truest sense. So we perform sometimes atrocious acts in the attempt to please this distant god. But at root, it could still be accurately said that all human beings ultimately act in order to be loved, to be most truly and fully loved.

Which leads one to the thought that perhaps love immediately withheld may be one of the root causes of our suffering. It is important to have constant attention, constant grooming, from some source, or else we begin to withdraw into ourselves, withdraw into a quiet bitterness that may one day explode. We all need this steady love, whether it is from ourselves, our god, or our lover. We need to feel that we are important, that we have a purpose and meaning that is beyond the detached existence that our material existence accords us.

Such a simple need, and how easy to fulfill! But what is complex about it is that while the urge to love drives us beyond ourselves, the very fact of our own detached self is itself a barrier. It is hard to conceptualize, let alone manifest, any kind of deep interconnectivity that would eliminate the separation and distinction of your own self. Even while you crave so much at every moment to merge into a viscous stream with all creation, so you also fear this flow, and fight it at every step, in the struggle to maintain your sense of identity and control. It is no doubt a humorous and cruel irony that the very tools that would give us liberation and love would also harness our spirit and repress our instinct.

Recognizing this essential compulsion in humanity, however, is key to understanding other people and the way they act, which can seem at times obtuse. But recognize that everyone is simply trying to be loved in the deepest sense of the term, and you will begin to understand even complete strangers. You will see through violent or self-destructive acts. You will see through smoke screens of intellect or emotional fantasy. You will see human beings as what they are beneath all of the baggage and defense of their created universe: naked, lonely, and hungry to be loved.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

28 thoughts on “Beyond Complexity”

  1. I am really moved with your writing on “Being Loved”…This kind of blogs help the mankind. Oh ! i am touched. Let me take the entire write-up to the people who are in distress. It really throws light on the darker side of our feelings and emotions.

    Personally and on behalf of my friends, I congratulate you.

    with love

  2. Hi

    I too believe whole heartedly in love, not just for one but the whole of creation. As we enter this new awakening of ourselves as individual yet connected streams of consciousenss the love of truth just pours through us. Is this not the love that we really seek? The love of a life unknown yet known within our deepest selves, our true and meaningful selves, the ones that have no ego or need for identity of seperation from the whole. And yes the very thing we seek creates the very thing we do not wish for. Love of ourselves unconditionally really does mean seperation from the human race, yet deep connection to the everything. The cruel irony is that when you awaken to this you become homesick for the old as it has lived within the mind and created the body for so long. Breaking this unworthiness of life is the key to the end of all pain and fright.

    Together we can awaken others to this truth and bring about a massive change in the way we as a race live and exchange our gifts.

    Thank you for your contibution to this ever spreading path of selflessness and freedom from all forms of suffering

    Love Julie-Ann

  3. i´m deeply touched, i can´t express myself as well as i do in spanish but, i like the way u write, because u can see through people, their masks don´t trick you, you are different… i like reading you…

  4. Sandra, gracias para tus palabras. Tambien no puedo describir mucho en Español. Pero quiero aprender más. ¡Quizá uno día puedo tener sueños en Español! Espero así.

  5. Hello, I’m lucky to have run into this piece.

    I commend you for coming to terms with what is essential for the human soul. Being loved gives us a place to stand in the world — that we can be part of the perpetual existence of the everyday life.

    I figured this discovery while walking on the streets of downtown and passing by people who might seem careless and destructive. Looking at their eyes, I could see they just want the simple act of a human connection.

    Thank you for sharing — the subject of love is so simple and true, but sometimes it seems that we resist it so much.

  6. You stated, “What drives us is the incessant need to be loved.”

    Why strive to be loved….when you ARE LOVE in and of itself? Such efforts to strive to be loved places all our experiences with true happiness and real joy into someone elses hands. The outcome of such a choice will always result in your peace feeling like you are standing upon shifting sand.

    “Go placidly amidst the noise and haste
    and remember what peace there is in silence.”

  7. Well, yes, you are correct. But this is a realization that comes about only through time and struggle, through the love of others and the world until you come to a point where you can recognize yourself in all the world and vice versa. In attempting to relate to all other human beings, most of whom are not aware that they are already complete and whole and beautiful, one must look at people in their mundane daily activities and note that they are struggling, quite simply, to be loved.

  8. The story of my life and the reason I am writing my blog, my never ending need to be loved. What a great, insightful article. I’ll be coming back to read more from you.

  9. Very insightful writing – hits me at the core of my Being – puts me very much in touch with where I am withholding from Self and Others the very thing I crave the most – the giving and receiving of Love.

  10. I applaud the effort because I was in the mood for something lovely. I’m not sure atrocious acts have anything to do with it. Junior put down that club, come in and eat dinner and be nice to your sister.

  11. Atrocious acts are not acts of love, of course, but could be seen as disassociated acts of the attempt to be loved–to be seen, to be known, to be heard. By some notion of god, or some notion of justice, or some such strange and obsessive idea. Obviously, a convoluted and pitiable attempt to be loved, but still at root the same thing anyway, in the big picture of things.

  12. “At the heart of things, we are incredibly lonely, desperate to be fully understood, fully touched, fully appreciated.”

    By whom? More than likely we have not a clue at whom it is we are looking at in the mirror. We are lonely unto ourselves. We choose not to understand our true perfection and grace. We simply avoid our real feelings to know how it is we touch richly the lives of others. As a result we feel unappreciated. And, we take these feelings and project them onto others thinking they will provide us with the strokes of love we seek.

    The quote is a century-old theme of our up-bringing. It is the basis for wars, divorces, abuses of self and others, and a multitude of unreasonable misunderstandings. And, I would agree your perception of Self to be so….as YOU experience it.

    For countless sick reasons, we believe others ARE the source of our happiness, knowing full well the experience of “getting” happiness from them will be temporary and fleeting. We are clueless this belief system is delusional at best. It is the primary reason we love to believe we are lonely. We want to bring ONLY the lonely into our lives to further the perceptions seeming reality. Likewise, believing we are desperate brings us ONLY to places desperate and misunderstood.

    What we will we do. What we wish we won’t. At the heart of all things is the truth that we are at the controls of making for ourselves a life that is rich with companionship, understanding and appreciation. If you WANT to feel lonely…you will be lonely. If you WANT to feel complete and understood…you will know fulfillment and understanding starts with ignoring the lie you are alone and desperate for touch. Life is already complete and ready for your use.

    You are loved and loved right now!

    Author of IM with God

  13. hey bubbler, yeah the love subject, hmm. it can never be exhausted by anyone in this life. even shakespeare died with some stones un turned. love is so bittersweet, but we have to embrace it as it comes and let go when it goes. what puzzles me is why one can be so in love with another and they dont love them back, and yet there is some one who loves them, but they cant love them back the same way. uugh! it hurts me that bad! where is the perfect love????????? shaz.

  14. Shaz23: Unrequited love, the subject of art throughout the ages. . . If nothing else, it provides great fodder for creativity. . . Nothing like a little depression and unrequited love to get those juices flowing. . . But as our friend AngllhugnU2 would say, the perfect love already exists complete and ready within yourself.

  15. I understand this writing well. I feel I am in a constant struggle to please the ones I love, and more often than not, find myself disappointed and more lonely than ever before. For me, in the last few years, I have made a greater effort to love people through my deeds, which I thought was the way it should be, but now, I’m seeing that the results are often the same. I thought if the same amount of love I gave would be the love that I in turn receive, then I should not be disappointed. Theoretically, that makes sense, however, I don’t always see the results of that in my life. I guess I am beginning to realize that, while we were all made from Love in its purest and greatest form, not everyone can truly accept that kind of love. We allow ourselves to be so full of ugliness and junk from this world, that we don’t know how to really love or be loved in the way that we were meant to. We allow the wrongs that have been done to us and all of our past regrets to taint the way we see people, and as a result, we shut people out, turn them away, beat them with our words, denying them the chance to cause us any harm. Often times, we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of self preservation that causes us to inflict the very same pain on someone else that was once inflicted on us.

    However, like you, I continue to fight the good fight, and press on looking for the rare jewels in the world who are open to love, ready to give and receive love without restraint… for those who can look beyond the dirt and grime on the surface to see what is pure and clean underneath.

  16. “We allow the wrongs that have been done to us and all of our past regrets to taint the way we see people, and as a result, we shut people out, turn them away, beat them with our words, denying them the chance to cause us any harm. Often times, we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of self preservation that causes us to inflict the very same pain on someone else that was once inflicted on us.”

    PERFECT! Were these inspired thoughts considered valuable on 9/10 there would still be two towers standing in New York, a section of the Pentagon unharmed, a field in Pennsylvania unknown and several thousand families with sons and daughters serving proudly above ground.

    Author of IM with God

  17. Beletranger: I know what you mean, about feeling disappointed by people. And sometimes it feels as though you should hold back in order to protect yourself from being hurt by insensitivity and indifference.

    I’m happy that you are still fighting the good fight. Because I think that you will soon discover that the more that you give, selflessly, the more that you will receive. When all expectation has been released, and all bitterness let go. Love is something that comes from unexpected directions, suddenly, surprisingly, spontaneously. From everywhere. From everyone. It builds, brick by brick, from heart to heart. Until a picture of unity is formed, inclusive of everything and everyone.

    A while back I once began to get bitter, and feel like I had to reject some friends who I felt were not returning my love as they should. I voiced this feeling to another friend of mine over the phone one night, and he told me something that I hadn’t wanted to hear. I wanted to hear my bitterness reaffirmed, I wanted him to tell me that yes, I had a righteous and true cause to hold against those other friends. But he told me, instead, that I needed to get over myself. And that I needed to love them on their terms, not my own terms. That I needed to keep giving, without expectation of return. That I needed to keep giving, even when it hurt. Even if it felt like throwing my love into a void.

    And he was right. Once I let go of my insecurity and bitterness, I discovered beyond that true love. And it felt really good to let all that other shit go.

  18. I know you’re right. I was feeling a bit under-appreciated when I wrote that, but fortunately, these spells rarely last more than a few days for me. Sometimes, I just feel like I’m running dry. It’s not that I really expect much from others, it’s just that I get so caught up in doing for people that I tend to forget about what I need to the point that I begin to feel drained. I don’t know if that makes sense. I guess I’ve not yet perfected the art of balance in my life… or I should say, knowing when it’s time to focus on me for a bit, and when it’s time to focus on others. Like, realistically, if you give out all of the food in your refrigerator to the hungry, while that is magnanimous and well worth doing, at some point, you’re going to have to go to the grocery store and replenish what you’ve given out. Now, we who have faith (in whatever it is that you may choose to place your faith in), live with the assurance that what we give does, indeed, come back, whether what we give is a positive or negative action. Still, I do believe that there are definite seasons in our lives… like the song says, “to everything turn, turn, turn. There is a season turn, turn, turn…” Or as Solomon said :). Times of planting and gathering, times of giving and of receiving, and so on. But, even love, as inexhaustible a resource as it is, perhaps, because of our own human limitations, has to be replenished… or so I find for myself. There has to be those times when you sit back, take a break from doing, and tap into whatever it is that brings you back to an abundance, where you are able to give effortlessly and without lack. I’m not always good at remembering to do that, so I have to put myself in check, and take some time to gather my resources.

    I may or may not be on the right track on this one, though… still learning.

  19. Someone once said “there are two kinds of people in this world; those who are wise and those who think themselves so.” Well…I thought myself wise to help my friend in a financial hardship for whatever reason. I kept telling myself…”It’s only money! It’s only money!” That decision today has really haunted me about my ability to make good loving choices. And, it has challenged my beliefs in how to love others. But, I too guess I am learning.

    In the end…it is only money….BUT, man there are times when I could use some of it back. :-)

  20. This piece has stirred up a lot in me, as have the
    comments that followed. I agree with angllhugnu2 and bubbler and yet how do we know how to love ourselves if we have never been on the receiving end of it? And we may never be on the receiving end of it for the very reasons bubbler describes. Living in a place where everyone is acting out just to grasp on to a little “piece of Heaven”, but perhpas never knowing what that really is. Without going into my personal history I will simply say that my experiences of love have rarely come from other people, but from inside myself as I witness miraculous events such as the birth of my grandchild, the way people rally together to help those less fortunate during catasrophic events such as Katrina and 911 and what I see in nature and in this there is destruction and beauty and love beyond wordy descriptions. But maybe being witness to these events is the only way we will fathom real love. And I feel that if we decide to give love and be always in a state of love that we are deceiving ourselves and being contrary to our human-ness and to the reality of this existence. Are we here only to
    score points in an afterlife that may never come? Or are
    we giving love only in the hopes of receiving some in
    return. When we act authentically and experience our emotions we get closer to our true essence than if we just swallow hard and pray that all those feelings just go away.

    I hope this makes sense. I thank you for discussing this topic for it has caused me to ponder and feel!

  21. I think your statement that your “experiences of love have rarely come from other people, but from inside myself” is really exactly one of the central points here. That all these confused and frenzied actions in the world by troubled people looking for their “little piece of heaven” are really just blind graspings after shadows, when the very simple truth is that love is already here, within everyone. But as you say, this eternal awareness of the state of love is indeed contrary to the reality of our human existence. We can’t always exist in some steady state of enlightened and masturbatory bliss. As human beings, we need each other to find ourselves, we squabble, we fight, we hurt, we bleed, we tear at each other until we remember, again, when we see mirrored in another’s face our own inner light, what we really are.
    But we are certainly capable of training ourselves to remember this in our everyday interactions, and in gaining the ability and insight to see deeper into people we might normally write off as strangers, enemies, or friends. And seeing deeper into them, we see deeper into ourselves, knowing that we are all simply struggling to be loved, or to be accepted, or to be known, understood, embraced, etc. And then maybe we begin to break through, slowly, the barriers that bind our minds and hearts from each other.

  22. Very insightful article on love. human need to be loved. the love from family, from friends, from lover.

    And before getting love from lover, we should firstly love ourselves. How can someone love you if you don’t like yourself?

    So no matter what kind of ethnicity you have, what appearance you own, what’s your background, just be confident and love yourself!

    I am a large girl, though many people laugh at my fat body. I don’t care about it. I am happy with who am I and I say to my self everyday: “Life is short and beautiful, love yourself and enjoy life!”

    And recently I met a nice guy on
    He was attracted and touched by my positive personality. And we are happily dating now.

    So I believe love yourself and you can find your lover!

  23. ” …we are certainly capable of training ourselves to remember (love already exists) in our everyday interactions, and in gaining the ability and insight to see deeper into people we might normally write off as strangers, enemies, or friends.”

    Hmmm….that sounds familiar…….Take it away Waylon Jennings…..

    “I was looking for love in all the wrong places
    Looking for love in too many faces
    Searching your eyes, looking for traces
    Of what.. I’m dreaming of…
    Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover
    God bless the day I discover
    Another heart, lookin’ for love…”

  24. I love “What drives us is the incessant need to be loved. At the heart of things, we are incredibly lonely, desperate to be fully understood, fully touched, fully appreciated.”

    True, indeed.

  25. I really enjoyed reading this piece…as being new to this site, I was very happy to have found something that expresses so well what we all think but can’t quite always put into words.
    Love is something that makes us all feel like we have a purpose in our live and without this we are nothing…Kudos once again for such a well written piece.

  26. It is Me again bubbler. To love and to be loved. We have all felt it or denied it. The irony of the human experience.The need for acceptance from ourselves and others is the deepest part of the souls experience. Oh the pain and joy of the lives we have.We are all here to learn from each other and teach each other. What? That is the great question of our existance. Love is the root of life. How one grows from that is there own path.That dam EGO always takes it toll on us all. You are doing good work here.

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