“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”
~ Carl Schurz
Nature encourages us to find an appropriate mate, but our culture goads us to seek the “ideal” one. So we prowl for an archetypal male or female and swoon over each new possibility during the dating process. In this seemingly endless search to find “the one” we sometimes get caught up in the maze of our imagination, fantasizing about what we deem perfect–or have been taught to deem perfect–and ignoring the person in front of us who may, in fact, be “perfect” for us. For while ideals should guide our aspirations, we shouldn’t let them trick us into thinking that we’ll meet a truly flawless being who will never disappoint us.
In fact, fixating on what we think we want or need can become the easy way out of staying in reality. Clinging to impossible standards can seem to justify the desire to flee from the present moment, from the “now” that is here, by romanticizing another time, place, or person. This exercise in futility serves only to create suffering because there’s no avoiding the reality of what is. Don’t use your ideals as a way to hide from life, for there is no escape other than to dive into what’s in front of you. Ideals can act as guiding principles and have us shooting for our personal best, or they can be clinged to out of fear or grandiose expectations of what we think we should have. Set your sights on the stars, but then “let go and let God” and wait for the simple perfection of the moment.
Treasuring an ideal while simultaneously staying open to all other possibilities creates a space for you to arrive at your unique destiny, whether in seeking a lover, a new job, or a vacation spot.
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