When I was young, in my early 20s, I was reading a book by Richard Bach in which he said: “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” This hit hard because in that moment I understood; it gave me goose bumps. Filled with dread—knowing I would be unable to apply this law to my own life—I closed the book, telling myself I’d get back to it. I can’t remember if I ever did. Later on, I read somewhere that the energy we generate by chasing someone only pushes them farther away. Or if we do obtain the object of our desire, we are miserable because obsessions cannot fulfill us. Many of us have learned this universal law the hard way: We are only fulfilled by looking within, trusting that there is a higher and rewarding plan for our lives.

I wonder why so many of us disregard this principle? Our souls know. Our still, small voices whisper to us, but our ego-desire for someone or something blocks our common sense. We may have bad feelings or dreams to show us, but we ignore them. Other people may even say things to us like: “Nobody wants to be chased or dragged into a relationship. Both people must have their hearts in the relationship for it to have any chance of success.” We ignore it all because we have a strong feeling about this person—we ‘know’ it’s meant to be. This can apply to material things, as well, like buying a car or house we can’t afford, only to lose it. It’s a matter of the foundation. The desire-base is made from wet sand and packs down okay at first, but as soon as the sand begins to dry, the ‘house’ begins to sink and then collapses.

In my case, I knew I couldn’t be happy without my first husband and would not let go. Ten months after we were married, I came home from work and there was a note—he was gone. It wasn’t working for him. I wept for months. What was wrong with me? How would I go on without him? I sank into a very dark place. This became a pattern in my life; and I know more than one woman who has experienced this same stubborn ‘can’t live without him’ feeling, only to see the relationship, their marriages and their dreams, destroyed.

Learning to trust in a higher plan for our lives, to listen to the quiet voice of our souls, is the life lesson. The real question is, “How many people/things will we have to lose before we accept this universal law?” It doesn’t even make sense, repeating behavior over and over that causes us so much pain. I guess it comes down to a ‘Who’s in control?’ issue. When we trust in the higher plan, all that comes to us is good and right. The happiness we seek is finally ours. It’s real because, at last, we are living what is meant to be.