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After a deep contemplation of why I couldn't move on from a relationship I found that it was because I am not getting admiration from anyone else. Actually, in past she admired me when no one else did. I was in great need of admiration and she showed me that just then. She filled a hole in me that time, made me feel good about myself. Now that we are not together, I am depressed, demotivated and not a man anymore. I am craving that admiration so much. I do not have any contact with any other girl in my life. I also realised why she admired me. But now I'd be foolish to seek the same admiration from someone else while I am not having those qualities that make people admire me anymore. Also she was my first love and soon I had developed sexual interest in her. So, admiration + first love + sexual interest made me feel on top of the world. I was teen back then. Now I can't move on. What do i do?

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  • As per previous Q/A b/w us, you are craving for her presence, respect her-- don't desire to use her for selfish purpose, admiration is nothing more than developing my image in mind of others, you must already know this, if you do vipassana. Metta. – user17511 Jan 15 '20 at 14:28
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You need to try and focus on yourself rather than her. Whatever qualities she admired in you, you need to show yourself these qualities. Let's say she admired your smile, every time you look in a mirror, tell yourself "I have a beautiful smile and this is all mine".

You need to accept yourself first and everyone else will take a back seat. It won't be easy and instant but it's a start. Tell yourself that you are in love with a version of her that you created up in your mind. The idea of her and "her" are two different people.

Also, writing down your thoughts help. Another technique is to realize the importance of people who love you like family and friends who are around. You need to understand that these are the ones who truly care about you and you need to get your life back on track for them. Everyday try and find something in people close to you that attracts you to them. This will help lower her importance in life.

Hope this helps!

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  • With respect, I think it is quite clear that focusing on himself and his own well being rather than her well being is exactly what the poster is already doing and it is leading to much suffering and pain. He's looking for a way out of this. – Yeshe Tenley Jan 15 '20 at 15:36
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Hello Equanimous_being,

It is good that you have been doing some deep inward contemplation and trying to identify these negative emotions! What precisely are these thoughts and where do they come from? What motivates them? What causes them and what can be done to stop them from arising? You've done well to see that they are unsatisfactory and causing you much grief.

You've identified that at least part of the lust for this girl comes from the way she made you feel about yourself while you were together. She admired you and found you desirable. This felt pleasurable to be seen by another as worthy of admiration. And now you find yourself desiring this admiration and find it's absence painful.

What you are describing is suffering that comes from preoccupation with what Buddhists call the Eight Worldy Concerns. They are four pairs of aversions/desires that preoccupy sentient beings and cause much suffering. Reflect and see if these describe in part what you are feeling:

  1. Taking delight in having money and material possessions, and the other one in the pair is being disappointed, upset, angry when we lose them or don’t get them.
  2. Feeling delighted when people praise us and approve of us and tell us how wonderful we are, and the converse is feeling very upset and dejected when they criticize us and disapprove of us—even if they are telling us the truth!
  3. Feeling delighted when we have a good reputation and a good image, and the converse is being dejected and upset when we have a bad reputation.
  4. Feeling delighted when we experience sense pleasures—fantastic sights, sounds, odors, tastes and tactile sensations—and feeling dejected and upset when we have unpleasant sensations.

Does this sound like what you are experiencing? You are not alone. Nearly everyone struggles with these cravings and desires.

It is important to note this has nothing to do with this girl. She is tangential to these thoughts. If it were not her it'd be someone else you'd be focusing on. Were a beautiful women to meet you tomorrow and shower you with admiration and physical sensation you'd likely forget all about this other girl don't you think?

You've noted that you met her in your teens and that you don't think you have the same qualities anymore. Well, nothing is permanent is it? Our bodies start out fresh and young and move through life until at the end they inevitably break down. Any physical beauty that we might have once possessed fades. Inevitably and inexorably so. There is nothing we can do to prevent this.

You are going to die. That is an absolute certainty and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. All the admiration from all the beautiful people in the world will do nothing for you as you lie on your death bed. Your body will break down and die and the eight worldly concerns will help you not one little wit when this happens.

Contemplation of our inevitable death is a very powerful way of turning our thoughts from the eight worldy concerns and focusing on that which is truly beneficial and can help us find what is meaningful in this very life. When you are lying on your death bed and can look back on all the love you gave and all the compassion and kindness you showed to others... that is what will count.

Again, the way out of this unsatisfactory predicament of preoccupation with lust and craving for this girl is to concentrate on other's well being when you can and to let these thoughts be. Just let them be. They will pass as all things do. Try to develop some healthy habits in their wake.

Maybe try and read more about the eight worldy concerns.

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  • Hello Yeshe Tenley, this is accurate. This is what I am going through. Thank you. I will start my practice of contemplation of death – Equanimous_being Jan 15 '20 at 17:18
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    Great. Here is a another great resource about the Eight Worldly Concerns and how contemplations on death and impermanence can help us rid ourselves of these impulses. tricycle.org/magazine/parting-four-attachments – Yeshe Tenley Jan 15 '20 at 17:25
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Once blessed with love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity, one would quite certainly miss them. These are the brahmaviharas.

The interesting thing about the brahmaviharas is that craving them results in suffering as others depart or otherwise move on. But having been blessed as the receiver of brahmavihara, we also understand them and know how important it is to bring the brahmaviharas into the world.

If one has only one last drop of love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity, even just half a memory, one also has a choice. One can choose to share. One can choose to share whatever love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity one has left with oneself and others. In doing so, one can ease pain and suffering.

The giving and practice of love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity is limitless. To let go of craving, one simply has to count oneself wealthy enough to share and give love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity. So practice love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity towards yourself and others. Find the love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity inside yourself to share. And in the sharing, love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity will grow.

AN4.95:2.2: The person who practices to benefit neither themselves nor others is like this, I say. The person who practices to benefit others, but not themselves, is better than that. The person who practices to benefit themselves, but not others, is better than both of those. But the person who practices to benefit both themselves and others is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the four.

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