This post explains my realizations after learning about the fourth basic human need: Love/Connection. The earlier needs I wrote about were Certainty, Uncertainty, and Significance. These needs are part of a framework that was created and taught by Tony Robbins. Since Mastin Kipp, the leader of the Enter the Heart Retreat in Bali, has a license to reteach the framework, here is his explanation of the fourth need:

“As Tony says, most people settle for Connection because Love is too scary. Without a sense of being connected and loved, by ourselves and others, we wither and die. In my opinion, this is the most important human need. Love is all there is, and feeling connected to ourselves and our community can cause the rest of the human needs to emerge.” – Mastin Kipp

Realizations on Love & Connection

Our retreat group made each one of these offerings, a daily Balinese Hinduism tradition.

Most of my life, I never knew how I really felt about love and marriage. I was raised by two very loving parents who have been married for 36 (soon to be 37) years. During my childhood, I saw a lot of my aunts and uncles go through divorce. It made me realize that what my parents had was very special. In fact, I put their marriage on a pedestal and convinced myself that their Love was so rare that I’d never find anything like that. I told myself I would focus on my career, and that’s exactly what I did. I was driven and ambitious through high school, college, and then into my career. Relationships were not the priority, though I did meet some great guys and had strong connections.

During the retreat, Mastin’s teachings helped me realize why I did this. It was a question that always lingered in my head…Why did I tell myself that I’d never find Love? (I’m talking about the kind of Love in which you know, with your whole heart, that you are destined to be with that person.) Why would I do that to myself? According to Mastin, the need for Love in our lives represents Uncertainty, while the need for Connection represents Certainty. BOOM. There it was.

Remember my previous post about Uncertainty? And how I did everything I could to avoid it? It made complete sense to me. In my head, I reasoned that I wasn’t going to search for Love because that meant actively seeking Uncertainty. It was much easier, instead, to rationalize that I would search for Connection and focus on my career, because that was Certainty and something I could control.

Looking back, I see now that I was in a 10+ year marriage with my career. I thought I’d meet my need for Certainty if I just stayed focused on that. I had relationships. I said “I love you” a few times, and I did love them, but I never felt that feeling of knowing I had found my soul mate. Little did I know, the Universe was going to bring that true Love into my life, whether I was ready for it or not.

I’m not going to go into detail on how I met that true Love, because that’s not the purpose of this post. The purpose is to show you how I came to realize a lifetime of patterns to avoid Love and Uncertainty. The purpose is to tell you that Love still found a way to find me. I know now, with my whole heart, that I am destined to be with this person for the rest of my life, and life with him is extraordinary. I kick myself now and say, “THIS is what I was avoiding?!” Silly silly Jenny. I’m glad the Universe set me straight.

Jenny and Kevin

Me with my true Love

*This post is part of a 30-day series called “Getting Unstuck” in which I’m trying to figure out my next professional step by getting out of my comfort zone and taking on various challenges. Follow along by subscribing to my weekly email list here.