THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: The longing for love

By Fred Cavaiani

Songs of Love have been with us since people starting singing. At any moment on any radio you will hear a song that usually contains two themes, newly found love or recently lost love. There is a longing in each of us to be loved. We all deeply desire to be loved by someone who cherishes us and considers us a wonderful person. When we do not have this there is an experience of such a painful loss which is usually accompanied by a sense of feeling unimportant and not being good enough. When you see a younger couple holding each other in a warm embrace it is young love in action which is inspiring, passionate and attractive. When you see an elderly couple walking down the sidewalk holding hands, in a tender manner, a feeling arises that says "Ah, so sweet. So fortunate to be at such an age that two people still cherish each other and are together."

Peaceful, happy people feel loved and allow love and friendship to touch them in a deep manner. Miserable, unhappy people become too busy and too frightened to allow love to happen. When I am truly in love there is an element of letting go and surrendering to the other person or friend. When I can let love happen I will let you know that I will depend upon you and I will tell you what is going on inside of myself. To be in a love relationship be it a marriage, a friendship, a personal connection with another person, I need to have a kind and open heart to you. This kindness and openness frees both the person giving it and the person receiving it.

This past weekend I attended the 85th birthday of a close friend of mine. He and I have been friends for over 45 years. During the evening his son asked everyone to say something about what the birthday celebrant meant to them. The consistent theme in everyone was this man's love, kindness and patient willingness to listen attentively to them. Everyone felt loved in his presence for many years. His wife is very loving. His adult children are very loving and everyone at this celebration was loving and kind.

Happiness and permanent joy and peace are contained in this longing for love. When we pay attention to this longing inside of us and honestly admit how much we want this, we start on a journey of understanding the basic depths and desires of human nature. We also remember those people who have died who were very loving and kind to us. Even those who have died who may not have always been so loving, we still try to remember what was good about them that we can hang on to with fond memories. What I remember about my friends and relatives, both living and dead is how kind and compassionate they were, have been or are now. We remember well how other people treat us with kindness, compassion and love. That is how other people best remember us.

This Longing for Love challenges us to look for something permanent. The pain of the loss of someone who loved us can be difficult to experience. Yet the pain of this loss also challenges us to want something deep and permanent. The experience of someone loving us in the present moment also challenges us to look for someone that will love us and nurture us and remain with us without any limitations and be able to overlook and embrace our limitations. As I read history and remember the influential people in each age, I am impressed that that these people usually if not always had a deep relationship with God. They found a Permanent Love which totally embraced them and surrounded them with a sense of goodness and peace. But to find this permanent Love they had to get out of their heads and stay in their hearts. When I stay in my heart and experience the present moment I become propelled and motivated to experience life in a deeper manner and to become more open and loving. When I focus on you with an open heart and mind I find goodness. I put my ego aside and lo and behold so much opens up to me. You open up to me because I have stopped trying to change you and started loving you.

The Dance with God through life is very much like the dance of love with a beloved or a good friend. There is humility and openness. In this humility and openness I begin to allow love, both Human and Divine to touch my heart. I also begin to realize that this profound inner longing inside of me is there for a purpose. I may not know the purpose but I will be challenged to find the purpose of this profound inner longing. I will remember that in all the experiences of love in my life there must be something Divine or Permanent because I so desire this. When I search this I will discover that there is a Divine Element, a God who loves me, created me and calls me to live forever in a joy and peace and love that will always be permanent and forever. I will discover this, not through onerous pondering over texts, not through obeying religious and institutional rules, and not through condemning and judging others who live differently than me. I will discover this through opening my heart and mind to you and to being kind and loving and attentive to whoever is before me and whatever is before me. In this embrace of love I will then find the right community, religious organization, and friends to accompany me on this glorious journey of love through this life and into the next. It is at your fingertips. Just be simple and pay attention to loving and becoming receptive. My good friend has lived this way all his life. Next week I will attend another party for another good friend who is turning 80. Her kindness and love has also pointed the way toward God and Love. What a privilege to have such good friends who have taught me so much about love and the Longing for Love. I begin to realize that God and Love is always coming toward me. But I need to open my heart to this love.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. Fred conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

Published: Tue, Apr 21, 2015