Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places


“When life is empty of this and that,
The more we hold on, the less we catch,
The life we once had, the life we once dreamed,
Falls by the wayside and is not what it seemed.” 
– Kelly Martin, 2011

How many of us reach a crossroads in our lives and recognise the scenery, but notice instead of reaching the winning square, we’ve been transported back to square one ?

Not backwards, not even forwards, yet up and around to another level of awareness.

Life can be likened to a spiral, many people say an onion where we peel back the layers. The onion signifies peeling back and eventually getting to the core. The spiral feels more like my journey right now and turning back on my path yet not actually going back.

Different levels of experiencing.

Sometimes in life we hide our deepest darkest secrets behind a mask, many a time from ourselves. I feel I have been doing this for some time. It’s like my whole life has led me back to this one place – me. I could travel the whole world and miss ‘this’. I could fill my life with this and that and miss ‘this’. I could have all the money in the world and use it to miss ‘this’.

My life could be full of people, events, social occasions, technology, love making, romance, food, drink, drugs and I would miss ‘this’.

What is the ‘this’ that I would miss?

The secret that I have discovered inside my feelings is that I have been looking for love in all the wrong places my entire life.

This past year has been immense. Not only have I left the conventional behind (the job, the drama, the distractions, the people), but I’ve spent over a year exploring nature, exploring me – primarily on my own.

I have one friend Sharon whom I see occasionally, and my best friend Mike with whom I live. Mike who has filled a void where my father’s death left me. Mike, who filled the void where love was not.  Mike has been one of the few people I have met in my life who is truly unconditional with his love. Even through tough times he has opened his heart to me, showered me with his immense wisdom and held me in his arms when life felt too difficult to handle. And so life in all its wondrous delights and twists and turns gave me an opportunity this month.

Mike, my one last void filler, has been invited to expand his social circle. In the course of 2 weeks his life has gone from being quiet and uneventful to making new friends, learning new things and spending a lot more time out of our home.  And while nothing has changed in my outer life, EVERYTHING has changed internally for me.

I have been cleaning my flat like crazy; an insistent urge to clear the decks, to make space in my home environment. I have been practising Feng Shui (see here) and I knew that once the urge to clean and clear started, some changes would take place. I did not realise the change would be with Michael outwardly and me inwardly. Feng Shui has me polishing mirrors (cleaning how I see myself), removing dirt from corners I had not looked at before (removing the dirt from my eyes so I can see) and strengthening different areas of my life.

Feng Shui has become a big reflection of my inner world. While I had been focusing more on wealth and bringing prosperity into my life, I had overly focused on this area before Feng Shui, and Feng Shui is teaching me to bring balance to all areas of my inner world. My flat is now divided into directions representing wealth, prosperity, career, spirituality, creativity, mother/feminine, father/masculine, how people see me, etc., etc… It is amazing how seeking the symbolism in our homes can affect our inner experience and then affect outer change.

One major aspect I changed was the North West quadrant of my flat. This represents the masculine, the man, the strength. And so this is where Mike sleeps and I have placed a mountain image behind him and placed a light in that area;. I have placed crystals and iron pyrites there. Mike’s shifts took place only a week or so after I made these changes. My changes have been more on an emotional level.

Heart Cracked Open With Grief

Since Mike has been going out more, suddenly (even though Mike worked 7 nights a week for about two years a few years back), his absence was felt on a whole different level. I had this sudden immense grief return. I felt this intense feeling of loss, that I was losing him, that I am losing him. Even though intellectually I know I never owned him and he was never mine to lose, my heart has felt cracked open with grief.

Just today he was out practising Tai Chi with his new friends and he was out for around 6 hours. He sent me a message on my phone saying he would be about an hour later than expected. My immediate response? I burst into tears.

Talk about intellectually irrational, completely out of context of the changes taking place, but I feel that my inner child, my inner being, knows these changes are different and are taking place on a different level.

I am losing him. The void he filled where I felt I was not able to love myself or give me what I needed is being emptied – of him. AND this has not been the easiest time for me. Hence why I have taken a hiatus from Facebook chatting. I need time to process and understand what is going on for me and understand what it is I need now.

What I have mainly been doing is cleaning my flat more and spending time just ‘being’. Not doing anything at all. Being with myself. No activity, no internet, no TV, no music, no painting, no walking. Just sitting and lying on my bed. Not all day but for about an hour or two a day. And this has brought me to the awareness of where I have been looking for love.

Lack Of Self-Love

I guess I never had any practice of giving myself what I needed in my life. My parents gave me money and food and loved me in their own way. Alcohol filled a hole, food filled a hole, drama filled a hole, busyness filled a hole. I was for most of my life desperately looking to others to love me. I so much wanted people to love me because I felt this gaping hole where love was needed: not from others, or from things, but from me.

First I went to girlfriends who were never able to fill that hole. Friends never filled that void. Always in the past, I attracted girlfriends who were unavailable emotionally or physically. Or, on the rare occasion, I found  a friend whom I loved with all my heart, but felt (and understandably so because it was true) my neediness, my desperate need for them to give me what I needed to give myself. So I have spent many years with few friends I could get intimately close with, because they did not give me what I needed – and they never could.

And so, back to today. Back to square one. I cannot look to others to give me love any more. They can’t and they never could. I can’t look to money or stuff to fill the void ever again – it can’t and it never will. I cannot look for ‘attention’ from others for my art, my writing, my speaking, my anything!! Again – because it cannot fill this void. Only love can. Only love from source. From the reservoir within me that I am yet to discover.

But I am on the path now. Being aware is the first initial step. Being aware of my behaviour, my actions and the way I have sought love for so long from others.

While I am experiencing periods of intense loneliness right now, while Mike moves away from me, and begins to leave my heart centre, I am reminded that this void can no longer be filled from outside sources and it never could.

This is only the beginning. Let love lead the way.


Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Anonymous
    November 15, 2011 / 9:22 pm

    Sending you Love and Light. Praying that you will continue to grow and will find a place in life where you can express your true self.
    Myra Lynn Caruthers Ross

  2. November 16, 2011 / 10:19 am

    I have read this post a couple of times Kelly and don't really know what to say that will be helpful to you. We need to love ourselves first and then maybe love from outside of us will follow? I am sad to think that you are feeling lonely although I think many of us experience loneliness from time to time. Be good to yourself and nurture yourself. Mike isn't going out of your life for good is he? Take care and give yourself a great big hug from me! x

  3. November 16, 2011 / 11:46 pm

    Thanks Lynn and Simone ((hugs))

    I appreciate the love and light and hugs a lot!

    I will nurture myself. And Mike isn't going out of my life for good right now anyway. He may in the future but now we are good its just an internal shift taking place for me. Something necessary. I guess its just me coming home to me in a way. I will find my way. Hugs xxx

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