The young girl in question is an executive of a company, over 30 years of age and a typical city dweller frequently traveling abroad. Then one day she meets a guy, or rather, she falls head over hills in love. When her love is reciprocated, she is on cloud nine! Now, her Facebook status says “I found the one!” Then time passes and suddenly one evening we see she changed her status to “Life sucks!” When we asked her about it, she replied that she is down. She declared, “I was sure this time I had found the right one, but once again I was to be let down.”

Yet, there is a universal truth: Whatever or whoever you are looking for cannot be found by searching.

At this point I have to mention the close relationship between my mother and our house cat Zuma. My mother doesn’t fancy Zuma, and while she tries to send him off, Zuma continues to climb into her bed at night. She constantly wants me to take her away because she can’t sleep with her around. Zuma, however, knows I’m searching, so she hides and makes it impossible to find her. I tell her to leave Zuma alone and that in time she will come out of hiding, and I will put her in my room. Repeatedly, my mother resists and chases the cat until she runs away yet again.

Here is another universal truth: Whatever you are running after, as long as you keep trying to catch it, it will run away from you. But once left alone it will come to you. This happens at home too. At last, my mother would go to bed; the chase would be over, and Zuma would calmly appear for me to put her away in my room.

The Cat that Gave Up Chasing Its Tail

I like another story about cats too. The kitten constantly chases its tail. The older cat asks the kitten why he is chasing his tail. The kitten replies that once he catches his tail he will have found love and happiness. The older cat smiles and adds, “Oh! I see! I was once just like you. Then I gave up, decided to walk away. You know what? The tail has been following me since!”

As for me, I was like that kitten for years, searching for the “one” and happiness. At first, every new encounter led me to believe that I had finally found the right one, which later led to heartbreak and sorrow and a let-down feeling. Then in the afternoon of October 10, 2004, as I walked down the hill from Gumussuyu towards Taksim, I shouted out loud to the universe: “I am done! I will no longer search for love or happiness. My search is over!” Hasan was down! By the way, I was soon to meet a reader of mine who had liked my book and requested we meet in person. In fact, when I read that mail for the first time, I received a forewarning because I had sensed a different energy. And, I guess that’s why I did not refuse the meeting. I still felt very down as I walked toward that meeting. I felt such self-pity as I walked slowly up the hill thinking of the past. I had broken up a long relationship; I had taken a long time to heal; I had even tried other relationships and failed. Now…

Huh, she still hadn’t shown up after 45 minutes! I was thinking that whoever befriends her is in deep trouble, and she will always keep you waiting if you have anything to do with her. I saw her from afar. She approached me. I looked into her face, and I knew I had met my wife. Not even ten seconds had passed and I knew the person in front of me was my wife. The most interesting part, I met her only after an hour and 45 minutes after my decision to give up my search.

If I Were to Go Back in Time

More than five years have passed since that moment. As I write this story, she runs around inside taking care of our children. Every time we leave the house I will have waited for her about an hour and a half. Since I am a Scorpio and she is a Leo, our life is full of fun! And I am happy with my life.

If you ask me whether I have any regrets, I could say I have no regrets, but had it been possible, I would have wanted to go back to when I was 18 and tell Hasan the following:

Dear Hasan,

For the next 10 years, you will run after love, and each time it is going to hurt. In fact, the one that hurts you will not be others but only yourself. What a pity that because of your high expectations of the person you are with, you won’t even enjoy just being together. How quickly you forgot the words of your teacher who had said “You young ones are so involved in giving a title to your relationships that you forget to live it” How you had admired those words and yet paid no heed to them. You went on trying to find a title for your relationships. Instead, spend time with them. Do not go after mental expectations and never forget the metaphor you lie so much. People are like streams. If you let it flow freely, another stream will join, and soon you will be flowing together. Then you might leave that stream and join others. This is how life flows. Free yourself. Trust the universe; let the universe decide who you will flow with.

Of course, I am not sure whether the 18-year-old Hasan would have paid heed to what I told him. Probably not! And, because he would not have listened, he would have lived the lesson of “can’t find by searching,” and would have had the experience of sharing that lesson with you, instead of the better lesson. When I was 18 years old, I heard a voice as if from the future telling me these things…And I hadn’t listened. And so here I write these words.

May you stop your search and may you let your search find you!