Here we have the crux of the matter! I’m afraid most of us don’t even think we can change, but I’m here to tell you it is completely possible to change your mind and then change your life. I have done it a number of times.
For most of us, things have to get pretty BAD before we will even consider finding the energy or outside resources to change our lives. Most of us would rather blame anyone or anything else than ourselves for the mess we have made of our lives.
I know I had to hit a brick wall before I started changing everything. When you do hit that wall that tells you your life is so not working, find the time to sit alone for hours, days and even months thinking about what’s next.
I was 49 when my crisis hit, and so I focused on what I needed to have happen before I died. I spent my time challenging all of my previous beliefs about why I was here. I found very little meaning in what I had accomplished thus far, and so made a solemn commitment to doing everything in a different way.
First I prioritized what I wanted most in my life. My first priority was to find ways to believe in love again. I started my own dating service and met face-to-face with hundreds of other disillusioned midlife singles. We discussed ways we could begin again to believe that love was a good thing, after various versions of destructive divorces.
Through following my intuition and inner wisdom, I eventually met my true love and soul mate, whose love and loyalty was absolute. He believed in me enough to provide me with the financial and emotional support I needed to then change careers. I went from academic librarian to writer, author, and midlife psychology specialist around age 50.
Don’t sit around making more excuses! Decide what you need to happen now and start with small steps today!
Abundance is how we live in each moment — the choice to be open, the choice to entertain the possibility that we can have, create, and attract what we truly want.
Most of us start out believing that love can transform our lonely existence into something better. When that doesn’t work out as hoped for or planned, do we dare dream again? I say YES!
As the years go by, most of us slowly realize that love is what matters most. Love is what we all seek. The experience of love is vital to healing and wholeness. In a world filled with sadness, misunderstandings, and unfairness, love is our chance to feel a little less alone.
No one can buy that marvelous feeling of unconditional acceptance, loyalty, trust and caring. Rich or poor, we have to find it for ourselves. Most go in search of romantic love with one gigantic, unacknowledged obstacle standing squarely in their way, difficult memories of past loves that went horribly wrong. Most know all too well that love can be cruel.
How do you get past early disillusioning experiences that stand solidly in your path to ever believing in love again? How do you get to the point where you can fully acknowledge past negative or destructive relationships, thank them for all they have taught you, and then feel certain you have removed their power over your future?
How do we find the courage to open to love again, when our mind is filled with memories of a painful past?
These are the answers I had to find for myself when I lost my way ten years ago. I so wanted to still believe in love, but I realized my past experiences threatened that belief. I really had no reason to believe, and if I didn’t, what was the point of going in search of love again?
We must each find the faith inside that love and abundance is still out there and will transform our lives, before it can ever happen. That is what I learned through my own experiences, and what I share in my book How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust and Your Own Inner Wisdom.
“Think of life as a terminal illness, because, if you do, you will live with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.” — Anna Quindlen
The sad news that Valerie Harper has a rare form of brain cancer was just another reminder to me that right now is all each of us has. I appreciate Valerie’s effort to confront her impending end publicly, and I applaud her courage in the face of death. She is making an effort to remind us all to live each day as if it were our last. This is a message I can use.
Too often I can get totally wrapped up in memories. I may wonder why certain things happened to me, or why someone was so cruel in my past. These days I try to stop myself and say, “There is only right now, and right now things are OK in my life.” There is no future in the past.
The same goes for obsessing about what will happen tomorrow. Realizing that anything could happen tomorrow and I truly have no idea what that might be, is essential to bringing my focus back to today.
This moment is the only one where I have the power to act.
I also realize I have spent most of my life worrying about my future, instead of living in my present. I was raised to plan far ahead for retirement, and I’m glad I did save up for that eventuality. But something about being in the middle of my life has brought my attention to living fully in the present.
I have found meditation to be the best place to start living in the now. Sitting quietly and observing my own mind’s patterns can be quite the education! See where your mind naturally goes. That is the first step towards disciplining it. Do you naturally focus on worries or concerns out of your control? How does that make you feel?
Now try to focus on all of the ways your life might be better if you could discipline your mind. And remember, what you focus on grows!
How’s that working for you?
As we age, we may get tired of taking care of everyone else, and never getting our own needs met. Can we learn how to be different? Can we change?
Only if we’re ready for something different than the same old codependent routine, and finally ready to see life in a very different way.
The most common reason for “helping syndrome” is early childhood training which leads to gigantic feelings of inadequacy when we’re not helping others. We feel we don’t deserve any of the good things in life just for being ourselves. That would be selfish. Instead we should be constantly helping others to earn the right to be admired and loved. We feel fundamentally unworthy of love without first paying for it with care for those we “love.”
I know. I spent years feeling inadequate unless I was “helping” everyone around me. I now appreciate the saying: “Codependents don’t make friends, they take hostages!” Oh boy, someone new to manipulate into needing me and loving me. How can I convince them that their life will never be the same until they admit that they need me?
But let’s try a different approach now. Try to image yourself as completely lovable and adequate just being the wonderful person you are right now. Could others love you just the way you are? Why should you have to prove to them you are worthy of their love?
Very scary stuff, huh? No fooling anyone or manipulation involved. And if they end up not liking you, so what? There are millions of others out there who are mentally healthy enough to not want to be manipulated into codependency, masquerading as caring or love.
Now that you’ve taken care of others your whole life, isn’t it time to take care of your own needs for a change? Isn’t it about time someone showed you how to save your own life? It takes a lot of courage to admit that past patterns aren’t working and have never really worked. Do you have the courage to ask for help this time?
You can change your life and finally start receiving love from those who have the ability to give it to you freely, no strings attached. Please let me know if I can help.
To learn more about a brand new way of life, click here.
To gather wisdom to change your life, check out: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife, Midlife Magic: Becoming the person you are inside!, and the Midife Change Workbook.
I noticed the Amazon summary about my book says:
“If you wish to gather a deeper understanding of why you fear love so much, and then search out those experiences in your past that have kept you feeling stuck for so long, this book can help.“
This would suggest that you must focus like a laser on your past experiences and how that experience made you feel, to begin to change how you feel about love today.
This is all true, but not the whole truth. I have learned the hard way, that focusing for too long on past pain does not serve the purpose of believing love again.
Focusing on your past needs to be a temporary state of mind. Focus on your past only long enough to understand how bad experiences like betrayal and abandonment make you re-experience traumatic childhood pain.
When a lover betrays you in the present, this often brings up major feelings of rejection from your past. So you are not just experiencing the present rejection, but re-experiencing some terrible feelings from before.
It is essential that you understand this, because you can then begin to separate your present experience from your past. When you were young and felt betrayed or abandoned, you could not defend against such rejection, but now you can. You can defend with deep self-respect and love. You can give yourself new compassion for all that has happened to you, and decide that it will never happen again!
Then you must let go of past pain to be able to truly live in the present. The present is all there is for you. Worrying about the past too much will keep you from enjoying anything today!
We are learning so many new things about how our brains work lately. We now know that we make conscious or unconscious choices every day about what we focus on, and what we focus on grows. It seems we have much more control over our brains than we ever thought possible. We can now consciously choose a more positive perspective.
One skill I have been working on lately is the simple practice of living in the moment. I say to myself:
“Everything is OK right now, and there is only right now.”
I find this very reassuring!
With Valentine’s Day coming right up, a few of us might be wondering exactly what love means.
Sure, when we have it, we generally know it, but then it changes through the years, and sometimes it dies. This is often called a “midlife crisis” when one or both partners decide that love either never really existed, or else it has simply disappeared for no good reason.
Some get angry because their husband or wife does not love them anymore, or does not want to try to work things through somehow. There are so many different types of problems in relationships and each is unique. Some can be worked on, others cannot. But nothing will change if one partner blames the other for all of the problems.
What I hate to see is a husband or wife who insists on trying to shame or guilt the other partner into staying, when love is so obviously non-existent. In general I believe that we all know when it’s time to accept reality and move on. Do you really want a man you have “guilted” into staying with you? Why not believe in yourself enough to move on to something better for both of you? Grow up and leave the nastiness behind.
Unfortunately, leaving a bad relationship behind does not solve any of your own problems. Often we lose faith in love eventually, after a number of bad breakups, but there is a very good reason for this. We finally realize we will continue to attract the wrong type of relationship unless we change something inside of ourselves; the broken, mean, negative feelings we hold against ourselves.
If you think this might be you, ask yourself this question: “Would you want to marry you?”
Most of us go out looking for someone to save us in our relationships with others, but we attract what we are now, with comparable levels of generosity, caring, insecurity or self-hate.
The first rule of love is you get what you are. So who are you when it comes to love? Are you a victim, a martyr, someone who is trying to save others? I found that personal change was the only solution to my love problems.
Learn how this works with: How to Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust, and Your Own Inner Wisdom.
Give you and your friends the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, for those who really want to get it right next time!