I have been single most of my adult life, and I remember holidays as being particularly lonely.
While everyone else seemed to be having get-togethers with friends and family, I often sat alone wondering what’s the matter with me. Why does everyone else have someone to be with on holidays but me?
It was feelings like this that made me want to believe in love again, because holidays seem to be made for families. In fact, holidays helped me decide that my life wasn’t working like I wanted it to. I was still quite clear and happy about my decision to not have kids, but I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere in this world, in some sort of family. This required a new commitment on my part.
So I set about figuring out how I had lost my faith in love as a good thing in life. All roads led back to my first serious love affair in my early twenties. I applied myself to that relationship like none before and after, and all I got was pain and heartbreak, so why believe?
My first step in changing my mind about love was to realize exactly how different I was at age 24 compared to 49. I had learned so much about myself and love since I made so many mistakes and misjudgments in my past. And, more importantly, I loved myself now. I would not be taking anymore crap from anybody!
These types of realistic reassessments helped me see my future in much more positive terms, so much so that soon after that I met the perfect partner for me!
Sure it was a little more complicated than that, and my book How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust and Your Own Inner Wisdom, summarizes the many steps I had to take to turn my world around. My point is, you can change your mind, your priorities, and then change your life.
Now that I have a very small but loving family, I appreciate them every day, including holidays!
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!
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!