Midlife love

Are You Living in Fear or Love?

It seems like a natural human instinct to hold back from loving others wholeheartedly. After all, that so often leads to great pain. I have a number of difficult memories of times when I have fought this battle within myself.

Counseling helped me to stop defending against those who truly love me, and give back wholeheartedly. I remember one particular workshop I attended where we were told to simply sit silently and receive love from another human being. Try that sometime if you think it’s easy! The trick is in convincing yourself that the love, support, affection, attention you will receive in love, will be worth the pain of its natural impermanence.

First you must be able to actually receive love, take it into your heart and believe this person truly cares about you. This has always been a challenge to me, believing that this wonderful person in my life finds me wonderful. This can be such an amazing feeling if you can learn to simply let it all in!

Valentines Day flowers
My Advice: Don’t Hold Back, Open Wholeheartedly to Love!

Here’s the deal, you only have one short lifetime. Do you want to spend it fending off the love of others? Fear is no way to live in my opinion, and I lived that way for decades of my life. Yes, you may have a little less pain, but think of all the joy you will miss!

Now I, of all people, know this is no easy process to switch from fear to love in your approach to life, but please trust me, it is so worth the effort. There are excellent counselors everywhere who would love to help you trust and believe in love again. You just have to decide to be open to a different way of seeing and experiencing your life.

That is my Valentine’s Day present to you, the knowledge that love will be worth it, if you are willing to open to its power.

“In the end
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?”
Gautama Buddha

Where do you belong?

One issue that came up big-time for me in mid-midlife crisis was the realization that I didn’t belong anywhere.  Not in any one particular place or in any relationship.

I had gone about my life up until then, moving where the jobs were and changing relationships as I needed to, with little continuity. The closest I came to belonging was my marriage in my late thirties, and that ended badly seven years later.

I find our culture doesn’t particularly encourage connectedness or belonging, especially when we’re young. But I felt a strong need for a true sense of belonging by my mid-forties. This must be something that comes with age.

When you begin to look back over your life, what do you see? Do you have relationships that will sustain you in your future? Do you have a safe place to fall when bad things happen?

Do you truly belong anywhere in this world?

When I lost my job at age 49 I realized I didn’t even know if I wanted to continue to live in the same part of the country, although that would require pulling up roots once again. I kept asking myself, “Where do I belong?”

It was time for me to find new priorities.

I slowly realized I needed to find a new way of approaching love, or else I would end up alone forever. I would need to take some serious risks. That is when I went through the process described in my book: How To Believe In Love Again.

These changes in me led to my finally finding a relationship with a future, which has recently led to finding the physical place where I belong.

Finding your place in this world is essential.

Why not make this your highest priority this year?

The Amazing Power of Love & Passion

Our passions choose us. We do not choose our passions.

When I think back over the passions I have pursued in my sixty years on this planet, I know for certain that they chose me. As I lived my life, various topics excited my passions for unclear reasons. It perhaps had the most to do with who I am.

One life-long passion has been the pursuit of knowledge on so many topics. I think of my mind as a sponge that cannot wait to learn more in so many different areas. That’s one of the reasons why working as a reference librarian suited me so well. I tried specializing a number of times, but found I had far too many interests.

Thailand_1973 Photo for blogFirst and foremost I loved psychology, and still do. Then I became fascinated with Asia after living in Thailand at age 19. I pursued that passion through my undergrad degree and one graduate degree, but chose not to pursue the level of specialization required for a PhD. I could not see myself as a professor.

Being a librarian worked for me to some extent. I always said I would stay a librarian until something better came along. I completed a graduate degree in counseling psychology in 1995 and when I was forced out of my reference job in 2004, I moved on to professional writer and psychotherapist. One of my passions at that point was to work for myself for the rest of my life. Enough ridiculous bosses already!

After losing my job, I searched my soul for months and found that my next passion was to understand love. Love was the only thing that made my life worthwhile at that point in time. It was my goal to find one true love before I died.

By focusing all of my energy on starting my own dating service and interviewing hundreds of new members, I learned so much about the barriers to finding love later in life, the major one being a lost faith in love.

Why would anyone put themselves through that again? The risk/reward equation looked like a losing proposition to many I spoke to. I came to realize that the greatest barrier to finding love later in life was simply believing that love was possible and perhaps even inevitable with a renewed belief in its power.

By doing a fair amount of ‘soul surgery’ and then focusing all of my energy on believing in love again, love became inevitable for me. A few months later I met Mike through Match.com. We both knew very quickly that we had met our match, and yes, love is lovelier the second time around!

After a few years of marital bliss, I decided to write  How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust And Your Own Inner Wisdom to share what I had learned about believing in love after so many life disappointments.

Most importantly I learned not to give up if you passionately want to experience love in this lifetime:

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”  — Christopher Reeve

What is the meaning of life?

faith and fearWith all of the fear around us this week, it may feel like fear rules. That is what those who know nothing else, wish us to feel.

But there is an alternative and I wish it for all of you. This song by Wynonna Judd summarizes these feelings for me. Please go listen…  This song captures for me one of the greatest lessons of my life. It took me decades to learn that love was the best reason to continue to exist.

Soon after that discovery, I focused all of my energy and mental power on finding love just once in this lifetime. Then a wonderful teacher appeared to teach me even more about loving another person well, heart and soul.

falling in love rocksAfter ten years I know Mike is not a perfect person, but he does know how to love and care for others, and I feel honored that he chose me to love so completely.

Our love story could be any 40-year-old’s dream, which explains why ‘Falling in Love at 49’ on my previous blog “Midlife Crisis Queen” has been enjoyed by tens of thousands of readers.

Love is certainly lovelier the second time around!

Although we have faced so many challenges as a couple, we now stand together, come what may, in a solar home of our choosing. We built this home ourselves and plan to stay here until the end.

In our case, love will conquer all.

Belief is your first step towards new love!

All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune.  – Thoreau

Love can be tough when you’re older, divorced and wondering what’s next.  I know. At 49, after a bad divorce, I felt relatively certain my “love life” was over. What changed then? I lost my job and career a few years after my divorce…

What to do? What to do? I decided to try something completely different, I started my own dating service! I figured I needed a job AND a date. :)

self-respectThere I spent some serious time learning from hundreds of 40+ singles about what it feels like to know that you are far too young to give up on love, and yet fearful that you may be too disillusioned to ever try again. What I discovered is that there are quite a few of us who have lost our faith in love, and that included me!

So I got busy changing my mind.  With my natural stubborn streak and extensive background in psychology, I used decades of personal experience with love and disappointment to turn my attitude around.

First I began to finally value my mysterious and yet powerful personal intuitions. I quit interrupting when my heart was trying to tell me something important. Enough “rational” assessments of my situation, what did I want to happen right now?

I also knew I needed to forgive myself for everything in my past, but what was the best way to do that?

Slowly I created a formula which included finding new self-respect for where I was at, appreciating how I got there, and devising various ways to love myself into believing in love again. I began to see how much I feared love, and began searching out those experiences in my past that were keeping me stuck.

My formula included focusing on my own unique shame and trust issues, forgiving myself for past mistakes, listening to my inner wisdom, and utilizing cathartic techniques to change my beliefs about what love might have to offer me now.

My solutions worked for me!  How did I know?  I met the love of my life a few months after I started changing my mind and heart.

Learn to love yourselfNow I hate to watch others suffer because they just don’t believe anymore, so six years after I met my new love Mike, I completed my book: How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust, and Your Own Inner Wisdom. 

Are you ready to acknowledge that you have lost your faith in love? Read my book and then make believing in love your highest priority! It worked for me… it will work for you!

Feel free to contact me for more information or personal counseling at: MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com

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Do you still believe in love?

One of the most important lessons I have learned from my midlife struggles, is the need to be willing to fight for my dreams. This journey began for me back in 2004 (at age 49), when I lost my job and then spent months in introspection.

I focused on this question: What do I need to happen before I die?

I concluded that for myself I needed to find ways to believe in love again. I so wanted to find one genuine love in this lifetime. This book is a summary of what I learned in this process: I fought through a lifetime of tragedy and disappointment, did some serious soul surgery, and changed my perspective on love.

In this way I found new faith in the power of love, made my life worthwhile again, and found a great partner within a few months. We married eight months later.

We celebrated our ten anniversary this week! :)

scan0012With Mike I found true partnership, one where we work together towards shared goals. One of his lifetime goals was to build his own solar custom home with an incredible view.

This is the goal we have been working on for the past few years. So many obstacles have arisen in this process. Leaving behind our life of 20+ years in Fort Collins was our first challenge. I wrote about that extensively on my Midlife Crisis Queen blog in April and May of 2014. Suffice to say this kind of change is never easy, and it’s plain HARD on relationships!

IMGP3099We moved into a 100-year-old little house in Walsenburg Colorado, and put much into storage in June 2014. It took five months just to get a proper slab completed in this rural Colorado county.

IMGP3203We noticed every step of the construction process was costing much more than we had budgeted. We found that our contractor was not taking bids for work, but simply using his regular sub-contractors. At that point Mike decided to take over the contracting part of the process. He took bids from both local and Pueblo companies and cut over 30% off the cost of the electrical and stucco work. Our builder was not happy.

After almost a year of struggle, we were finally ready to complete the inside of our home. We had collected everything we needed to complete the kitchen, baths, etc. The response from our builder? I may be able to get to that in a few weeks. I went ballistic! And of course he hung up on me.

IMGP4056Luckily Mike apologized profusely, and we finished our house the end of July, more than a year after we moved here.  I tell you this NOT to discourage you from pursuing your own unique goals, but to warn you that pursuing dreams can get ugly sometimes.

You must be willing to fight for your dreams…

WHATEVER YOU ARE NOT CHANGING, YOU ARE CHOOSING.