Renewed faith in love

Breaking ground in the CO foothills!

This week we have some actual excavation going on on our foothills building site!  YES!

IMGP2739We were up there the other evening at dusk and experienced a magnificent light show!

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We had a lovely home in the suburbs, but Mike always said he wasn’t moving again until we got a view.. well I guess we will get that with our new home!

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I am pleasingly surprised at how much I love the rural life.  When we go up to visit our new home site, I just have to pinch myself to believe this will all be ours!

DSCF0797To each her own, but I feel like one lucky dog!!!

success is the best revengeFrom one miserable, unemployed divorcee to a happily married writer with a bright new life up in those beautiful hills in just ten years… can’t beat that!

 Eat your heart out JOHN…                  You know who you are!

How to Cultivate an Open Heart

Elaine's butterfly small 2007-019If you truly do want to change and find a way to love yourself and others, go study this article by the Dalai Lama. 

Then take small steps everyday towards  living it.  I guarantee this simple practice will lighten your load, and light the way towards a much better life and a much better world… one full of love!

Life’s romantic challenges…

Don’t we all want to make the perfect match, and then live happily ever after?  The only problem with that plan is that life will get in the way.  It always does.

You would probably not believe the number of romantic challenges Mike and I have faced in the past year. The year began with a possible plan to move to Ecuador to save money. That plan fell through for a number of reasons, when I went to Cuenca for a short visit last September.

View from our landPlan B was to find a reasonably priced piece of land in southern Colorado with a great view.  We achieved that goal fairly easily.

The hard part was emptying out our present home in Fort Collins, fixing it up, staging it, selling it and then moving all of our earthly possessions to a small rental in a town in southern Colorado.  If you don’t see a few major romantic challenges there, you have no experience in relationships!

Stress equals arguments.  Change equals disagreements… that’s about the size of it.

Mike + Laura small versionNow we face what some tell me is the greatest challenge of all, building a new home together.

We just got a permit to start building a solar home on the land pictured above…              wish us both luck!

Love and acceptance within the relationship

I have to say, I am very impressed with the emotional intelligence of this young writer in her 20s.  This list: “20 Things You Need to Accept About Your 20s” is quite useful for those of all ages.

And when it comes to love, truer words were never spoken!

“The first time you fall in love probably won’t be the last.  There are different kinds of love and people that will come into your life for different reasons.”

How useful to know this for certain at age 20, instead of trying to “make” everything last.

But my favorite love truth is this:

“When you do find your person, they aren’t going to be perfect. Your relationship or marriage will be hard sometimes.  It isn’t about thinking someone is perfect; it’s about knowing that they are perfect for you. You need to marry your best friend, not your “dream” man or woman. 

Whenever my husband and I disagree, which has been often since we decided to remodel, sell our home, move and build a new home elsewhere, the stress of all this change has taken its toll on our relationship.  At times like these it is so important to remember that no one is always correct or ‘perfect’ but they may be ‘perfect for you.’

How do I know Mike is perfect for me?  Because he is someone who totally values what we share together.  Therefore he makes it clear that he cares deeply about both of our needs and feelings.  This makes it possible for us to get to the other side of an argument feeling good about our decision AND our relationship.

And if you don’t understand the value of that, you have a lot to learn about love!

The Practice of Self-Compassion

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”                       —  The Dalai Lama

And for most of us, this is much easier said than done…            What is the process of finding compassion for yourself?             How does that work?   For me it took hitting rock bottom.

self-respectI had always prided myself in figuring out life.  For better or worse, I made my way through life halfway successfully, meaning I kept a job, had relationships and survived.

Then, at age 49, my very survival was threatened.  My way of simply ‘getting by’ no longer worked for me.  I was absolutely not satisfied with my present, or the future I saw before me.

Good enough was no longer good enough!  That is when most of us decide to change.  The main difference between each of us is how bad life has to get before we make some major changes. 

At 49, I felt like I had nothing of what I had originally wanted out of life.  And what meant the most to me, after some in depth analysis, was to experience one genuine love relationship in this lifetime, love that survived all of the inevitable ups and downs of life.

Then I began observing the relationship I had with myself, assuming that the way I treat myself is probably the way I treat others in my life.  I am so naturally hard on myself, calling myself stupid all the time.  This was the mountain I would need to move BEFORE I brought a loved one into my life.

I am the first to admit this is a lifetime process and practice.  I practice everyday by carefully observing how I speak to myself.  Do I speak with acceptance, appreciation, affection?  Or do I get frustrated and angry with my obvious imperfections?

Rasta Mike and Laura FB smallFortunately, my small and fully accepting puppy Rasta is a great teacher in this regard… talk about unconditional love and acceptance.  Who knew such a small pup could spread so much compassion and love?

I must also mention my loving and ever compassionate husband Mike, whom I found on my own road to self-acceptance.  I found what I was looking for in life by simply stopping long enough to consider what was missing, and then go in search of the life I really wanted.

Love and the Mind

“How beautiful would it be to find someone who is in love with your mind?”

One of the often ignored advantages to finding love later in life, is finding someone who sees past your surface beauty.  That special someone who takes the time to look all the way into your mind and your soul.  This is a true gift of aging!

This is an advantage I had no idea of when I finally met the partner I had been seeking my whole life back in early 2005.

Let’s face it, early love can tend to be quite surface-oriented.  Sex appeal can be so appealing!  But when you’ve had decades to develop your mind and your heart, and then decide to attract someone who totally appreciates those qualities… ooh la la!         See, aging is not so bad after all.

And then if you have spent a few years alone after divorce, cultivating self-love and compassion, that new special someone you meet can seem like magic!

I will never forget the day Mike and I met.  It was just another ‘date’ from Match.com until he walked in the day with a big bouquet of flowers!  And even though Mike thinks of himself as very shy, we simply could not quit talking!

OK, ten hours later we were a little tired, but we did not want the day to end…  We had both finally met our match in terms of body, mind and soul!  We were so lucky!

And the best part is, we both recognized it immediately!