Stepping outside of your box
A very close friend of mine suffered one of the worst possible losses back in 2003. Her 20 year old daughter was killed in a car accident.
One day she had a beautiful, healthy daughter headed home for Thanksgiving, the next she had the state patrol at her door announcing the worst possible news ever.
My friend has fought so bravely through this tragedy. She struggles to this day.
She then told me this story:
Not long after the loss of their daughter, her husband brought home a tiny, darling puppy. My friend was not pleased. Her immediate response was to generally avoid the dog. She did not want to feel loving and vulnerable again. It seemed a natural reaction to being in so much pain. She didn’t want to risk getting attached again, only to suffer further loss.
This is true for any type of emotional loss. Why risk the pain again? We often feel we simply cannot bear anymore pain. There is a natural survival mechanism inside each of us for a very good reason, and we are wise to listen to and respond to that inner wisdom.
But there may come a time later when your wisdom says you are now strong enough to love again. I would like to encourage you to try again if you feel so motivated. I believe the ability to love again is always worth fighting for. I believe we grow old as soon as we cease to love and trust our inner wisdom and in the generosity of others.
That is why I wrote my book. Spend the time you know you need when you feel so hurt and fearful of ever feeling vulnerable again. Be generous and give yourself loving respect and compassion. Then, eventually, begin to fight back against the natural urge to never love again.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day which says, “I will try again tomorrow.”
There they looked at whether using algorithms like E-Harmony and Match.com use to match customers, work any better than dumb luck.
First of all, contrary to urban legend, only 20% of new relationships begin from online dating services at present, even though there are now more than 1,000 different kinds.
Some use complicated mathematical formulas to help match you with just the right person, but according to a new study, online dating is only number two in matchmaking America-style. Meeting through mutual friends is still the number one most popular way to meet a mate.
The scientists, whose research is slated for publication in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, reviewed over 400 psychology studies and public interest surveys. In one study, they found that in a single month in 2011, nearly 25 million unique users around the world were online dating.
If you are truly serious about meeting someone wonderful this year, perhaps you should consider investing more of your time and money in an old fashioned, one-on-one matchmaker. Ann Wood, age 79, has been doing this kind of work in the Washington, D.C. area for decades. She charges $1000/year, and her only caveat is, “I can’t help stupid people.”
Of course, it always helps if you BELIEVE IN LOVE to begin with!
HOW MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT? 48% said YES 49% said NO
* People feel closer when they do new things together.
* Emotional bonds are strengthened when people do physical activities together.
* People tend to bond when they’re in frightening situations together.
* Feelings of love grow when total strangers simply gaze into each other’s eyes for two minutes.
Emotional bonds often get stronger when people feel vulnerable, and this works for two reasons. First, when you see someone who is in a weak and vulnerable state, you often feel like comforting or protecting that person; those tendencies make you feel close to them, and they often bring you physically closer, too. Second, when you are feeling vulnerable yourself, you could interpret your emotional state as a loving one—especially if someone nearby happens to reach out to comfort you. If two people feel vulnerable simultaneously, these two tendencies can interlock and increase synergistically.
Most of the experiences that lead to increases in emotional intimacy produce this kind of dynamic. Strong sexual attraction, scary situations, vigorous exercise and novel situations all make people feel vulnerable to some extent. And, yes, even gazing can have this effect. The difference between mutual gazing and staring is consent; people are giving each other permission to invade their privacy in a way that is normally quite threatening.
I am reading a great book right now: 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice From The Wisest Americans. The first chapter, called “GREAT TOGETHER,” is advice from our elders about choosing the best life partner for yourself.
One elder in the book said that when he first seriously started considering a new girlfriend for the role of wife, he showed her a list of the seven or eight things that he most valued, and what he wanted most from his new wife. He included things like “family oriented” and someone who enjoyed lots of touching, because that was important to him.
Of course, there is a catch: to ensure shared core values you must know what your values are, and exactly what you seek in relationships. Have you spent the necessary time alone to clarify your own core values? Could you list them now?
When I met my new husband at age 49, I wanted to make certain we had similar values around money, because I knew dissimilar opinions about how money is spent can ruin a marriage FAST! So one day I brought over my financial information to his house and said, “This is what I have. What do you have?” This launched an honest discussion of what we had saved so far, what we each envisioned spending it on eventually, and what we wanted our retirement to look like.
Yes, shared values are essential. And so is honesty about who you are, and what you want now out of life.
Could you respond positively to this statement?
I have a circle of friends and family who love and appreciate me for exactly who I am, and not just for what I do for them.
This is a great place to start if you are trying to change how you relate to others. I speak from experience when I say, always trying to make yourself useful in relationships is a sad way to go through life. One day you will need to find the kind of love where others appreciate you for the wonderful person you are, and not just for what you can do for them.
I know it may feel very risky to change how you relate to others, and especially who you wish to be around now. But please consider honoring yourself enough and having enough self-respect to choose friends and lovers who just love being around you, no strings attached. Try getting beyond the selfless stance of “earning” friendship and feel worthy of it for once.
Remember: Codependents don’t make friends, they take hostages! And who wants to be like that?
So here we go again. Another dumb article telling the statistical likelihood of you finding love this year.
Well, guess what, whether you find love is NOT ABOUT STATISTICS AT ALL! Don’t believe these ridiculous articles and please don’t be discouraged by them. Whether you find love has to do with YOU and, yes, attitude IS everything!
Whether you find love depends on whether you believe you are worthy, but more importantly it depends on whether you still believe in love. Perhaps you’ve been through a few really bad experiences with what you thought was love. Perhaps you have even been emotionally traumatized.
If you have, your rational mind will then automatically alert you when you reach the “DANGER ZONE” again. It may say, “Don’t believe this experience!” or “Don’t trust anyone ever again!” And it is mighty tough to find love when your rational mind is working against you every step of the way!
That’s why you need to spend some time forgiving yourself for past mistakes, give yourself some serious self-compassion, and then re-learn the ability to listen to your inner wisdom. Your intuition or inner wisdom is that part of you that can counteract the power of your strictly rational mind. Your inner wisdom may help you open to trusting others again.
This may all sound counter to your best interests, but it is actually quite difficult to find love when your own mind is working against you. I’m sure you are quite aware why you don’t believe in love anymore. Explore your own rationale for avoiding love. Question your motivations and find your own personal solutions to your lack of faith. And if you need some help or encouragement along the way, you might want to check out my new book.
I went from total disillusionment to the love of my life in six months at age 49. It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it!
One thing I know for sure, what you focus on grows! So what is your highest priority for this brand new year we have in store?
Too often we are afraid to even be honest with ourselves if love is what we seek. Perhaps we fear we will sabotage ourselves by just coming right out and saying: ”I want to find the love of my life this year!”
I believe that should be EXACTLY your first step towards love. Say it to yourself, say it out loud, and then yell it at the top of your lungs! YOU want LOVE and you want it NOW, and damn if you don’t deserve it too!
After that, make a list of all the wonderful things you have to offer someone else in a relationship. Focus on the great, fun person you are. And if perhaps you don’t find yourself as loveable as you’d like to be, consider some step-by-step self-improvement!
I wrote my new book: How to Believe in Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust and Your Own Inner Wisdom to help those who truly want to believe again.
We all need a little outside help sometimes to believe that we are worthy of a great love. We just need to find the power and strength within to believe that we will find a different type of love this time, one that we know we deserve and need so badly.
Don’t sit there alone for another year wondering what to try next. DO SOMETHING!
Precious solstice. Loving blessings abound. Give thanks for it all.
It’s winter solstice time again, time to rest, nurture yourself, and focus on the past year, and the new one to come.
When I contemplate all of this, I feel tremendously blessed.
I hope this solstice finds you having similar feelings.
“Abundance is how we live in each moment – the choice to entertain the possibility that we can have, create and attract what we truly want.”