So This is Love

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One year ago, I went on my first date with the man I fell in love with. I had given up on falling in love as the 2016 New Year began. I gave dating it’s fair shot and found myself disappointed more times than I cared to think about. After years of dating (online, set-ups, apps…) I was ready to throw in the towel and date my passport.

During a discussion with a friend who was newly dating someone she found amazing, I told her that I would spend the year single and just focusing on my work and adventure.

“Just give it one more try.” she encouraged. “You have to keep putting yourself out there even through the disappointment.” I told her that I would think about it and maybe try.

I was scared to put my heart out there again and started to feel the comfort of solitude once more. Was this idea really worthwhile?

When I stepped back from the situation, I realized that I needed to get crystal clear on what I wanted. I saw that my expectations created a sense of control that was actually just causing stress. I wanted to intentionally put myself out there and create the heart space for love to reenter.

So this is what I did:

  • I made a list of what I really wanted and what was the most important and started to visualize this man. At first, I thought it was a joke, but the more I dug deep into what I really wanted, I could actually see and feel it happening.
  • I worked on emulating what I desired. (loving, open, compassionate…)
  • I made sure that if I agreed to go on a date, it would only be if the person seemed to align with this vision.
  • I let go of expectations…This is a big one. Letting go when the heart is involved is so so hard!
  • I trusted that the universe knew exactly who I needed in my life.

That was it. I made this decision and on January 27th, I went on a date with the most amazing man I have ever met.

Something inside of me calmed down after our first encounter. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized my heart had found a home. 

When I think back on all the struggles, heartaches and tears, I see that I was pushing something to happen that I wasn’t really clear on. With clarity and intentional focus, everything else cleared away. There was no question or anxiety when it came to him and we came together naturally.

Getting to know and falling in love with him has been one of  the greatest adventures of my life. When I decided that I was going to get clear on what I wanted, I opened my eyes, mind and heart to whatever that would be.

I wrote this to give hope. I waited 35 years to find my person. I speak to women all the time in coaching sessions wondering when love will find them. I did not expect to find a man on a little app who happened to have the same values as me.

Don’t give up hope! When we talked about how we met, we realized that we both did the same thing to manifest each other. He had a list and visualized it too. I could not believe it. What you seek is seeking you.

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.

-Rumi

I kept this quote close to my heart during my years of searching. So for any of you who wonder “WHEN?!” I hope this brings some peace to the “furnace” of anxiety. Get specific (I can’t say this enough) and then let go of control. He’s out there…and so are you. Find your place of patience and allow love to flow. There is peace on the other side of the struggle.

And to my lovely, intentional man: thank you for manifesting, visualizing and showing me that love is effortless and amazing with the right person.

XO

The Catalyst

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Domestic violence takes on many forms and endures for various lengths of time. It takes courage to release the heart’s tight grasp on an abuser. My hope and prayer for this post is that it will encourage men and women to be brave, take a stand against abuse and find the love that resides within.

Here is part of my story:

I was being held up by my throat staring into raging eyes. It was like he had left his body and pain took over which he was now transferring to me. I was begging to be let go of with my hands since I could barely breathe. I was scared and felt my head getting lighter and my body becoming limp.

When he let go, I gasped for air. I felt the warmth around my neck where his hands had been. He stood there staring off somewhere that wasn’t the present moment. I scurried away like a scared animal, retreating to another room to contact my sister.

She was the only person I could think of to reach out to. It was late, even later in her time zone, but she was awake and saved me that night. He had taken it too far this time. From far away, she called the cops.

Everything I had known as love was broken. I thought I was strong enough to deal with the emotional tearing down but this was scarier. I was alone, not by choice, but because something happened and he was taken away. The night that love turned into fear was a catalyst for me.

My first instinct was to pray. I had grown up religious but had put that part of me on a shelf for almost a decade at that point. I fumbled with my words trying to communicate with a God that I hoped was there. It felt awkward at first and I stopped several times to cry. But the prayer was lifted and I repeated “Help me” over and over.

He called me to ask for bail, I refused and hung up. I had the urge to find my Bible, another thing that had been put away for a decade. I searched my closet and found it at the bottom of a box. I opened it and the first thing I read was: “A man of great anger will suffer punishment for if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” Proverbs 19:19

Chills ran up my spine. That passage jumped from a page in a forgotten book and was pertinent to what had just happened. I laid down on my bed and repeated “Please comfort me. I am so sad and lonely.” Almost immediately, I felt a force of comfort come over me. It was heavier than the air and my heart beat calmed down for the first time that night.

“Come back. Return. Love resides within”

I was being called to return to my soul. A place that I tried to mask for years. In order for me to know love, I had to begin with myself at the cellular level and begin to heal. I realized that I had to go within, be alone and find the courage to let go.

This event was a catalyst to my soul. I started a search where I wanted to find what was sparked inside of me that night. I knew it wasn’t the God full of judgement and fear I grew up believing but one that was loving, peaceful and full of grace.

In a moment of fear, I was comforted by something outside of myself. This began my journey to where I am today. It shook me to my core and demanded that I learn to love differently starting with myself.

*If you or someone you know  is a victim of domestic violence, here are some resources to get help:

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Pictures of Compassion

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I was sitting on a plane next to a mother and daughter. The mother’s hands flailed as the daughter kindly pats her arms to calm her. She adjusted the headrest with care. Then, she cut her mother’s food and fed her like a child. it was a striking and beautiful role reversal of a child parenting the parent. I wondered when or if this will happen for me and I was scared of the thought, as I admired the woman for her compassion and selfless love.

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A friend has lovingly looked over her mother who has been on life support for a decade. She bathes her, performs physical therapy, feeds her, speaks lovingly to her daily. I am amazed by her compassion. She holds out hope that one day her mother will speak again. Every day she looks for signs of renewed life. Her compassion and hope is beautiful to me.

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A man picks up an ant from the pool where it struggles to survive. He lets the ant crawl all over his hand, moving fluidly with the ant. After a few friendly moments, he lovingly places the ant on the grass nearby. His act of compassion towards such a small thing reminds me to be kind to every living creature.

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There is a girl on the phone with her father. She is crying. “You’re the best dad ever. I love you. You’re the best dad.” She kept repeating in between sobs. She hangs up and sits there crying. The man who is with her hugs her. She sobs onto his shoulder. Her back rises and falls with her grief. He leaves to use the phone and she continues to cry. A woman walked up and placed the flower she had in her hair on the table as she walked by. A small act, but significant.

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Compassion takes courage. Dealing with someone else’s pain that is not necessarily our own is uncomfortable. We have to go outside our comfort zone in order to comfort another. Compassion is a practice of just being there, being understanding and giving love. Compassion is achieved with an open heart and loving intentions. If looked for it is everywhere and proves that deep down, humanity is good.

True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.  – Daniel Goleman