You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
When I was young I loved with great passion and at times, without any passion at all, taking for granted what I thought I’d always have. What did I know? I was young. My role models were awful.
When my beloved left, I clung to him with desperation, as if I could not go on without him.
And yet, go on I did.
As do most of us, who have lost a love.
There is work to be done.
In the years that followed I worked on myself. Therapy was a big help. There wasn’t one big aha! healing moment but just, after years, the growing knowledge that I had found a way through to the other side of issues that I’d struggled with. The therapeutic process is mysterious to me, but has always been effective.
(After Riley died, I engaged a grief therapist. Our sessions didn’t seem at all like therapy, they were about spirituality. I often felt that she was just talk-talk-talking and it wasn’t related to me at all. Maybe not even therapy. And yet, after far fewer sessions than I thought, I began to feel better. Mysterious. But effective.)
Releasing that tight grip
But back to love. Once I released my effort to grip tightly what would never be, the world opened up. My freedom meant I could create a completely different life than I had originally envisioned, and I did.
On the infrequent occasions I spoke with my former beloved, who by then lived in a different city, I felt no great emotional pull. Oh, sure, once in a while I’d think about what I’d be doing if we’d stayed together, but I was more focused on living the life that I had, which was pretty darn good.
Fast forward 26 years and my former beloved approached me about getting back together. Was anyone more surprised than me? No one in our families, that’s for sure. But me? I had to recover from my shock. And then, really think about it.
I’d released him decades before. Was there anything to re-engage with?
It was a real question.
Apparently there was. We have been remarried more than 10 years. Life is good. More than good: it’s awesome.
….that only happened because I released my tight grip on love and let it go where it would. I figured it was gone for good and I was at peace with that. But something different happened: it boomeranged back to me decades later.
If the other person feels free, when your love does not confine them, amazing things can happen.
We’re living proof.
And so are the millions of others who went on to find a later-in-life soulmate and are happy and content as they age in that newer relationship. Who know that a tight grip never held anyone.
Interested in finding your soulmate? Think it’s too late? You can and it isn’t. Book a discovery call with me here.
At most shops, the sign says Open. Or Closed. At The Sacred Garden in Maui, the sign over the door said “Be open.” What a message!
I know the benefit of living a life that’s theme is “be open”. Open to the possibilities. Open to something new. Something different. Something amazing. Something awesome.
It’s a benefit my mother never had. Her orientation was “Don’t do it,” while mine was “Do it!” Her first thought was “No!” and mine was “Yes!”
So what did being open get me? Quite a bit, it turns out.
Doors opened, I peeked in and sometimes walked through them.
I had several different fulfilling careers, all different and all beneficial in different ways.
Many years in corporate life during Silicon Valley’s heyday gave me important credentials that I leveraged for the rest of my working life. My long tenure as a reputation management consultant and public involvement specialist challenged me and also reinforced that I knew what I was doing. My clients saw that and so I kept them and grew them. Which provided some measure of financial stability. It paid the bills, allowed me to buy real estate and save for retirement. If I’d made other decisions, I might have been rich, but I did ok. I don’t need to be rich.
I love teaching college and was lucky enough to do that part-time on and off throughout my life. It was a passion and my purpose for a very long time. As a writer, I’ve published modestly since the age of 16. It’s satisfying enough just to express myself but to have someone buy and publish is another level entirely. A lifelong passion.
I connected with my passion and purpose for the sheer love of them.
As far as work is concerned? I did just what I wanted to and each for different reasons. My planning process helped me understand that without a PhD, (which I didn’t finish) I wouldn’t be able to support myself and save money as a professor. So I taught as an adjunct, just for the love of it.
I didn’t want to write commercially, either. Everyone (and their brother) seems to want to write a book and so many self-published tomes are awful. I really had no driving urge to see my name on a book cover– I wanted to write personal essays and I was good at it. Still am. But there’s no money in that for most people. I write for the love of it.
Putting all that into an analytic framework showed me that I could be happy with the work I did to support myself, while still being able to teach and write, my twin passions.
This one’s fun: I had several different relationships. OK, HUSBANDS, too. No two were alike; each gave me something entirely different. I’m not bothered by the number and I’m not proud of it either. It just IS and I have always just taken it as that.
Is online dating horrible?
Recently I coached a woman of 60 into her first foray online dating. She’d resisted it for years and only decided to do it because her other avenues had not been productive. So many of her friends had horrible online dating experiences, so she’d avoided it. But she knew I’d had fun with mine. So we worked together on her profile, her photos and then, her approach. How to make it both safe and fun. And we also worked on some of her responses.
The upshot? She is having a GREAT TIME! As I knew she would. Because she approached it with the mantra “be open”.
There is absolutely a way to date online and a way not to. I happen to know how the odds of a good experience can be increased. And she is living proof that being open can work!
Interested? Set up a call and let’s talk. The easiest way to do that is to click the purple button here that says Schedule Call. It will ask you if you want to discuss regression or hypnotherapy but it doesn’t matter what you pick. What matters is that we have call and you start on the most fun dating experience you’ll ever have!
And then of course, I don’t want you to forget that candles for the holiday season are in progress. Want one? Take a look.