Taking Care Of Your Own Heart First

100 Ways to Magically Transform Loneliness into Strength

You are alone. Coming through the holidays emphasizes that.  Christmas is all about family and love and sharing and caring. It’s about the heart and and there’s nothing like being all about the heart that stirs up loneliness.

Being with other couples emphasizes how alone you are.

Being with your your children reminds you of how you failed to provide a “whole” family for them at a time like this.

Being with single friends reminds you that you are one of them -single.

Being with someone you are dating but with whom you still have a lot of uncertainty magnifies the fear that you may again be abandoned.

 

So what can you do?

For starters, be honest.

  • Face the facts – you are alone right now but you are learning.
  • You have dreams – you will find that special someone who you will love madly and who will love you madly in return.
  • It hurts.

There. Good for you.  You have laid out what really is – bold and naked.

Now, be your own care-giver and show some compassion.

The key to learning to love is to practice.  Yes, practice.  We all know that acquiring a new skill and doing it well requires focus and effort and practice.  Love is no exception.

If you had that special someone to care for in your life, how do you hope you would treat them when they felt alone?  Or how do you hope they would treat you?

Be that someone to yourself.

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Make a list of 100 things that relax you, make you smile and fill  you up again to overflowing.  After all, no one knows your heart like you do. Then do them.  For you.

I recently found my list which I had written during those days when I felt so lost and alone. It reminded me of how I had learned to value who I was by actively nurturing my heart. Recording it in my “Strength Journal”, a book I had started to remind myself that I mattered and what steps I must take in order to heal my heart, kept it handy for review when I found myself in the “lonely land” again – and I went there often.

At the time, I was testing out a principle called “The 90/10”.  I don’t even remember where I found it.  It required me to surrender 10% of my thought capacity to what was negative and hurting in my life.  The other 90% was to go to what (also my own list):

  • settled me
  • calmed me
  • made me smile
  • strengthened me
  • made me feel beautiful
  • refreshed me
  • renewed my determination
  • reminded me of my highest values
  • stirred my romantic heart
  • energized me
  • balanced me
  • made me light up
  • encouraged me
  • taught me
  • revived me
  • increased my passion
  • made me tough
  • made me cry
  • opened my heart
  • warmed me
  • smoothed out the wrinkles
  • quieted me….

There are more but you get the idea. Even rewriting this list fills up my tank as I do it.

So, here are the 100 things that I noted as my 90%:

  1. Roses – buying myself beautiful roses
  2. A home spa – a bath complete with candlelight, soft music
  3. Absolute quiet around me
  4. Writing what I feel
  5. Reading what I’ve previously written
  6. Looking into the eyes of a “soft toy”
  7. Telling God how I feel
  8. Going to a restaurant booth and writing or reading
  9. Reading a book that offers “how to”
  10. Crocheting
  11. Going for a walk in the park
  12. Absorbing the warmth of the sun
  13. Staring at the full moon
  14. Softening my feet
  15. Watching a romantic movie
  16. Lighting candles
  17. Preparing coaching material
  18. Reading coaching material
  19. Typing – lists of tools to help others
  20. Organizing something
  21. Cleaning the kitchen
  22. Preparing a slide show to music I love
  23. Listening to music I love
  24. Curling up on the coach
  25. Spending time around my grandkids
  26. Writing an article
  27. Planning writing
  28. Creating a computer picture of a verse or concept
  29. Listening to Rori Raye (www.havetherelationshipyouwant.com)
  30. Researching a topic I’m interested in
  31. Sitting in the library
  32. Browsing through books in the library
  33. Checking books out with anticipation
  34. Working out at the gym
  35. Spin Class
  36. Setting up a better system at work
  37. Smiling
  38. Stretching
  39. Long, slow cardio
  40. Intervals at the gym
  41. Coaching a client
  42. Telling a good friend what I’m thinking
  43. Discussing an interesting topic with someone
  44. Buying a new shirt in a beautiful color
  45. Adding a page to my Dream Book
  46. Writing  lists like this one
  47. Imagining what the future could be like in my perfect world
  48. Working my muscles
  49. Sitting on top of a hill and breathing in my surroundings
  50. Looking very closely at a flower
  51. Taking a passage of Scripture apart
  52. Considering my values
  53. Finishing a project
  54. Just typing
  55. Doing something that I’ve put off
  56. Straightening a mess
  57. Going to a movie
  58. Drinking peppermint tea with honey
  59. Visiting one of my kids
  60. Surprising someone with a gift of appreciation
  61. Writing a love/appreciation note to someone
  62. Visiting with someone older
  63. Baking cookies for someone
  64. Buying a surprise gift for my girls
  65. Going for a drive
  66. Taking pictures of flowers
  67. Getting a manicure
  68. Hot rock massage
  69. A massage
  70. A facial
  71. Buying a new suit
  72. cleaning my vehicle
  73. Recycling
  74. Dancing in my living room
  75. Love letter to God
  76. Worship
  77. Watching inspiration DVD
  78. Vacuum and dust my house
  79. Buy containers to straighten a mess
  80. Helping someone else reorganize
  81. Allowing myself to do whatever I want to do
  82. Shutting the TV off
  83. Planning an event
  84. Phoning my parents
  85. Writing what I feel
  86. Dressing in something that makes me feel pretty
  87. Working at changing a habit/thought pattern
  88. Just “being” – not “doing”
  89. Facing a difficult task
  90. Framing pictures that matter to me
  91. Praying for the people I care about
  92. Looking at the symbols around me and reminding myself of what they represent for my life
  93. Writing my dreams out as if they already were
  94. Studying doctrine
  95. Doing the right thing
  96. Accepting help
  97. Lifting myself above obsession
  98. Turning criticism into growth
  99. Breathing in wonderful smells – candles, fresh bread
  100. Watching my grandchildren have fun

That ache of loneliness became the signal telling me it was time to give myself some attention. Every time I would turn the eyes of my heart away from the pain to do something that nurtured me, I would grow and become a teeny bit stronger.  Add up all those teeny bits over a 6 month period and the sum equaled huge strides toward contentment and believing in myself.

Another benefit was that it raised my understanding of what made me, personally, tick. This then increased my confidence in protecting myself when I opened my heart to the love of the good man that eventually came into my life.

You will be doing this as an exercise in my workbook, Getting Ready to Love Again: A 6 Month Sabattical.  It’s going to prepare you to enjoy the best love of your life!  (coming March 2014)

Being on my Mailing List you will have the advantage of knowing first when it is available.  If you haven’t already, read “Never Give Up On True Love: the Greatest Thing You Will Ever Learn is to Love and to be Loved in Return.”

Until next time, keep growing toward that life of passion!

Author

bernice@bernicemcdonald.com
My passion is to walk you back to a place of passionate love after divorce. I have loved to write, to coach, to train the past 10 years, so that your heart can love again - powerfully, strongly, softly and openly. I found my over the moon, never leave me love. You can, too.