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.
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%:
- Roses – buying myself beautiful roses
- A home spa – a bath complete with candlelight, soft music
- Absolute quiet around me
- Writing what I feel
- Reading what I’ve previously written
- Looking into the eyes of a “soft toy”
- Telling God how I feel
- Going to a restaurant booth and writing or reading
- Reading a book that offers “how to”
- Going for a walk in the park
- Absorbing the warmth of the sun
- Staring at the full moon
- Softening my feet
- Watching a romantic movie
- Lighting candles
- Preparing coaching material
- Reading coaching material
- Typing – lists of tools to help others
- Organizing something
- Cleaning the kitchen
- Preparing a slide show to music I love
- Listening to music I love
- Curling up on the coach
- Spending time around my grandkids
- Writing an article
- Planning writing
- Creating a computer picture of a verse or concept
- Listening to Rori Raye (www.havetherelationshipyouwant.com)
- Researching a topic I’m interested in
- Sitting in the library
- Browsing through books in the library
- Checking books out with anticipation
- Working out at the gym
- Spin Class
- Setting up a better system at work
- Long, slow cardio
- Intervals at the gym
- Coaching a client
- Telling a good friend what I’m thinking
- Discussing an interesting topic with someone
- Buying a new shirt in a beautiful color
- Adding a page to my Dream Book
- Writing lists like this one
- Imagining what the future could be like in my perfect world
- Working my muscles
- Sitting on top of a hill and breathing in my surroundings
- Looking very closely at a flower
- Taking a passage of Scripture apart
- Considering my values
- Finishing a project
- Just typing
- Doing something that I’ve put off
- Straightening a mess
- Going to a movie
- Drinking peppermint tea with honey
- Visiting one of my kids
- Surprising someone with a gift of appreciation
- Writing a love/appreciation note to someone
- Visiting with someone older
- Baking cookies for someone
- Buying a surprise gift for my girls
- Going for a drive
- Taking pictures of flowers
- Getting a manicure
- Hot rock massage
- A massage
- A facial
- Buying a new suit
- cleaning my vehicle
- Dancing in my living room
- Love letter to God
- Watching inspiration DVD
- Vacuum and dust my house
- Buy containers to straighten a mess
- Helping someone else reorganize
- Allowing myself to do whatever I want to do
- Shutting the TV off
- Planning an event
- Phoning my parents
- Writing what I feel
- Dressing in something that makes me feel pretty
- Working at changing a habit/thought pattern
- Just “being” – not “doing”
- Facing a difficult task
- Framing pictures that matter to me
- Praying for the people I care about
- Looking at the symbols around me and reminding myself of what they represent for my life
- Writing my dreams out as if they already were
- Studying doctrine
- Doing the right thing
- Accepting help
- Lifting myself above obsession
- Turning criticism into growth
- Breathing in wonderful smells – candles, fresh bread
- 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!