What I Know About Love

True love is infinite.  It can not be measured, compartmentalized or contained.  It is.  That is all.

My 9 year anniversary of marriage was last Saturday (March 19).  I didn’t post on that day because my husband and I have decided to separate.  Those who know us both are surprised and somewhat confused.  Truthfully, we are a bit surprised as well but it is a welcome change.

Break ups are opportunities for a life review.  They open the door to a deeper understanding of life, the universe and everything.  This one is perhaps one of my greatest gifts.

I love my husband and he loves me.  We respect each other.  We can talk about anything…even splitting up…with open hearts.  We want what is best for the other. We want each other to be happy.  We have both stated we needed each other to grow as much individually as we have the past decade. I am grateful for him and he is grateful for me.

He has a way with metaphors and described our split like a shuttle launch.  Shuttles need boosters to take off and get up to speed but, after a certain point, the boosters have to break off so the shuttle can soar into outer-space.   We want each other to soar.  We’re soaring in different directions and staying together would mean limiting each other’s potential.  Neither of us wish for that.

I affirm often “I embrace changes that serve my highest good”.  Every time I repeat those words, I mean them.  Even though I wasn’t expecting this change, I see it as one to embrace.  Even when change is painful, it doesn’t cause suffering unless I resist it.

Our time as a married couple has come to an end.  We know that we could deny this fact and live mediocre lives together for many years to come but we want GREAT lives.  Passionate, wholehearted, amazing lives.

I have been through divorce before as a different person with someone quite different.  I thought I would live the rest of my life with the man I married March 19, 2007.  I justified my first divorce with the success of my second marriage, telling myself the relationship issues weren’t mine.  This transition is making me question everything I have ever believed about love.  It’s making me see how I have clutched on to others to try and fill a void within myself.  It’s giving me opportunities to practice the self-love and self-care I teach while opening my eyes to yet another way of being.

In the past year, two significant female friendships have ended as well.  One of them specifically told me I was trying to use her for connection I should experience with my husband.  Her words angered me immensely at the time but now I see she was right.  Another held my hand while I crossed the bridge to a more spiritual life and then withdrew because it’s what she needed to do.  I took that withdrawal as abandonment but, in reality, we needed to part for our own good.  We are all better apart than we would be together now.  Both of those friendships helped teach me what love is and what it is not.  Both of those friendships prepared me for this time in my life.

There are pieces of my heart that belong to every person I have every loved, romantically or otherwise.  Whether we remain lovers/friends or not, that love remains.  That piece of my heart is theirs and I cherish it.  The words that triggered the most emotion (especially hurt, anger and fear) held the deepest truth and taught me the greatest lessons.  Resistance to the shadow parts of myself causes destruction, embracing them heals.

As one door closes, another opens.  I am experiencing connection at a level I have never experienced before.  I now understand there is no competition in love.  My love has no end.  The love I experience with one does not take away from the love I experience with another.  Finite things can be owned, bartered, divided and taken away…not infinite love.

Resistance to loving myself unconditionally blocks love from coming in or going out.  Every fear I have had about how someone is going to treat me, stems from the way I treat myself.  I have accused others of abandoning me, disrespecting me, not listening to me, manipulating me, taking advantage of me…And guess what?! Those are things I have done to myself!

Identifying what I was afraid of in regards to relationships inspired the set of affirmations below.  Reading them aloud daily has been life changing!  May they be as helpful to you as they have been to me.

Trust Affirmations:
Everything is working out perfectly.
I am grateful we found each other and are brave enough to do what we need to do for our highest good.
I trust you.
I trust myself.
I trust your connection with spirit.
I trust my connection with spirit.
I trust your timing.
I trust my timing.
I trust your instincts.
I trust my instincts.
I release my need to control, trying to make myself feel safe.
I am safe.
All is well.
I am open to receiving the best I can imagine and anything better.

And so it is (x3)…

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

 

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Facing Food Addiction: Part 4: Make a Plan B

Ok… So you have your plan… It’s SMART, you’re pumped up about how great you are going to look in a bikini….or speedo, or whatever, you’re pumped!  You’ve cleared your house of junk food.  You have a viable meal plan and you’re packing your lunches.

 

Then…

 

It’s someone’s birthday

Potluck at work

Girl Scout Cookies

Boy Scout Popcorn

School fundraisers selling cookie dough and pizza

Valentine’s Day

St Patrick’s Day

Easter

Family dinner with mom so you have to eat it, right?

Fourth of July

Summer grilling season

State Fair time

Halloween

Thanksgiving

Christmas

before you know it, you’re back to New Year’s again…

 

A HUGE part of maintaining weight loss is developing strategies to handle these situations.

 

Instead of telling myself “you are too fat to get that”, I started telling myself “that is not going to help you reach your goal; you DESERVE to be healthy!”.  Amazingly, the latter worked MUCH better than the former logic.  Early on, sabotaging thoughts came fast and often.  As I learned to recognize them and turn them around into a positive affirmation, they waned.  I still have them, and probably always will, but they do not run my life.  Thoughts are just thoughts, they do not define who I am.

 

Holidays come with traditions but not eating everything on the dinner table is not going to end the world.  In a lot of ways, I suffer much less not over eating than I do gorging myself to the point of being uncomfortably stuffed.  Holidays are just another day on the calendar.  My contribution to group meals is something I can eat a lot of (aka fresh fruits and veggies) and depending on what else is around, sometimes I only eat what I bring.

 

People are going to offer food that isn’t a good choice for me.

 

My experience has been when I’m fighting hard to stay on track, having a tough time, I start to be the expert on what everyone else should and shouldn’t eat.  I’m not real happy and when I say “no” and there’s a little twinge of “you really shouldn’t eat it either”.  In those times, people push me to “have it”, “try it”, “just a bite”, “it’s ok today”.  When I truly do not want something, I can say “no” gracefully and people respect it.  As far as I can tell, the actual words I’m saying are the same, but the spirit behind them is different and so are the results.

 

My first round of holidays, my trainer at the time mentioned that I could take it, smile, and say something like “thank you, I’ll save this for later,” and then what I did with it afterwards was my business.  I was floored!  You mean I don’t have to go walking around like a diet Nazi and turn every temptation into a conflict?!  Oh!!!  Well, that’s interesting…

 

People are emotional about their food.  Whether they eat it or don’t eat it, people have feelings about it!

 

I am grateful for the intention of the person offering me their edible gifts. Sometimes I enjoy them but I do not have to.  I try to use those situations as an opportunity to practice acknowledging that each person has a right to their own perception and I don’t always agree with the people I love.  No matter what someone else does, I decide how much it impacts me.  No one is perfect at setting boundaries but it helps to know I have a right to them.

 

If you do not have anyone in your life that is committed to living a healthy lifestyle, find a way to build relationships with people who are.  They are out there and they want to be friends with you!  Build a support network of people who will help encourage you and have fun with you while you all progress.  No one person is going to be able to be there for you 100% ALL of the time but you will have what you need when you need it if you keep your heart open to receiving it.  Know that!

 

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading