As we say goodbye to 2018 and look ahead to the new year, I am wrapping up my 2018 with an apology. I had the realization this morning as I was reflecting on the year that is about to close that I have not been clear about something important and I hope you will not feel misled.
I cannot help you control Love. As a relationship adviser, it is too easy to give the impression that if you work hard enough you can control Love. You can’t. If I have given you a false hope of taming your wild, beautiful, Love-filled soul as it goes through its experience here during this life, I am truly sorry.
It is also too easy to assume that I know something you don’t; that as an adviser I hold secrets to your happiness and success that you do not yet have. That isn’t necessarily true. What I have is many years of experience of working with, learning with, discovering with, laughing and crying with over a thousand real people as a therapist, adviser and support group leader. I have also been on the mountaintops and through the trenches of Love myself; but that doesn’t make me an expert on you. My pains and triumphs, struggles and successes were mine to experience just as yours are yours.
I hope you are not disappointed, but I am not here to fix anyone. Like the other experienced helpers, I am here to share what I know, walk with you without judgement, and to continue to learn as well. There is no magic wand, no way to think your way into stopping, starting, or controlling the greatest force there is. What I have learned again and again through my clients and my own life is that we do not get to control Love. We can control our actions, but we are all just souls made of Love and that is bigger than any of us learning and experiencing our way through this one lifetime.
I can help with many things; clarity, planning, behavioral changes, thought process, goal setting, action steps and more – but I cannot help you make someone Love you. I cannot help you to stop loving someone else. I cannot help you control Love itself.
As the New Year begins, I write this post as a reset button and an invitation to begin again. Begin what? Begin another 365 days of opportunity to continue to learn, to grow, to own your own experience as you allow Love to continue to journey with you; to choose Love over fear or hate; to challenge your ideas about what “should” and “should not” be; and to continue my personal journey of learning too.
Every day is a new chance to open our hearts, to grow past our fears, to expand our understanding of ourselves and others, and to live our Soul purpose of Loving with less limitation, less disappointment, less judgement.
None of us will do this perfectly. To grow our own Great Love is not to grow perfect Love; it is to learn to open ourselves fully to Love with our very human imperfections tripping us along the way. Love in this life is messy at best and the most worthwhile use of our limited time.
So, in reflection of 2018, here are three important lessons that stood out from my work with clients this year. I am grateful for every person that has shared their own personal truths with me; we are all in this together and I will take their lessons forward with me in a bigger way into 2019. I hope they are helpful to you as well as you look back on your own year in preparation for the next.
Lesson: Love doesn’t care about your timing.
Time is a human-made construct to help us stay organized during our human experience. Love is not a human-made construct; Love is timeless. We came from unconditional Love and after this life we will return to it. During this earthly experience of life, however, Love is messy. We Love imperfectly and make mistakes, get hurt, try again, hurt someone else, shut down, open back up, rejoice, connect, fall down, get back up and learn some more. Love doesn’t show up on our timing and it doesn’t leave on our timing either.
We do not get to decide the timing; we have learning to do and growth to experience. This may be exactly why Love’s timing is often “off” according to our own ideas and plans. Nobody ends up in my office because everything is going according to their own plan!
One of the hardest lessons there is to embrace is that everything is happening for our greatest good; that we are always where we are supposed to be; that every person is in our life for a positive purpose; and all of these lessons are particularly hard to accept when the timing seems completely messed up.
Lesson: Buried Love doesn’t die.
Anyone who has experience with the death of a loved one, meeting and loving a soulmate or their Twin Flame likely already knows this; but not everyone has had those experiences (yet). This theme has shown itself so many times with my clients this past year and with my own experience of losing my parents (miss you so much Mom!) that it caused this driven, strong-minded person who lives in the world of choice/action/results to question my own beliefs about controlling emotion. At the beginning of 2018, I was pretty sure that with enough rationalization and time, Love’s focus could be purposefully redirected or let go; that given enough time apart, Love would weaken or naturally move on.
Leaving Love while it is still very much alive is different from leaving a broken Love or a relationship that has served its purpose. Have you ever tried getting over a breakup by finding someone else to pour your Love into? We all have had this natural response to leave broken Love behind and seek it somewhere else when we are hurt. The bottom line is that unrequited Love hurts, but shared love that ends prematurely isn’t even close to the same.
Unrequited Love can heal over time, but shared Love isn’t a wound. It is a life force. When you walk away from (a true soul-connected Love for rational, practical, fear-based reasons (or through the death of one of you), it is very possible that the loving soul-based connection will remain quite intact. As more than a few of my clients have shared with me this year, burying a soul-connected Love before its time doesn’t make it go away; it stays within us. Losing a person while Love is still very much alive between you doesn’t make Love leave.
While we do get to make a choice about our own actions of embracing Love as it is or enduring the pain of denying it; we don’t actually get to control Love itself. We might attempt to bury it and try to let it go, but we can’t realistically expect it to die. Soul connections are not controlled by our rational thinking; in fact, when we bury a soul-connected Love, it not only does not die, but it might even deepen its roots.
Lesson: Love has room for all of us.
This is the biggest lesson of the three and while it isn’t a new lesson, it is one that requires work to truly allow us to accept its magnitude. We have all been taught that Love is an exclusive club. We choose “the one” and devote ourselves to them, forsaking all others. We falsely take a form of ownership over each other and lay down our set of rules to apply to manage our own fears of possible future loss. This is a set of rules created within human-made constructs of marriage, families, relationships, cliques, cultures. People are complex, emotional, every-changing beings and our societies function better with a clear set of rules to abide by; a clear set of expectations. While it is easy to understand why some rules exist (not killing each other is a good one, right?), mot rules are fear based rather than Love based. They are control measures that bring a sense of order; and limitations that may inhibit growth.
Love is always looking to grow.
Rules are put into place to help minimize behaviors that are rooted in fear/hate/greed/ego. These are not part of Love. Love doesn’t comply with fear or control-based rules. It never has.
The fear of losing Love is not part of Love. The perceived loss of Love is the greatest pain we can endure and is a result of the rules we have set up based on the ego’s need to win, or the ego’s misinterpretation of what makes us worthy of Love. The truth is, you ARE Love, and therefore are always worthy without having to compete for it. Love is not a competition with winners and losers; that game is run by fear.
We do not get to choose whom our soul connects with and sometimes it is messy, inconvenient, and completely ignores our rules and plans. It is our human-made constructs and our ego’s need for control and approval that are imperfect; not Love itself. Love has room for all of us and would connect us all together if our ego’s were not in the way.
Gratitude and growth
As the year comes to a close, I am grateful for being fortunate beyond measure for the opportunity to walk with and learn from my amazing clients every day. We are all truly on this journey together and will continue to grow in our understanding and capacity for Great Love in our perfectly messy and miraculous human experiences.
Wishing you a peaceful close to 2018 and an expanded, love-filled year ahead.