A friend emailed me recently asking if I could tell her how I 'started over.' It is a question many women, and men, face after a divorce, especially when their youth has passed.
I have a few thoughts to share in this month when Valentine's Day calls attention to couples and can leave those without a partner feeling quite alone.
We can't control
when love comes to us.
We always control
when it flows from us.
Before falling in love with Terry, who had been my good friend for years, I simply spent time with friends - male and female. The secret to having a relationship develop, I believe, is to be a friend and enjoy each and every person, looking for what is interesting about each.
Don't even look for someone. Just have fun. Look into others. See what is fascinating about them, and acknowledge that to them. Every person is interesting, has a dream, wants to be known at soul level - and accepted for who he/she is down deep.
I resolved to go anywhere, with anyone. (Now, of course that has limits, but it opens our minds to sharing time with many people.) I was lonely at first and decided that was the way to keep active and happy.
Don't look for 'it' to happen. It will just happen. It will find you, as long as you keep enjoying life and people. We can't control when love comes to us. We always control when it flows from us. Joy is contagious. Laugh, play, have fun.
Go places you haven't been. If you've never been to the opera, go. A whole new group of people will be there. Take part in a theater production - act, design a set, or sell tickets. Volunteer somewhere. Get out of yourself.
Pursue a passion. If you love trains, join a train group. I have no clue what that will be, but you can find out. Take a course anywhere and become an expert in something. Sharing a passion for collecting or dining out or bird watching builds intimacy.
A few thoughts to sort through. Keep what feels right. Discard what doesn't. Above all, be grateful for each blessing. An attitude of gratitude brings internal joy and that is a magnet for friendship.
Friendship is the best garden for growing a loving, lasting relationship.
Lastly, but most important, be spiritual. Keep in harmony with your beliefs, your God, your core. Be open to what your gut tells you. If something flows, go with it, if it doesn't, don't.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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