The Definition of Love

relationship, marriage, man, woman, single, God, Bible

I heard the best definition of love: “sacrifice for the spiritual growth of one’s self and another.” So, love is all about growth. Love is also about acceptance: accepting your partner exactly as he is and not hoping to change him. Love is also unconditional. Love and abuse cannot co-exist. I haven’t been in love (even though I’ve said the words) because I never accepted any of my partners as they were, I never cared about their growth, spiritual or otherwise, and I didn’t know the meaning of unconditional. Even though I’ve been hurt alot, I realize I’ve been pretty selfish in what I wanted out of a relationship and that may have had something to do with my results.

They say whatever you want, do that. If you want to receive, give first. If you want certain qualities in a partner, embody those qualities. Love yourself first, and the world will love you back. Until very recently I wasn’t sure about the meaning of self-love and now I am beginning to understand. Do nice things for yourself and be easy on yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Don’t berate yourself. Speak to yourself the way you would want a loving parent to speak to you. Especially if your parents were neglectful or abusive, it’s important to learn to nurture yourself. I am just now learning to love myself and it feels nice!

Shame, a film about sex addiction

Shame came out on DVD today. The film by director Steve McQueen stars Michael Fassbender as Brandon, a sex addict living in New York. I used to laugh at the idea of being addicted to sex – how ridiculous! Now I realize sex can be just like any other addiction – when you use something outside of yourself to fill a hole that only God can fill. The fellow in the movie was obsessed with sex, having daily encounters with strangers and prostitutes, consuming constant pornography both at home and at work, and masturbating several times a day at home and work. Ironically, even though he was swapping fluids with strangers, he was compulsively clean: a germophope. And fittingly for a sex addict he had no real intimacy in his life. When the opportunity came to have sex with someone he cared for he couldn’t get it up! Immediately he went and had sex with a stranger in a high-risk encounter. He was hooked on illicit sex but sex with any tenderness was impossible.

Brandon’s sister who has her own issues (perhaps alcoholism) comes to stay with him and turns his perfectly ordered life upside down. she speaks my favourite line in the film when she says to him: “We’re not bad people; we just come from a bad place.” To me, that ties into childhood traumas and how they can cause pain so deep that addictions seem the only way out.

Why men pull away

relationship, marriage, wife, husband

One of my men (my favourite because he seems to read my mind and know exactly what I want) pulled away for a few days. I did not hear from him for 5 days and I was disappointed, but my skin is thickened so I sloughed it off and moved on. As these things happen, as soon as I had forgotten about him he got in touch. I was shocked to see his email in which he wrote that he feels I am the woman for him and he would like to take our relationship to the next level. He said he wanted to talk to me that night and we spoke for 2 hours as he asked me about what I want in a relationship and what he would give me. We spoke again on the phone for 2 hours the next night. (He is travelling for work).

I remembered hearing this is what men do – pull away right before they decide to get serious. Of course, I had never experienced it because I never gave anyone enough breathing room to let that happen! When he called, he was surprised to hear “a smile in my voice” and I said, “Well, I’m happy to hear from you!” Before I probably would have tore a strip out of him and possibly ruined a chance to get to know a guy who could be a compatible partner. All out of my own pride and controlling expectations of the way a man should behave.

I read somewhere about embracing the surprises in life, that you don’t have to always know the outcome, what’s going to happen and when, and that’s they way I want to be with this man. He wants to know the real me, communicates authentically, and he cares about whether I get enough sleep, whether my children are having their needs met, and how I am feeling. He is constantly asking about me and I am so happy to bask in that attention that I forget to ask about him. I am being a little bit selfish and he seems to like that. He accepts the fact that I’m not having sex (oral or otherwise) until marriage and says he will support me in that.

I am going on a date tonight with the athlete who had to cancel last week but I will be thinking of my man. For now, I am taking things day by day but I feel I have found someone very compatible with me.

Ephesians 5:31

I found the following image on Facebook and thought, “This is what I want?” (question mark intended)

Bible, God, Christianity, spirituality, marriage, relationship, single woman

Online dating and The Bible

relationship, dating, marriage, husband, wife, single woman, online, internet

It’s funny I wrote a post called “How 5 becomes 1” recently because I think the title has come to fruition already! I’m not sure if I am a particularly good man repellent, or this is a normal weeding out process. It’s also possible 2 men are still standing because one said he is in town next weekend and would like to see me. Maybe he’ll call, who knows? Are my expectations too high? Is it weird of me to think a man will be in touch every couple of days if he is interested? Anyway, one of them is and maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be. Like I’ve been saying… you only need one.

My Match.com subscription is expiring on February 2 after 3 months. I decided to let it go due to my abysmal track record with them. But this morning I received a promising match in my email and when I ‘winked’ he replied instantly. He is a passionate man who describes himself as a humanitarian, bold but not arrogant, educated. The only minus so far is that he’s not athletic but, hey, I could probably overlook that if other values line up with mine.

I have to say this match came in immediately after I dedicated an hour to reading the Bible and meditating on what I read. That doesn’t mean this man is a gift from God necessarily, but when I focus on God, good things seem to enter into my life instantly and effortlessly.

My dating life: is God having a laugh?

I am beginning to wonder if the time is still not right for me to be in a relationship. Or maybe God has a few more lessons for me to learn before I get there. I scheduled a second date with the guy I saw last week…I say ‘guy’ because I can’t call him a man – he’s a boy, young and a bit self-involved, but nice enough, so I want to give him three dates before I make any decision about him. He was at a tournament (he’s an athlete playing at the top tier of his game) so we were to go to a movie when he returned. He kept me up to date throughout the day which was thoughtful and they ended up going the whole distance, winning all their games, so I was happy for him.

Sadly, he didn’t make it back as the weather became very bad and they had to stop and stay for the night. He was extremely apologetic and it was out of his control but I just can’t help feeling that my dating life is getting ridiculous, that God is having a good laugh. I refuse to feel sorry for myself, but I am bewildered by my bad luck.

The other fellow I was interested in stopped talking to me because I expressed my need for him to contact me when he said he would. I waited until he had failed three times┬áto fulfill his intention to call at a certain time and I was clear but certainly not mean in my email. I haven’t heard from him since. I suppose this is a weeding out process and as my friend says “This dating game is not for the faint of heart.” I’m developing a thick skin and I’m not sure if I like that.

Where have all the real men gone?

relationship, wife, husband, marriage, God, man, woman
I’m excited about one of the men I’ve met recently. We’ve been talking daily, sometimes twice a day, and he has many of the qualities I desire in man. Through the latest part of my inner work, I spent much time and energy figuring out what I want in a man and I realize I really need a dominant man who will take charge and be in his masculine energy. I love the way this man communicates with me. He tells me what he wants and then asks me how I feel about it. So much better than a man asking me what I want. Men who ask you what you want, whether it’s what movie to see or where to go eat, are not nice or polite…they are lazy.

The Dating Pool

Well, now that I’ve put my toe into the dating pool I’m beginning to get a few bites! I was asked out for the second time last week and for the second time I did something to mess it up! I am pretty sure this is my subconscious which is not ready for dating, even though my conscious mind says yes. A gentleman asked me out and did all the things the way I like them done – asked for my phone number, called me several times, asked me out and then planned the date. On the morning of the date I woke up sick and had to cancel. But instead of being disappointed I was relieved. Relieved because I wouldn’t have to go outside my comfort zone and risk being rejected or finding out that he wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the reason I got sick is that it wasn’t meant to be: he is younger than me and I am looking for a marriage bound relationship while he is looking for a good time. I am pretty sure that if I told him I am waiting until I’m married to have sex he would bolt. But I won’t know for sure because I didn’t get the chance to find out. Another guy asked me out and although I’ve said yes I am not feeling optimistic – and I am a very optimistic person! I keep coming up with reasons why this date will be a waste of time and I’ll never find the right man for me…what kind of an attitude is that?

I think I will go out with both of these gentleman and reserve judgment: go in without any expectations about the outcome and find some joy in meeting a new person and the growth that comes from stretching outside one’s comfort zone.

Feeling your feelings

Right now I’m in this place where I’m feeling my feelings. Feeling my feelings? What? Well, I’m learning how to observe my emotions without judging them and even taking information from them that might be useful for me as I move forward on my journey. I used to do everything I could to stifle my emotions; I found them inconvenient and annoying more than anything. I didn’t understand that anger could be anything other than rage, so I was afraid of it and stifled it until it came out in inappropriate ways.

Now I know that anger is the body’s way of providing information and making it difficult not to act. Anger may be telling you that your boundaries are being violated and you need to establish them more firmly or let go of a person or situation that is repeatedly trampling on those boundaries. Anger has generally been a sign to me that I have not been treated the way I deserve, that my feelings were being minimized or invalidated, and I used to accept that and move along. Now, I insist on being treated with dignity and know that my feelings are worthy of validation. I have a right to my feelings! We all do and there are no good feelings or bad feelings…they just are.

Now, if I share my feelings and someone tries to tell me I’m overreacting or I don’t have a right to feel that way, I begin to question whether that person is a positive force in my life. Maybe they need to deal with their own problems around feeling their feelings. Me, I am seeking out others who can be honest and forthright about their emotions, who are not afraid to tell the truth about how they feel, and who will not make me feel bad for having a feeling that might be “inconvenient”.

Calling in ‘The One’: The Sacred Wound

relationship, love, marriage, dating, man, single woman, wedding, abstinence, celibate
We’re getting down to the nitty gritty with the Calling in ‘The One’ book. Today we must write about the ways we have been wounded from a stance that is courageous warrior rather than victim. Can you think of a trauma from your past that left you feeling unlovable? Can you re-write the story to give yourself credit for surviving or even rising above the abuse? They say that those who have fallen the farthest will rise the highest (or something like that!). Our wounds are how we heal the world. First we heal ourselves and then we share what we learned through the experience with others who may have suffered the same ordeal. People with ordinary lives with not big ups and downs don’t get that privilege. Their lives may seem easier but in the end their purpose is different.

The central lesson I am learning from this entire experience – not just the book but the whole celibate trip – is that happiness can only come from within. There is nothing another human being can give me to make me happier; I can only give myself that gift which, for me, comes through a deeper relationship with God. I’m not sure if this is conducive to the mission of the book, but I realized today when I was out running that it doesn’t matter to me whether I meet someone or not. I am happy as I am and the only time I feel incomplete is when I see some popular culture version of what happy is supposed to be., ie., always based on something/someone outside of yourself.

Getting back to today’s “love lesson”, which says to write about your sacred wound (for me that would be my emotionally abusive mother) and how it puts you in the unique position of healing others. Right away, I thought about my daughters and how my own healing and self-awareness will give them a more competent mother. I also thought about the idea that self-awareness is the only way to heal the world and the only education we all need. We think education is best when it’s about abstract ideas, books, and historical events when in fact the most important education is learning to understand one’s inner self, what motivates you to do what you do. Change yourself, change the world.