Hello, my fellow Daily Lovers. As I sit on this airplane next to my honey, I am struck by just what an Odyssey I underwent to get to this moment, full of twists and turns and lessons that all needed to be learned until I was ready to find him. Are you on a similar journey to find the one? Here is what mine looked like.
Find the Empire of Love on the Map
When I left the Arid Cave of Sadness of my last relationship two years ago, I realized that I had become utterly disconnected from what love even was. I certainly wasn’t behaving lovingly toward my partner. As I left the caves and blinked in the blinding sunlight at all the uncharted territory ahead of me, I realized that I didn’t actually know the Empire of Love that I was in search of. I could tell you what I didn’t want: I didn’t want to be critical, didn’t want a relationship that was more of a friendship than a romance, didn’t want the endless fights, and didn’t want the constant uncertainty. But that didn’t give me a road map of where to go. Instead, it gave me a description of the very cave I was leaving.
So, I decided to figure out what love meant to me. I gathered images and ideas, some from my past experiences, some from talking to friends and loved ones, and some from movies or books. Like an artist making a collage, I assembled a dream for love that sounded delicious and good. I wanted deep spiritual connection, to know and love each other’s dreams and vow to make them come true, to be a mixture of light and playful, and to each feel in awe that someone so great would choose us. To feel a sense of certainty, of recognition, that this was my One.
With this dream, I now had a sense of the destination of my Odyssey.
Take Action Out of the Swamps of Hopelessness
Soon after crafting my dream, I entered into the Swamps of Hopelessness. Ok, I had the dream, but how in the world was I going to find him? Amazing men certainly weren’t knocking down my door. How would I find dates? Why couldn’t I just be one of those women with an endless string of men randomly asking her out on the subway or in the grocery store? It was then that I realized that my feet had started to sink in quicksand, and I wasn’t actually taking any steps to meet these men. Surely, I could figure out an action plan that would have me meet and date men. I signed up for online websites and figured out how they worked, went to networking and singles events, and asked the people I knew to set me up. I made a commitment to myself that I would figure out how to go on two dates per week, and sure enough, I figured it out. I was out of the Swamps and jogging down that path ahead.
Challenge the Forest of Disbelief
After a few months of actively dating, I entered the Forest of Disbelief. Sure, I had plenty of dates, but wasn’t really into any of the men I was dating. I was discouraged. Maybe the Kingdom of Love didn’t really exist? It was then that I realized that as much as I liked my dream and was taking action toward it, I didn’t actually believe I could have it. When I dug a little deeper, I found that I believed that I was destined to get bored with men, that no one could be interesting enough to spend a lifetime with. I also believed that being in a relationship would limit my freedom and fun.
The funny thing about the Forest of Disbelief is that so long as I had these beliefs, then they are exactly what I found. I would look at my date’s quirks and say to myself, “yes, that is cute now, but I am sure it will annoy the heck out of me in a year.” And sure enough, I would get annoyed. Or he would tell me his dreams for his life, and I would see all the ways that they would conflict with my dreams, and limit my freedom.
In order to find the Kingdom of Love, I had to change my beliefs. I had to believe that it’s possible to love someone more with time, not less. I had to believe that the adventures that are possible with a partner are more beautiful than the adventures that are possible alone. To believe these new beliefs, I gathered examples of people who had done this, and saw that if they had done it, I could, too. Slowly, step by step, I left the Forest of Disbelief. And then I started to find men who I actually could see myself loving for the rest of my life. Wild!
Arrive at the Empire of Love
I spent two years on this Odyssey through the forests and swamps and caves. It wasn’t easy. Finally, I emerged from it all and realized that, because of the adventures I had been through, I had found a radiance and glow of possibility about me. I knew I was going to find the Empire of Love, and find it soon. I had already traveled so far, and was in top form. I felt so certain of it. And then in mid-March, my boyfriend Joe and I started dating. He matches my dream almost verbatim, proves all of my new beliefs to be possible, and makes me very happy. Who knows if this is the “final” Kingdom of Love (my bet), or one of them along the way, but I know I wouldn’t have gotten here without traveling through each and every part of the journey.
What does your Love Odyssey look like? Write me a note and share.
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