Your Capacity to Love

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. · MoveMe Quotes

I used to think loving someone was pretty much a black or white thing. Either you loved them or you didn’t. I hated to hear people say, I love you but I am not in love with you. I understood there was love of family, love of friends, and then romantic love, but I didn’t really believe romantic love could also have different levels. Over time, after one marriage and two long term relationships, I realize the level of love or the ability of love one is able to give can grow exponentially over time. I believe, along with life experiences, knowledge and growth within ourselves, and learning to love who we truly are can give us the ability to love differently in each relationship we choose.

I had young love when I married young and had my daughter. Then I had another level of love in the next relationship that felt deeper and after a few years I found another love that changed me over time. I know that I was still learning and growing and those relationships could not or would not grow with me for one reason or another and they ended. Now I have been out of my last long term relationship for a year. I have dated but as many of us do, I tried to be more open minded like my friends suggested and dated guys that I would not typically choose. I quickly realized I should probably listen less to my friends, as helpful as they were trying to be, and just do what feels right for me.

At this point in life I feel that I am on the right track with what I want in life and have a good idea of the type of man I can see myself with. Looking back I can see how the things I once desired in a relationship have changed and I am thankful for the experiences I have had that have helped me gain clarity. Priorities often change with age. Our ability to love is based on so many things and sometimes people can really love you but their capacity to love is limited….this could be for many reasons. Abuse, maturity level, inability to heal from a past heartbreak, childhood trauma, lack of experience or understanding, emotional immaturity, lacking communication and/or social skills…all of these things can be factors that affect a persons capacity to love.

I have cleared the decks and removed all interested from my past and present to center on one man who seems to be many of the things I desire, but it takes time to know for sure. I have rushed into things before full of hope and I have learned that it never turns out good. So I will be patient, listen, observe, and see how he treats me, does he make time for me, does his actions match his words? Is he respectful, is he trying to communicate and show emotional maturity, can he apologize and admit when he is wrong and commit to doing better? Does he make me laugh and smile? Is he supportive of my hopes and dreams and does he openly share with me his own? Does he think of me in his busy day and let me know I am on his mind and does he ask about me and my day? These are things that most women would say they desire in a relationship and they seem pretty simple, but it is amazing to me how often they are missing from the beginning and we make excuses or exceptions for them.

It is important to understand where a persons capacity for love is and if it is a match for you. The truth is, most women naturally have a higher capacity for love than men, so keep that in mind. We are nurturers and even chemically connect once a sexual encounter has occurred. Men are not wired the same, connection for them happens differently. Slow movers are not necessarily a bad thing. Sexual chemistry is great and necessary but in order to have a truly fulfilling and lasting relationship it must go deeper. Today adults have so much to navigate, so understanding busy work schedules, shared custody of children, going back to college schedules and study time for a higher degree, taking care of a home and any pets, time for self-care and health, family and friends….by the time you factor all of those things in to a new relationship it leaves very little time to get to know someone. So often late night phone calls or texting can happen, but you don’t want this to become the basis of communication (especially texting). The patterns you set in the beginning will be hard to break if the relationship begins to grow.

The desire to find a loving partner is often stated, but the desire to work for a good relationship is where many fail. Love does not come easy, it is a choice to love someone and the effort you are willing to put in says a lot about your capacity to love. Get your priorities straight and make room for that relationship if it is something you truly desire. Love, family, career, and home are what many find most important in life, which areas could you be putting more effort into? Are you making time to nurture a new relationship and learn and grow or are you just going through the motions? Be honest with yourself on what you want and the effort you are willing to put in, know your capacity to love.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Define Love…

unnamed

What is love to you?  When you think love what images come in to your mind?  When you smell it is there a certain perfume, cologne or food that conjures in your memory?  When you see love whose face or what places do you want to look at?  When you feel it is there a certain blanket, petting your puppy, or the way you are touched or kissed that brings that overwhelming loved feeling?  Taste of love….ooooo yes this could be erotic but isn’t that part of it?  The taste of a kiss, the taste of a person, the taste of sweet strawberries, salty fresh raw oysters…or maybe just the love of grandma’s fresh baked cookies?

When I meditated recently I chose this as my prompt to focus on.  I thought of all the sensations in life that make me feel really loved and in love….memories, hopes, dreams of feeling each level of love in my soul.  We are creatures who love to be loved and give love.  To connect with another human on any level is wonderful, to have a deep conversation, to laugh with someone, to make eye contact and smile, to hold hands and kiss….these are all levels of love.  We should be sharing loving moments with those we connect with daily.  Often love is confused with being something deep and singled out for only a few important people in our lives, but love should be boundless and shared as often as possible.  Respect is also love, don’t use to love in a negative way, it can be shared without disrespecting, losing trust, or hurting someone….if that happens then it really isn’t love to begin with.

Take time in this week to stop and ask what defines love for you and then focus on it.  Love is a word and action often misused and abused….define what it really means to you and then express it daily in the world around you.  If you show love through your work, art, cooking, or you just want to smile more or make deeper connections with friends and family by reaching out to talk or listen more…these are all acts of love that feed our souls and I think right now we could all use a little more soul food.

With health, happiness, and love,

Stacy

 

Bubble Wrap Your Heart

Image result for protect your heart

The first thing I have noticed in the world of heartbreak and dating is the little bruises and cuts we receive on our poor tattered hearts over time and how those wounds stay with us as we try to work our way back up on the horse to try again.  I think it is safe to say we all know we should not punish the new person in our lives for the bad done to us by those before, but we often still do it anyway.  We may justify it by saying we learned a valuable lesson and we are just being smart with our caution and paranoid thoughts and doubts.  This person is too good to be true so when is the truth bomb going to blow-up in my face?  If you have ever been really heart broken and tried to start a new relationship all of these little thoughts and fears will creep into your mind at some point.  Maybe it will be after the first excitement of new love starts to fade and those good morning texts don’t come quite as consistently?  Maybe it is the first time you spend the night together and don’t have sex?  At some point you think…is this it, is this a form or rejection, the beginning of the end, or are we in a good comfortable place?

First, we must understand these thoughts are all normal and usually there is some degree of fear and wonder coming from both people involved in the relationship.  It is good to move slow, get to know the other person, and create a comfort level for communication so that these worries and thoughts can be shared.  If someone makes you feel silly or crazy for voicing your feelings then that should be a pretty big red flag right from the start.  Every relationship and every couple is unique but also remember you are still a unique individual.  Do not allow your thoughts to be consumed by the other person.  The smartest way to protect your heart is to make sure you are truly happy and fulfilled on your own before you enter into a relationship.  Too often I see beautiful, smart, independent women become so caught up in the romance that they let other parts of their lives fall to the wayside and they have regrets about it later.

Remember who you were in the beginning of the relationship, which is also probably a big reason why the other person fell in love with you in the first place.  So if you go dropping all these parts of your life that made you you, then it will surely change the whole dynamic of the relationship.  Of course, changes, growth, and compromise will occur as a relationship matures but this should be a compatible process that flows naturally.   Each relationship will have its highs and lows, ebbs and flows, and stops and goes.  This is a normal part of sharing a life with another person.  Try to allow yourself to fully heal before entering a new relationship and understand that if things are moving too fast it is okay to slow down and re-evaluate.  It is possible to be wise and still be hopelessly in love.  Let yourself enjoy the moment but don’t forget who you are in the process.  A person who is truly in love with you will encourage you to take your time, to talk things through, to have your space, and to keep your hobbies and interests.  You can protect your heart and still allow yourself to love again.  Happy Valentines Day!

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

 

 

 

Unexpected

Best-10-Unexpected-Love-Quotes-Best-Love-Quotes-For-Her-Of-All-Time...-Best-Qu...-Best-Quotes-Love.jpg

Sooo I had a plan.  I am not saying I am giving up the plan but I may need to re-evaluate the plan.  See, I thought I needed to work on myself and some of that probably stemmed from the break-up last Summer.  Okay, maybe most of it did.  When we get rejected by someone we care about it makes us feel like something is wrong with us, or at least it did me.  So it is common after a breakup to really work hard at becoming better versions of ourselves.  I have been doing my yoga and meditation each day, journaling and prayers, and trying to drink more water and make healthier food choices and all of it has paid off.   I am a positive person I think most would say and I do believe that if you put your desires out into the universe with full belief and faith in the process and with good intentions, then good things will come your way.  

I had a plan to go a year without dating but I had also painted a picture of what I want in a relationship in the future.  At my age and after dating a few different guys you become pretty clear about what you definitely do want and what you don’t want in a relationship and significant other.  I had planned to stay open to making new friends but I wanted to focus on my career and school.  I have been working on healing my heart for six months and trying to come to terms with the fact that I was single again.  I have always heard it happens when you least expect it.  I accepted the phone number but made it clear I am not looking for a relationship.  I accepted the invitation to meet up for dinner and the conversation is easy and the night ends in a kiss that left me thinking…okay that would probably qualify as a date.

When the flowers come to my office on Monday I know I am in trouble.  I like this guy and he obviously likes me.  Is it really unexpected?  Yes and no.  I think the law of attraction worked exactly the way Abraham Hicks said it would.  Put your desires out into the universe and let God have it in his control to set in motion and make happen.  So this week I have struggled with this unexpected chain of events and I have had to ask myself…what is really happening here?  Basically, I set my intention to find a partner and then I let it go and got focused on my school and career.  I didn’t go out looking for him, he found me.  I didn’t force it or try to control the situation, it happened without me trying at all.  It happened just like it was supposed to, just like I wanted, naturally.  Am I saying I know without a doubt this guy is the one for me?  No, not just yet but I do think there is some serious potential behind those green eyes and that easy smile.  I guess it is true, some of the best things in life are the ones you never expect…. I guess only time will tell.

With love, health, happiness and the unexpected,

Stacy

What I Have Learned

Image result for lessons in life

At 41 and about to cross over into 42 I have learned a lot about the world around me and myself.  My life has been full of ups and downs and through it all I grown to be a happier and healthier woman.  Lately, I admit sadness takes up residence in a corner of my heart due to loss of a relationship but as I have experienced before, this too shall pass.  As I move through my day, getting up each morning to make my bed, meditate and pray, shower, brush my teeth and feed my pets, these routines give me comfort. My drive to work each morning is usually listening to an audio book and often my morning routine at the office means arriving early and involves coffee, checking emails and maybe a little time to write.

As I move through my work day I like the freedom to work through each task at my own pace and often work through my lunch hour because I truly love my job.  Leaving around 5 each day I listen to my audio book again or sometimes I choose to listen to music.  Evenings may very, but often throughout the week I have dinner either alone or with my daughter, if I even eat dinner.  Sometimes my evening classes in grad school prevent even having time for dinner.  When I am home alone and don’t have class I may take an hour for Netflix or Prime, use the evening for study time or reading a book of my choice.  Reading soon leads to crawling into bed and a cup of hot tea before finally falling asleep.  Then I wake the next day to do it all over again.

Sometimes, I may go for walks in the evenings after work or have dinner with a friend.  Occasional yoga classes, kayaking or hiking on the weekends keep me active.  I try to plan little trips throughout the year to explore a place I have never been in one trip and to get my beloved beach time at least once a year.  I love my three cats, my dog and my house plants and my beautiful 18-year-old daughter who is in college and works.  She makes occasional appearances to spend time with her mom when she isn’t working on school, working at the restaurant or spending time with her boyfriend and friends.  I am a partial empty nester, which means I spend a lot of evenings throughout the week home alone, but that doesn’t really make me lonely.  I have learned to really appreciate my alone time.

As I recount my day to day activity I realize that I am living a blessed life.  I have so much to be thankful for and I have learned that being exactly where I am is enough.  I have spent most of my life striving to be, do, and have more and honestly, it can be exhausting.  Just accepting and fully appreciating who I am, what I have accomplished and all the people I have met, experiences I have had, places I have traveled….I know I have done well and nobody can take that away. I have learned that people may come and go in our lives but those who truly have touched my heart will remain in my heart.  I have learned that to truly forgive brings a peace that cannot be matched.  I have learned that there is no wrong way to love and you cannot love too much, there are just people that may not be ready for the type of love or the amount of love you have to give.  I have learned that no dream is too big and no act of kindness is too small to matter.

Some mornings I may wake thinking I just don’t feel like going through the same old routine again, I just want to pull the covers over my head and hide out.  What I have learned about that feeling, it is normal.  We all have days where we can’t really explain why but we just don’t want to get up and go.  I have also learned that pushing through is often good but sometimes it is okay to just call in to work and take a mental health day.  I have learned that it is okay to not always be positive and have a smile on your face, but the more you smile the better life usually is.  I have learned many things in my life and as Thanksgiving approaches and I reflect on the last 41 years, I know one thing is for sure, I will never stop learning.  The peace of slowing down and appreciating exactly where I am in this moment is truly the best lesson I have learned yet.  I ask that as you prepare to have time with family and/or friends this holiday season to just fully appreciate the moment and always look for the lesson.

With love, health and happiness,

Stacy

What is a Great Partnership to You?

Image result for Relationships

When I think about all I have learned in my life through experiences and my relationships I am able to see how my desires in life have changed.  To say that a person never really changes is a bit of a myth in my opinion.  The truth is, the people who are not changing are not ready or do not have a desire to.  Change is always possible and often necessary in order to live a full life.  I am definitely not the same woman I was at 21 or 31.  I have grown a lot through the years and I feel I am getting better with age.

So with that being said, I also realize my desires in a relationship have changed.  With the ending of each relationship it is good to re-evaluate where we are in life and reflect on the things we found good and bad in the relationship.  Breaking it down during the grieving process is not just helpful to make sense of things but helpful to gain clarity on what you want to do differently moving forward.  I know there are things I will do differently moving forward in my life.  I have spoke about setting boundaries and I believe that is one area where I am definitely going to be stronger but also paying closer attention to a persons other relationships.

When I think about a great partnership I often think of qualities I would like in a man, the real focus for me is not just his individual qualities but how he interacts with the world around him.  Observing an individual and how they interact with their family and friends, coworkers, strangers they encounter in a normal day… I have found this to be the most telling about an individual.  We often tend to put our best foot forward when we are newly dating and really like someone, so we are more likely to be on our best behavior.  I prefer to take a different perspective.  The level of openness, vulnerability, time devoted, and how a person communicates and interacts with others that have been in their lives for a while will give you better insight into what you will see of them once you are passed the honeymoon stage.  This is probably the most valuable lesson I can take away from my most recent relationship.

Looking back and considering the interactions and relationships that already existed  I can easily see all the signs of things that would never work to nurture a happy healthy relationship.  I admit I saw it early on but as a typical therapist minded individual I saw potential for change and believed I could be the catalyst.  Unfortunately, I chose to ignore the fact that the desire and readiness for change in him had nothing to do with me. I know looking forward I would like someone capable of building deep and beautiful relationships with the ability to openly communicate and be vulnerable, challenge himself to take risks when it comes to connecting with others.  A person who initiates the hard conversations and the intimacy.  Someone who is willing to face a challenge head on and not run away when things get hard.  A man who understands in order to keep the spark alive it takes effort and doesn’t just happen magically.   These are things that set a man apart for me.

My parents have been married for 56 years and they are the first to tell me that relationships take work.  Yet they also express the absolute purest form of love with each other that I have ever seen.  As I watch my dad help my mom in the kitchen they tease each other and my heart feels full of joy.  A simple kiss from my dad to my mothers forehead as he passes by to the sink with a dirty dish….my short mom reaching for a bowl on the top shelf and my dad laughing as he reaches to get it for her.  My older brother is married with four little boys, we get excited and talk loud retelling funny stories on each other.  My 18 year old daughter watches her four nephews run around like crazy and becomes more clear on the fact that she does not want children…we laugh because we both know someday she will.  Observing my family at the holidays and how we interact I know love is a staple that can be easily found.

I know not all families are like mine and not all people have had good examples of a healthy relationship.  The desire to learn, understand, grow and have those relationships has to be there in order to change for the better.  This can be scary and hard at first, if you haven’t allowed yourself to be vulnerable and face the hard conversations before but it is so worth it.   People who truly love you and want to know you will respect and appreciate the effort.  Observe those you are getting to know and may be considering spending more time with.  Long talks over dinner can tell you many things but just watching a person interact with others is even more telling.  Learning about a person takes time, don’t rush it, and pay attention to actions, they often speak louder than words.  Watch, listen, and learn….

With love, health and happiness,

Stacy

Reconnecting With Love

The last couple of months have been full of emotion and lessons learned.  The amount of growth has been amazing and even a bit overwhelming at times.  Sometimes things happen that force us to reflect on where we come from, where we are, and where we want to be on a deeper level.   In the process of reflection we may find that where we are is a wonderful place to be and where we are going is full of amazing possibilities.  We tend to get caught up in the day to day grind of life with work, kids, family & friends.  If we don’t take time to stop and take it all in we may not realize certain important aspects. I have spent my life setting goals and trying to better myself.  I am constantly striving to be happy in every aspect of my life and sometimes that means hard work and sacrifice and making hard decisions.

A couple of months ago I made the hard decision to bring up my desires for the future of my relationship with the man I had been seeing for four years.  He did not respond in the most positive way and it left me with a broken heart.  However, in the days and weeks after a letter, text messages, and a conversation happened, there was much left to be reflected on.  We never know what another person is thinking or feeling in the moment that we allow ourselves to be completely vulnerable, but I took that chance anyway.  Over the next month I just tried to move on and do my best to heal.  However, little connections still occurred between us and there was obviously still love lingering between us.

There is a bitter-sweetness when you know you have loved someone fully and time is spent apart where you miss them and the thoughts of what could have been whirl in your mind.  To pray, meditate, allow yourself to fully visualize a life with a person that just simply makes your heart skip a beat every time you see them can be an emotional process.  Then one day the phone call comes…they ask how you are, they tell you they miss you, and you plan to meet…the conversation is simple and the chemistry is palpable.  The spark you thought had faded was really just needing a little stoking to reignite the fire.  Is it real or comfort?  Is it something deeper or just a sweet random moment?  Should we allow ourselves the opportunity to get excited and want more or are we setting ourselves up for disappointment and hurt all over again? Only time will tell….

With love, happiness, & health,

Stacy

Don’t Lie To Yourself About Love

Image result for Soulmates dont exist

I find myself listening to people talk or reading text messages and I often laugh to myself or think…hmmm really?  Sometimes I am talking to friends and they say off-handed things about always working to please others, or some day I will find “the one”.   I find myself observing their life from the outside and thinking…no, you do not always work to please others and you have been married and had kids, so at some point in life I am pretty sure that woman you want to divorce was “the one”.  When people say these things, I have to admit I want to roll my eyes so hard that I may never see straight again.  Who do they think they are fooling?  We all tell stories at different points in our lives.  Stories we create because we are in denial about a relationship or stories about why we didn’t finish college or stay at a certain job.  We make excuses because maybe the truth sounds bad or makes us feel bad when we say it out loud.  We want to believe the excuses and stories we create and tell others sounds reasonable and we may tell them so many times that we actually start to believe them.   Eventually the truth will slap us in the face.

If you do not take ownership of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then you will continue to live a lie and those lies will grow bigger and repeat themselves over and over in different aspects of our lives, especially our relationships.  The lies we tell ourselves, even if we don’t say them out loud to others, will eat us alive.  Red flags fly up everywhere when I think about my most recent relationship and conversations I have had about love and relationships with three other guy friends.  I listen to how they talk about love & relationships and realize each one is clueless about what a truly loving and committed relationship should look like.   My ex, and the 3 male friends I have are all right around 50-years-old, so the fact that they are all so clueless is sad to me.

It seems that men often devote a lot of their energy to becoming successful and very little time to emotional intelligence and communication skills to enhance relationships.  I have read the book Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus, and many other journal articles and books.  I understand how men and women communicate and think differently.  However, at the end of the day it is not just men who are confused about love and relationships, many women believe in the idea of a soul mate and one true person to complete them as well.  Many often finding flaws in one person after another thinking, that one perfect person who will look, say and be all the right things must still be out there! At one point I also entertained the thought of romantic destiny, but the truth is, this belief negatively affects our relationships.  The belief of a soulmate often comes with the idea that a relationship should be effortless and the spark should always be there and that is just not realistic.

Society has painted a picture of how we should view and be in relationships with fairy tales and movies, but the reality is, no one is perfect.  There are many individuals that you can be compatible with, but if you are holding out for perfection you will never find it.  Even more important, we do not need another person to complete us, we should be a fully capable and happy individuals all on our own.  We are whole and complete as we are.  Another person is not meant to hold us up and complete us and they are not responsible for making us happy.  A good partnership consists of two happy and capable individuals coming together in an agreement of commitment.  A good partner is meant to compliment us in the life we want to lead because we want them there, not because we need them.  Please enjoy this amazing TED talk that explains it a little further and let me know what you think.

With love, health, happiness, and hopes for more healthy relationships,

Stacy

Believe It & Receive It.

Image result for abraham hicks quotes

Law of attraction is something either you believe in or roll your eyes at…but much like gravity, it doesn’t matter if you believe or not because it is still constantly at work.  I have had a long and slow process with getting to know, understand and fully appreciate the law of attraction.  I would have to say at this point, my ability to manifest my desires is becoming much more streamlined.  I used to feel all over the place when trying to attract my desires and the problem with that whole sentence is the word “trying”.  Manifesting what we want in life through the law of attraction should not involve effort of any kind.

I have encountered people who say law of attraction goes against God and its witchcraft or magical thinking, and to those naysayers I simply say…you need to study more because you obviously do not understand.  Without a doubt there is a God.  I do not believe all you beautiful people exist without purpose.  I could not be a good counselor if I didn’t believe in some higher power or meaning to life.  I have studied the Tao, Buddhist books, the Bible,  Rumi, Plato, Sacrates, Eckhart Tolle, Rhonda Byrne, Carl Rogers, Carl Jung, Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks and many other great thinkers, writers, speakers, philosophers,  and psychologists throughout history.  This mixture of information has allowed me to form my own thoughts, beliefs and opinions on life, but it all really comes back to allowing, acceptance, joy and most importantly… love.

When you desire something you must understand it is already yours and believe it without doubt.  Basically, you have to believe it to receive it.  If you are feeling doubt and can’t shake it then you need to think about something else that you have no doubt about.  It can be anything you are sure of…like the love of your dog.  Look at your dog and see him or her look at you with those big loving eyes wagging that tail that makes their whole body sway and feel the full joy in your heart of knowing without a doubt that fur baby loves you and stay in that moment as long as you can.  Find things like that all day long that keep you feeling the consistent love and joy to your core.  The more you stay in that place of love the more you remain in the place of receiving, or what I like to call manifesting and some of you who listen to Abraham Hicks know as the vortex.

Recently I have really taken my ability to focus on the positive and get into the vortex to a whole new level and the results have been amazing.  I struggle some days more than others but, like anything, the more you practice the better you get.  I highly recommend if you are new to the idea of the law of attraction and manifesting that you listen to some free YouTube videos of Abraham Hicks, or watch The Secret on Netflix.  I also love the audio book The Power when I feel the need to reset my mind in a positive direction and there is a free movie called The Shift with Dr. Wayne Dyer that really opens your mind to a more positive way of thinking.

Another great way to really bring great things you desire into your life faster is to constantly give thanks to God for all you have, from the electricity and running water in your home to the ability to see, taste, feel and touch with your body.  I say thank you hundreds of times a day.  Being grateful and counting your blessings brings more of what you are grateful for.  I highly encourage you to avoid thinking or talking about negative things you dislike or do not want in your life and avoid gossip as well because law of attraction does not just work to attract good things into your life, it can also attract the bad.  What we think, feel, and say most is what we will continue to have in our lives.  How we treat others and speak to others also comes back to us in life so treat others how you want to be treated.  The law of attraction is always at work.

With love, happiness, health and positive thoughts coming your way,

Stacy

 

 

What Do YOU Want?

Image result for follow your dreams not someone else's

It has been a month since my four year relationship ended.  The grief process has been hard but with my knowledge and growth I feel pretty proud of myself for how well I have handled everything.  The level of emotional intelligence I have gained through my own experiences & relationships, as well as my studies in the field of psychology, have been a great asset in the process of moving forward.  Sometimes, even as a therapist, it is hard to apply what we know to our own situation when we are hurting.

In the moment that I decide to commit to the conversation I knew it was going to end our relationship.  His immediate response with both his words and body language made it obvious.  In review of my relationship, replaying and analyzing things that were said and done and talking with my friends about it all, I finally came to the conclusion that he would never really tell me how he feels.  The hardest part is, there was never a real ending, no words shared that stated specifically this is over and this is why, it just kind of faded out.  The words of I love you and I need space just left hanging in the air for weeks upon weeks without any attempt to reach out.  At some point we just have to let go and make peace with the fact that the other person may never contact us again.  So many mixed signals, doubts and misunderstandings can make a person start to question the whole relationship and I just could not go there anymore.  That is when it was decided that I would not continue to let my hopes hang in the balance.  Instead, I would just let that dream go and ask myself who do I want to be and what do I really want in my life?

We all know one of the best things a person can do after a relationship ends is to re-evaluate ourselves and where we are in life.  What could I have done differently in the relationship?  What was I giving up to keep the relationship alive?  What did I learn from this relationship?  Once you are no longer making time for another individual you start to ask yourself, what do I really want to do now?  One of the things I am most proud of in this whole process is I never allowed myself to really wallow.  I had moments of sadness, but I didn’t allow myself to stay in those moments.  I have been active, doing things with friends, and always focusing on the positive.  Even though there are moments when I become frustrated, hurt and even angry at him and the situation I have quickly pulled myself out of that negativity and listed the many positives he brought into my life.

Not having much contact with each other has also been beneficial in the healing process.  I think it is important for everyone to research the benefits of the “no-contact rule” when you are trying to navigate the first few months after a break-up.  Even though my ex and I did have some contact points they were brief and mostly through text. Trying to revert into a friendship immediately after a break-up or continuing to see each other on a regular basis just opens wounds over and over making it almost impossible to heal.  It takes time and space to gain clarity on what really happened and how you plan to move forward.  It also leaves less opportunity for things to be said or done that one may regret later.

Often we stay in relationships longer than we should because its familiar and comfortable and change can be scary.  I knew I wanted more out of the relationship I was in and I had hoped the initiation of a conversation might lead to both of us agreeing to put in the work necessary to make the relationship better.  However, it was quickly apparent that he had no desire to put in any effort and that hurt tremendously.  I am a hard worker in every aspect of my life and walking away from anything without putting in some effort, especially after four years, was like a gut punch for me in so many aspects.  Once I realized there would be no talking, no working on things, I began to ask myself…What do I really want?

As I start this new chapter in my life I realize that there is most definitely a bigger plan and I also know that I have attracted all people and situations to myself.  The people I have attracted into my life in the last month have been some of the most supportive and positive individuals I have ever known, so I know I am on the right path.  My  relationship was a growth opportunity for me in so many ways.  I felt my patience and love tested and I feel I passed the test with flying colors.  I handled myself as a strong and loving individual even on the days that I wanted to cry myself to sleep. I know moving forward I will never be the same and I will always love him, but now, I must ask myself….What do you want Stacy?  I look forward to sharing my journey through this semester of my masters program, the next two years are going to be a journey of self discovery for sure.  My professors assure me I will not be the same person once I complete this program….I have no doubt I will only get better!

With love, happiness, and health (emotionally, mentally, physically & spiritually)

Stacy