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After my husband passed away, after the grief began to wane, after the numbness passed, I still woke up every morning in dread and fear of another day I didn’t want to face.
It wasn’t a perfect love, or a story-book love. It was a love that overcame challenges, and sometimes meant fighting to be together. It was about us holding on and me needing to let go when the time was right. And it was worth it. We had a happy, fulfilling relationship.
And that was then.
And now, all these years later, my amazing husband is one of the reasons I’m the happiest woman on the planet.
When friends ask me what I did to get past the pain and anguish of loss, I simply tell them, I did my best to make choices that were healthy and helped me feel better and never let loss take over my entire life.
One slow step at a time I began to love life and it loved me right back.
I chose to focus on what I had to smile about, and to remember that all would never be lost.
I had learned much that would never be lost: true love is a verb; real love is a process; lasting love takes time.
I decided that if I’d had one great love there was nothing stopping me from having another. Only me. Only my attitude. Only my choices, my self-imposed limitations.
If you’re struggling with relationships right now, remember that the struggle is part of your story.
Look it directly in the eyes and know you can never lose, if all you do, is done with love.
And that’s just what I want to share with you today…ways to have happy, fulfilling relationships, done with love.
1. Stop comparing your past with your present
Everything in life depends on how you see things. Each time someone new enters your life the tendency is to let your past experiences be your guide.
The same old story is playing out in your mind.
You’ve decided how relationships are. And all you remember is indifference and neglect. Trying to live your present life from the past, only leads to disappointment; you’re allowing the past to define your future.
You can’t have one foot on the brake and expect to move forward.
Release old pain, old wounds, old everything that holds you back from greater love.
Use the one gift you’ve have absolute control over: how you think. Harness that power. Choose to imagine that there is an ideal someone for you, and transform your current experiences into a more joyful reality.
Nothing is more important to having happy, fulfilling relationships than giving up what was. Learn this lesson well.
2. Harness the power of awareness
Before something exists in your life, you must have an inner awareness of it. To have great relationships you must first accept that they exist. And most importantly, that they exist for you, regardless of the disappointments and heartaches of the past.
Dare to love again. Dare to dream. Your best relationships cannot materialize until you accept the possibility of them, until you decide you are worthy of great love, until you snap out of your old, unworkable definitions of how relationships are.
Life is lived, each experience manifested, because you believe and accept the things you do. This is your life, you are the author. Write a better one, with a happy ending.
You’ve had enough losses and enough pain, why lose more of your life by holding onto old experiences?
3. Love and value yourself
Whatever you believe about yourself and your life is what you experience.
If you don’t love and value yourself you can’t expect to attract someone else to do it for you. You can’t, you won’t experience what you’re not.
Believe in yourself, you are powerful beyond imagining. As you learn to trust yourself, today’s possibilities will stop being drowned by yesterday’s insecurities and doubts.
Stop believing that your happiness depends on your relationship. Don’t look outside yourself, don’t wait for someone else to make you happy that’s a path to pain and misery.
Remember you are beautiful enough, you are good enough, you are powerful enough. You are enough. Believe it.
4. Acknowledge the blessings
No matter how much you admire and love another. Unless you say so, they don’t know.
Mind reading isn’t a gift many of us have. Appreciation can soothe troubles and turn a difficult day into one that’s worthwhile. All that’s needed is for you to speak the words.
Lots of relationships don’t work out because more time is devoted to pointing out what’s wrong and not enough time speaking words of kindness and compassion.
Things won’t always be perfect. Great relationships are made when you both care enough to work it out. Keep an open heart, give affection, appreciation and attention or just a shoulder to lean on when needed. What you give always comes back to you, somehow, somewhere.
5. Competing kills love
Don’t compete with your partner. Co-create with them. Keep reminding yourself your relationship shouldn’t be a battle ground it’s a journey you’re making together.
Don’t get caught up in the game of being better than your partner; their success is not your failure.
Allow one another to shine. And don’t let anyone put your sparkle out. We need all the light we can get in our world. Stand strong in the truth of who you are.
Remember your relationship consists of three. You, me and we. They all deserve equal billing.
6. Keep honesty alive
Be brave enough to be open with each other. Be willing to have heart to heart conversations where everyone is vulnerable.
Honest conversations can change your life and lead you to a relationship that becomes more beautiful with each passing day.
Find ways to speak your truth that don’t make the other person wrong.
People may disappoint you. Be confident enough to speak out and express how you feel, but don’t demand perfection.
Even the best relationships have bumps in the road. Even the best of us have flaws.
Cherish the imperfections and stop waiting for things to go wrong. Balance what’s not working with what is and build upon the best.
7. Time and attention matter
When we love something, it matters to us.
And when something is valuable we give it our time, we take pleasure in it and enjoy it. So it is when we love someone. Our time and attention matter if relationships are to bloom and grow.
Phones off, computers off, all distractions put aside and you’re giving the best gift of all, your time. You’re saying to another…you matter…you’re important…I value you.
Remember it’s never about having time, it’s about making time now, because later too often becomes never.
8. Don’t lose yourself
Love doesn’t have to be self-sacrificing to be called love. It doesn’t have to be painful or a struggle every day. And you don’t have to give up who you are to be loved.
You don’t have to lose yourself because someone came into your life.
To live in a loving world you must first have love inside. We can only experience who we are, not what we want and love isn’t something that you get, it’s something you tune into.
Make sure you involve yourself with others who recognize the beauty that is you, the value and worthiness that is you.
Not because of your great success in the world, but because you are here, and you are worthy. Be mindful of your magnificence; you are part of the divine.
YOU deserve to enjoy success on every level…spiritual, financial, physical and emotional and I hope this article supports you on your path.
What’s your best tip for a great relationship, or do you have a favourite from this post? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, beliefs, insights and inspiration in the comments below.
Encourage one another.
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