Sometimes, the thought of being in love may seem as appealing as a root canal, but the desire to connect deeply with another soul can be quite powerful. Seeking love and connection may have been a nascent or cryogenically preserved wish, but when catalyzed by a potential partner, it can astound you with its ferocity. This is true whether you are 26 or 76. The heart wants what the heart wants. That doesn’t mean you will glom on to anyone who draws breath. If break-ups or divorce have taught you anything it is to choose wisely. On the other hand, love can sometimes appear out of the blue and rock your world.
When you think of being love sick it’s easy to picture a sixteen year old; however, if love comes rattling your cage you may find yourself unable to eat or sleep with any regularity. (They don’t call it falling madly in love for nothing.) The Cinderella story has stood the test of time for a very good reason: love can wake you up so completely that it feels as if you are reborn. Not just in terms of melding with another soul, but even more deeply with yourself, as it accesses dormant parts and brings you closer to the ineffable.
Naturally, with love comes feelings of vulnerability. Your inner protectors may prefer you not be in love as it could break your heart, and they will (unconsciously) put roadblocks in your way. These might range from a sudden tendency to criticize your beloved, to physical issues, like migraines, stomach problems, or muscle pain. If this happens, thank your subconscious mind for wanting to keep you safe, while reminding it you are an adult capable of navigating life’s challenges. You may also want to tell those protective parts you are consciously choosing to take a chance on love, even though you know it might cause future pain.
There is a vast difference between protection and over-protection. If your inner protectors are working overtime, they may wreak so much physical and emotional havoc that you could think love isn’t worth the trouble. Be careful of turning away from an opportunity to really connect with someone because of inner fears and past experiences. It is all too easy to watch over-protection segue into paralyzing anxiety. Talk realistically to yourself. Acknowledge your concerns and the risks you are taking to open your heart. Also recognize the bigger danger of allowing fear to sabotage potential joy. Assume the best. You have learned from those other relationships, and you will be vigilant enough to protect yourself while allowing some fun, affection, and connection into your life.
If your anxiety is triggered by trust issues, it is important to remember that it is not about whether or not you can trust someone else; but, whether you have built up a good enough relationship with yourself to trust your ability to handle life’s vicissitudes and disappointments. Counter-intuitively, the trust focus is on you, not the other person. Assume you have the inner strength to both open your heart and protect it at the same time. (If you are a yogi, you already know the delight in heart opening back bends, as well as the calm that comes from forward bends. Life is like yoga: you want the inner balance that comes from both, not to mention twists, which being newly in love will surely provide.) You may also enjoy reading the chapters on Trust and People Are Who They Are.
Another path to finding peace and love in romantic relationships is giving up the notion that someone has to change to be your ideal partner. If you find yourself still attached to that concept, try thinking the person who could change might be you. Start by cultivating more acceptance and compassion for yourself. The more emotional generosity, forgiveness, and understanding you bestow on yourself, the more you will have to lavish on others.
If you would like to practice a bit of heart chakra opening, try visualizing a warm pink light in the center of your chest. Breathe into this light as you say: I freely open my heart to loving myself, loving others, and receiving love.
If you think you are ready to invite love back into your life, you may want to use the following Sanskrit mantra: Sat Patim Dehi Parameshwara. As with all mantras, it is best if you do a full mala (the string of 108 beads that helps you count your repetitions). The practice is to repeat your mantra 108 times a day for 40 days. This may sound daunting, but it will only take about 10 minutes. If you skip a day you have to start from the beginning. (Here’s a little help with the pronunciation, from a video of the mantra being chanted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk1L2zC6rpQ.)
Once you have attracted an appropriate potential partner, you may want to follow-up with another powerful mantra for removing obstacles: Om gum ganapataye Namaha. In this case, the obstacles are your own roadblocks to embracing love, like old patterns and self-sabotaging behaviors. (Here’s a link to a video of Deva Premal chanting this mantra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMCqI3I0Hio. If you would like to learn more about mantras, take a look at the chapter called: Mantras, or read Thomas Ashley Farrand’s book, “Healing Mantras.”)
The interesting thing about attracting love is how once your body, mind, and spirit are ready it appears.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang
How to find love after a divorce with bonus Sanskrit love mantra February 21, 2013
Post-Divorce Vulnerability November 29, 2008
After months or years of being on continuous red alert, things are finally settled. “Now, I can relax,” you might think, and, in some ways, you would be right; but, once you let your guard down it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed with the challenges of your new life, and to suddenly get sick. I know it’s counter-intuitive to think you are more likely to fall ill when the extreme pressure is over, but the body-mind has a way of stepping up to the plate when threats are constant, and relaxing its vigilance when things calm down. How paradoxical that the same deep, cellular relief allowing you to open up and heal, makes you more prone to opportunistic colds and infections. However, it’s typical, after the real threat has passed, to suddenly get sick with something. By taking very good care of yourself you can actually strengthen your immune system.
The following simple, but not easy, suggestions will keep you healthy:
Eat well (lots of fruits, veggies, yogurt or probiotics, and whole grains).
Relax (meditate, resist over-scheduling yourself, listen to music, lie on the couch and read a book, have a cup of tea, take a warm bath, etc.).
Get enough sleep.
Soak up some nature (walk or drive someplace for a change of scene).
Keep writing in your journal; you are still processing and venting is good.
Remind yourself that you are over the worst, but that very same relief necessitates greater vigilance and self care.
While you know you have been through an emotional wringer you may not be aware of how romantically vulnerable you are. By all means, date, but be careful. Not necessarily so cautious of others as of your own new porosity and desire to connect. A strong desire to find someone may cloud your good sense. Those of you who have been coupled for decades know the joys of long-term intimacy and may want to replicate them the first chance you can. Of course, some will run for the hills at the hint of anything serious; either tendency is a red flag and fairly screams: slow down. This is a perfect time to develop or renew your relationship with yourself. If you have done almost everything as a couple, you can learn how to independently go to a movie, museum, or restaurant. Even if the thought of doing things solo gives you the heebie-jeebies, experiment. You are not the same person you were years ago and you may love the freedom of doing what you want when you want without having to consider someone’s else’s preferences. Allow the joy of discovering new aspects of yourself, while making friends (see Losing Friends), and seeing where an open heart and mind lead. If you feel some anxiety, let it work in your favor, as it does for test-taking, sharpening the mind and reaction times. If more than a little nervousness plagues you, try some Rescue Remedy (see Herbal and Homeopathic Helpers). Freedom can be a heady experience, but you will adjust and come to love captaining your own ship.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang