Unlucky In Love?….Maybe Its Time To Asses Your “Relationship Readiness”

Are You Tired Of being Brokenhearted

Are You Tired Of being Brokenhearted

Are you at a time in your life when it seems that relationships just don’t seem to work out?  Maybe you have experienced repeated rejections, or maybe you just can’t seem to find the right person to make a commitment to.  Whatever the particulars of your story, you may feel “cursed” or just “unlucky”.  Its easy to feel that its time to just give up on the discouraging pursuit of finding the right “person”.  I have another idea.  Maybe there is nothing “wrong” with you at all. Maybe there is nothing  “wrong” with the people you seem to meet either.  Maybe its just time to consider your “readiness” to recognize and receive your true “soul mate”.  Here are some questions you might want to consider about your “readiness”. These are questions you can ask yourself.  The order of the questions is important. You will find that the answer to each question helps you to answer the next one.


1Do You Like Yourself?  It seems like an easy enough question, right?  This is the most important question to start with though, because the relationship you have with yourself is foundational to all your other relationships.  To put it simply, how can you expect anyone to want to be around you, if you can’t stand to be around yourself?  True self-esteem means the ability to take a fearless inventory of yourself and honestly face your strengths and weaknesses.  In spite of all of who you are, (0r you could even say because of all you are),  you  love yourself unconditionally.  This is not to be confused with narcissism, which appears to be “self” love but is actually an emptiness inside that can never be filled enough.  If you can’t love yourself, you may be always seeking a partner who can love you enough.  It will probably never be enough, and the relationship won’t last.


 2.    Are You Still Holding Onto “Baggage” From Previous Relationships? Maybe you have been married and there was a bitter and painful divorce.  You have truly been “done wrong” and you are understandably hurt and angry. You simply are not ready to “forgive” the person who hurt you. Or maybe you simply haven’t taken time to grieve that which has been lost.  You have not been able to “let go”, for whatever reason.  In either of these cases, its helpful to take time to work through what went wrong, and to look at the part you may have played.  This can be a painful and humbling experience, but it is well worth the time spent. It is my own bias that its important to work toward forgiveness of the person who hurt you in order to give your next relationship the best possible shot at success.


 3.    If You Have Been In Previous Failed Relationships, have you been able to Identify Any Patterns?  Identification of relationship patterns is essential in order to have that “aha” moment regarding  the part you may be playing repeatedly in the failure of your relationships to be sustaining and fulfilling.   When you find a pattern…. such as, for example, “I seem to get hooked up with handsome, womanizer types who cheat”, then you can become curious about this.  Curiosity is essential because it is the first step toward self-awareness.  Self-awareness is the gateway to change.


4.  Once you have Identified Patterns, You Can Go The Next Step And Consider Your Lifelong Attachment Patterns.   This is where things get really interesting.  You may feel that you are not consciously choosing the people that you end up attached and attracted to, but in fact there are unconscious forces at work that have to do with the relationships you had with your early caregivers. Couples therapists have found over and over again that attraction patterns in couples have to do with unmet childhood needs. Unconsciously you fantasize that “the right person,” will absolutely and completely fulfill and take care of you in a way that either you never have been, or never got enough of.  Figuring this out can be really helpful because it can explain how the initial “attraction” you felt may have been informed by this fantasy. An attraction informed by fantasy often doesn’t last.  There is an inevitable disillusionment that can feel baffling and can crush the spirit.


 5..It is my belief that the “inner work” of self-awareness, along with a conscious bolstering of self-esteem, and taking time to look at childhood attachment patterns, will serve you well as you make yourself available for a truly miraculous soul connection. You will know who you are, and you will find that the qualities you seek in a relationship are the qualities of a person who is actually healthy for you.  I’m going to go one step further on this and say…. this is exactly when the right relationship will show up.

















“Cattitude” (aka “Cat Attitude”) Lessons From Our Feline Companions About Self Esteem

“Cattitude”  (AKA  “Cat Attitude)

Lessons From Our Feline Companions About Maintaining High Self Esteem

Zen Cat

Zen Cat

I’m a cat person.  I always have been.  I’ve been thinking lately about the relationship I have with my present cat, Phantom, as well as all my previous cats. Specifically, I’ve been pondering the question of why I derive such a feeling of contentment and peace just being in the presence of Phantom. Sometimes just watching him is enough.  As I contemplate this question further, I realize that the feeling of peace I derive from my cat relationships is not just my relationship to my cat.  No no…it’s more than that. I’m also endlessly fascinated by Phantom’s relationship to his own little internally constructed “cat” world.  I don’t think I’m alone in this, so I welcome any one else’s thoughts on the subject.  So…what exactly is the nature of the “cat” world?  I don’t really know for sure of course, but here is what I imagine, based on decades of careful observation.

Phantom is content to remain at home all day long. He basically wanders from room to room all day sleeping and eating at will with no demands on him to do anything else.  I imagine him not at all bored with this activity.  Phantom just has to BE and that’s pretty much it.  His existence seems to be the ultimate of “Isness.

 When I get home every day I call for Phantom.  He may or may not come.  If Phantom is enjoying a snooze in a sunny spot or otherwise engaged, he’ll show up later.  The thing is, Phantom knows that whenever he chooses to grace me with his presence, I will be happy to see him. But lets face it, Phantom, and most of the well cared for and secure cats I know, is basically his own boss.  If he’s in the mood for me, he will respond to my affection.  With a few exceptions I’m pretty much always in the mood for my cat. He draws me in with his simple grace and beauty and I’m hooked.

Is there another creature alive that can relax completely in the way a cat does?  Check out that languid sinuous cat body as it virtually melts onto the surface of the cushion, or the piano, or the cool tile.  A cat can be happy on so many surfaces, but he  always arranges his limbs perfectly and efficiently.  Ever notice how your cat gets up from his nap? Wish you could stretch in such a satisfying way? It all just comes so naturally!

  And what about the cats ability to sleep for long periods of time?  Seriously. What must the dreamworld of a cat be like? I imagine my cat creating an endless playground of delights as he sleeps.  In dreams, we can create whatever we want. My cat must surely be creating something he really enjoys.  Otherwise…he would not sleep so much.  Cats don’t do what they don’t want to do.

When my cat is relaxing, he’s not always sleeping…so I imagine he must spend endless hours in some kind of blissful meditative state, again…just…being 

So, in conclusion I’ve decided I like to be with my cat fundamentally because there is a part of me that longs to be a cat myself.  Please, please, just allow me endless hours of relaxed sleep and meditation. Let me just revel in the miracle of my own existence and not have to be so busy all the time.  Let me be completely content with who I am and where I am in each moment. Let me “live” in the moment the way my cat does.  Let me be capable of relaxing completely in my own body and let me be so sure of myself all the time that “letting go” and falling asleep is never a problem

This is what I mean by “Cattitude”.  I want more of it.  Sometimes I can’t find any of it at all, and my meditation becomes  just watching my cat to see if I can get it back.

How about you?    Got “Cattitude?”



In The Act Of Forgiveness….The Forgiver Receives The Gift


The Liberation Of Forgiveness

The Liberation Of Forgiveness

Scanning through Facebook postings several days ago I ran across a simple phrase that stunned me with its simple truth.  Max Lucado is a minister, spiritual teacher, and author in Texas who has the following to say about Forgivenes

“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner”

(thank you BTW to Esther Maria de Najarro for gifting this to me)

When I read these two simple sentences, I knew they were true, but I didn’t know exactly why.  It’s like that with poetry I think…the metaphorical economy of language causes us to meditate on the meaning in our own lives.  Here is what I have come up with:

In my mind this quote speaks directly to an illusion I have often fallen prey to when it comes to people who have truly “wronged” me. I would say the illusion is particularly strong in cases where I feel I am “owed” an apology.

So….what is the Illusion?

When someone has hurt me very deeply, it feels like if I hold on fiercely to my anger I am punishing this person just as fiercely.  I am withholding my love, my friendship, and my respect so that they can “feel” as badly as I do.  The illusion comes in, I think, with the fantasy that I can really know, understand, or control the way another person feels.  Still harboring this fantasy, I might imagine that if I forgive them I will set them free from…what?…the guilt they “ought” to feel? I don’t want to set them free in this scenario.  I want them to suffer

So….What  Actually Is The Reality?

It seems to me that the reality is that we can never really fully understand the way a person thinks and feels…much less ultimately control it. My story of how things are or ought to be is just that, my story….Its certainly not the story of the person who hurt me.   Its true, I think, that my forgiveness may release the person who hurt me from feeling guilty or just badly (if indeed the person feels this way)….and that’s a bonus if it happens. Its also true though, that I may never know. And I can’t really let it matter.

So….Whose Freedom Is Really At Stake?

When I can really forgive (and I’m not saying I’ve always been 100% successful)..I think I have actually released myself and given myself a gift. I am no longer chained to the story of me as a victim of my life, and of my anger. I can move on to new connections and relationships that aren’t eyed with the suspicion that is created by my past. Now I’m really free

So….how about you?  Any stories of forgiving or not forgiving that you’d like to share?  I would love to hear them.