We fall in love.  Then, "life happens".  We experience loss and lose sight of love.  What must we do to find love once again? 

Love surrounds us

Everywhere we go this month, we are reminded of love and Valentine's Day.  We see roses at the gas stations. Bears, candy hearts and chocolates on the endcaps at Target®.  Our local grocer's bakery has heart-shaped cookie cakes and goodies.  Schools are decorated with their student's Valentine inspired creations throughout the halls.  Yes.  Love is in the air, in our sights and hopefully in our hearts. 

But, what if we feel less than loving right now?  What do we do when our life and relationships aren't filled with sweet, fragrant, positive memories?  How do we move forward after "life" problems get in our way, loss overcomes us and love seems hopeless?

Sometimes love just stinks.

At some point in our life, we all experience loss.  Loss of love, loss of someone, loss of something we needed in our life.  This loss makes us doubt.  Doubt that love was meant for us.  Doubt that we could ever love again.  In times of loss, love in the air just stinks.  It makes us think about our loss, what we don't have, what we should have and what we suffered.

Divorce is a common time in anyone's life that makes the month of love, a tough month to get through without some glum moments.  At times, glum can be downright horrible.  We won't begin to tell you to put the past aside and find the love in your heart to keep your feelings of love positive this month.  In most cases, it's just not that easy. 

Your divorce caused pain.  Pain is meant to get your attention.  

Have you ever given something with resistance or tension a quick shove?  It often snaps back and hurts.  Just like emotions, despite our need for immediate solutions, sometimes dealing with things the right way just takes time, patience and personal consideration.  Just don't get lost in the part.

Now that pain has your attention, control it or it will control you.

It's easy to obsess over our loss and suffering.  Don't get consumed with painful memories and feelings.   It can be as damaging as trying to immediately just "get over" something that's needs to be worked through. 

Instead, stay actionable in your plans for a better future, while reflecting on the parts of your life and loss that have caused some "you damage". 

Love is part of your life, despite not feeling very loving right now, love for oneself helps in the healing process.  Every smile, every "hello", every step, every action you take towards a new and improved "you", takes away from your pain and suffering over what coulda', shoulda' woulda'. 

Give love a chance.

Show love by helping someone, forgiving someone or just keeping your own personal happiness top-of-mind.  This doesn't mean you're necessarily going to feel super "love positive" today, this month or on Valentine's Day.  Just maintain your quest for happiness, healing and resolution and love will do the rest. 

Yes, it's not uncommon, but divorce is life changing.  So, make changes or go through it again...and again.

Divorce may seem commonplace in our society, but it's affect on us shouldn't be ignored.  In many ways, statistics make our inability to properly process our grief, pain and loss following divorce pretty clear.  While divorce happens to nearly half as many marriages as there are new marriages every year in the United States, the sadder fact is that divorcee's chances of divorcing a second time are estimated at 67% and a third time approximately 73%.  

This means many of us fail to see the problems we have may be more than our former spouse (though for self-assurance's sake, we'll agree he/she was a big part of it).  Somehow, many of us rely a great deal on a right or wrong in a divorce.  Even if your spouse deserves most of the blame it doesn't mean the affect from that wrongdoing or your own poor relationship skills puts you in a good place to move-on without really understanding where things went wrong, what parts of your life are damaged and how to find true, personal happiness and contentment. 

Love Misunderstood.

Many of us could benefit from a greater understanding of love, forgiveness and mutual respect.   You may think it absurd to think you've lost touch with the meaning of love.  But, a bad relationship or sudden loss of someone for whom you loved, can really cover you with a grey blanket of sadness, anger and blame that can slowly damage your perspective and willingness to give and receive love.  It may be difficult to know how much damage there is until you begin to remove it.  It cloaks your ability to realize the love that's in your heart and life.

It helps to reestablish the meaning of love, forgiveness and mutual respect.  We offer a general interpretation of each below.  We hope it inspires you to lift your cloak of sadness by taking action thru your own expectations to give and receive all three.


Love 

Love is not all candy hearts, roses or cakes, is it?  It's not always sweet, bold or obvious, though it's wonderful when it is. 

It's part of life. It's the bond that holds things together, the courage to pull things apart, strength to repair what's been broken and acceptance to keep things just the way they are- 

Love is personal.  It's not always easy to know what's right for each person, situation and relationship.  But, in all cases, over our lifetime, love entails some loss. Learning to work through our losses provides us an opportunity to further accept and give love.  

Life is filled with endless amounts of love and loss.  While love provides us strength, courage and comfort.  Loss not only increases the value we have for love, but it can be a factor in loves simple, yet complicated equation.  Spouses forgive one another for love.  People leave one another for love.  Soldiers die for the love of their country.  Some give up something they love for the love of someone.

Acceptance, empathy and respect stem from love for one another.  Love, like hate, doesn't just affect those who provide it to each other, it's contagious.  It has an echoing affect that is more powerful than all the sweets and flowers in every store, everywhere. 

Love has no boundaries in it's provisions for us and by us.  Love remains as constant as the sun rises.  Confusing, since the sun never actually rises, rather the earth rotates and revolves.  While we do not see the sun in most parts of the world throughout the night or feel warm outside during winter seasons, without it our planet would not survive. It is always there.

We don't doubt the sun will return tomorrow, or better said, that we should turn to see it once again.  Nor should we doubt that we will find love in our heart once again.  

Love, like the sun, is always there, within our heart.   It helps us wake from our slumber of loss and despair to discover a new day once again.  But, it is we who must rise to find that love.

Forgiveness 

Forgiveness also comes from love.  Letting go of anger and blame breeds strength and reassurance that love can help you and others heal.  It's liberating to let go of pain others have caused.  In many cases, it's actually more rewarding than being forgiven.  Both, help purge negative energy that plagues many of us and holds us back from living healthy, productive and joyful lives.

One of the easiest things to forget in healing is to forgive yourself.  During divorce, we guard ourselves of painful memories of our own behavior that contributed to our pain and loss.  Since, divorce is commonly a blame game, it's hard to accept blame from your spouse and yourself when all you want to do is protect yourself and blame him/her.  But, when you're ready, it helps to deal with your own issues which begins with the will to improve yourself and life, then taking action(s) to do so.

Not ready to forgive

An important thing to remember is to forgive yourself for not being ready to forgive someone.  Saying you're sorry and really meaning it doesn't always occur at the same time.  If you really aren't over something and it's been affecting your life or others, seek counseling or support to work through that which has been done to you in order to forgive. 

Don't let anger, blame and frustration of others damage your life.  This means, do what it takes to get over it, but know what it takes to get over all of it before offering your forgiveness.  Otherwise, you'll be cheating yourself of a mutual release of painful memories and blame.

Mutual Respect...

..starts with self-respect. Without love and consideration for oneself, providing love and empathy to others is difficult.  Give yourself a break once-in-a-while and you'll be better able to understand, love and forgive others more easily.  

Providing respect to those in your life means letting go of the petty garbage that gets in the way of the truest, closest relationships. 

So, you have an opinion. Great. But, don't hold it against others if they don't agree or have their own opinions for which you don't agree.  Let others be themselves and remain willing to understand your differences between one another when being yourself. 

It also helps to change it up occasionally.   If you're naturally supportive, take charge once-in-awhile.  If you're naturally a leader, let your friend or loved one lead more when conversing and making mutual decisions.  Don't be critical of the change-up either.  It takes time to really understand others and while you may naturally remain "you" as you should, the result of personality melding is often remarkable.

More than being empathetic, show it

Mutual respect pretty much is about understanding and accepting each other.  In a healthy relationship both people would benefit from showing compassion and empathy in their everyday lives.  Often, it's the little things that add up to a good or bad relationship.  In taking action daily to get along and enjoy the company of others, you will work towards a higher compatibility factor, which usually results in longer-lasting relationships.

From our DMK family to yours, we wish you a Happy Valentine's Day with enough love to get through today and realize hope for a better tomorrow!

OurDMK.com


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