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Believe that Love Awaits You
If you've been sitting around for years in your cubby hole in the singles apartment, watching the handsome guy at the pool who never looks up to see you staring out the window, if you've been overwhelmed by a career that hasn't left time for intimacy, if all your friends are married and you feel like the only person in the world who hasn't found "the one," then you may well be in the state of believing that there's never going to be a true love for you.
If that's the case, then this is exactly when you need to start believing that love does indeed await you. Nobody falls in love without, somewhere deep inside, believing that a wonderful love is possible for them. Just as nobody gets to Paris without believing that Paris exists, falling in love is something you have to imagine and believe in.
That's because conceptualization creates reality. In the story of almost every successful tycoon, we read that there was a belief against all odds that he or she would succeed some day, a vision of a future that was completely invisible in the present. It's no different with any of us: what becomes manifest in our lives arrives because consciously and unconsciously, we believe it can happen—whether it's a better job, a new car, or a true love. When it comes to love, it's as if there's a great supermarket in the sky saying, "We'd be happy to order up this special person for you. We don't ordinarily carry men and women but if you'll just ask, we'd be more than happy to send out the one that's perfect for you."
So it is that the precondition of love's ever arriving is that you believe that somewhere out there is a real live person for you to love. If you believe it, it'll be true; if you don't, it will never happen. In fact, the person who could be the love of your life could step right up and look you in the eye, and you could say, excuse me, and head off posthaste in exactly the opposite direction.
Believing that there's a true love for you may seem like a very small thing, but for a lot of us there's a great hovering doubt that this wonderful thing called love could actually happen to us. Maybe you've already had twenty-four lousy relationships, maybe your fiance died in a car crash, maybe you've always believed you aren't pretty enough, smart enough, or successful enough, or you're so shy that you can't even imagine having the kind of conversation that could get you into a relationship in the first place.
Remember Cinderella? She lay in rags on her pile of cinders and dusted up after her nasty stepmother and stepsisters. The furthermost thing from her mind was that she, the raggedy cinder-sweeper, could ever fall in love.
But deep inside, Cinderella had faith, because when the Fairy Godmother showed up, she was totally open to what occurred. She was open on a very deep level to the possibility that something good could happen to her, because when it presented itself, she didn't run away. We might even go so far as to say that it was her faith, her own inner conviction, that created the Fairy Godmother with the magic wand, the pumpkin, the exquisite glass slippers, and even the Prince.
All these were manifestations of the possibility of love that somehow, in her heart of hearts, she had already believed in. She put her faith in the Fairy Godmother, she accepted that the pumpkin turned into a coach, and she stepped into the little glass slippers with absolute confidence. She didn't say, "My goodness, how do you expect me to walk on these, they're going to splinter the minute I put my feet inside them?" No, she was open to it because deep inside, she'd already said, "I believe miracles can happen, and if one does, I'm going to rise to the occasion and allow the magic to be bestowed upon me."
If you don't believe in Fairy Godmothers, you'll certainly never see one. And if you don't believe in love, it will never show up for you either.
So it is that the first step you need to take is to open your heart and believe there is a person for you. He or she is like a beautiful bird circling the planet, waiting for the invitation to alight in your garden and say, "Here I am. I heard your call. I've been flying around waiting for the moment when you would invite me to sit in your tree, to enchant you with my song, to make your heart sing."
A Twofold Undertaking
Believing in love is a twofold undertaking. It requires, first of all, that you believe there is such an energy as love in the world, and secondly that you believe that love in the form of a particular person will also be available to you. Love is a vast energy that's around us all the time. It's just looking for a way to be embodied in human form. But if you don't believe this energy exists, you'll certainly never experience your particular cupful of it. It will only be an idea.
On the other hand, if you begin to say to yourself, "I know love is out there; I know it's the greatest power in the world, and I want my share of it," then a very beautiful thing will start to happen. You will start to encounter love on every corner, in the eyes of every person you meet, in poignant moments you share with strangers, in the sweetness you share with your friends. And if you ask for it specifically and believe that it will come, you will also experience it in the form of a particular person to fall happily in love with.
Believing that love awaits you is more than having a vague, odd, floating notion that somewhere out there love might exist. It means holding a powerful, beautifully honed, highly developed conviction that love is specifically available to you. The person of your dreams, the human being who is your excellent counterpart, the one who can actually nourish, excite, delight, and fulfill you, really does exist.
The difference between the kind of belief I'm talking about and the sort of passive, well-maybeish hope you might have is that you are actually convinced in your heart that this magical thing can happen to you. If what you want is a real live human being to love, you really must start believing that there is such a critter out there wandering around, and that he or she is in just as much of a state of longing as you are. Rather than saying "Well, maybe someday someone will come along," which, in the world of the spirit, is a kind of giving up, you must say, "I'm taking a stand that such a person exists and absolutely will show up in my life."
I remember many years ago talking to a woman who lived in the same apartment complex as I did when we both were young married women in Washington, D.C. One day, when we were having tea, she said, "I always used to be worried that I'd never fall in love and get married because I'm not pretty. But then, one day, I was in my mother's kitchen, and I looked at all her old kettles and pans, and I realized that for every crooked pot there was a crooked lid. So I stopped worrying about whether I was pretty enough, because I knew that there was someone out there who would be just right for me, a person whose imperfections would be the perfect complement to mine."
I can remember, as vividly as if it were yesterday, that just as she was finishing the story, her charming husband came home. Her belief, even in the face of what she knew to be her own limitations, was what allowed her to become available to love, and her availability is what allowed her husband to find her.
The same is true for you. For not only is there a crooked pot for every crooked lid, but there's also a king for every queen and a mirror for every face that chooses to look into it. There is a heart and a soul that is the counterpart to each heart and soul that is asking for love. So if you want to fall in love, believe in love, and surely it will come to you.
How Belief Works
Many of us receive things in life that appear to show up out of nowhere. We unexpectedly make a friendship. We get a new job on a minute's notice. We win a free vacation to a beautiful tropical island. We fall heir to an unexpected minifortune. What occurs may seem to have nothing to do with belief, but it only appears that way on the surface.
The other day the telephone repairman told me about how he and his wife had for years dreamt of leaving the desert and moving to a town by the ocean. One night he came home from work and told his wife that that very day he'd been offered a job in the town of their dreams. He'd had to decide on the spot, and he'd already signed up for the job.
Although she was a little anxious, his wife was also excited. This was their dream, after all, the thing they'd been wanting to do for years—but how were they going to do it? For six months, while his family stayed behind, the man commuted to his new job. At times both he and his wife got discouraged: The new town was expensive; they began to wonder if they'd ever be able to afford a house.
Then, one night, just before he started back to the desert to join his wife for the weekend, he pulled off the freeway to get some gas. As he travelled down a side road in the dark, he saw a wonderful old house with a For Sale sign in the front yard. He went up and knocked on the door, and, even though it was late, the owner, a charming old lady, invited him in. He loved the house, and she was so happy that a person who could really appreciate her house had arrived that she lowered the price and sold it to him that night. He and his wife still live there, he told me, and that's where his sons both spent a wonderful childhood.
This story of a couple who found their dream house in their dream town is an example of how everything comes to us in life. Somewhere in the back rooms of our consciousness, we've already asked for whatever arrives. This asking is faith, an expression of the quiet inner conviction that somewhere we already believe that the things we are seeking await us.
The importance of believing that love actually awaits you is that rather than being in a state of passivity—vaguely imagining that a special someone might come along (but you're afraid it'll never really happen)—you're in a state of invitation. People and miracles respond to invitations; whereas passivity—the form our doubts take—creates a block between us and whatever wants to come in. This state of passivity is sort of like saying, "If you beat your way to my door, maybe I'll let you come in, but don't expect a warm reception." On the other hand, believing love awaits you means that you are consciously saying, "I know there's someone out there, and I'm going to hold myself in a welcoming, receptive stance." Love wants to come into your life; it's just waiting for your engraved invitation, so start designing it now.
The old woman who sold her house had a For Sale sign on it. That was the outward expression of her inward belief that she was ready to move. Similarly, the man and his wife believed, even in the difficult hours, that everything would turn out right, so they could move to the town of their dreams.
Like these dreamers, believing love awaits you means that you're putting every cell of your consciousness on-line for that belief. Consciously believing means that you will labor to set aside all the "what-if's," all the "oh but it can't be's," and all the "yeah, but it'll never happen to me's" that are so easy to fall into. Believing doesn't mean that you will never doubt again, because belief itself is a process with many steps on its path, but it does mean that your doubts will gradually start to recede.
That's because believing love awaits you means giving up again and again all the reasons you have for feeling that falling in love could never happen to you. It means that, against whatever years of frustrating and disappointing experiences you've already had, you continue to take a position of hope and try to hold it unflinchingly. In a larger sense, it means you recognize that the universe is kindly and benign, that it wants to bless you with love, that it senses your hunger and believes you're deserving.
The forging of this belief is one of the ways the spirit of love works with us to develop our belief. The love that is all around us, that is the very matrix of our existence, is constantly surrounding us with an atmosphere in which we can feel its pulsing beautiful presence. It's as if love itself is saying, "Come on, dive in; the ecstatic experience is real; it's here for you, too." Belief is the internal process that affirms this, that whispers, "Oh, maybe this could be true. I'll tiptoe into believing."
This is the first step down the path of belief. And when we take that little step, we're often rewarded with an experience that supports our belief and allows us to hold it a little more deeply: There's a blessing on some work we've done, a breakthrough in a difficult situation with a colleague, a surprise bouquet of flowers arrives, or a new friendship blossoms.
These are the circles of response to the pebbles we shyly toss in the pond of our conviction. They allow us to take a further step, to refine our belief, to say not only, "Maybe good things can happen," but also, "The love I need and desire will surely be there."
Patience on the Way
Because belief itself is a process, you need to be patient with yourself. On the journey to believing, there inevitably will be little hurts and disappointments, because the person you love isn't necessarily going to show up this afternoon at your front door. Along the way, there will be unsuitable suitors, the women who aren't the girl of your dreams, the man who's not Mister Right but just Mister Right-Now, the person who's not the love of your life but the love of your Club Med vacation.
All these times when someone arrives who isn't quite perfect aren't opportunities to give up. In fact, they're just the opposite, occasions in which you can say, "Oh, here's a tiny beginning. Now that I see that something is being created for me somewhere out there in the distance, I can deepen my belief that the love of my life really does exist."
These apparently wrong persons are little spiritual tests that show up along the way to strengthen your resolve. The temptation, of course, is to say, "He wasn't perfect, so that just goes to show there isn't any love out there." But don't give up. Instead, try to say, "Well, someone arrived, so I can begin to trust that at least I'm on the path."
These seeming missteps ought to be viewed not as failures of love, but as chances for you to sharpen and deepen your relationship skills and self-awareness. The truth is we get only the quality of love that we're prepared for. So use your disappointments—not only as opportunities to deepen your conviction about the possibility of love, but also as occasions to develop your capacity for love.
Concretizing Your Belief
Holding this belief is very important—that's why it's the first step in this book. But it's also important to concretize this belief in some way. What I mean by this is that there are things you can do, words you can say, or actions you can take that will make your belief visible to you on an ongoing basis. This is crucial, because when we manifest our convictions—through words and behaviors—we're more able to perceive that we're living in this state of positive expectation.
To do this, I suggest that you create a prayer, meditation, or ceremony that will remind you day by day that you are abiding in the state of believing that love awaits you. When you create a prayer, meditation, or ceremony, and actually utter the words that express your longing, you send out to the spirit of love the earnestness of your quest. The words you utter are half a dialogue asking for a response. They confirm not only the seriousness of your desire, but also your expectation of an answer.
To show how this might operate for you, let me tell you a story: A young man I worked with years ago in therapy stopped by to see me recently, with his lovely young bride at his side. During our work together he had concentrated on resolving painful childhood issues, particularly as they had inhibited his career. When he finally made a breakthrough in this area, he was offered a wonderful job in New York City. He left excited, but as he said his farewells, he expressed regret that he hadn't yet fallen in love. When he returned to share his good fortune, and I asked him where he'd met his wife, he said simply, "She found me—but I helped. I lured her with a ceremony.
"In each corner of my living room, I laid out an offering for my love, what I hoped she would be attracted to—in one corner a pearl, in another the tape of some beautiful music, in another some lines from a poem that's always touched me deeply, in another a bottle of scented oil. Each morning after a time of quiet meditation, I said a prayer in each of the four directions—north, south, east and west—asking that my love be sent to me.
"I said my prayer every morning for two years, but no matter where I went, no matter who introduced me to their friends or how many blind dates I had, I never met a single woman who interested me. People thought I was crazy, and toward the end, I was beginning to wonder if I wasn't a little crazy myself. But I never gave up. Somehow, I always believed that she was out there somewhere.
"Then, one day, out of the blue, she showed up at my door—the door to my office, actually. She was applying for a job the next floor up, and had gotten off the elevator at the wrong floor. She came in to ask me directions, and the rest, as they say, is history."
Excerpted from Finding True Love by DAPHNE ROSE KINGMA. Copyright © 1996 Daphne Rose Kingma. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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The Path to Love
1. Believe that Love Awaits You
2. Make Yourself Available
3. Know Your Real Self
4. Discover Why Love Has Eluded You
5. Develop Your Capacity for Love
6. Be Realistic About What Love Is.
7. Recognize the Higher Purpose of a Relationship
8. Apprehend Your Soul's Wisdom in Creating a Relationship
9. Embrace the Paradox of Love.
10. Let Go of Preconceptions
11. Leap into the Unknown
12. Be Grateful
Love Readiness Inventory
A Diagnostic Coda: Is This the One for Me?