The Blog

Finding Love Is an Inside Job

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


My husband and I are in our 25th year together. Soon after we met, when we were just becoming acquainted as friends, I felt nauseated one day. Ron's a doctor and he wanted to help, so he offered to gently stick his finger down my throat to make me throw up. "Wow," I thought. "This guy's one of a kind!"

Did I think he could be my "soulmate?" Sure, because anyone can be our soulmate. Not the pop culture version, where the other half of us is walking around out there searching for us.

A soulmate relationship is any relationship that works effectively and where we share real love. So we can make a soulmate out of anyone -- including our partners!

How? Here are some tips.

Take back responsibility for how you feel.

Let's all go ahead and acknowledge that no one is making us feel the way we feel. So it's not appropriate to hold other people responsible for how we feel or even for how our life is going.

We don't need people to behave a certain way to feel all right about ourselves or about life. We can decide to stop being affected by what other people do and then choose our attitude on purpose.

No one else is responsible for the quality of our lives. So let's all go out today and tell someone: "I've decided to create a wonderful life, so you're off the hook!"

Deal with your love-needs.

Most of us began life feeling good, receiving the love, attention and praise that we need. But around age two, some of our behavior became inconvenient and even inappropriate to our adults. And they began acting differently toward us. It's as if we became the square pegs that they needed to pound into the round holes. They resorted to disapproval and even punishment. And all we could think about was: "How can I get the love back?!"

Our parents' approval became conditional, depending on whether we did what they wanted. And most of us adapted our behavior so they would tell us that we were all right: "Good boy." "Good girl." The big issue in life became: Am I all right? And since we were little, we let others determine that for us. And some of us are still doing it today, letting others tell us whether we're all right.

As adults, we're driven to restore our original joyfulness, and we look for partners who will help us. But only we can do it, because it's an inside job. If we don't love ourselves, no one else will -- not because we're not loveable, but because it's not possible.

When we stop letting other people decide whether we're worthy and loveable, and when we take responsibility for loving ourselves, we'll be amazed by how quickly all our relationships will become healthier!

Clean up your beliefs.

Beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking until they seem true. That's why everyone thinks that his or her beliefs are the accurate ones. If we're clever, we'll un-believe the ones that don't actually make sense or work effectively for us.

Every aspect of our lives is affected by our beliefs. If we say, "The world is a troubled, dark place, getting worse every day," we're right. If we say, "We're living in an exciting time, and the world has great potential to grow positively," we're right. If we believe that we deserve to be wealthy, or that we tend to be sick, or that we're effective at our jobs, or that we're always tired, we're right.

Whatever we're experiencing is showing us what we believe about life and what we expect from it. So if things aren't going well, it's a red flag: "I need to examine my beliefs and expectations!"

Believing is receiving, especially in the area of relationships. We like to stick labels on people so we'll know how to relate to them. Then we end up relating more to our beliefs than to the people themselves.

And when we make statements such as, "he is..." or "she is..." the people can't be different, because in our perspective they are what we believe they are. So our relationships have more to do with us than with others.

How do we bring out the best in people? By keeping our perceptions of them positive, knowing that they'll become whatever we decide to see.

Talk to yourself on purpose.

For most of us, there's a self-talk debate going on inside our heads between the part of us that thinks, "I can single-handedly save the world!" and the other part that says, "Don't be ridiculous!"

The first statement sounds like a spontaneous, adventurous child who thinks only in possibilities, and is sometimes reckless. The second sounds like a concerned, protective parent who is trying to maintain control, and is sometimes censoring and punishing.

This non-stop conversation affects everything in our lives and constantly shows us what we believe about ourselves. If it's positive, it can work well for us. But if it's negative, it will beat us up.

So the more we focus on our self-appreciating statements, the better. And identifying and rewording negative statements that are born out of unsupportive beliefs can also help.

Positive self-talk is not just motivational affirmations stuck on the bathroom mirror. It's a healthy lifestyle that shows we care about ourselves, by deliberately choosing which aspect of our self-talk we'll allow the most broadcasting time today!

Look for love effectively.

We're all looking for real love, all the time. Whether we're creating a special dinner or starting an argument, it's what we're after.

And whether we're in a relationship, or whether we're out there searching for our great love, most important is our attitude, because we can't manifest anything that we believe we don't deserve.

Before we can receive what we want, our beliefs must be a perfect match to it.

We draw people into our lives who match whatever we are currently being. And we deliberately attract what we want -- not by looking for it, or at it -- but by identifying with it and by being it. So we need to identify with great love.

We need to be the partner that we want to be with. We need to stay in the vibe of what we want, because what we focus on is what we'll attract and experience.

Then the question to ask ourselves is: "Would I want me as a partner?" And if our answer is No, what would we want to be different about us? And what will we do about it?

Real love is not an emotion or a feeling. It's something we do. And the way we experience it is to express it. So the good news is that we're in charge, because it all happens on the inside of us first. And when we love ourselves, everyone in our lives can be our soulmate!

This post is featured on the author's blog: