How Falling in Love Can Save Your Life
Want a way to dramatically improve your health immediately AND decrease your risk of cancer? Fall in love.
That’s right! Studies show that people who are in love live longer and have less incidence of illness. (They can also go longer without sleep:)
But how can you feel “in love” when you either don’t have the love of your life present in your life, or worse, you have someone….but they’re definitely not behaving like the love of your life?
I’ve had many patients and clients come to me struggling in their relationship. It’s easy to get stressed over not getting what we want from our partner…or not having a partner! But the biggest source of frustration comes when we aren’t happy with what’s happening, and feel completely powerless because the other person won’t change. This is pointless stress, however, because you’re displacing the one who needs to change. Whenever you are dissatisfied in your relationship, there’s only one place to look and it’s not at “them.” The answer isn’t over there.
Never does our wellbeing lie outside of ourselves.
I learned this the hard way but have found something incredible in the process. I happen to be an expert on relationship drama/trauma. After having had a divorce and multiple long-term love partnerships end (some with indescribable devastation) I’ve been through the depths of challenge that can come with intimate relationships.
After one particularly devastating breakup (the one that woke me up for good!) I found myself in so much emotional turmoil and pain, I could hardly get through the day. Since I knew that was not going to serve me (I did after all, have a medical practice to run, and a fabulous life to get on with!) I began to realize that I could feel okay…as long as I kept focusing on all the reasons why this was a “good” thing.
Whenever the pain got so intense, I would ask myself “Why is this the best thing that ever happened to me?” and immediately, I would feel good. As soon as I asked this question I became aware of all the reasons why this person was SO not a great fit for me as a life-long partner. It instantly brought relief because I realized I was now free to have the life I really wanted, with an awesome partner to share it with.
However, the more I looked for my awesome partner, the lonelier I felt. It was as if searching outside myself validated that I was less complete as I was. After trying over and over to find “the one,” I had finally come to realize that “the One”…was me!
I organized friends to gather for a mini-ceremony in wine country on what would have been my wedding day, and my dear friend Andrew handed me the ring as I took a vow…to myself. I vowed to love and honor myself every day for the rest of my life in good times and in bad. I vowed to always uphold the standards that were right for me…and I vowed to celebrate myself every day no matter what.
What happened that day was meaningful, but it was the relationship that followed that was the real value. I invested heavily in my relationship with myself. I learned what I really loved and cared about, and I put those things first. I spent time with myself instead of always rushing off to be with others. I started to accept my own quirks and not try so hard to change them.
Soon, I was in love again, but in a whole new way. This was sustainable and couldn’t leave. It was a deep inner fulfillment that I took with me wherever I went and which was not dependent on circumstances. I’ve kept this inner feeling of self-love and inner ease with me for years now, and have found someone to share my life with. I know that without having met myself so fully, there is no way I would have ever been able to partner in such a fulfilling way.
We have our ups and downs, but always I feel love in my life. I know where love comes from and it’s not my husband. It’s not my child and it’s not other people…
The love I experience in my life –that warms my heart and heals my body –comes from me.
I allow it to flow through me and I choose to share it (or not) with others. When I share it, more comes through and I always have more to give. BUT…and this is the most important part –I now know that I must let all of that love fill me up first before I “give it away” to someone else.
This is a key. Are you willing to let yourself be filled up with your own love? It will heal your body. It will revolutionize your life. It will (just a bonus) make you wildly attractive to others and have them treat you amazingly well. But you’ve got to commit to loving yourself unconditionally. You can’t try to get some of those spaces filled by others. It won’t ever be enough. They’ll have a bad day, they’ll get caught up, they’ll have a meeting, they’ll forget about you for a moment….and you will feel empty and alone. You must commit to giving yourself ALL of your love first no matter what, and only then will you always have enough to share with the world.
Try it! Love your body, love your past, love your illness, love your stinky feet. Just love it all and celebrate who you are. You can always grow into more, but start where you are now, and just fully love and accept all smelly, beautiful things that you are. Your health will flourish. Your body will respond. Your illness will disappear, or you will be inspired with solutions that never occurred to you before.
Love is an energy that heals your body and life. You don’t find it; you let it flow through you. You do that by opening and allowing. You do it by accepting. Find 3 things to love about your body now. Your friends will thank you…and so will your liver!