What Love Told Me book



PAMPER PARTY at your home !

And They All Lived Un-happily Ever After.....

I often wonder why people say of relationships ‘I’m afraid of getting hurt again’ since in matters of the heart, that is actually the ONLY thing that IS guaranteed ! As I said to a man I was half-dating recently ‘Whatever happens - either way it aint going to end well!’ One person will either die or leave, thus pain is kind-of to be expected so in relationships,  we probably need to start pre-empting it. 

But I guess there isn’t a single Disney film where the Handsome Prince runs off with one of the Ugly Sisters or the Princess finds a sinister lump on her breast.  And the majority of Hollywood chick flicks have a version of the ‘And they all lived happily ever after’ formula too.  And when they don’t (Spoiler alert) like when I watched La La Land, I was genuinely upset....ok... ACTUALLY GUTTED....and confused for hours afterwards trying to work out why it didn’t All Work Out for them!   I had the same with Titanic (‘If ONLY they had just steered the ship a bit to the left’) and genuine frustration with Romeo and Juliet for not just TALKING to each other! All that pain and death could have been avoided with a bit of communication! FFS!! So of course we want to believe in The Happy Ending and avoid looking at the footnote after the credits roll which says ‘Shortly after this film was made our magical star-crossed lovers didn’t have sex again for 5 years’.  We want to believe true love exists and can conquer all, despite the odds!!

I was bridesmaid to a dear friend several years ago now at The Most Fairytale Wedding I have ever been to.  It was in a fricking castle. They had a magician.  They were both such a gorgeous couple that it looked like OK Magazine should have been about to rock up and take the photos. Everyone seemed so loved up and hopeful. Until a few years later when it all went tits up and they got a divorce.  I remember being again genuinely confused about our ‘Golden Couple’ - Christ if THEY couldn’t make it, then we were all screwed. 

But still we’re all searching for love. Despite the weird underlying unspoken thing that ‘WE AINT GETTING OUT OF THIS ALIVE’ It doesn’t stop us.  Or does it ?

I have been declaring  ‘I am ready for love’ for the last 2 years except I have only attracted in a certain formula of unavailable men:

  1. Little Boy Lost: This is a past favourite of mine - the One I Want to Help.  I want to look after him and make him happy.  I basically want to Mother (put an ‘S’ in front of that ?!) him and show him so much unconditional love that I don’t need to even think about me and my needs.   And of course (‘scuse my crudeness) at the end of the day, no one wants to fuck their Mother.
  2. The 'Married' Man: usually whose wife is so busy with the children that she has no time for him so it is justifiably HER fault that he would seek an ego boost from me to make him feel Funny and Attractive and Masculine again. Without the responsibility. And actually just crumbs (and guilt) for me.
  3. The Self-confessed Unavailable Man: Usually appears quite full-on and guns blazing at the beginning then retreats into his cave when finally he will openly admit he’s not ready for a relationship.  Despite this honesty, unfortunately a part of me is convinced that if I give him ENOUGH space and we have ENOUGH fun, he will realise just how rare and amazing our ‘connection’ is and will suddenly change his mind and ‘choose’ me after he gets bored of playing hot-and-cold- cat-and-mouse games, that is.

Literally every single one has been a version of this pattern.  I have been dating the Same Man for My Entire Life and they are ALL unavailable either physically or emotionally.

Cue my usual rant about non-masculine blokes who need to Man-Up a bit and grow a backbone. The Blame is totally thrown at THEM for being unavailable!  Hmmm.  Righto - so it’s just THEM who’s unavailable is it ? I can now finally hear myself and have to call bullshit on this one ! Since we are all mirrors then I probably need to step up myself when I start slagging off these Commitment Phobes and admit ‘Just like me’ !

On Saturday I met a lovely man - He was gorgeous, tall, articulate, funny, liked me (!) and we had loads in common - mainly because,  as I patronisingly told him ‘You remind me of me 10 years ago’.  The familiarity was striking as he talked about his expat past, him avoiding settling down when all of his friends had families and how he’s just been offered another job abroad. I was thinking ‘Christ I know this man’ !! He IS me !! I want to get a job abroad too ! I recognised that in uncertainty (at the moment I have to find a new home to live in) there’s part of me that wants to run from EVERYTHING too. Quit the job, the country, the people and START AGAIN. Rather than face everything.  Face admitting I didn’t get my Happily Ever After.  Face change.  Face getting hurt.  Face death.  Face pain.  And as he walked me home, my whole being was screaming ‘Red Flag! Red Flag!’ and I realised that if HE IS ME then I’ve totally been avoiding the fact that I’m also the RED FLAG!! And two red flags together do NOT make a Happy Ending. Unless it's the no-strings-attached One Night Stand definition!

If the Ego’s ONLY job is to keep us ‘separate and alone’ then wow, mine is the perfect student - he’s top of the class ! Ask me to name my Top 5 Happiest Moments and not ONE boyfriend will be in them -The common thread in these memories are Me and a load of people (and maybe a volcano, a massive rock or Faithless in a muddy field), but ultimately I am alone just with a lot of ‘temporary friends’, most of whom I shall never see again. 

In my first week of travelling alone in Oz, I met a load of Scottish lads whose last week overlapped with my first and we had a fab week together exploring Sydney and laughing a lot and when they left you’d have thought that someone had died, the way I sobbed my little heart out on Coogee Beach. I remember thinking then ‘Kate you CANNOT do this for an entire year - toughen up a bit’ so I’ve become blasé about people leaving.  And I almost take pride in my own non-attachment to people and things and places.  I shut everything down.  I throw everything away.  I sell my belongings. I make myself so unavailable that if I start to get close to anyone who has the potential to really hurt me, I can easily make a fast get-a-way. 

Stay alone. Stay separate. Stay safe. So now at this new, yet familiar cross-road where I have to leave the flat which I originally moved into with my Dutch Handsome Prince with so much hope and dreams which fell flat, I won’t  kick into my default of running away to start again in a brand NEW fairytale.  I can just stay in this one.  With everything I have built and all the castle walls I have scaled.  And I’ll just find a new Ending. One which involves a handsome KING, who is available for intimacy, love and connection in a balanced, healthy, committed relationship with me as his Queen.  So that when the Unhappy Ending does arrive, I WILL cope.  My heart is actually stronger than I think.  Definitely strong enough to slay the dragon. Fight the Wicked witch, Say no to a few Red Flags... 


Running Scared

Yesterday morning I couldn't sleep so at 5.30 I thought ‘Fuck it, I'm going to go for a run’ in prep for my marathon training. I got out of bed and stood there for a few minutes battling with my Ego which was trying to persuade me: 'Go back to bed you're tired/there may be axe murderers out at this time/it's too dark etc'.  So I managed to drag myself out and literally had to run 30minutes AWAY from my house so I couldn’t cop out and would be forced to run another 30minutes BACK.  I managed to somehow do 6miles which is a MASSIVE deal as I've not been able to do much this year due to having had The Hacking Cough which has Swept The Nation (Unquote Manchester Evening News). Anyway I got back home feeling all proud and allowed myself to revel in smugness for ooh, approximately 5 minutes before this thought appeared in the shower: 'Shit how are you gonna run another 20 miles on top of that in only 10weeks time ?There’s NO WAY you can do a WHOLE MARATHON!' . Rather than focus on the fact that I DIDN'T crawl back into bed, I decided to slag myself off, minimise my achievement in the moment and mentally destroy any chance I had of completing my Goal...

This continued today as I berated myself for said run when my cough returned full force and I was so exhausted I had to have a siesta at 4.00 in the afternoon.  Add to the mix the fact I actually intended on spending  my day off today working out how to organise my business, setting goals and working on The Big Plan etc - I somehow managed to make my first achievement ammunition to justify being mean to myself for not achieving anything else !! I FAILED TODAY.

I have a Bucket List: Things like write a book, see the Northern Lights, Go to Santorini etc but the first one on that list for this year is to run a marathon which is hilarious as I am NOT a Runner. I do NOT even LIKE actual running - I enjoy coming back home AFTER running but apart from listening to some great tunes, jumping in puddles of mud and getting energy from it afterwards, I would never say I ENJOY it.   However I began working towards my weird goal. In May last year I could only run for 20minutes max,  4 months later last September I completed my first HALF marathon and in 4 months from now I will be completing a whole marathon- If that pesky voice doesn’t keep harping on about how I could really injures my knees, that is!  If someone else had told me this running progress story I would have been well impressed and congratulated them on their dedication and commitment to achieving a long term dream, but with me I’m using it as evidence to beat myself up.  Oh god, it is so boring - why is there one rule for everyone else and one rule for ourselves ? Do you recognise this yourself ? If someone is ill/tired/brokenhearted/stressed etc  you tell them to rest and look after themselves  yet- with yourself,  you think you need to power on through ‘pulling yourself together’and getting over it already! 

I read recently about the Upper Limit Problem - This is essentially where the minute we start to feel good, we will basically manage to fuck it up with a thought or an action to bring on a conflicting negative experience and completely dismiss the positive state.  So when this Upper Limit problem kicks in, where we allow ourself to relax into happiness even for a split second - the ‘BOOM ! Let’s throw all this joy up in the air’ kicks in !! This can manifest in the form of arguments, attack thoughts, worrying, addiction, and sometimes even illness.  This is SHOCKING !!! But totally recognisable. The “Yeh, but....” in sneaky forms. We ALL do it!

It actually says that we are programmed as humans to bring on this negative state after a period of positivity!! And I don’t know about you, but I am a pro at doing this ! The other week I had two amazing dates with the same person on two consecutive days (I know! He clearly didn’t grasp the ‘no-contact-for-3-days’ rule ?!?!) and the day afterwards I got sick and retreated to my bed (alone I might add!!) and started to withdraw from Date Man and he from me.  Logically this doesn’t make any sense.  It was in my top 10 Best Dates ever - I don’t think I stopped laughing once, so why would I pull away? (albeit unconsciously by getting ill). There can only be one answer: FEAR. 

So why are we so fearful of getting what we want when we spend so much time thinking about it and planning how to get it.  I’m sure there’s been loads of situations where you’ve achieved something or realised a dream and then the Voice of Doom has crept in seconds/minutes/days later.

 I give you The Perfect Beach scenario - One of my best mates and travelling buddies, Nic used to obsess about finding The Perfect Beach (PB).  So whilst lying on one PB, she sat up and spied another island across the water and decided that perhaps THAT beach (Potential Perfect Beach aka PPB) was indeed even more perfect than the current PB and decided to swim all the way over to check it out, despite it being so far that she almost drowned through sheer exhaustion and when in actual fact the PPB turned out to be too rocky and not perfect at all! Cue much annoyance that she could’ve relaxed on the original PB and also avoided pissing off her off her mate Lucy who she’d managed to also convince to swim to the PPB with her. 

So how on earth can we enjoy the PB in other areas of our life without freaking out/withdrawing/messing up and beating ourselves up in the process? I suppose like my running, it has to be in small chunks/goals and recognising how far we’ve come rather than beating ourselves up for the time it took to get there or focusing on all the things that could potentially go wrong.  But to do this without impatience requires self compassion, kindness and love - which we’re not big on when it comes to ourselves. 

How can we re-program ourselves to be more gentle to ourselves ? To talk to us like we would a small child trying to get the hang of something.  I guess that’s why we talk about Baby Steps - It’s accepted that a baby will have to learn to crawl, then walk, then eventually run and we have to apply that process of learning to every area of our lives.  We are STILL learning.  We are constantly in uncertainty, scenarios we didn’t think we would be in, starting again, out of our comfort zones, dealing with changes and the IDONTKNOWHOWTHEFUCKTODOTHIS states. And when we strive for something and embrace the changes then we also have to honour how far we have come.  And of course with that comes celebration of what now IS and grief of what now ISN’T... and never will be again.  The Endings.  The Beginnings. The Inbetweens. But we have to go at our own pace and not be obsessively comparing ourselves to the ones who are faster runners than us.

So please, with every small milestone that you cross remember to acknowledge yourself, knowing that despite the head chat you ARE getting closer to the Finish Line each time.  And me? I will be gently reminding myself that ‘Life isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon’ when it comes to my Big Run in April and indeed all other areas of my life.  And that it’s also important to remember not to try to run before you can walk...as you might find yourself having to have a little Granny Nap in the afternoons.


Just the way you are

Image result for new year new you bullshit

I just saw the above meme on Facebook and I laughed because I was just about to start my list of Things I Must Do to Change My Life in 2017! There’s a sort of rushed energy at the mo amongst people, a bit like the run up to Christmas where people are in that panic mode of buying presents and stocking up on food in prep for The Big Day, but this is different as it seems focused towards ourselves internally.  Facebook is actually buzzing with people stating their New Year’s resolutions and the talk in the pub has already turned to ‘Dry’ January, exercise and my personal favourite (which has been used for at least the last 20 years) ‘ I am NEVER going to eat sugar EVER AGAIN!’ ....in two days time that is, when I have worked my way through that hunk of chocolate cake and bottles of Prosecco in my fridge.

But what is going on people ? It’s like the end of the world.  There’s so much PRESSURE to get everything sorted in time for December 31st! A lot of us seem so busy writing intentions and analysing ourselves and our behaviour over the last 12 months. Preparing for the crossover and trying to change ourselves internally.

Then there’s another lot who are trying to change themselves externally and have been camping outside Next since 3am on Boxing Day trying to ‘Change’ their wardrobes or their sofas.

And then the First lot are judging the Second lot as the 'Empty Soul-less Consumers' who are so pathetic and so unhappy with their lives that they have to Buy More Shit to make themselves feel better, which is odd because the First Lot are busy writing lists with an action plan about how THEY can feel less unhappy and pathetic and get to feel better about themselves... And Ok maybe the intention-writing-goal-setting version works out cheaper than buying a new tv, but aren't we all just wanting the same thing ? To Be Happy...

Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s still the same fizzing, the same running about to ‘Get. Shit’. Whether that is running around 20 shops thinking ‘Must find the perfect dress  in the sale to guarantee The Greatest New Year’s Eve EVER’ or the more analytical: ‘Get. Shit!’ i.e Quick; Learn The Lessons!/Get busy mulling over all of your mistakes and Fuck Ups in 2016! so you can feel happy NEXT year!’ It’s still the same. It’s all about trying to find The New Improved Version of yourself just in time for the clock to strike midnight.  So we can start the next year afresh by implementing the appropriate changes to guarantee that Next Year Will Be Better. Or rather YOU will be better.

And there we have it - The actual thing that no one is saying:  I AM NOT ENOUGH JUST THE WAY I AM - MUST CHANGE MYSELF.

So we write New Year’s Resolutions to try and change ourselves and our lives and there’s these huge lists which probably include a lot of the things we wrote on last year’s List! Mine definitely included ‘ Sort my Money out, Eat less Sugar, Meditate EVERY day and Find a Man Who Can ‘Handle’ Me (interesting choice of words’ handle’ - like there is something wrong with me) and I can guarantee that ALL of these things will feature in 2017’s Big List! And there is a part of me that feels impatient and shameful with myself for not having ‘achieved’ those things when I said I would last January!

And that then uncovers the Other Unspoken Thing that everyone is thinking: I REALLY FUCKED UP THIS YEAR - I AM A MASSIVE FAILURE - MUST CHANGE MYSELF. The huge disappointment voice that berates you for the things you did or didn’t do in the last 365 days !

Last January I actually picked a word for the year as part of my Dream Manifesting for 2016 - the word was EASE ! Laughable really now when I think about how difficult this year has been for me and the majority of my Loved Ones and Strangers all over the world.  Everyone seems to have had their asses kicked this year.  And I am sorry for that, for me AND for you.  I feel sad that another 365 days have passed and you STILL haven’t Got Your Shit Together, that you are STILL talking to your body with disgust, that you are STILL being mean to yourself for too much drinking/smoking/ eating/drugs/empty sex, that you are STILL in debt, that you are STILL shouting at your kids too much, that you are STILL with The Wrong Person or with NO Person, that you are STILL playing it Small, that you are STILL lying, judging, cheating, bitching, jealous,  that you STILL miss the people that you have lost and that people are ill and that you’re STILL lonely, scared and full of doubt about yourself.

But all of these things also make me feel so grateful because it’s a reminder that we are all in this boat together, carrying the same fears, disappointments, insecurities.  That no matter how much fear and separation is pumped into us by the media (or our Ego voices), that actually we are all the same.  That we are all simply doing our best and are trying to love each other and ourselves. And it is this honesty of 'I see you and I'm also scared and struggling' which brings the Connection and Oneness we are all seeking. 

So instead of writing New Year’s Resolutions or picking words or making a Vision Board like I would normally do - I am writing ONE thing on my TO DO list (and I hope you write it on yours too) and it is this


 Love you xx


Soul Mates and other Myths

According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four legs, four arms and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus decided to split them into two separate parts (not sure how he split the head?), condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.... What I want to know is WHY would he do that ? What happened to Zeus that would make him so bitter in matters of the heart? Obviously for practical reasons it is ultimately a GOOD thing, since a weird conjoined-twins situation would make it difficult going to the supermarket or the bathroom or the cinema (would you flip a coin on who got to see the film that week?) but still, why DID he do it ?

Apparently the reason was ‘As punishment for humanity's pride and doubling the number of humans who would give tribute to the gods’. Ok so I get the second part -Obviously they needed to raise funds for the church roof or something, and of course, when the collection tray goes round every Sunday then yeah, double the beings, double the cash.  But the bit about humanity’s pride, I’m lost on.  Surely he was powerful enough that if he WAS upset by their smug coupledom, he could have just created his OWN soul mate with some extra limbs and face? And then we could have all lived happily ever after; fully content to each have the perfect partner for the three-legged...er... four-legged race on Sports Day?

But alas no, Mean Zeus decided to inflict this separation on us all so that we would be forced into spending the rest of our lives searching for this other half. (Aside:  Imagine if in our Reality-Tv-obsessed generation, that when you DID finally find your other half, it was televised, no doubt hosted by Esther Rantzen, or lovely Holly... ‘And now all the way from Australia... We have tracked him down after all these years....The man with the other half of YOUR head’ . Cue emotional reunion before the couple are whisked out of the studio to have themselves re-attached by highly specialised surgeons.  The whole nation would be glued to their screens. It would be EPIC, if slightly disturbing TV! )

Anyway, back to the story -so according to Plato, if/when humans finally DO meet their other half, the pair are ‘lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy where something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and they don't want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment... ‘Aw how lovely...

Or maybe not. You will be surprised to know I am sceptical.  I know you think I’m a bit of a romantic with my head in the clouds and a love of John Hughes 80s films where The Guy gets The Girl (usually dressed in some bad pink-lace shoulder-padded outfit which massively clashed with her ginger hair!) but I just aint buying this 'there’s a lid for every pot’ crap.  I think there’s other things you can use to cover a saucepan. And I know this, because over the years I’ve had That Feeling SEVERAL times.   And it ALWAYS started with that sense of recognition. That quote: “And then my soul saw you and it kind of went - ‘Oh there you are. I've been looking for you.'”  Yep, had it -loadsa times.  I even think I’m into double figures.

Unfortunately in most of these moments I have definitely declared ‘He’s The One!‘ which was usually fuelled by our seemingly romantic chance encounter and the hope of having a cute ‘How did you guys meet? ‘ story!

I had it with The guy I fell in love with in Cairns and 6 months later on the other side of Oz, in a place he had never been, I found my favourite book ‘Hi-Fidelity’ on a hostel bookshelf with HIS name written in HIS handwriting in the front cover.  Surely it was a sign!!! Or the man who had actual beams of light shining down on him, during my first day working in a call centre when time-stood-still, angels sang Hallelujah and I knew my search was over...until I found out he had a wife and kids. Or my favourite EVER chance encounter, after meeting The Dutchie on a plane and failing to swap numbers, the next day, during his lunch break, looking out of his office window, he saw Yours Truly  on a bike across a canal (one of 165 in Amsterdam, I might add for the extra ‘Fate Factor’ in this story) and since it was clearly MEANT TO BE, I convinced myself into staying with him for 7 years, despite being miserable as hell for most of that time. 

But none of them have ever resulted in the big reconciliation that Plato is suggesting.  All false alarms. Or maybe it was just that Zeus found my original form to be something resembling one of those Chinese dragons with one head and hundreds of legs, which is why it’s taking a bit longer to collect all of them back in?

But what I find most annoying is the fact that each time when this HUGE recognition (The ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?’ line, adapted by us Spiritual Lot into ‘Maybe we met in a previous life?’!!), happened with a bloke I would make it mean something and it would get confusing and messy.  Whereas if it was with a girl/gay man, we just got to be Friends for Life.  Years ago, I met one of my now best-mates, Jayne in a bar after having to apologise for backwardly headbutting her in a fit of laughter.  And that was definitely ‘meant to be’ - Our afros met (literally) across a crowded room and we lived happily ever after....  

So why when The Big Spark happens with someone of the opposite sex do we get all wierd and make it mean something, convincing ourselves that they must be ‘The One’ ? At no point during the initial meeting with Jayne, when I turned around and felt that Instant Love at First Sight/We’re-Gonna-be-Together-Forever thing, did I think ‘Oh shit am I gay?’! But every time it happened with a guy I DID convince myself into fancying them at some point. And I DID jump into the sack with some of them. And I DID even manage to build/drag out entire relationships based only on that same connection I experienced with my Girl Mates/Gay Boyfriends! Unfortunately you DO sometimes ignore the fact that you ARE just supposed to only be friends because we interpret the Chemistry wrong and try to force it into something MORE in our heads.....or rather, beds.

I had a quote on my wall at university which was ‘Love is Friendship on Fire’ and we are often told that the secret to a lasting fulfilling marriage is that you are ultimately best friends first.  But perhaps that is why a lot of my generation is no longer having sex very often, if at all. I think a couple of my divorced friends just ended up marrying their bloke mates.  And that's the point - perhaps it should have just remained a friendship as sometimes there is no fire there in the first place.  Perhaps we all just got a bit confused by the term Soul MATE ? Surely the clue is in the name, after all ?!! Maybe there WAS no fire but we saw a bit of smoke, got a bit excited about the potential of a nice warm furnace and committed to spending our lives rubbing two sticks together in the hope of it eventually creating an inferno. But at what point after rubbing sticks together for hours/days/years do you admit defeat and buy yourself a box of matches ?

And yet, no matter how depressing all this sounds or how defeated we feel after a relationship breaks down/fails to ignite, we still manage to lick our wounds, get back on our feet and continue our mission of searching for The One whether we believe the myth or not.

And our generation is doubtful anyway as most of us know we don’t need another person to feel ‘whole’.  And with more single/divorced people out there than ever before, it is just too dangerous to make your happiness dependant on finding that One Person. The Greek Myth clearly needs updating since the romantic notion of us searching to find our ‘Other Half’ no longer exists in a cynical world full of Swiping, Fuck Buddies and online dating. So I shall just have to adapt the story for myself where in my version I vow to continue my days, roaming the earth (and avoiding Tinder and the unromantic Zeus-wannabes only wanting Netflix and Chill) ...in search of my ‘Soul Mate....with benefits’.  I’m sure Plato would understand.



Love is.... an Inside Job

It’s Saturday night and my Date just cancelled. That same familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach arises and I get in bed fully dressed and prepare for the first Stage of The Usual Plan of Rejection:1. Have a massive cry followed shortly by 2. Go to shop, 3. Buy slab of chocolate, 4. Put on token Chick-Flick, 5. Feel sorry for myself cos I don’t have Patrick Swayze to turn up at the end to tell me that ‘Nobody Puts Katey in The Corner’ ! See what I did there ?!

Then just as I was about to go into full on Poor-Me mode I laughed to myself as I got it ! - ”Are you REALLY about to just chuck out all those years of work on yourself because ONE Boy you hardly know just blew you off ?”. Lightbulb ! And I realised that throughout my life I have ALWAYS handed over my own self-worth to external forces.   I have given complete responsibility for how I felt about myself to Other People, Things, The Universe.  I have been thinking that until certain criteria were met I simply couldn’t fully love myself or my life.  That criteria has been anything ranging from meeting a man to writing a book to buying a house to having a child to listening to a mantra for 40 consecutive days. 

Then today when this Date didn’t happen and I started to go down the usual ‘what’s-wrong-with-me?’ line of questioning I realised I’ve been trying to buy my worth from places separate to myself.  I have been trying to persuade life to provide me with love from so many sources other than myself.  I have tried to manipulate men into loving me with my body, with my controlling masculine, with my chasing behaviour, with my ability to hide my true self and adapt my behaviour to who I think I have to be in order for them to make me feel good about myself.  I have also tried to subtly ‘bribe’ The Universe to bring me The Goods with some sort of subconscious bartering system where I think if I do enough chanting or Random Acts of Kindness or read enough spiritual books, I can secretly  try to convince ‘Them’ to bring me everything my heart desires.  I have also tried to prove to myself that if I took enough Courageous Actions every day in order to get my life in order and got nearer to achieving my Dreams I would finally have something to show for myself and THEREFORE be able to value myself. And then there’s my QUICK FIX Instant LOVE-FILLER-UPPER in the form of the SUGAR-IS-LOVE mindset via Salted Caramel Brownies (preferably served with honey-comb ice-cream) which DO actually do the job for ooh, at least 15 minutes until The Guilt kicks in.  And I have survived thus far by basically convincing myself that by having any form of validation from any of those sources that I could be happy and have all the love (or rather The Crumbs) that I needed.

The only problem with all of these behaviours are that when things haven’t gone according to plan (The Guy doesn’t call, I ruin my ‘Karma’ by doing something I deem to be ‘bad’ or I don’t do my 3 sales calls that day) my entire self-esteem falls apart and the shame I feel makes me feel like a complete fuck-up.   My own self love and self worth, so far has been 100% dependant on external forces coming into alignment.  Almost like a type of OCD where if I forget to turn the light switch on and off 40 times, I will fall to pieces.  Like I have made a deal with my Future Self to only love me 100%, WHEN I have enough evidence I am completely worthy by having The Man, The Career, The Money, The Peace inside.  All the boxes ticked.

The other day as I was walking through My Trees (Chanting “I surrender” over and over - in the hopes that surely if I did it enough times The Universe would actually be convinced by my little routine and bring me what I clearly couldn’t surrender in a million years) I realised what my cunning little controlling ego was up to.  Complete Manipulation ! Even in this little ‘spiritual’ ritual of alleged surrender there was the bullshit: ‘If I PRETEND to let go, trust and leave things to You Lot -can you please just bring me those things in the form of EXACTLY HOW I WOULD LIKE THEM’ . And as I dropped My Inner Control Freak and there was an ACTUAL moment of REAL surrender, this beautiful voice clearly whispered ‘You know you really don’t need to do this daft routine every day. You are already perfect in this moment.  We already love you.  And what if someone else, a Man, would love you exactly how you are right now too? And what if some people actually already DO love you RIGHT NOW? And what if YOU could too?’ - It brought tears to my eyes as I considered the possibility that actually I don’t need to read another book, or go on another spiritual course, or date another man or actually DO anything! That right now I was loveable and loving and loved.  Exactly as I was.  

So tonight when my Date didn’t materialise I realised I had a choice.  I could beat myself up, eat my bodyweight in Brownies whilst trying to provide my own analysis of WHY yet another man hadn’t ‘chosen’ me/ why I am so unlovable/too much/not enough (pick a story, any story!) OR I could decide I could do The Loving myself.   TODAY.  Like without doing anything.  Just decide. Just like that.  TODAY.

Cos the thing about this love stuff is that it HAS to be an internal job. Life is always going to be messy and people will let you down or not know what to say or forget to call or worse- die and then all that external well of love will just dry up.  And then what do you do ?  So instead of passing the responsibility to someone or something else- I get that I just have to do it myself. Right now! Not when I have X amount in the bank or have met Mr Right or have a flat belly or have non-frizzy hair or have written a best seller or have done any more bloody self-healing work - right NOW in all my mess.  With all my insecurities, paranoia, ridiculous thought patterns, shyness, despair, lack of confidence, negativity and fear about the future . 

So tonight I dated myself.  I made myself a gorgeous meal, had a glass of wine and sat in front of the roses I’d bought myself and was completely present to love. And I realised that despite having given all of my power away to those other things or people in the past (‘If YOU love me then I CAN too.  But if YOU don’t then I’m screwed.’)   that TONIGHT with all of my imperfections and lack of achievements (and  Dates on a Saturday Night!)I could still CHOOSE love FOR Me, FROM me. And I think I may actually be The One.  Thank God we found each other. 


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