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The first time I went to my friend Fleur’s aunt’s home in Devon was five years ago – immediately after a holiday in Beirut where my then-boyfriend Sam had spontaneously decided to get a nose-job.
Devon that year was equal parts wonderful and depressing.
Wonderful: because this house - which is nestled between the quiet, sloping hills of the west country and overlooks a tranquil estuary – served as the most insanely idyllic setting for a small group of us to celebrate Fleur’s 31st birthday in style. This group included Will - her extremely generous and besotted boyfriend of only a few weeks.
Depressing: because I could see the way Will looked at Fleur and Fleur looked at Will, and I knew with absolute certainty that Sam and I had never and would never look at each other in that way.
It was a wholly unwelcome awakening, and not one I was ready to act upon.
(In fact, it took nearly a year of marinating in that knowing before either of us plucked up the courage to walk away from the relationship I’d once been so sure was “it”).
As fate would have it, less than two weeks after the official break-up, I wound up back at the Devon house – this time for Fleur’s hen.
Mercifully, it was once again just a small group of us who’d be shimmying Fleur towards her impending nuptials and, even more mercifully, there was to be no organised ‘fun’, no scheduled activities, no stripper and no naff nightclubs included in the proceedings (that wasn’t Fleur’s style).
There was just a shit ton of excellent food, wine and company – all slap-bang in the middle of England’s finest countryside.
So, although a hen weekend wasn’t at the top of my list of desirable excursions so soon after a breakup, what the universe had actually lined up for me was a rural mini-retreat (minus the curfew and smoking-ban).
It was exactly what my soul required as I readied myself to bridge the gap between shock over my relationship ending, and acceptance that there was someone out there who’d one day feel as elated to be in my presence as Will so obviously was to be in Fleur’s.
In the few days between the break-up ‘chat’ and departing for the hen, a book had serendipitously landed in to my lap, the way life-changing books tend to when you’re on the precipice of a major life-change.
The book was ‘Conversations with God’ by Neale Donald-Walsch.
Like all the best books I know, it was born out of a low period in Walsch’s life which found him writing an angry letter to God asking questions about why his life wasn't working.
After writing down all of his questions, he heard a voice over his right shoulder say: “Do you really want an answer to all these questions or are you just venting?”
Though when he turned around he saw no one there, Walsch felt answers to his questions filling his mind and decided to write them down.
The resulting content was so ludicrously powerful that it eventually became published in to one of the bestselling self-help books of all time.
Having seen me flicking through the pages of said book in the back of the car en-route to Devon, Fleur assured me its arrival was right on cue.
Game-changer, I think she’d whispered with a wink.
Between long walks, steak dinners and Sex and The City binges with the girls, the majority of the weekend consisted of me curled up under the covers with the book, like a torch-wielding child inhaling as much Harry Potter as possible before tiredness beckons her away from it.
Inevitably, I was most drawn to what the book had to say about relationships – in particular, this point:
“When human love relationships fail (relationships never truly fail, except in the strictly human sense that they did not produce what you want), they fail because they were entered into for the wrong reason.
(“Wrong,” of course, is a relative term, meaning something measured against that which is “right” —whatever that is! It would be more accurate in your language to say “relationships fail—change—most often when they are entered into for reasons not wholly beneficial or conducive to their survival.”)
Most people enter into relationships with an eye toward what they can get out of them, rather than what they can put into them.
The purpose of a relationship is to decide what part of yourself you’d like to see “show up,” not what part of another you can capture and hold.”
I realised that, like so many of us, I’d subconsciously entered in to pretty much every relationship I’d ever been in more out of fear of being alone than as an intentional, conscious choice to bring forth the highest, most loving version of myself in the presence of a beloved.
I oscillated between wanting a saviour or someone to ‘fix’ (as a distraction from fixing myself), not someone to co-pilot a shared, celebratory experience of life alongside.
Following on from this revelation on the second evening of the hen, something extraordinary happened.
Much like Neale Donald-Walsch’s communion with God, I found myself lying in bed having a conversation with an energy that I could identify with absolute certainty as being the man I would one day marry.
I know it sounds loco (and it was) but I could truly feel this person.
The reason I trusted this connection as being more than mere wishful thinking is that they told me during our exchange that I wasn’t yet ready for them to enter in to my reality; I needed more time in the ‘Loven’ (Love-Oven) before I could be safely, soulfully savoured by another via a romantic relationship.
And, instead of feeling panicked at the prospect of having to spend an unspecified amount of time in the solitary void priming myself for the responsibility of a life partnership (which, if the pairing is to be a good one, requires significant preparation – especially if this is an area you’ve really struggled with a lot in the past), I felt excited.
I recalled seeing Fleur surrender to this mandatory process prior to meeting Will.
She’d said to me:
“I know I wasn’t ready for him to enter my reality one second before he did.”
And it was only when I met the physical manifestation of this beloved energy that I’d been conversing with nearly a year and a half after the hen, that I fully understood what she’d meant.
NOW, I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Have you ever known you needed to spend significant ‘solitary’ time working on yourself before you got in to another relationship?
What exactly did you do, and how did it positively influence your next relationship?
Let me know below!
P.S. Are you ready to make 2019 the year you stop feeling disappointed in love & get the amazing relationship you’ve always wanted instead?
Get started below with my FREE ebook: 7 STEPS TO FINDING REAL, LASTING LOVE IN A SUPERFICIAL WORLD.
This is the EXACT process I used myself (as well as dozens of my love-coaching clients) to go from being regularly ghosted, heartbroken or disappointed in love to attracting the happiest, healthiest, most soulful relationship of my life (within 3 months of putting it in to practice).