Keep the Faith: Believing in yourself can lead to love and happiness
After 30 years of dating the wrong men, which had left me feeling hopeless, I finally met my future husband in a yoga class at 7 a.m. in Los Angeles, when I least expected it. I was wearing no makeup, sweaty and half awake, but it was all in perfect, divine timing. (OK, maybe I was wearing a little lip gloss, just in case.)
I wrote The Cheerleader Speaks: What God Taught Me About Men and Myself with the intention of helping women find their life partner sooner, rather than later. I share my funny and spiritually insightful 30-year dating journey with the hopes of helping women learn from my mistakes and the changes I made in myself to help me attract my husband.
Throughout my years of dating, I tended to date the same type of guy over and over again, which for me was Bad Boys. You know the type, the artsy musician addict who is never going to settle down and always puts himself first, but you think you are going to change him. NOT!
If you have a pattern of dating the same type of guy, hoping to get a different result this time, which is Einstein’s definition of insanity, I beg you to think twice and save yourself more heartache and disappointment. If you have a certain height, hair color and financial status waiting to be manifested from your “wish list” of qualities you desire in a mate, I suggest you chuck the list and be willing to open yourself up to a new type of guy orchestrated from the heavens.
After dating men who were mostly 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, with dark messy hair more times than I can remember, my friend finally gave me the best dating advice ever: “Pray for the man God has chosen for you.” Duh! I had been praying in about every other area of my life for God’s will, so why was I holding on so tightly to my Linus blanket when it came to dating? Was I worried God was going to send me a “nice” unattractive guy who was emotionally available to me, which sadly equaled boring in my twisted mind? When you have subconsciously chosen men who are not ready to commit repeatedly for years on end, it is time to look at your past and ask yourself, “Why am I picking men who are not ready to show up for me fully?” Maybe, because you aren’t fully showing up for yourself, therefore, this is what is being mirrored back to you. Aha!
No one wants to hear this, but when relationships end it isn’t always the guy’s fault. Ouch. We are the common denominator in all of our relationships, so we have to take responsibility for our part by taking inventory of ourselves.
I encourage you to begin by examining your childhood and the relationship you had with your father. Was he emotionally available to you? If not, this might be the reason you pick men who aren’t able to communicate and commit fully, because emotionally vague men feel like home. If you felt abandoned as a child, in any way, it can surface in your relationships as being overly needy, demanding, controlling and insecure, which is the perfect recipe to push any man away.
If your father had addiction issues, like alcohol, do you find yourself attracted to men who drink? Do you have a subconscious need to fix these guys and gain their approval, because you still yearn for approval from your father? Fixing partners is draining and keeps you distracted from working on yourself. It’s all give and nothing is reciprocated back to you, leaving you feeling “less than.” As I say in my book, “Remember, love is suppose to feel good.”
Having awareness of our childhoods can help give us clarity in the present, so we can shift our personality patterns and approach our relationships from a place of feeling whole. For me, I had feelings of abandonment throughout my life from being adopted. Even though I had a picture-perfect adopted family, the feelings of insecurities lingered with me and kept surfacing in my relationships, which wasn’t attractive. Fortunately for me, the practice of yoga found me in my 20s and slowly began to peel away the layers of false perceptions I had of myself. It didn’t happen overnight, but I know through years of daily yoga practice, meditation and prayer that God was helping me to love and accept myself more fully. I also felt God was teaching me with each dating disaster to rely on him, instead of some guy I barely knew, to define me and my existence in the world.
At the age of 38, these newfound thoughts of self-love helped me to realize I deserved more from my relationships with men. I’m sure God was doing cheerleading moves this time, saying, “It’s about time, blondie!” This lead me to end my two-year infatuation with a musician who barely knew I existed. I put a nail in the Bad Boy coffin and started praying for the man God had willed for me. The only thing I specified is that he would be a vegan chef (I’m a lousy cook).
Within one month, voila! I met my 5-foot-10, 150 pound, sandy blond-haired husband at yoga, and we were married six months later. He is nothing like my ex-boyfriends, he is a giver. He cooked me a vegan dinner and performed Reiki (a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing) on our first date. He has been cooking dinner for me every night for the last five years. We are both yoga teachers and have a spiritual union, which was something that was missing in all my other relationships. He calls our relationship “an assignment from God.” I hope God gives us an “A” for our efforts.
Kathleen Kastner is the owner of Maya Yoga studio with her husband, Wade Mortenson. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in exercise physiology from KU. Her celebrity clients have included Deepak Chopra, Molly Sims and Emily Deschanel. The Cheerleader Speaks is her first book and it can be purchased at kathleenkastner.com or amazon.com.