People often insist that love happens when you least expect it. They tell you to fill your life with activities, and chase your dreams, and you’ll be so fixated on everything else that love will just find you.
I know people mean well when they rattle off that old cliché, but come on. Love happens when you least expect it? Really? So how are you supposed to shut down that part of your brain? If love is something you really, truly want in your life, how are you supposed to just NOT think about it while waiting for the moment when you least expect it? Is the universe purposely withholding love from single people who are hyper-aware of everything all the time? (Also, is the universe allowed to toy with us in such a way? Rude.)
I don’t get caught-up in that line of thinking very often (because I actually am busy with other stuff), but whenever my mind wanders to that territory, I get a little frustrated because I honestly don’t know how to “least expect it.” And then I read May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein, and now I have a better understanding.
Much of the book is about creating ways to allow for positive change in our lives. Bernstein writes that fear controls many of our thoughts and actions, and we can only create positive change by releasing our fear and moving forward in love. So how do you release this fear? By focusing on gratitude. When you’re grateful—truly, legitimately, 100% grateful—for what is already in your life, positive change occurs naturally.
A few years ago, an extremely jaded and pessimistic version of myself would’ve rolled her eyes at such nonsense. It’s easy for best-selling authors to write about gratitude, right? Anybody can tell you to be grateful for what you have, but nobody can do it for you, and that’s the difficult part: actually putting that advice into practice.
Luckily, I’m in a much more positive and open-minded place now, so I was willing to accept Bernstein’s advice. I really tried to practice each of the daily exercises and focused on releasing my fears. Per her suggestions, I listened to my intuition in tough situations. And I found reasons to be grateful every single day, even during the most mundane, uneventful days.
While I wasn’t 100% on-board with everything in the book, I appreciated Bernstein’s overall message. I learned that when you take a few minutes to focus on the awesome stuff already in your life, you quickly forget about what you thought your life was lacking. Even though I still haven’t fallen in love, I’m blessed with an amazing and hilarious family. My friends are supportive, and my colleagues are interesting and creative. I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been, and I feel lucky that I get to do what makes me happy.
I can clearly see there’s so much good out there, which is why I’m not afraid that I’ll be alone forever. I’m not afraid that I’ll somehow miss the moment when I least expect it. I’ve let go of the useless worry. I know that because it’s something I feel very strongly about, love will eventually come my way.
Thanks, stevendepolo, for the image!
Megan S. is an associate editor at Dating & Hookup. She's a big fan of trees, baseball, running, and pop culture.
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