I’m sitting here re-reading this blog that I wrote on January 8, 2006.

To put it in context…I’d been separated from my husband of 20 years for about a year, but we were still about a month away from actually starting the paperwork to get our divorce. I was a single mom of three boys. The oldest was 13 & the twins were 10. 

I had begun my venture into the dating world, I had already had my heart broken several times after deciding that I was ready to give it a go just a few short months after our separation in 2005. I’ve often said…I was a hot mess and I truly was.

I would love to tell you that I figured it out right away. I DID figure it out…eventually. It was a She-ro’s journey to be sure. But there would be many, many starts, stops, romances and heartbreak to come.

I was bravely ready to face it all back then…and so I give you…Finding Love

Love. Volumes have been written, haven’t they? We spend our lives searching for it, finding it, falling out of it, falling into it…and what does it get us? Nirvana? Heartbreak? Well, yeah, but damn if we don’t go out looking for it again!

When I first started on my journey back to me, I was surprised to find how often I had fallen in and out of love within the space of a few months. My journal was filled with names I didn’t even recognize, and others that I remembered with a shudder. I spent hours on the personals websites, chatted with people online, talked to people on the phone. Having come from a 20 years with the same man, I was suddenly like a kid in a candy store. There were men everywhere!

My first foray into romance after my separation, led me into a world that I clearly wasn’t prepared for. How quickly I learned that there were people out there who told you one thing but did another. How quickly I learned that if you start out with a handshake and then hop into bed, don’t expect flowers, don’t expect a date even and certainly don’t expect to find the love of your life. Sex is sex, start your relationship there and guess what…that is about the extent of it.

I’ll admit…it took me a few times of having my heart broken to get that.

And yet, the whole time, Spirit was speaking to me through my blog…

Finding Love

I’m sitting here listening to my “love and romance” cd…burned for me by someone who loved me for an all too brief moment. Reba is singing about wanting someone to love her…”if dreams give you power… then I’m strong enough… to offer my heart and never give up… til you love me”

Ahhh if it were just that simple.

Finding love is a difficult, sometimes amusing process…holding love… a near impossibility it seems. It’s something that I have learned to approach with a sense of adventure more than anything. “What can I learn next?”  being my motto of the moment. “Dear Lord, please lead me to my next mistake…and guide me and protect me on the way” is my current prayer.

I’m not afraid to love, I love deeply knowing that I will be hurt, knowing that I will end up crying in my bathroom wondering why it didn’t work this time. I do this because I know that I have lost the greatest love of my life and have survived. I stay out here, putting my heart out there hoping, praying that I will find a love that great again.

And I know that in the process I will learn finally…to fully love me.

I think the greatest love that I will ever find is the love affair I have with me.  I’m learning to accept me and love me unconditionally. I’m learning that although I’m not perfect, some days I’m all I’ve got. I’m learning to adore my weaknesses as well as my strengths. I’m learning to find beauty in all my parts…even those lovely stretch marks.

“Amazed” by LoneStar is on…”I don’t know how you do what you do….I’m so in love with you…it just keeps getting better…I want to spend the rest of my life with you by my side…forever and ever…every little thing that you do…baby I’m amazed my you”

Ahhh…that kind of love…wouldn’t that kind of love be perfect? Can I love that deeply? Can someone love me that deeply? Can I love myself that deeply??

Damn.

We spend our lives searching and hoping for that kind of love. We wait for that special someone who “gets” us. There are the heady days of romance and giggling…wearing his favorite perfume because he likes it…and he’s not even going to see you that day. Writing little hearts with your initials in them. I’ve discovered recently that you never get too old for that.

Then reality hits…the giddiness dies…and what’s left? A whole lot of questions. Was I authentic? Did I state my truth? Was I being too (…insert any word you want there…you ask it….)”too honest”…”too out there”…”too submissive”…”too aggressive”…”too me”? (God forbid you be too you…that’s just asking for trouble)

In the end…the person you have to answer to is you. What answers will you like?

I’ve discovered in my process… (read crash course in dating) that ultimately what happens is I discover a certain person will bring something out in me that I don’t like. And boy howdy do I have to answer to myself for that one!

Does love last forever?

I think in one form or another it does. I mean, even though the greatest love of my life is no longer living under the same roof with me…and will never be again, I’ve never stopped loving him. I think he has never stopped loving me…but it’s a different love. Hell, throughout our 21 years together, the love was different every year…we evolved, our love changed, and transformed. Finally, the greatest, most loving thing we could do for each other was let each other go. But our love for each other will never die.

And now I’m off in search of a new love…a new adventure, new heartbreak, new fun, new everything. And in the process, the same old love of the same old Starr is there…and she’ll never go away, she’ll never fail me…

In the end…she’s all I really have.

I had such bravado then…I was so willing to put myself out there in the hope of finding that one great love! The truth is, though, that I already knew where to find it, it’s written in the middle of my blog:

“I think the greatest love that I will ever find is the love affair I have with me.”

That’s it. It is really true that you can’t find the love you are searching for until you learn to love yourself. And once you learn to love and accept yourself, finding that other person to “complete you” no longer matters. You realize that you are fine with or without a partner.

Come along with me as I continue my work! I’m writing my book Living in the Layers, lessons in love…then and now.

Back in 2006 as I was going through my first divorce, I became a prolific blogger. I shared the lessons and stories from that time as I blogged through my two divorces and many (…many) failed romances. It’s a story of heartbreak, redemption and finally triumph in which I finally discover true love – of myself, and with a life partner who loves and supports me and challenges me to be my best every day. It’s a unique look into my mind back then…and the more enlightened and strengthened tale of what I know now 13 years later. 

Join my exclusive community at Patreon (click here) for as low as $7/month to receive advance copies of the next chapters (as they are written), more enlightening (and often funny) blogs, more free stuff and, of course, a lot more love! (The Patreon page is currently under construction, but you can still join today!)