Publisher’s Corner

Make Yourself Number One

First I want to say I am not a therapist or a relationship counselor. But I am 68 years old and the father of two grown daughters with a history of love and heartache. I have been married twice. So that at least makes me an experienced participant in affairs of the heart. I have seen heartache in the ones I love and I have felt the sting of a painful breakup in my life. And now and then I try to make some sense of it, this thing we call love. There is no greater euphoria than being the target of cupid’s bow. Many a bard have filled their purses with coins from penning poems of love. And many a country singer have made their living from love’s heartache. Is there anything we can do to prepare ourselves from falling prey to the depths of despair love leaves us in when it takes flight? I want to say there is, don’t be naive, don’t open your heart too soon, don’t let your guard down. But that would be unrealistic. When love hits, it arrives with great pomp and circumstance. You feel like nothing else matters, life is the way it should be and nothing will stand in your way. And when it ends, you feel like nothing else matters, life isn’t the way it should be and everything stands in your way. I feel the only sane way to approach love is to love yourself first. If you love yourself, you won’t give as much away. Self doubt and low self esteem will make you more vulnerable. Yes, love will lift you up but are you strong enough if and when there comes a time to fall? Seems silly to me to think there is only one love out there. There are so many great people in the world and many would make good matches. There are many reasons why half of all married couples end in divorce. Some just because they chose the wrong person. Perhaps you let love’s guise cloud your judgment. We wait for love to happen and when it does, it becomes all encompassing. I have felt it, and I have seen it in others. There is no better feeling and yet it can be almost insane at times. If it brings out feelings like jealously, anger, dominance, or mistrust, it probably isn’t love at all. Time to talk to someone. Seems to me, a loving relationship is one of trust and respect, honesty and understanding. Butting heads from time to time is fine, all relationships have boundaries that get crossed. But if someone doesn’t make you happy the majority of the time, why are you with them? I can promise you there is someone else out there that’s a good fit. Most of all, you have to learn to love and respect yourself. Breakups don’t make you damaged goods. In fact, the end of a bad relationship can set you free. You can wipe your slate clean and be the main character in your story again. Sometimes there is no “bad guy” in a break up, as people can grow in different directions. Love is a feeling between people, it is not meant to be a burden or an endless challenge. It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. But you need to start by loving yourself and making you number one. A stronger “you” will make a better “us.” Whenever love comes along.

Just sayin… J.B. Lester; Publisher