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It's a new year and I am excited about all the new beginnings that are in store for me. When I look back on my life, I have been truly blessed. Even though I have had negative things happen that I could dwell on, I choose not to. I try to see the good and find the best way to move forward.

Having been through two marriages already in my life, there has been plenty of moments of self-doubt and self-judgement. What is wrong with me? Do I not understand love? Why can I not love and make a marriage work?

Well, these are all good questions, and ones I have pondered a few time, but it wasn't until the past few months that I feel I have the answers... kind of... at least I know what I need to do, I just have to figure out how. So, let's go through them.

What is wrong with me?

In the past, I would have given you a list (not pretty enough, gray hair, chest too small, thighs too big, not thin enough, not smart enough, etc.) but I have determined the answer is "Nothing is wrong with me." I am exactly who I need to be. I am exactly who I was created to be. I may have things I want to improve, but I am good. I am loved by family and friends, I have a kind heart and a gentle soul, I am a giver and I am patient, I try to see the positive and good in people and this world. I view all of this as good things, there is nothing wrong with me, so let's move on to the next question. :)

Do I not understand love or how to love?

I know I understand love. I love many people. The majority of my family are not blood relation to me, but they are my family, I love them very much and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I have a few close friends that have been in my life for years and I love them. My children, I can't imagine not loving them. So, yes, I understand love and how to love. So...

Why can I not love and make a marriage work?

This is the big one and an 'areas to improve' for me. Making a marriage work takes two, as well as, making a marriage fail is typically the same. In a good, healthy marriage, there is give and take, compromise, trust, vulnerability, support of one another, and communication. There is a partnership that you will walk through life with the other and work through whatever comes along. I know I can do this, but this is where things haven't work.

What I have learned is, I have to heal me before I can truly commit to another. Unfortunately, I had to go through two divorces to figure this out. I let my own self-doubt and self-judgement stop me from finding what would be best for me, the love I am worthy of. I didn't love me so how could another?

I have always been good with my life but I've always put everyone else first, never taken time for me. I have felt I was here to help others... I could help 'fix' whoever/whatever, I felt good when I was doing for others. I never stopped to see me or take care of me; I didn't feel I was worth the time and I didn't want to be selfish. In turn, because of this, there were many times I would hold resentment towards another when they wouldn't return the same 'effort' I put in. But on the other hand, when someone would try to do something nice for me, I didn't know how to accept it. There were times I would just be mad, "you didn't do it before" or "you are only doing it because I said something" or blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, there were times that I was my own enemy because I didn't love me or know how to accept someone's love or kindness towards me.

Over the past few months, I've done a lot of soul searching. I have been working to let go of resentment, to let go of old baggage, to acknowledge the ugly in my past and forgive it. This is work that I am doing for me. I don't like carrying around hatred, resentment, fear, or hurt. I want to be free and it feels good taking those steps. I know this will be a life long commitment, but the thought of being able to let shit go and move forward without the crazy creeping into a relationship, sounds like a perfect life to me.

The goal is to forgive, let go, and see others with love. Many of us are holding the same type of hatred, resentment, fear and hurt (even ex-spouses), but when we try to forgive and see them as people and with love, it lifts a burden. It feels good.

*Clarification* I am not saying you need to talk to your ex-spouse or someone you need to forgive that has hurt you, you just need to be honest and true in your heart and with yourself. Remember, you are doing this for you so you can let go, you do what you feel is right. The focus is to forgive, and let go of the past hurt, so you can move forward healthier, stronger and happier.

Sending peace, love and joy to you! Sam

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