Love Is In The Air: Don’t Settle.

{Brigitte Bardot / Via Tumblr}

{Brigitte Bardot / Via Tumblr}

“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” ~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

Once upon a time, I jumped from long term relationship to long term relationship without a second thought.

It seemed so natural to me. I liked guys, and they liked me back. It was always like that. I was kind of a tomboy and having a boyfriend felt like having the ultimate play pal. I wasn’t exactly mature, so it just seemed like one giant party. We all had fun, and 9 times out of 10 no one got hurt.

The men I have dated have all been exceptional people. I always felt very fortunate and loved. I thought I had it all together…

Then it happened. My mom passed away. Everything stopped. I was frozen, and the last thing on my mind was dating. I felt no desire to be in a relationship. I longed for solitude, time to reflect on my pain. I needed to make sense of my world that had been turned on its head. Spending time with people who subsisted like ornaments on the surface of life and talking about nonsense over bottle after bottle of Cabernet no longer appealed to me.

I repeatedly told my friends and family, “It is going to take a miracle to get me to date someone.” My mother’s death forced me, for the first time, to focus on me — and only me. How to live without her — the longtime love of my life — took center stage, and everything else seemed mundane and pointless. In the cracks of my broken heart, new questions emerged:

How did I want to live?

Who was I here to be?

What values were important to me?

How was I going to help others?

I turned to the spiritual side of myself, which had always been important to me, and jumped off the high dive right into the body of my soul. I felt a deep connection with the world and realized that God was in everything around me, including myself. It’s pretty hard to compete with the source of creation and ultimate intelligence. — are you serious? What planet are all these people living on? I didn’t have time for that, I had to think about the nature of my existence.

I have learned more from not dating than I ever did from continuously being attached.

Not dating was the best decision I ever made.

Were there days when I felt concerned by my lack of interest in dating?

Of course. But at the same time, after years of being in relationships, it also felt pretty awesome. It was different, but not in a bad way. It gave me the chance to take a breather and redirect my life. I think we all need that from time to time. No big deal, just a little break.

I had to adjust to all of this. It was new to me. For once I didn’t have to check in with anyone. Gone were the days when I worried about what I was going to make for dinner or if I could hang out with my girlfriends on a Saturday night. No need for a second opinion. I could roam the earth at will without someone else’s seal of approval.

It was all up to me. I, alone, was free to write the next chapter in the story of my life. How liberating! Freedom — freedom like I had never experienced before — it almost overwhelmed me.

Over the past couple years, I have come to understand exactly who I am: a child of God; a woman with a deep longing to make her mark on the world, to connect with people, and above all, to be kind.

I started a company I love, picked up a meditation practice that is the backbone of my existence, road-tripped all over country, began writing a book, realized my love of flying airplanes and met a group of people that I consider to be my soul family. I finally became the person that I always wanted to be. I was whole.

Prior to my inner pilgrimage, it felt like I was just spinning my wheels. I was always happy, but a bit confused. I knew there was more, but I just couldn’t get there. It was out of my reach. Now I felt distinct, fulfilled and happy — a wonderful combo platter.

Ultimately, as a result of my introspective time spent not dating, I figured out the best way to enter into a meaningful relationship:

Be the love you want; be the person you want to meet; be solid.

There is no point getting involved with another human when we need them to complete us. That is a recipe for emptiness, confusion & disaster. We are already complete; we just have to open our mind and soul to see it. It’s right there, inside of all of us. The key is that you have to experience it for yourself, not just read about it. You have to walk the walk, and there will be days that it’s going to hurt like hell.

Sometimes it takes losing your mind in order to find your soul; but, there is a major upside to all of this. We attract exactly who we are to ourselves. With that equation how can we lose? When you come together with another self-actualized person, the energy fueling that type of relationship is indescribable. It’s pure magic and much different than anything you may have experienced prior to your metamorphosis.

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” ~ Willa Cather

Time gave me the gift of realizing that I wasn’t my parents, my friends or anyone else but myself. This is my feature film. My love song. The fear of having the same experience as another person’s horrible relationship or re-living a bad break-up went right out the window.

Take the time to explore, meditate, pray and enjoy your life, alone. Figure your shit out, however painful it is. On the other side of that pain is a rainbow with unicorns that live in the land of possibilities. When you think about it, what is 6 or 12 months in the course of a lifetime? It’s a blink of an eye. We are setting the stage for the rest of our lives.

Settling, in our relationships — be it with a partner, the person we chose to be the mother or father of our children, even our friends — is not a viable option. Our time is too precious to waste it on the wrong relationship just because we’re lonely.

Blast through that lonely feeling; it’s not real. We are never alone.

I am reminded of the solid advice my wise Irish grandpa once gave me, “Marriage is the biggest gamble you will ever take, but give it a shot, at least once.” This coming from a man that married a woman he never stopped loving, even after she passed away 30 years before him.

I know it won’t always be easy, but anything that is truly amazing never is. I can say to Gramps with confidence now, “You were right.”

This is a no limit game. My chips are on the table and I’m holding a made hand.

I’m all in.


Valerie Gangas
After a life-changing 20-minute meditation, Valerie Gangas 'awakened' to find herself on a personal journey of spiritual transformation that culminated in the creation of the Enlightenment is Sexy website and her book, Enlightenment is Sexy: Every Woman’s Guide to a Magical Life (with some pit stops involving working with Oprah Winfrey and the David Lynch Foundation along the way). You could contact her via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Valerie Gangas
Valerie Gangas