My love life peaked in fifth grade. I had my first (and only for many years) boyfriend. It all seemed pretty easy and fun. But it didn’t last. My frequent internal question became, "What’s wrong with me?!" I didn’t have a boyfriend all through junior high and most of high school. I went to college. Because of the times (mid-1970s) and my lack of self-love, I got into unhealthy behaviors that did nothing to boost my self-esteem. Having a boyfriend was the biggest symbol of success to me and my greatest desire. My "mantra" continued and strengthened: "Something’s wrong with me!"

Sometime around my junior year, I began settling for "loser boyfriends." They were into partying, treated me disrespectfully and cheated on me. This pattern continued through graduate school, although I started becoming more conscious of it. I went to school to be a psychotherapist and through my studies I was better able to evaluate the unhealthy parts of my own life. But mental understanding and insight doesn’t always lead to positive change.

Around this time I began to learn about the power we all have to manifest our desires. My first big experience of this came with the finding and purchasing of my first home. Months prior to beginning to look, I made a list of my dream home and all that it included: lots of windows and light, convenient to work yet not on a busy road, good yard for my dog child, hardwood floors, friendly neighbors. I imagined the feeling of living in my dream house. At the same time, inwardly I surrendered my desires to the universe/God, knowing what was best for me would occur. I did a daily writing exercise that involves writing your desire in a present tense sentence 15 times a day. I wrote "I own the perfect house for me. I own the perfect house for me…." I listened to my intuition and knew when it felt right to start looking. As soon as I pulled up in front, I knew it was my house; I could feel it. This only took three weeks. When I looked back at the list I had created, I was amazed at how much I had gotten and more. Because I had never had a garage, I didn’t know enough to dream of one but got one and quickly learned what a gift it was. I felt like my willingness to surrender "my plan" brought me even more that I could have imagined for myself. It was a delightful lesson!

Next I began telling everyone I knew and met that I was looking for a love. People everywhere would give me pointers that I then put into place. A woman at a conference in Boulder, Colo., told me about Feng Shui. She said I should move my bed out from the wall to make room for this future partner to be able to get around to his side. She suggested I put pairs of things around, such as candlesticks. I used the daily 15 times writing exercise and wrote, "I welcome my love with open arms and heart." I visualized happy scenes of our life together. I "acted as if" and imagined the feeling of being in love as I drove in my car. I frequently journaled and prayed.

Over the next nine years, I noticed that I seemed to have great abilities to manifest all kinds of things that I wanted: the perfect job, a great house, a reliable car. But I still didn’t have the love relationship I so greatly desired! I knew that I must somehow be blocking the appearance of my beloved. One really nice man loved me as a friend but wasn’t in love with me. Another was in love with me but wasn’t done with a previous relationship. I told a psychotherapist friend of mine that I keep getting involved with unavailable men. She said, "Perhaps YOU are the one who is unavailable." I didn’t know how it could be true, and at the same time, I had no doubt of the absolute truth of those words. My prayers for a love changed to, "Please help me let go of any blocks I have to allowing a life partner into my life."

I was feeling I was moving closer towards a place of being ready for my beloved to arrive. I kept asking to be shown any blocks I had to love and nothing else was coming to me. In prayer I said to the spiritual masters I work with, "OK you guys, in case you’ve gotten kind of busy lately, I want to remind you that I’m still here and I’d really love to have a love. And I will do ANYTHING that you ask of me in preparation. So please let me know if there’s anything more I need to do."

Then I got the guidance to do something out of my ordinary. A single friend told me she had just signed onto an internet dating service and was meeting some really nice men. She said I should try it, too! I thought it sounded totally unappealing and was about to say so when I heard the silent voice firmly say you said you would do ANYTHING! OK, OK, internet dating it is. The only reason I signed on was because I wanted to prove to the powers that be that I was serious and willing to follow instructions. NEVER in my wildest dreams did I EVER think I would actually find my beloved in this way.

Three weeks after I signed on, I heard from "Plantman." From his very first e-mail, there was something about him I really liked. I began to look forward to his messages.

After about three weeks of e-mailing and a couple of phone calls, we arranged to meet. On that first date, we spoke of how we wanted to start a potential romantic relationship by developing a friendship first and moving slowly. I had never had such a conversation with a man before and it felt so wonderful to be consciously creating what we both desired.

On our second date, he picked me up in his classic 1983 BMW named Penny. He drove us to a park near the Mississippi River and we walked along the Stone Arch Bridge. We had another conversation about moving slowly and doing things differently. On the ride home, Dale wanted to impress me with how quickly Penny could accelerate so he cranked her up. As he hit 65 mph in a 35 mph zone, we passed a highway patrol and the blue lights began to flash. As Dale pulled over to the side, he informed me that he’d never gotten a speeding ticket before. At 43 years old, I thought that was impossible but he assured me it was true. When the officer asked for Dale’s license, he discovered he had forgotten it at home. But he remembered and quoted his license number. Now THAT was impressive! As the officer walked away after giving Dale his first-ever speeding ticket, he asked me, "Do you think this means something?"

I smiled and said, "Yeah, I think so." We were both quite taken by the universe’s echoing our sentiments to take things slowly! It was a great waking dream!

My sister Laurie gave me a coffee mug twentysomething years ago. It has a cartoon drawing of a woman with a beaming flashlight looking worn out from searching and says "United Women in Search of Men Who Aren’t Gay, Married, or Hung Up On Their Mothers." Early in our dating, Dale came over to visit and I offered him some tea. I listed off all his choices – echinacea, black cherry berry, detox a.m., kukicha twig tea, female toner…. As soon as I said female toner tea, he said that’s what he wanted. I thought he was kidding, but he assured me he wasn’t. I thought this guy’s alll right! He’s got a great sense of humor and he’s secure in his masculinity. I like that!

As I looked through the cupboard for an appropriate mug, I found my "Women in search of" cup and knew that was it. He had his tea and left. I washed the mug and put it in the dish drainer to dry. The next morning, I was putting the dishes away and I picked up the mug, which was bottom side up and let out a scream! On the bottom of the mug was a circle of words, "Recycled Paper Products, Japan, All Rights Reserved." Smack dab in the middle of that circle, in larger print, was a name. The name was "Dale!" For 20 years I had been carrying a coffee mug with me as I searched and longed for my beloved – and the whole time his name was on the bottom! It was delightful confirmation that I had finally found my true love!

We were married on October 10, 2004. I was 48 years old and this was my first marriage. From my own personal experience and journey, I have total confidence in the ability of ANY OF US to create our dreams, including true love! With the desire and conscious intention, the sky is the limit!

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