Choosing Love

The Real Meaning of Valentine’s Day

 

Big Red Chair

I have had the honor and joy of living near all my grandchildren since they were born. Living now where the Polar Express roars through my life is a bit more challenging than alongside the San Francisco Bay, but one thing is the same. The amazing unconditional love between their little hearts and mine.

 

Reading a library book with my 4 year old grandson yesterday, while working on my animation in trying to do the voices of a cave boy and a wooley mammoth, he laughed, threw his arms around my neck, closed his eyes and without any questions or hesitation simply said, “Grammie, I love you SO much.” I felt as if nothing in the world mattered or was more important than the feeling of warmth that flooded my body and soul. And, that was the truth.

 

I caught myself, feeling suddenly afraid. I didn’t invite the thought into that place of sheer delight. It came on its own…”What is he going to do when you die?” And, then a voice that said, “Maybe you’d better not love him too deeply. It’s going to hurt.” Ahhhh…there it is. The thing that often keeps us holding back, holding on to the piece of us that we believe we can keep from being hurt by loss of love. We all have it. Our brains are working on their own to keep us safe. And yet, truth is, for so many years, we’ve held back truly loving, perhaps even our sweet selves, for fear that we will lose something and it will hurt.

 

You know the real regret that I fear now in this life? That I will not notice just how much I do love and am loved and that I am so incredibly lovable. Always have been. Others just made it hard to see. And truth is, you are loved and lovable too, just exactly as you are. It’s how life sets it up. Now, to do whatever it takes to believe it.

 

How will this little one deal with the loss when I pass? He will be sad, wish I were here, feel sad some more. Mostly, he will remember all the love, the time spent, the books read, the caves explored and those times when one or the other of us suddenly stopped what we were doing, looked each other in the eyes and said, “You know, I love you SO much.” Those memories will be the best legacy I can leave them all.

 

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you will remember what and who matters in your life. Tell them how you feel. Put it all out there. And, if there are people who aren’t able to love, or love you, have compassion for them, but, find those you can trust with your precious heart and love. Then, just love…beginning with yourself. 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to You and All My Love Coming Your Way!

 

Donna Bailey, MS

Dating and Relationships Coach for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love

www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

Big Red Chair

The Day My Mother Stopped Looking for Love

Not my Mother, but she was just as beautiful!

Not my Mother, but she was just as beautiful!

 

 

 

My mother was a stunningly beautiful woman. The oldest of nine children of first generation landowners, she grew up on a tobacco farm in the deep South. Unlike my sweet grandchildren, my mother never knew what childhood felt like. She told me stories about standing on a stool on cold winter mornings well before the sun came up making biscuits alongside her mother, warmed only by the wood-fired stove. When she shared the stories, she never smiled. She wore her anger and sadness all over that beautiful body.

What she wanted, second only to her freedom from taking care of her siblings, was to be a model. Tall, stately with the most beautiful long legs and perfect lips, she was something to behold. At 18 she was out the door. Working as a telephone operator to earn a living, she began to do some modeling at local department stores. She was finally on her way! Until, that is, a very handsome man showed up with enough charm to sweep Ava Gardner off her feet. Every woman loves a man in uniform and those Coast Guard whites must have done her in. Before she knew it she was married with three children soon to follow. That scene wasn’t in her dream, but then again, women’s dreams rarely came true in the 1940’s.

 

My Daddy died young and left a beautiful widow with three children to raise, but my mother never missed having her “hair done” and as they used to say, “always looked just like she stepped out of the band box”. Though we had very little money, she always looked beautiful, even when “nobody was coming”. And, she never lost her interest in a good-looking man.

 

Over the years, she dated men, many of whom were truly a mess. But, she kept that spark for love until she was about 60. That was the day I remember seeing her in a jogging suit and a pair of Keds. In the days that followed, she bought more jogging suits to wear and the dresses disappeared except when she went to work. The sparkle in her eyes seemed to dull and my beautiful mother seemed to grow older every day. Years later, I realized this was when she “gave up on men”.

 

This is how it goes for some people, and they don’t even have to be 60. The feeling that love isn’t worth the trouble, that they always choose the wrong people, that sense of hopelessness about ever finding love. Like my mother, they just put on those jogging suits and never take them off.

 

The search for love takes effort and it’s easy to feel it isn’t worth it. Perhaps it isn’t for some people. But, I’m here to tell you that finding love again is so worth all the effort it takes. Just because you’ve not yet found the person that makes your heart sing, because you think he/she isn’t out there or that you are too old, or your “chooser” is defective…making the decision to do whatever it takes and asking someone to walk with you while you open your heart to love can mean a sweeter, longer, more beautiful life. Companionship, touch, sharing your joys and sorrows…who doesn’t want that?

 

Before you settle into your jogging suit, ask yourself if you wouldn’t rather have a glass of wine or watch a sunrise with a handsome man or a beautiful, charming woman with dreams and passion that might just be yours too!

If you know someone who’s about to put on their jogging suit, please send them the link to this post. It may just be the thing that inspires them to keep their dresses rather than shipping them  off to Goodwill!

 

If you are tired of watching sunsets alone and are willing to do whatever it takes to find a special someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life, I’ll show you how and be there to hold your hand.

Email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love or call 510-817-4242 to set up a time for a Complimentary Strategy Session with me. Let’s see what the NEW YEAR can bring to you!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

donna@donnasbigredchair.love    510-817-4242

www.donnasbigredchair.love 

 

Big Red Chair

I Found the Moon Again

 

 

I looked at the full moon last night, realizing how incredibly beautiful she is and wondering why I had missed so many of her wonderful displays over the past year.

 

I turned off my living room lights, standing by the window looking at every detail of her face, remembering how over the years she’d been my solace during times just like these…periods of painful and exciting transition. And I felt the tears sting as they rolled across my cheeks. How could I have not noticed her these past months?  I apologized to her for my forgetting and my heart opened, quite suddenly feeling such deep compassion for myself. It was a hard year.

 

Those of you who know me personally probably know how much I believe in the power of love. Not only romantic love, but most importantly, self-love. And for most mortals, it’s a lifelong journey, probably the most urgent one we have while on this earth.  It’s never delivered in a pretty package. Our bodies challenge us, we lose faith, the “unexpected” happens and for some mysterious reason we’re always surprised because somebody told us life was easier than it truly is. Life is a slog uphill much of the time. How do we get to the place in our lives where we find a place of peace and love so that each day, no matter what happens is one for which we are truly grateful?

 

I’d like to give you the simple answer if there were one. I don’t believe all the books, podcasts or even sermons get us to peace of mind, but I do truly believe that each thing we do, person we meet, challenge we take on despite our fears and less than perfect bodies gets us there. The hero’s journey, as Joseph Campbell called it will mean we must be awake and desperately want joy so much that we’re willing to do the work required, knowing that the road will bumpy and winding.

 

Finding someone to love is exactly the same journey, requiring hard work most of the time and a stubborn willingness to get on the path, heart open and trust there’s someone out there looking for you too. Someone who, if your list of “must haves” doesn’t fill an entire page, can find his/her way to you. You have to want it badly enough to do whatever it takes because  you believe the journey will be worth the work. The first steps are always about loving yourself, feeling compassion for your own journey and finding your way back to the moon.

 

Are you tired of watching sunsets alone? Wouldn’t it be amazing to be with someone during the full moon? If you’re a hopeless romantic looking for your next amazing love, willing to do whatever it takes, I can show you how to get on the path to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life.

 

Get off the sofa and call me or email me today for a Complimentary Session!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love

www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

Big Red Chair

 

 

 

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