Sobbing on my bedroom floor, my mother, who was, and still is, head-over-heels in love with the same man for 51 years, sat down next to me, put her arm around me and said, "There are a lot of fish in the sea." I clearly remember wailing, "But, I want this one." She said, "All things happen for a reason.If you feel you are worthy of love, then you can fully love.It sounds so simple, and yet we know how hard loving ourselves can be.Most of us, at some point in our lives, have heard a great piece of advice about love.Perhaps it's something from your mother or father, a grandparent, a mentor, a friend, something you've read -- a piece of advice that has stayed with you and has helped you in finding love, understanding love or staying in love.I think the 13th Century Persian Poet Rumi sums up love so eloquently.He wrote: 'Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.' The way I interpret this that when it comes to love, you can't give or receive love unless you love and respect yourself.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I still think that, in the early days of a relationship, the onus falls on the opposite sex.You will find the perfect person who loves you as much as you love him, and you'll look back on this and laugh." While I couldn't understand then that you need to love someone who loves you back, I get it now. My grandparents died before I was born and my parents are deceased and never liked anyone I dated, really. Don't marry anyone who won't help with the cat litter box when you are away, busy or when you are sick.Twenty years, three children and a dog later, I'm still married to the man who loved me back. The couple who served as my polestars for love shared litter box tasks (and everything else).Sometimes you're so close, the two of you, your orbits are in synch, and sometimes you move so far away from each other, you feel you'll never reconnect, never reenter each other's orbits, you're too far apart. I never forgot this advice; we moved far away from each other many times, and I waited it out, and sure enough, we came back into synch again.The trick to marriage is having faith in the reconnection, waiting for the inevitable closeness again." This was in 1994. And then at the end, we moved too far apart to ever reenter each other's orbits, out of each other's fields of gravity, and that's when I knew it was over. The best advice about love I got from my father, Michael Rockland.