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I've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

This is me. Fifty-One year old me... even though I have spent the greater part of this year believing and claiming to be Fifty-Two. How does that even happen?! It seems like just yesterday I was believing and claiming to be ten years younger than I actually was. Back then, after whipping out my handy phone calculator, I felt simultaneously stunned & impressed that I actually felt (and believed) I was 10 years younger than I actually was. Today... well, not so much. Today, I realize I have lost that lovin' feelin' (Whoa, that lovin' feelin'. You lost that lovin' feelin' . Now it's gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh. Lyrics springing to life in your mind courtesy of the Righteous Brothers).

In years past, any time I happened to hear that song play, visual clips from Top Gun or Cheers would spring to my mind. How could they not?! But today, instead of holding my breath for some insanely romantic gesture from a man, I realize I am actually singing these lyrics to myself. Somehow, someway, at some untraceable yet profound moment, I Lost That Lovin' Feelin'... for myself. For Patty. For Patricia. For PattyFaye. For little ol' me (insert broken heart Emoji).

The song tells a story (paraphrased) of how she used to close her eyes when he kissed her lips, now there's no tenderness in her fingertips. She's acting like everything is fine even though there is no welcome look in her eyes. She is starting to criticize little things, and it's breaking his heart watching something beautiful dying. He'd get down on his knees for her, begging her to love him like she used to do. He is reminding her that their love is a love you don't find everyday... and to don't, don't, don't, don't let it slip away, cause he needs her love cause it's gone, gone, gone and he can't go on. All because she lost that lovin' feelin'. Now, I don't know about you, but this is one sad song. And why is it, that if a man were to beg us to bring back that lovin' feelin'... we would eat that shit up! Yet, we can spend days... weeks... months... even years, losing that lovin' feelin' for ourselves and we just become accustomed to that (insert smh Emoji). We actually allow it to become our new norm. What a sad state to be in when we get hit with the harsh reality that our sense of romance, tenderness, vulnerability, and loving nature are just gone, gone, gone. And we can't even muster up the energy, let alone the desire, to bring back that lovin' feelin... for ourselves (insert sad Emoji).

My suggestion (possibly more for me than you) is to take a little advice from this sad but heartfelt song. The first step is to realize that something beautiful is dyin'. And don't you dare say you are not beautiful! No matter your size, shape, color, voice, personality, sense of humor, or history makes you any less beautiful than God made you. And God does not make junk! The next step is to love yourself like you used to do. A helpful way to prompt love is to look back at photographs of when you resonated light and love. Welcome memories of how it felt when you were able to look at your reflection in the mirror- and smile. Allow your mind (and your heart) to travel back to a time when you felt alive inside... and it had nothing to do with your kids, your mate, your job, your finances, or your geographical location. What did it feel like when you could smile at your reflection, feel alive inside, and reflect light and love in photographs? That, my darling dear, is self love. That... is that Lovin' Feelin'.

Now maybe you find yourself, much like me, wondering how this time lapse happened when you went from self-love... to self-loathe, without even realizing. Those old behavior patterns are like deep grooves in your soul. It takes time. It takes energy. It takes dedication. It takes desire. It takes a real honest to God effort. But aren't you worth it?! I have spent many years engulfed (sometimes to the point of desperation) attached to a man. More pointedly, I believed somewhere inside of me that to be wanted by someone equalled love. That a relationship equated happiness and value. I didn't understand it then, and it has been a loooong road in my recovery, to accept the truth that if I don't love me- ain't no man (or woman) gonna love me (or you). At least not in the ways that truly matter. In full disclosure, I have been single since May 29th of the great life-changing year of 2012. I may have went on a few dates with a great guy in sunny southern California, then went on a few alcohol-infused dates with a dead-end guy here in Oregon, but both were not (I repeat NOT) an actual relationship. Just for the sake of sake, a relationship is when both people choose to be exclusive to one another, allowing no one else to share their attention, time or their body in a romantic, monogamous way. Both of those dating stints were not this. For you WordNerds- Monogamy: the practice or state of being married to one person at a time; the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner; the habit of having only one mate at a time (credit Oxford Dictionaries). Some of you might be pulling out your own phone calculator about now to add up the years, or months, or days that I have indeed been single. I will happily do the math for you. Drum roll please... 8 years, 5 months, 11 days (insert horrified Emoji for those who's eyes just bugged out of their headr). 101 months, 11 days (Yowsers!). 3086 days, 74,064 hours, 4,443,840 minutes, 266,630,400 seconds. I would like to ask for a moment of silence as everyone absorbs that hard to swallow truth. Did I think that on the great day of May 29th that I would find myself still single 8 years, 5 months, and 11 days later? Eh... no! I thought (and sort of believed) that God would have master-minded this elaborate but magical 'accidental' meeting of two souls destined to have their lives intersect and become blissfully and blessedly in love for the remainder of their days (I'll do it for you... Barf!). Not that God can't do that, because I believe with everything in me, that He can. But... and this is a big but... it is about God's timetable and not mine. Maybe as He is sitting up there in heaven He is ticking off the clock of my single hood and where I am counting forward (tomorrow being 8 years, 5 months, and 12 days) just maybe He is counting backwards. God might be smiling his giant godly smile, a little snicker playing at the corner of his mouth, singing to himself 'only 7 more months' or 'only 212 more days to go!'. Just maybe He has a sense of blatant honesty like me and finds love in numbers and is instead singing to himself and all the angels gathered round that are rooting for me and my mystery man's lives to intersect, 'only more 30 weeks and 2 days- or only 5088 more hours- or only 305,280 minutes- or only 18,316,800 seconds to go!'. And if that is the way it works with God's timetable, then so be it. I am okay with that. I know I have rushed God's timetable in my life, I have pushed open doors that he sealed tight, I have broken out windows waiting around for him to open one. And in every scenario, it did not play out well. It may not be the life I thought I would be living, single at 51 (and counting) but God has managed to grow me in the valley. I would not have made a very great partner fresh out of the gates of my own brokenness in 2012. I would not have made a very good partner even 2 years, 9 months, and 20 days ago- when I thought I had done all the hard work of healing and repairing my broken ass. And maybe, just maybe, I still might not make a great partner if I was to meet someone today. In no way is that intended to be a self-dig, I just can face the truth that if I don't love me... really love me, then I will not be able to love someone else in the way that they deserve. I can honestly admit that I am still growing in uncomfortable ways. It is not pleasant at times. It is not without pain. But I know if I am not growing than I am remaining the same- and I don't want that. I am just learning that sometimes growing is intended to be done best in solo soil. I need to learn to love myself enough to bloom as beautifully and colorfully as I am able... before God plants a man next to me. And besides, do you think I want some stunted, wilted, half-grown man planted next to me? No way in hell (I am allowed to say that when I have invited God into the conversation- insert shrugging Emoji).

So... right now I am just fine with reconnecting with the parts of me that I willingly embrace. Urging myself forward to embrace the parts of me that I have fallen out of love with (sometimes even if that list seems bottomless I am not without hope). Encouraging myself forward in this season of singleness and accepting me- just me, exactly as I am, warts and all- even if there is no man ahead in my future. The greatest thing I can do for me today is to find that lovin' feelin and to remind myself who the hell I am! I am strong. I am capable. I am witty. I am charming. I am talented. I am a kick in the ass surrounded by the right peeps. I am a mom. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am a grandma (insert swirling heart Emoji). I am honest. I have integrity. I have a strong work ethic. I love to watch the snow fall. I love-love-love snowmen- only cute ones. I really enjoy walking in the rain. I am compassionate. I am a believer. I am proud of myself for the work I put into my recovery. I believe love is stronger than hate. I am a lover of words. I overly love holiday socks. I love cute and punny mugs. I like the grey coming in gracefully. I love that I can tell it like it is. And I love the fact that even single- I am enough <3.

"What a lovely surprise to discover how un-lonely being alone can be" Ellen Burstyn


Oxford Dictionaries

Ellen Burstyn quote

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