Friday, September 7, 2012

Use Your Imagination to Find Love After Loss

Graham Greene said, 
A brain is only capable of what it could conceive,
and it couldn't conceive what it hasn't experienced. 

You might take this statement to heart when you are thinking about the possibility of inviting new love into your life. 

Many years after my first husband passed away, it was still quite inconceivable to me that I could ever be with another man. After all, I had met my husband when I was 15 years old, and he was my one and only boyfriend. I didn’t know anything else, so, as Greene states, I couldn’t conceive anything else. It wasn’t even that I felt I would be “cheating” on him. As a person who had never dated, I just could not grasp the idea of being with a different person. 

Greene’s statement may be applied to loss in general, too. Moreover, I believe this concept contributes to the difficulty some encounter as they attempt to move through any sort of loss. 

In the case of losing a mate, if you’ve never experienced this circumstance before, you naturally have not conceived or learned how to deal with this tragic life event. At first, your body goes into shock to protect you from the assault on your sensibilities. It doesn’t allow you to even think about what your life will look like going forward. You just exist to get through the days ahead of you ... moment to moment. 

This “inconceivability factor” also hampers your belief that it’s possible that you will eventually feel better and be able to live again. 

Consider the idea that your brain is a “fixed” part of your body, and, therefore, it can’t change. The good news is that your imagination lives outside of your brain, so it CAN change and conceive the impossible without having any prior experience. 

I suggest that you dream big and then “pull” your ideas into your brain for digestion and eventual implementation. Remember that all greatness is first born in your imagination. 

I like the words of Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge for while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." 

A tip to the wise, though …. 
The imagination, which operates in duality as does everything in nature, can help or hamper your success. I suggest that you, first, harness your imagination so you can point it in the right direction before letting it have freedom to explore delicious possibilities. When you are able to point it towards the positive vs. letting it run rampant in any which way direction, you can deter it from conjuring up worst case scenarios and frightening outcomes. 

So, what does all this have to do with finding love after loss? 

Over time, as I worked on and moved through my grief, I began to open myself up to new experiences, which included meeting lots of new people. Even though I had a hard time conceiving that I could be partnered with someone new, I allowed my imagination to construct scenarios. It was almost as if I made mini-movies in my mind, which I could watch and critique whether I liked them or not. 

This type of exercise can help you step out of yourself and experience new ideas and circumstances. And once your brain has experienced them (whether they were actual events or events you imagined), they become less inconceivable. 

If you find yourself stuck in no-man’s land, which is the place between wanting to share your life with a partner and still having a hard time imagining that there is another special someone out there for you, one way you can step into new territory is to practice date

Practice dating is an opportunity to learn about yourself; to become more comfortable with the idea of meeting and being with prospective partners; and to determine if there are more areas and personal issues which you need to work through. 

Most importantly, if you believe Graham Greene’s statement, practice dating allows your brain to have new experiences so, when you do find that special someone, it can conceive of the possibility of a new life with him or her.

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