Calling In “The Next One”

Among the million other things I have on my plate at the moment, I am attempting to follow a seven-week course called “Calling in ‘The One’.” I mention this sheepishly, since it sounds kind of hokey. Plus, the website is all pink with lots of swirly script-type fonts, which as a web designer, I have to say annoys the heck out of me.

But, seriously? “The One”? Is there really only one? I sure as hell hope not, because if so, then I guess I should just stop where I am right now. I’ve had my “One.” So for me, this course should really be called “Calling in The Next One.” Haha.

I have really only completed one week of the course, and have managed to outline my past relationship “patterns.” Things that came up for me were, overly independent, often the dumper rather than the dumpee, not really into having to “take care” of someone since I do enough of that already. I have always been the fiercely independent type, and I guess as a widow that got ramped up even more.

The next question had me stumped though. After looking at our patterns, we were meant to delve into how we may have felt victimized in past relationships. I have honestly never felt victimized, so perhaps I have missed the point on this one.

But then, the question asked was, how am I co-creating the dynamic of my past relationship patterns? As I thought about this, I began to see that in the past, I have chosen people to date who were not emotionally available, or who needed so much care that I wound up rejecting them out of pure fatigue.

Hmmm.

Next I was meant to set an intention to cause a breakthrough in love. “It is time to recognize that there is no fixed future out there” and that I need to have the power to create the love that I desire. The widow in me, had a little chuckle at the line that we had to recognize that there was “no fixed future.” Yeah, got it. But I do get the need to set an intention. It takes you beyond just “wishing” or “hoping” for love. Even beyond “having faith” that love will be bestowed upon us (my usual M.O.). So I am going to work on my intention. We are meant to spell it out and put it in writing.

But here is one piece of the course that I am finding intriguing. I know that it is actually based on Feng Shui principals and involves preparing your home to accept a new love into your life. Yeah, kind of hokey again, but bear with me. You are meant to do things like arranging your things in pairs, like putting pairs of chairs together, matching coffee mugs, two toothbrushes. I’m not sure about the toothbrushes. Honestly, if I found myself at a guy’s house who already had my toothbrush waiting for me, I would be seriously creeped out. But you get the idea. Another suggestion is to remove art in your home that reflects images of aloneness, alienation, solitude and replace it with images of union, community, togetherness. Of course, I looked around and I have an Ansel Adams photograph of a graveyard in moonlight (seriously!) and another photo of a single woman leaning against a wall. The rest are mostly kids painting and flower images. I have to say this woke me up a little.

But number 1 on the list was “Remove any pictures of former loves from sight.” This stopped me in my tracks. Of course, this one is obvious, but up until this point, I had only removed them from my bedroom. I thought that was sufficient. I am not sure how to remove the rest. I asked Olivia how she might feel if I did this and she said, “Why would you do that?” I explained (very awkwardly) and she just sort of shrugged. “I don’t see how they make any difference.” But I actually do see how they would. I no longer need the pictures of Arron that are strewn around the house, though they often make me smile. I keep them around for the kids. But I suppose I can remove some of the pictures and try to put the rest in the kids’ rooms. Maybe I could try removing them all and see if they notice. But then I have Arron’s mother coming to visit. Do I run around replacing them all again when she visits? This is just so much more complicated than it seems, yet I know I have to do this. It’s like taking off the wedding ring. When? How? And what does it really mean when it’s done? It might take me a while. Or, it might take me a day. I’m not quite sure. In the meantime, perhaps I will take advantage of #6. Clean out your underwear drawer and throw away old undies and replace with new lingerie that make you feel confident and sexy. Why couldn’t have this one been #1?

12 Comments

  1. JD October 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Hey Abs,
    I tried this course a few times and some of our mutual friends swear by it. But you should know that “The One” is actually not a guy, “The One” is yourself. The book is apparently about finding happiness within which will then open your life up to many opportunities, including love. Food for thought!
    Hugs from NY…

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      Hey J,
      Yes, I realize it’s about finding contentment within oneself, but I probably should have made that clearer in the post.

      What did you think of the course? Has it helped at all?

      XO, A

  2. annie October 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    That’s funny that you mention pictures. On Abel Keogh’s fb page for women who date widowers – this topic comes up constantly. Pictures of the late spouse cause all sorts of anxiety and often the men can’t see why. But the “why” is obvious. How can a new partner feel number one or avoid feeling inadequate when everywhere they look the last spouse is staring back at them -from wedding photos, happy family shots and even very obvious happy as all get out couple pics. But, it’s probably always a good idea to take periodic stock and reassess if you find you are not where you want to be in life regardless of where the “where” is.

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      Annie,
      What is interesting is how blind I actually way to the photos. Jill (below) suggests that in her post as well.
      I agree is a wonderful opportunity to “take stock” and find your where. Thanks for your comment.
      Abby

  3. Jill Schacter October 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    This post is interesting in many regards, but what it really got me thinking about is whether it is unfair to the man I’m dating that I have many pictures of Ken all around the house…one on the mantel, some on my fridge, some in the hallway. Yikes! I never really give it that much thought.

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Jill,

      Sounds like I may have prompted a conversation for you and your partner. Might be an interesting one. I certainly can see how having photos all over the place would be intimidating for a date.

      I would be curious to know his thoughts on the subject. Let us know if he’s willing to share.

      Abby

  4. JD October 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Hey Abs,

    I didn’t finish it. It worked for our friends. I have a couple friends here in NY both of whom finished the book earlier in the year and both of whom joke that they gained 20 pounds from emotional eating that stemmed from reading the book.

    I do believe there is much to self-fulfilling prophecies. Like you and your cloak of widowhood, I identify with my chronically single status and have worn this particular cloak since high school. I baffle people with my status (but you are such a catch, they say, how can you be single), but it really is how I identify myself. I am trying to figure out how to change that.

    Cheers,
    JD

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, changing one’s status is much harder than “washing that man right outta your hair” so to speak. Status is so much more ingrained, its a part of our identity. Just as being married once was for me. I mourned the loss of my marriage, and now it seems there might need to be another mourning process to go through: mourning the loss of my widowhood. What an odd concept.

  5. Tanaya Meagher October 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Hey!

    First off, it was SO great to meet you and visit with you this past weekend. Second off, I know you went by the shortened version of your name while we were at the Retreat, but I never did see how you prefer to spell that…so is it Abby or Aby or Abbi or Abi or as the other commenters have addressed you, do you prefer Abs?

    Okay, pleasantries aside, I was checking out your blog and reading this post about finding “The One” or the “The Next One” and enjoying your thoughts on it, and found that it was interesting to me the conundrum that you are finding yourself in with regards to photos and the affect on the kids and future relationships, and family dynamics and such, because as a woman going through a divorce, I have a somewhat similar situation to deal with in regards to the photos. There are pictures from times when we were a family, when we were happy as a family, and he is the father of my children and these pictures are the only proof of that relationship ever existing, so they feel very important and valid to me for my children, but then again, they are also painful reminders of the dream that was supposed to be my family, so I have been very conflicted over the past year. Leave them up or take them down? And where I have ended up is keeping them, because they were taken for a reason, and why should I have to hide him, my marriage, or those 10 years of my life? Because anyone who ends up getting invited into my home will be someone that will know me more than just a little bit, and if I care about that person enough to invite them into my private life, then they will care about me enough to know that these pictures are not a sign of me not letting go, or not having room in my life for another, but a sign of me being content with my life and the experiences that have brought me to be who I am right here, right now.

    Those are my two cents.

    Take care,

    Tanaya

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Tanaya,

      It was great meeting you too! Thanks so much for your comment. It is true that we hope the next person in our lives will be understanding of the photos and of the life we’ve had before, but as SG below so eloquently points out, its a difficult reminder for the person in your life who has to be reminded that they have come about as a result of pain and loss.
      This is such a hard question, and all anyone can do is what feels right to them at the time. For me, I’m ten years out so I’m more than ready. The harder question is how to take down the evidence of my status, my widowhood. If it was only so easy as putting away a photograph.
      Let’s stay in touch,
      Abby (with a Y). 🙂

  6. SG October 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Hi Abby,

    I am new to your blog and couldn’t pass up your request for another perspective on pictures in the home of a late-spouse. My partner/boyfriend is a wiodwer and I moved into his house about 6 months ago. When we first began dating there were pictures of his late wife with their daughter in various places. (His daughter was 2.5 years old when her mother died…so the pictures are important for her because she does not remember her mother). Anyway, as our relationship slowly progressed the pictures changed and by the time I moved in they are only in his daughter’s room – where I beleive it’s important they stay. It would have been difficult for me to live with them all around, not because I didn’t feel like number one (in my mind there is no one and two…there is enough room in my partner’s heart for both of us), but because it was hard to be happy and enjoy my partner and his amazing daughter, knowing what she had lost. Does that make sense? It’s a very challenging place to be in when you feel so happy with your family, but know that happiness came on the heels of huge suffering. However, I have accepted that I cannot change the past, but I can bring love and laughter back into theirs lives, as they have brought to mine. Woops…I think I went off on a tangent, it’s just nice to read about what it’s like for others facing similiar issues. Thanks for a fascinating read!

    1. Abigail - Site Author October 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      Hi SG,
      Thanks so much for you comment. It’s great to get the perspective of someone having to see the photos from the “other” side, as someone coming into a relationship where a loss has occurred. I love the idea that you were able to realize that you could not change the past and that you had the ability to bring joy back into their lives. Really wonderful. Thanks again,
      Abby

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