Are you single and dreading Valentines’s Day this year? Maybe you are in a committed relationship or even married, but struggling to make it work?
Best-selling author, Arielle Ford, shared her secrets for using the law of attraction to find the love of her life in the book, “The Soulmate Secret: Manifest the Love of Your Life with the Law of Attraction,” and now she is sharing the secrets to making a relationship last once you find that perfect partner in her newest book, “Wabi Sabi Love: The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships.”
Elevated Existence interviewed Ford so she could share some tips for those who are still searching for love, as well as those who are searching for ways to make it last.
Elevated Existence (EE): So many people who are single struggle through Valentines’s Day. What is something they can do different this year to start attracting their soulmate?
Arielle Ford: I believe a soulmate is someone with whom we can completely be ourselves. Someone with whom we share unconditional love and when we look into their eyes we have the experience of being home. With this definition you can quickly see that you ALREADY have many soulmates in your life … it could be your best friend, kids, siblings, co-workers, pets, etc. This Valentine’s Day celebrate the soulmates in your life, do something special for them. By putting your focus and attention on the LOVE YOU ALREADY HAVE you become a magnet for even more love, especially the romantic love you are seeking.
EE: What is Wabi Sabi?
Ford: It is an ancient Japanese art form that honors all things old weathered, worn, imperfect and impermanent by finding the beauty in the imperfections. For instance, if you had a large vase with a big crack down the middle of it, a Japanese art museum would put the vase on a pedestal and shine a light on the crack, or they might fill the crack with 24k gold!
“Wabi Sabi Love” is devoted to exploring the simple, fun and effective ways to apply this concept to our love relationships through stories and exercises that demonstrate how to attain groundbreaking shifts in perception so that you can embrace and find the beauty and perfection in each other’s imperfections. I call this “going from annoyed to enjoyed.”
EE: In “Wabi Sabi Love,” you explain that learning to love, or at least accept, what your partner loves or is passionate about can lead to a better relationship. What is the first step of making this change?
Ford: Make a decision to find a creative way that you can share their passion. For instance, Suzanne’s husband Bill loves to fly small airplanes … nearly every weekend. She often found this boring … until she decided to be in charge of the itinerary. Bill didn’t care where he was flying to, he just wanted to be in the air. So, Suzanne would research interesting destinations to fly to, for a meal or an entire weekend. Places where they could explore historical sites and art museums, two of her passions. It became a win/win for both of them.
EE: You believe couples should wear “rose-colored glasses” when it comes to seeing each other. Why?
Ford: Research by Sandra Murray a psychologist at the University of Buffalo, reveals that putting on “rose-colored glasses” and idealizing our partner actually leads to more happiness and satisfaction in relationship. In fact, the happiest couples focus on what’s right and not on what’s wrong. This is also known as the Pygmalion effect, the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform. It’s a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. As mature adults, we get to choose our thoughts and beliefs; so why not intend and expect the best out of ourselves and our partners?
One disclaimer here – this is not an invitation to go into denial or accept bad behavior or harmful situations. In the event you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you are advised to seek professional counsel immediately.
EE: How can gratitude move a person from annoyed to a more accepting state in a partnership?
Ford: Gratitude comes from the heart not the head. When we drop into our heart and allow ourselves to feel the warm, positive emotions of gratitude, we can begin to release the more negative emotions of annoyance and frustration. Your partner does not wake up in the morning thinking of ways to drive you crazy. They, like you, want to be loved and accepted for who they are. Taking time to be grateful that you have a loving partner (in spite of their quirks) will enrich your relationship.
EE: How do you “go from annoyed to enjoyed” when your partner does something that truly makes you crazy?
Ford: First, you must be willing to make a shift in your perception and see your mate’s behavior through a new, gentler and kinder lens. Chances are, you see their behavior as “wrong or bad,” but imagine for a moment that this behavior exists solely to teach you how to become a more loving, compassionate person. Can you find the gift of that behavior?
One of my favorite stories in the book is about a couple named Ed and Deb. Ed loves to meet new people and tell silly jokes. Deb has heard all of these silly jokes a million times and is often annoyed because when they are out and about running errands she always ends up waiting for him while he is busy entertaining strangers. One day, after Deb found herself waiting for Ed befriending a lonely little boy sitting on the curb waiting for his mother. She heard Ed say to the boy, “How does a camel hid in the desert?” The boy gave him a quizzical look, and then Ed delivered the punch-line: “Camelflage.” With that , the boy burst into laughter just as his mother approached, giving Ed a big smile.
It was at that moment that Deb, after a decade of marriage, finally got Ed’s true nature. He wasn’t trying to make her crazy at all. He just wanted to make people happy. And on that day, Deb found the beauty and perfection in what once made her nearly insane!