Love is But a Dream

IMG_2829Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream. 

If you’ve found your way to my site and are reading this it’s likely because you have a dream of love. You have a vision, a deep longing, to grow a life with someone you love, someone with whom you share values and connection, someone with whom you can stand on a street corner in your seventies holding hands and kissing under the light of the moon.

If you’re like most of the people who find their way to my site, it’s also quite likely that the person standing before you is someone with whom you can create this life. Here is a partner who is everything that matters, who says yes where the others said no, who is devoted and honest, reliable and kind. Perhaps you dated scores of women until you found one that with whom it… just worked. Perhaps you’ve been with your partner since high school. Perhaps you had a sense on the first date that he was different. But now, while you know that your partner is special, you don’t feel as much love and attraction for him or her as you once did or you know you can.

The gratitude lists that grace my Conscious Weddings E-Course forum every week invariably bring me to tears. These are not generic lists of generic traits; no, these are intimate and detailed portraits that highlight the qualities and actions of extraordinary partners. So why are these people flocking to my forums? Because fear has clouded their hearts and they can no longer feel the goodness.

Gratitude is one of the most potent Loving Actions you can take to kick fear out of the driver’s seat. While it’s important to excavate the root causes of fear, it’s equally essential to take loving action that sends the message to fear: I hear you but I’m not listening to you. The gratitude practice is one of the 30 Loving Actions we’ll focus on in the Open Your Heart program. Alongside the 29 others, you can learn to open your heart so you can live the waking dream of a connected, shared life with your partner.

Because here’s the secret: Life can be a dream if we learn the Love Laws and Loving Actions that act like a prescription for what real love is all about. When we learn to see real love and not push it away, the dream grows like sunflowers in a well-tended garden.

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The prescription we’ve been handed is faulty at best, dangerous at worst. We’ve been handed a bill of goods that says: Love is only a feeling. Love should always be easy. If you don’t die for each other and miss each other tragically when you’re away, you’re with the wrong person. The messages and images we’ve absorbed about love are an illusion but we’ve been told that they’re the dream.

The tragic and pervasive cultural illusion (and the more I work with clients from around the world it seems that the illusion may be almost worldwide) is that you can only fall in love with someone who fits what you think is your physical “type”; that externals have anything to do with real love; that the feeling of love is something that just happens to you, like falling into a puddle, and that if the feeling isn’t there from the beginning there’s nothing you can do to grow it; that sexual attraction is also a stroke of luck ; and that feeling in love is some kind of magic potion that comes from the other person, i.e.: “He makes me feel so happy.” This is all illusion, the cultural dream that we’re conditioned to believe.

The real dream is that the feeling of love can be cultivated.

The real dream is that attraction can be grown.

The real dream is that almost everything you learned about love is false.

The real dream is learning to embrace the wonderful partner who stands before you. The real dream is understanding the Love Laws and Loving Actions that will help you soften the fear-sentinals who stand guard around your heart, reminding you silently of past hurts so that you’ll never have to hurt again. The dream is creating such a strong foundation inside of yourself where you cultivate so much self-love and kindness that this fullness naturally radiates out toward your partner. The dream is showing up even when you don’t feel like showing up, recognizing that to be the sweet little old couple cuddled up on the porch swing at seventy requires a passionate commitment to move toward each other, softening the walls over months, years, and even decades until only the vulnerable, openhearted places remain.

Do you want to learn the Love Laws and Loving Actions that will help you live the dream?

Do you want to learn to open your heart so that you can grow your love and attraction for your partner?

Take my hand and let’s begin. 

26 comments to Love is But a Dream

  • chelsea

    Sheryl, are the e course an open heart challenge designed to get rid of the fear an doubt completely or is it more designed to help give you the tools you need to work with an cope with the fear anxiety an doubt?

  • Hi Sheryl,

    is this suitable for someone single and preparing to date again, not in a relationship at present?
    thanks
    Rosie

  • Hi Rosie,

    You would definitely benefit from the program but there are some elements that are specifically geared toward those in a relationship. I’ll be offering it again in six months or so in case you’d rather wait.

  • Ever since I started dating my boyfriend I’ve always had doubt and thought of giving up, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to. I broke up with him once because I thought I should and then we ended up getting back together 24 hours later. Is now been a month since then. A week since I found this website and have been working on my anxiety. I’ve read allot of your articles and all have helped. Some made me freak out, but I am getting better. I am now learning what real love is, no fairy tale. I am so thankful for your blogs and my patient and understanding boyfriend. He knows I love him even when I don’t believe it myself because of my anxiety. Thank you so much!! I look forward to more posts! Please never stop giving.

  • Patricia

    Heyy Chrissy
    You sound like me i have always had doubts and anxiety 🙁 is horrible when your just tryin to be happy with tht someone and anxiety wont leave u alone.
    Hope to hear from you! Take care

    • Patricia,

      I am so glad I’m not alone. Even though I’ve only dated two guys I’ve doubted whether I liked them or not each time. I even got scared with the “what if I am not meant to marry him factor.” Write now I’m working on writing down what I fear and counter acting it with what I feel. I’ve stopped paying attention to the “do I like him” and more towards the “do I enjoy spending time with him” and its helped me tremendously.

  • Patricia

    I have only dated 2 people as well.
    I have talked to a few haha here and there but only 2 serious relationships.
    And i’ve had doubts wether i love them or not. Idk whyy.
    And the thoughts tries to persuade me tht i dont love my partner.
    Im constantly questioning 24/7. I hate it.
    We can talk sometime if you would like to thru email
    This page is pretty helpful & a blessing for people like us.

  • Brianna

    3 das ago I was feeling amazing! I was feeling 100% myself even thought I still felt a little blockage in my heart but I was able to feel better and myself again. Now I’m going down hill again. Getting anxiety, emptiness and questioning why???? I want this pain to go away :(!

  • Rae

    Brianna:

    If you can accept that what you are going through is a normal part of the healing and change process, this will be easier for you. Anxiety doesn’t just go away simply because you do a few constructive things once or even several times. It doesn’t go away simply because you passionately want it to. It doesn’t mean it has gone forever just because you might have had a great day or even week/month. In fact, the more you want it to go away on your terms, the harder it will stick. It is a daily practice as Sheryl reminds us. DAILY. When it shows up like this, as it will, just practice what Sheryl teaches throughout her blogs (lessons too numerous to recap here) and you will be able to exist more calmly in the ebbs that naturally come with the flows. Keep at it!

    • Sarah

      Wise words! It’s very true that a few days of “relief” doesn’t mean things are over. Enjoy the good days Brianna…they are a great reminder that you still have the capacity to feel happier, more positive things. And when you feel fear/anxiety creeping up again, it’s just a reminder that there’s still work to do. I don’t think we’ll ever get to a place where there’s no struggle or fear ever. Just remember that your anxiety is trying to tell you something needs attention and care…not that something is wrong with you. It gets tiring to think “Oh no not again!” when you feel more coming on, but eventually there are longer spaces in between. Also, I think since I’ve learned more about myself I’ve gotten quicker at admitting I’m feeling “off” and taking care of myself and getting to the heart of my fears. Hang in there!

    • chelsea

      have either of you two ladies taken Sheryl’s course?

      • Rae

        Chelsea:

        Yes, I took Sheryl’s Open Your Heart course. She actually posted my testimonial so you can read in more detail how the course helped me (go to the counseling tab / e-courses / Open Your Heart link).

  • Cecilia

    Oh god completely understand Brianna, right now I’ve had two whole days of feeling myself again , but that happened before (about a week ago) and then bam I had an awful attack , am so nervous now that it will come back suddenly. But after lots of reading on this blog and reading about anxiety I’m comforted by the fact that it is my body bringing attention to something I need to work on. I feel that knowledge is the way forward, as well as truly listening to your body – like sarah says. I believe that I will get ‘over’ this but I will be stronger and more self aware afterwards. Which will be a gift to myself in the future. But I dread having another ‘attack’ I hope that I have learnt from the last time not to get ahead of myself and not to think oh I’m fine now, and go back to my old ways – which were bad ways.. Anyway, I think I know how you feel- what had helped me a lot is the thought that – I will be ok!!- I will be myself again , only stronger! Hope that can help you a little bit. 🙂

  • GratefulWarrior

    I am so GRATEFUL for this blog! I’m realizing how normal and healthy it is to have relationship anxiety, solely because it forces you to grow beyond measures you could have ever imagined. I’ve had anxiety for a good 8 months now, and as I begin to practice daily (I mean, I’m really doing some extensive work) I see the anxiety slowly start to fall away, piece by piece. I have found that it’s important to tell yourself how proud you are of the work you’re doing, even though some days you feel like giving up or that you’ve made no progress at all. This anxiety has spun me into a beautiful growth spiral. I now meditate every day, do yoga, read, enjoy nature…none of these I have ever really done consistently. I’m beginning to get to know myself on a deeper level, more and more each and every day. So with that, I couldn’t be more GRATEFUL for this transition. It is absolutely brutal, tiring, uncomfortable, and sometimes down right terrifying, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I created a formula today, inspired by Sheryl and a Deepak meditation:

    GRATITUDE + KNOWLEDGE OF WHERE YOUR FEARS STEM FROM = FREE FROM FEAR AND ANXIETY

    Countless blessings to each and every one of you. We are on such a glorious journey. Embrace it and allow yourself to see what’s on the other side. I promise it’ll all be worth it.

    • Cami

      Dear gratefulwarrior,
      I am so inspired by your post! I want so badly to work on myself and daily would be amazing, but I am at a loss as to how. Do you have any suggestions? How did you get started? What do you do? What do you suggest? Any advice would be deeply appreciated!

  • Sam

    Sheryl, what if i have broken through anxiety barrier and feeling much better but then thoughts of old days (when i was in fear) makes me terrified again??? Please comment.

  • FearWontStopMe

    Dear Sam,
    I deal with this too. Our imagination is powerful and can recap any impressionable moment of our lives. The memory of something that made you feel anxious can therefore often be enough to bring back the sensations you experienced then. In this time what you need to be focusing on is that you pushed past it before. 🙂 There’ll be moments when it’s harder to remind yourself it is a passing feeling and even harder to accept and embrace it. But you’ve already proved you can do it.
    As Babe Ruth once said: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

  • Brittany

    Sheryl or to any other member, I have found this site a few months back an it’s helped a lot. Lately if been feeling like I don’t have any “feelings” towards my partner an that upsets me. Me an my partner have been together for nine months an the relationship anxiety started at month three I use to get so upset by the thoughts of ” what if I don’t love him” or “what if we’re not meant to be” ” what if I’m meant to be with someone different” an all the other “what ifs ” that come along with it almost to the point of a panic attack, but now I find myself not getting so upset over the “what ifs” an like anything I find myself overthrowing that, is it normal not to get so upset by them as time goes on? An what about the “feeling” is this normal to or no? Any insight would help. Sheryl your work is great I’ve found the site an read a few articles you an your work both our blessings.

    • Isabella

      Those were my biggest questions too and they caused more anxiety. Do you feel empty? Thats how I feel. So dead inside, no love and it hurts.

  • Kelly

    What about fear and anger? Do they go hand in hand, too? I recognize myself in many of the above described situations, but lately, I have been feeling anger towards my partner and towards other people I love (like parents, and people I’m actually closest with). I think this is actually caused by my personal fear of these people getting too close, but I’d like to hear your comments on this. Does anybody recognize this? Because this scares me, and has me really worried, and I haven’t read about this anywhere in the previous posts (or maybe missed it)? Why do I question everything, and why do I get so angry (for lack of a better name for it, I call it angry, but it might not be actual anger). Thanks for commenting, anybody!

  • Brittany

    Idk if id call it empty, I just dont feel the feeling that I use to when we first started dating like the first three months, I feel like I have no feelings now. I do have good days were I do feel more loving. I just keep trying to tell myself that love isnt a feeling its a choice and an action. The only way to have those feelings all the time is to date someone new every month or so.

  • Isabella

    Is it ok to be in a relationship but still want attention from other guys even though you wont act on anything?

  • Kristin

    Dear Sheryl,
    I am in crisis. For a solid week I have been in the throws of an anxiety and panic attack. I have questions like do I love my partner, what if I am attracted to others, are we meant to be. What if i am a lesbian. i keep asking myself if I love which we have been together for over a year. My thoughts are saying I don’t although battling good moments. He is caring, loving, and thoughtful. What if I don’t love him enough. I asked these questions last time round although in an emotional abusive relationship. The only problems we have is when I am anxious. I always question…do I love him. I want to love him but what if I don’t. I don’t want to leave him. If I do leave him the anxiety will go away though…and possibly if I am with someone else this would resurface. Help!!!

    Sent from my iPad