“I know that at times I will truly want to backtrack, lose my way, and quit. Nonetheless… this work will be a priority in my life for the next 90 days.”
This is a contract I wrote for myself, and signed, six months ago. When the book Love in 90 Days by Diana Kirschner presented itself to me, I chuckled at the concept. Real Love. In 90 Days? No Way!
On one hand, I had no real hope it would work for me. But on the other, I had nothing to lose. So I gave it a go.
Right away, it asks you to write your top ten goals for the year. Though I had already been doing a great deal of work to learn more about human emotions, communication, and how to reach my highest self, my first goal was to continue building self-esteem, self-love and self-respect. This is a journey we will navigate our whole lives, and it was especially important for me at the time because I was single, had a smoldering heart, and was struggling to trust the universe’s plan to guide me towards a loving, gracious and conscientious partner. I tried things like manifesting and meditating, but it just wasn’t the right time yet. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy to sit back and feel there was nothing I could do or control about this person coming into my life. Eckhart Tolle reminds us that being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you, but how difficult this can be at times!
For that reason, I liked this book because it gave me an idea of how I could be more active in making my dreams come true. It gave me the tools to signal to the universe that I was ready for something new to come into my life.
I won’t lie: the book’s exercises were tough. The most daunting task was to date not one, but three men at one time. Three! That was where I was ready to jump off the wagon.
But I didn’t let myself jump, and that’s when something happened. Trying to get to my “three-date number,” I signed up for a dating app and soon accepted a first date from my now sweetheart. To be honest, I’ve even told him how I had no expectations for that date. I had no idea that he would very much be the man I had been asking for.
I’m not saying this book is a miracle-worker, because we are all here to learn different lessons from different experiences. I benefited from this book because it encouraged me to say “yes” when my old-fashioned, hopeless romantic self honestly would have said “no!” So what I really want to share from my experience is that making love a priority is one of the best things you can do: first with yourself and then with others.
Have the courage and take the time to reflect on the patterns that may be holding you back. Do you find yourself lost in fantasies, encouraging men to chase you, or looking to where the “grass is greener”? Set out an intention to do loving things for yourself every day: take baths, eat more greens and meditate. Get involved in activities that will serve you and introduce you to like-minded people; like taking a pottery wheel class or volunteering for a cause like Habitat for Humanity.
Then, start creating opportunities and saying yes to invitations that could lead you to someone who will not make you happy, but rather add to your happiness. It sounds so easy and cliché, but in reality it’s easier to say “no” out of fear: fear that you will waste your time or end up rejected. Put yourself first, and you will have every reason to say “yes.”
Once I started doing all these things, I also began to do something that I encourage you to try as well: I took breaks from busying myself with distractions like social media, TV, music, and even my thoughts. On my drives to work, I would try to sit for as long as I could just driving, observing, and letting myself be. It was a time where I could decompress away from my chattering mind. We don’t realize how much we do in fact fill up all of our time and consciousness by scrolling through social media feeds, avoiding quiet and planning out our days. When you are able to be still and quiet, it creates a space in your life for something new to come in. Nothing new can be dropped into your life if there is no room for it. I like to think that on top of actively working on myself and opening up my heart, I created the space for my sweetheart to thrive in my world once he arrived.
Somehow, I set out for the impossible and found something perfect in the imperfection, all because reading this book gave me insight into what it means to be open to love. You are the only person who can control your own happiness. If you need to step back and do something that pampers you or makes you feel accomplished, it will never be a selfish act. Fill yourself so that you can love others from the overflow. Always stay in touch with yourself and your needs and allow space to exist around you. That way, love will never be lacking in your life.
Alyssa is a writer, ocean lover, and aspiring vegan (it’s a work in process). She studied English, International Relations and Environmental Studies. She lives in Connecticut with her kitty Livvy, sweetheart Connor, and super awesome family. She enjoys working on self-development, wellness, languages, spirituality, and healing.