S.O.F.T. and Strong: Brave Enough For Love

Episode 24: At Last...My Love Has Come Along. Is My Heart Open?

February 13, 2021 Bernice McDonald Season 1 Episode 24
S.O.F.T. and Strong: Brave Enough For Love
Episode 24: At Last...My Love Has Come Along. Is My Heart Open?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Episode 24: At Last...My Love Has Come Along. Is My Heart Open?

Yup. Even after 50, my prayer every now and again was, "Lord...send me one of your Knights. I know you have to have some out there." 

Especially when it seemed so hopeless. WERE there any Knights left who would want a woman like me?

Well...God didn't disappoint. And, actually, has a sense of humor. Because on a cold January night, my Knight showed up. And rescued me when my car wouldn't start.

But only when I had done some work on my heart so that I was ready for him. If it had been a few months sooner, I would have ignored him. The timing was perfect.

He danced me down the aisle to Etta James song, "At Last..." because he knew I still held on to some FEAR and a sense of failure. Is that not something a Knight in Shining Armor would do? Thank goodness my heart was open enough to start growing into our love.

I talk about what I had been doing to get my heart ready in this podcast episode. 

Sneak Peek: I was practicing these four Open-Heart Rules:

1. I will trust my boundaries.

2. I will follow my heart.

3. I will say what's in my heart.

4. I will be surprised.

I would love it if you would join me!!

P.S. Here's a great fun way to start to know yourself and get ready meet and love your own sweet Knight. Take the quiz: What's your Feisty Beyond-50 Love Personality ? 

We all. So because we face so many fears on our past together, as we were working everything out in that first year, we made a decision that our relationship was going to be about Ambrose Red Moon's quote, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than the fear".` We chose to make our relationship about something -the something that was more important than being afraid, that I believe was the strength and is still the strength in our marriage.

So you're a woman beyond 50, what is standing between you and the dreams that you have in your heart? I'll tell you, it's the story that you're telling yourself, this podcast is about keeping our heart awake and open to love because those stories are what closes your heart and keeps it locked up tightly. It takes courage every day to face those stories - about 15 minutes a day only, in fact, I'm Bernice McDonald, Courageous Happiness Coach. And that's the journey that I'm on in this life. I want you to find your heart again, to find the real youth, the amazing, courageous, loving, crazy, sexy woman that you were meant to be.

(1m 38s):
Yup. Even after 50, you ready? Okay. Come on in. Let's take those 15 minutes right now. Today is the 9th anniversary of the most magical day of my life. I married my Knight in shining armor nine years ago. Today. That's when I'm recording this and sometimes I still can't believe it. And I didn't believe it, to be honest with you. I was one of those women who wanted to find love, but I wasn't sure I ever really would find love.

(2m 20s):
I thought maybe my ideals were a bit too lofty or I, you know, was just a romantic and the kind of love I wanted really didn't exist. Well, I didn't realize that, but I actually was building, you know, in my mind the idea of an atmosphere of love. And that's what I found. However, when I look back and this is why I do what I do, my dear ladies, this is why I tell you that you need to believe, because I believe it can happen for everyone. I believe that when you live your life with an open heart and believing that good things will come.

(3m 6s):
And when you do the work of actually allowing your heart to open realizing when it's closed or when it's closing and you face that and you work with that, I really believe that you can have the dreams that you are going for. Because that's what happened to me. I would pray every now and again, "God, please send me one of your Knights. I know you have to have Knights out there that are good men, that have hearts that that would match with mine. Can you just bring one into my path?" Well, God has a real sense of humor, Rod and I have decided because that's exactly what happened.

(3m 48s):
And I don't know how many of you have heard our story, but he rescued me one night when my car wouldn't start. I just wanted to get home to my couch and a blanket because it was like 35 Celsius below. And I had left the lights on in my car AGAIN and the sensor wasn't working to shut them off automatically and my battery was dead. And so Rod overheard me in the bottom floor of our building. He was waiting to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy there. He overheard me calling for help. And, and that's when he, as he was leaving, he passed by me and he took the chance.

(4m 30s):
He stopped. And he's such a kind man. And he said, "I think I have booster cables in my truck. Could I give you a hand?" And you know, for a split second, I had to really think about it because I didn't know this man, but because of what I was working on in my life, this thought went through my brain within a very few seconds. And it was like, "Relax, lean back, and receive what you're being offered with gratitude." That's what I had been learning because I knew that if I was going to be in love with a man, I needed to learn to do that.

(5m 14s):
I needed to stop being so strong and independent and refusing help. And instead accept help because a man loves to help you. A man loves to be your Knight in Shining Armor. So, in that split second, I came to a decision and I said, "I would be so grateful for your help." And that's where it all started fast forward a year and a little bit, because we got married kind of within one day of our first date, February the 11th, we got married.

(5m 54s):
And I think our date was on February 12th. Anyways, from a broken down car to the love of my life, dancing me down the aisle. It's just an amazing journey, easy journey. I faced a lot of my fears. I faced a lot of shame. In fact, I carried a lot of shame, even over the failure of my marriage. And I know that many of you can relate to that. It's like I failed at love. I was married for 24 years and it fell apart and I wasn't good at it while I was in my marriage. Then I had several failed relationships after that as I was learning, learning about love and about what love well, who I had to be in order to be a good lover.

(6m 49s):
And here I was in a place where I was on the brink of this love. And I had made that decision that I was going to be somebody who could love somebody who could receive somebody who could be, you know, the acronym of soft that we've been talking about: Strong on the inside, Open to love and to life, Feminine is the F and T is True to yourself. I was learning all of those things at that time. And that's when I met Rod.

(7m 29s):
So we were a year from there, but I still had the remnants that I was carrying of fear and of shame, which, I mean, we all deal with those every day, right? You are that heart walking on a path and all kinds of things come at you in life. You tell your Stories about why you can handle it or about why those things happen to you. We face that every day, we're all working on those every day. Rod knew that I was struggling with the whole idea of walking down a church aisle again in front of my friends and family, you know, and it's kind of like, and I had a bad association, which I won't go into detail about, from my first wedding.

(8m 19s):
And so he said to me, one day, "Why don't I dance you up the aisle? In fact, why don't we just get rid of the whole aisle idea?" And we were able to find a hall that was more like a log cabin. It was so cool, pretty out in the country. And it had enough room for the guests that we wanted to invite. And we used the space in between the tables up the middle as our, and we got married there, as well. And so I came down this wooden and he met me at the bottom and he said, "I am here for you."

(9m 1s):
He said, "I want to be here to support you as you go to the front. And so I'm going to dance you down the aisle." We chose as our song at a James song "At Last...My Love Has Come Along. My lonely days are over and life is like a song." And it, it was just so beautiful. And that song became the theme of our love. And along with that, we also, because we faced so many fears on our path together, as we were working everything out in that first year, we made a decision that our relationship was going to be about Ambrose Redmoon's quote.

(9m 55s):
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than the fear." We chose to make our relationship about something -the something - that was more important than being afraid. That I believe was the strength and is still the strength in our marriage. We come up against those brick walls. You know, those stories that fall down on our paths that stand between us and the rest of our lives, the stories that can potentially keep us stuck. We come up against those brick walls, even in our relationship together - but we don't back down.

(10m 41s):
We don't pull apart and decide that we're just going to stay stuck in the mud puddle right there by that brick wall and never find a way over it or around it or just give up. We decide that something's more important than the fear that we feel even in facing those things. And so - we face them together. It's like a dance. Just as he danced me up that aisle in that hall, just as he was so caring and loving with me on that day - that's how we face much of our lives. We hear each other's hearts.

(11m 21s):
We decide that, yes, I'm afraid. I'm afraid you're not listening to me. I'm afraid that I'm not enough for you to care about what I need, or I want to hear what it is that's going on inside you. Where is your heart? I don't want to be afraid of hearing that. I want you to tell me, and I want you to get past the fear of talking to me about it. We decide THAT something else is more important than the fear. And that's what has kept us strong, our Power Pillar #1, you know, that Purpose, the reason WHY you do things, when you ask yourself, "Who do I want to be?

(12m 6s):
What is it that I want?" So that, then I can find the actions that support that. And I can make that change and shape my life to become that, to have that purpose. That purpose for us in our relationship became to be open - to even be open to facing fear and shame and finding how we can get around that together, to hear each other, to listen, to put our own needs aside in order to make the other person's needs more important.

(12m 46s):
It's not about him. It's not about me. It's about "us". It's about our relationship right here, right now on this day. When you make that decision about what it is, who it is you want to be, then you can look honestly at the truth in order to support having an open relationship like that and being heart to heart in that way, we had to face Power Pillar #2. So the Truth Is... We had to realize that the Path that we both had walked down up until that point was really long. And we had a lot of stuff that had happened to us.

(13m 29s):
There were many bombs that had gone off. Rod had lost his wife. I had been through divorce and there were other bombs that had gone off that had caused us to believe Stories that weren't necessarily true. There were boulders that had fallen from nowhere and flattened us for a while. There were rocks that were being -that had been thrown at us. Hurts that we both had inflicted. We had walked a long path up to that point. We had to decide who we were going to be individually on our paths as well as, then, how we were going to be in our relationship bubble, how we were going to dance together.

(14m 10s):
He would make a move. I would respond. I make a move. He would respond. And we would learn the flow that would keep us in that magic place, that love place, that "even on the every day, ordinary moment" places, we would still have our love and know that behind everything we did was good intention. We were open to that. And that became our Power Pillar to always facing the truth and always telling the truth.

(14m 50s):
In light of all of this, I want to tell you what my Hope-filled Action was when I met Rod, what I was doing at that time. You know, when I talked to myself through that whole scenario where whether or not I would let him help me, cause he was a stranger, et cetera, et cetera, that whole conversation had to continue. When we realized that we both were single and we realized that we enjoyed each other's company and we got along, that whole conversation had to continue in my head, in my heart for every decision that we made. When he asked me out, when we decided we were going to give our relationship a shot, I had to keep on talking to myself.

(15m 39s):
And it was because of these four things that I'm going to tell you,these four practices that I constantly was reminding myself of, that I was able to learn more and more and still am. This made me the person I am today celebrating my ninth anniversary because our relationship has remained the same from the foundation we laid, even up to our wedding day. I learned these four things. This Hope Filled Action. I am going to tell you right now, I learned this and I have to give credit to Rori Ray in her program, "Have the Relationship You Want."

(16m 28s):
I absorbed everything she said, and this is my adaptation of her four rules. Only I think of them more as principles that soften me, that keep me alert to my heart. That keep me in my heart so I've changed them a bit. But this is basically her idea. And what helped me to receive first of all. I'm going to give them to you. There's four of them. The first one is "I will trust my boundaries." Now that's related to being strong on the inside. I knew that I was going to stand up for my heart.

(17m 12s):
I knew that I had boundaries. What I would accept, what I wouldn't accept. And I had made the decision that I could hold to that. When something happened, I wasn't happy with. I knew that I would back off that I could say no, that I could walk away. The second principle here, the, the heart softening principle was, "I will follow my heart. I was learning to accept my own feelings.

(17m 52s):
I was learning to follow those feelings from where they were happening. It's like a balloon tied to a chair, follow the string down to the chair and understand what the story was that I was believing that would cause those feelings when they were negative... and when they were positive. So first of all, I will trust my boundaries. Secondly, I will follow my heart. And thirdly, I will say what's in my heart. I want to use my words. I made a decision that I would use my words. And when I didn't feel right about something, I was going to talk about it. I wasn't going to hide it.

(18m 33s):
I wasn't going to expect a man to read my mind. I was going to talk about it. So I was practicing that. In this time, as I was learning all of this, I was practicing all three of these. 1. I will trust my boundaries. 2. I will follow my heart. 2. I will say what's in my heart. And 4. I will be surprised. I love that statement. It's the fist clench which we've been talking about. You know, when you tighten up your fist and you hang on so much to an outcome that you are determined, that's going to happen - negative or positive again.

(19m 16s):
It's not good to hang on to any kind of outcome because we don't know what's in the future. So I was practicing opening up my polms and just letting whatever happened happen. What an amazing place to live. I was learning the freedom of not worrying about what the next step was going to be or what the next event was going to be. I was just learning to live in the moment. Those are the four principles, the four heart softening principles. I will trust my boundaries. I will follow my heart.

(19m 56s):
I will say what's in my heart. I will be surprised. "X" marks the spot for where you are on your timeline right now. You are not in the past. You are not in the future. You are right here right now. This is the time when you begin to prepare your heart for your most magical day, when you are a 100% certain that the love you are committing to is the love that you want. And you believe that you can dance with that partner in front Nephew.

(20m 37s):
I wish that for you so Much and not only Wish it, I believe it's possible if you will keep your heart open. All right, that's your Hope Filled Action. I'll put those four principles, those four rules in the show notes so that you can see them and you have them for your very own to practice this week. And I want you to think about that just 15 minutes every day. Take them, read them, reread them and start living them. All right. Enough for now. I will talk to you on the next Podcast.

My Knight in Shining Armor actually rescued me
I know you're scared - let me dance you up the aisle
Power Pillar #1: Our Purpose has been to always face the FEAR
Power Pillar #2: The Truth Is...we agreed to always share the courage to always tell the Truth.
Power Pillar #3: Hope-Filled Action - The 4 Open-Heart Rules