Quest for Love: Angels Intervene

Facebook reminded me that 1 year ago today, I was in a car wreck that resulted in about $5,000 worth of damage to my only car.  I remember that morning well. I was in the throes of a whirlwind romance. It was one of those all-consuming, instant, chemically-magnetic relationships.

I’d been up late the night before skyping this man who lived 2,000 miles away.  In fact, I’d spent literally 60 hours in the previous week talking with him. I know, it sounds insane, but we were both off work for Christmas break and the connection was unreal.

wrecked nissan sentraI was making a left turn out of the high school toward the middle school to drop off my youngest son. I looked both ways. There was a line of cars turning right into the high school. The visibility is never great there and there’s always a bit of risk involved. Not seeing anything, I pulled out to suddenly see a van careening into my little Sentra. It hit us so hard; it pushed my car until it looked like I’d been turning right instead of left.

I remember praying that it wouldn’t crush Elijah who was sitting in the back seat behind me.  Finally, my car stopped and my side of the car was completely flush with the van. I checked on Elijah and he’d actually slept through it. He woke up and asked, “What happened?”

Thank heavens, he was fine. I was shaken, but no injuries. The first officer who appeared on the scene was the middle school’s School Resource Officer. He came to the passenger side of my car, and I rolled down the window to speak to him.

He asked if we were okay. I confirmed we were, and he said, “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m Morgan’s son, Chris.”

A wave of relief washed over me. I wouldn’t have recognized him, but I’ve known Morgan since I was 11. She was my favorite Sunday School teacher as a child. I’d grown close to her over the previous three years as her sage advice helped me navigate the divorce and re-entering the dating world.

Never once did she try to set me up with her single-again son. Although, when she mentioned him in passing there was always a little hit…  “Hmmm.” While we’d gone to church together as youth, I honestly didn’t remember him at all. I wouldn’t have recognized him. But there’s no denying he’s Morgan’s son. He looks so much like her.

More officers appeared on the scene and Chris went back to the school. At the time, I beat myself up for not seeing the van. How did I not see it? Was my mind so love-struck over the budding magnetic romance? Was I not as observant as I should have been because I hadn’t gotten enough sleep?

I didn’t feel sleepy. I don’t think I was that out of it. At the time, it was a real hardship for me to come up with the $1,000 deductible to get my car fixed. I tried to look on the bright side. My car got a new front end (which it needed), and at least I had the rental car option on my insurance.  I had something to drive.

Heavenly Intervention

What I didn’t know then was that a year later I’d be blissfully married to Officer Chris Marcus! It makes me wonder if there was some kind of heavenly intervention at work.

The relationship I was in turned out to be a major heartbreak.  Had I ended up with this man, it would have meant sacrificing a lot of who I am. We did not share the same core values or beliefs.  Those variations and major communication issues eventually drove us apart two months later.

If we’d followed through on our discussions of marriage, it would have been one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I was literally making a left-turn when I needed to be turning right. Interesting symbolism, don’t you think?

Did my angels orchestrate this wreck as a wakeup call to alter my direction? Were they saying,

“Hey, you’re going the wrong way, Marnie! Chris Marcus is the man you’re supposed to be with! Look! Here’s the answer to your prayer right in front of your face every day as you drop off your son!”

Or was it my higher self that knew I was off course and took drastic measures to get me on a better path? What mysterious forces were at work?

Perhaps I’ll never know the answer in this life. But one thing I do know. This is a perfect example of the Law of Polarity which states that within every “bad” experience is an equal and opposite “good.”

The things that look horrible often are the best things that will ever happen to us. Now, if I can just remember this as I face other life challenges. Thank you, Facebook, for giving me some invaluable perspective by reminding me what I was doing a year ago today!

And thank you, God, for rescuing me and setting me on the right path!

PS: As proof that God never helps just one or two when he can help more, after my wreck, the county finally put in stop signs. They also added a bigger turn lane to correct this poor visibility spot which had been the scene of multiple wrecks.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

lead with what you believe

Quest for Love: Lead With What You Believe

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I learned that first and foremost, I needed to be true to me. So, with greater resolve, I dusted myself off and tried the dating thing one more time.

I’d learned the hard way that shared core values are critical to a good relationship. So, I edited my online dating profiles to lead with what I believed. I prefaced the following statements by saying I was looking for a man who believes what I believe.

lead with what you believeI believe…

  1. In being actively engaged in a good cause & proactively doing my part to make the world a better place.
  2. In looking for the good, hoping for the best, & going for the ideal. Yes, you may fall flat. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, & keep going. There’s another try around the corner.
  3. That God loves us and that Jesus Christ is our merciful, loving Savior who will heal all our scars if we let Him. The only real mistake is letting go of Him.
  4. Honesty & integrity are vital. Relationships only work where there is trust.
  5. Anything is possible when you know what you want, why you want it, and are willing to commit to it and take inspired action.
  6. Work isn’t only necessary, but can also be beautiful, fun and rewarding.
  7. Physical intimacy should be reserved for marriage, & thoroughly enjoyed within it.
  8. People aren’t all good or all bad. When we look for the good & expect it in others, they tend to rise to the occasion. (They also tend to fall to our low expectations.)
  9. You get better results from praise and acknowledgement than nagging and negativity.
  10. We need less government, more personal responsibility, and with God’s help a better world.
  11. In letting other people be themselves. I thrive best around people who give me the space to be me, and I enjoy watching other people thrive too.
  12. In being kind, grateful, expressing acknowledgement & responsiveness.
  13. That true intimacy is built on love, caring, trust, respect, connection and commitment.

After a few weeks of dating Chris, he told me what stood out to him in my profile was #7. He said he saw that and knew he’d found a woman of value. He was tired of women who threw themselves at men. He was looking for a quality woman who shared his core values. He wanted “something real.”

What a refreshing change! Finally, a chivalrous man who honors womanhood, protects my virtue, and accepts me as I am. He is brave, honest, and genuine. What you see is what you get. What I see is someone who genuinely cares for people, is kind, friendly, makes the world a better place, and has a BIG heart. No wonder he stole my heart!

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

love yourself first

Quest for Love: To Thine Own Self Be True

I hesitated to share this part of my story with you because it requires being more vulnerable than I wanted to be.

As this blog came to me in the night, I asked, “Really? You want me to share this? I don’t think I can do that.”

“Just write and see what comes,” came the reply.

Since you’re seeing it posted, it means writing it somehow allowed me to share the weakest point of my life with you in a way that I could stomach. So here goes…

Of all the men I dated, there was one who stole my heart instantly. We were drawn to each other like two mega-strong magnets. Within weeks we were talking marriage and a possible elopement. We connected on so many levels, and the chemistry was instant and intense.  I was convinced he was “my SAM.”

The only fly in the ointment was he was struggling with his faith. He hadn’t been to church in some time and didn’t know if he believed what we’d been taught anymore.

He said he still believed in God, just not all the rules. I’ve had friends, very good people, who have traveled that path. So I had compassion for him and felt he just needed some time to find his way.

With an immense amount of hormones and dopamine coursing through my veins I prayed about marrying this man and felt as if it was my choice and his. I pressed for a clearer answer and felt like I heard God say, “Love him back to me.”

I proceeded forward. The deeper we got into the relationship, the less clearly I could discern truth from error.

At one point, this man encountered a stressful challenge in his career. I observed that while under this level of stress, he was not a happy or positive person. It also became clear that not only was he questioning his religious beliefs, but also his entire faith in God hung by a thread.

Without his faith, his ability to gracefully cope with stress was minimal, and it began to adversely affect our relationship.

I had a choice to make. Did I proceed with someone who did not share my values, hoping he’d come around? Or did I walk away? I couldn’t bring myself to end the relationship. The magnet was just too strong. So I kept going forward, thinking I could somehow, “Love him back to God.”

Eventually, I came to a point where I questioned my own beliefs. Could I tweak my conscience to believe in an “anything goes, do-whatever-feels-good God?” It became clear if I were to continue a relationship with this man, I would have to choose that God.

My heart was splitting in two.

I was so crazy about this man that for two months I debated about whether the values and morals I’d been raised with were really necessary. I’m ashamed to admit I nearly abandoned my core fundamental values. Yet I believe everyone probably comes to a point where they have to consciously choose.

In the end, it was probably my children who saved me. I knew I had to stay strong for them.

I’m a big Star Trek fan, and there’s a scene from the First Contact movie that typifies my dilemma so well. Data (an android with no emotions) is kidnapped by the Borg Queen. She offers him a chance to have what he’s always wanted – the opportunity to feel human. She activates his emotion chip and implants human skin on his body. For the first time Data knows what it’s like to feel mortal, sensual even.

While the crew evacuates, Captain Picard stays behind to save his friend. In the process he too is captured by the Borg Queen.

In a touch-and-go moment, we wonder if Data has sold out to the Borg Queen by becoming her mate. He seems to be going along with her plan. At the last second, Data rescues the crew and releases Picard. After the rescue, Picard asks Data about the Borg Queen. Here’s the exchange:

Lieutenant Commander Data: [about the Borg Queen] She brought me closer to humanity than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by her offer.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: How long a time?

Lieutenant Commander Data: 0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.

I could say the same thing about the man I dated as Data said about the Borg Queen. He brought me closer to my humanity, my emotions, and my desire for connectedness than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by his offer.

It was only for a short time, but for me it felt like an eternity.

In the end, the choice became crystal clear. I could not keep straddling two worlds. I either had to choose this man and walk away from my values and morals. Or I could walk away from the man and choose to remain true to my integrity and to the God I’ve come to know and love.

God won. My integrity won, but not without battle scars inflicted on my heart and soul.

For a long time I felt like God betrayed me with his answer to, “Love him back to me.”  After much prayer and contemplation (without hormones and dopamine coursing through my veins), I have come to believe that answer was not from God. It was either my own imagination or came from another source.

I do not believe it’s my job to love anyone back to God. It’s God’s job to save, not mine. My role is simply to love.

The first person I must love is me. I need to love myself enough to hold to my own integrity. If I betray myself, I certainly cannot love another rightly. As my friend Judy Hansen says, “Be the love.” What another person chooses to do with that love is entirely up to them.

Through it all, I’m learning that Jesus Christ heals hearts. He wears His scars so I don’t have to suffer with mine.

This experience changed the way I selected men. I created and began listening to my affirmations about men and money after this. I also changed the way I crafted my online dating profile. I’ll share more about that tomorrow.

love yourself first

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: Following Taillights

[This blog entry is the 13th in my Quest for Love Series. If you’d like to start at the beginning, click here.]

I don’t know if it’s just me or if it happens to others, but the right people always come into my life at the right time. The exact mentors, friends, teachers and companions intersect my path to help me get through whatever it is I’m dealing with. They’re guides who help me navigate to my next destination.

It’s like being on a winding road on a dark, rainy night and seeing tail lights just ahead. What a relief it can be to have someone to follow!

When I’d first decided to get a divorce, but hadn’t even told my spouse or family, I had a business acquaintance come to mind.  We had exchanged services about six months earlier.  One day she was on my mind, so I sent her an email to ask how she was doing. She replied that my timing was impeccable. She’d had me on her mind as well. She’d even put my name on her to-do-list for contact, but hadn’t gotten to it yet.

We set up a time to talk, and she asked how my life and business were going. I admitted to her that I had decided to get a divorce. In response she revealed that she too was going through a divorce. I had no idea this was the case. She and her spouse had filed several months earlier and because of the state they lived in, there was a lengthy waiting period.

What’s more, her marriage had an extremely similar dynamic to my marriage. She began telling me how she and her husband-at-the-time had mapped out an amicable divorce that helped their children make the transition more smoothly.

At the time, it never occurred to me that a divorce could be as amicably as she described. She gave me tips and pointers for making it flow better. I ended the call by thanking her for letting me “follow her taillights.”

Over the last couple years, this woman and I have become wonderful friends. Soul sisters, if you will. Sometimes I’m following her taillights and sometimes she’s following mine. Our paths intersect in so many interesting ways. It’s as if we’re always learning similar life lessons. The opportunity to share our experiences lifts, encourages and gives each of us more insight into our own challenges.

I’m very grateful for those little nudges that have come over the last couple years that have prompted either she or me (often both of us simultaneously) to reach out to the other.

As you go through your journey of life, I hope you’ll open yourself up to receiving the people God places on your path to show you the way. It’s a huge blessing to have a shoulder to lean on, a sounding board, or a soul sister to share your heart’s concerns. It’s a priceless gift to have such friends.

PS: Want to hear something weird? The minute I saved this blog, my friend (who I haven’t talked to in several weeks), texted me to say she had a window to talk and wanted to know if I could. Yep, it’s fun having a soul sister!

friends are like taillights on a dark night

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: Visions Are Not Assignments

While my last blog entry cautioned against becoming a “spiritual junkie” who expects a constant stream of visions, insights and revelations, I also believe in documenting what is coming to you. There are some seasons of our lives when we receive more inspiration than others.

Let me give you an example. As I was going through the divorce, I spent a lot of time praying, fasting, meditating and really seeking to know and do God’s will. It was a big decision … one that violated a lot of my core values. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing in choosing it.

Along the way, I received some important messages about my future. I saw certain things that were coming. Some of them happened fairly quickly. Others were out in the future.

For example, about 2.5 years ago when my business took a major hit as I let my money-making Web site go, I was meditating. I had this visual come to me.

I leapt off a cliff and was in a free-fall for quite a while. I wondered if I would crash, but didn’t hit bottom. God’s hand caught me and delivered me to the top of another cliff. There was a man standing there… the man I knew God had in mind for me.

vision isn't an assignmentLast week, as I was looking at the image of Lover’s Leap on my personal Facebook page, I realized my fiancé proposed to me at the top of a cliff!

When the visual came, I assumed it was completely metaphorical. I certainly did go into a long free-fall and wondered if I might splat in more ways than one. Interestingly enough the visual was both symbolic and literal.

Remembering this made me go back and read my journal entries. There are some things in my journal that I realize now I misinterpreted. Some have happened. Others seem highly improbable.

While reading one entry from my journal a couple days ago, I thought, “That’s probably not going to happen. Maybe it was my imagination kicking in.” Then I remembered the Lover’s Leap moment and how I did not orchestrate that at all. It was never my job to orchestrate it.

What if none of the impressions I receive are mine to orchestrate or “make happen?”

Here’s what I’m coming to believe. Let’s say you catch the vision of something that feels incredibly inspired. You feel it in your bones, it’s meaningful and significant. Okay, great.

A vision or dream about the future (unless accompanied by a strong impression to do something specific) is not an assignment. It is not your job to force the vision to happen. Look at impressions about the future as someone sharing landmarks to look for on a road trip.

If I give someone directions to my house, I’ll say something like, “Look for the two green mail boxes and the gravel road.” Is it the traveler’s responsibility to create the two green mail boxes and the gravel road? Of course not! The traveler simply looks for them. The mailbox and gravel road are markers that let the person know they are on course. They signify a turning point.

I am a “get it done” visionary. I can leap to a lot of wrong conclusions and try to make things happen. It’s incredibly easy for me to try to force the vision. I often make it an assignment. But I’m beginning to believe these are not assignments. They are simply landmarks to look for on my journey. They may signify turning points. Or they may help me recognize that I’m on course. But it’s not my assignment to manufacture them any more than a visitor to my home needs to manufacture the two green mail boxes and the gravel road.

Can Forcing a Vision Mess Things Up?

One could say my drive to find the man at the top of the cliff actually got in my way. I went out in search of him, keeping myself involved with different men across the U.S.

All the while the man God had in mind for me was 5 minutes away at my son’s middle school. I passed him as he directed traffic every schoolday, never knowing he was asking about me, always being told by his mom “she’s dating someone.”

So, a case could be made that I delayed matters by turning the vision into an assignment.

Another case could be made for it all happening as it should have. There were experiences and lessons I needed along the way that enabled me to fully appreciate the man God had in mind.

Bottom line, God knew he was working with “get it done Marnie.” He knew how I would react, the people I’d meet and where I’d end up. He knew I’d get there eventually.

This experience has given me more hope that no matter how I wander around and feel lost, God’s got the vision. He’ll get me there.

 

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

brain on dopamine

Quest for Love: Watch Out for Your Achilles Heel

I’ve known it for years. I’m a praise junkie. Twenty-five years ago when I started my business, I over-delivered to clients who praised me. In essence, I received part of my payment in praise. Then, I wised up (or thought I did). I raised my rates and began working on this tendency to take peanuts for work when someone praised me profusely.

The problem is, the need for acknowledgement never really went away. It’s been a driver throughout my life. If you think about it, more of us have an issue with the “need for acknowledgement” than we care to admit. Every time you make a Facebook post and wait around for someone to Like it, Share it, or Comment on it, you’re waiting for that little dopamine hit that comes from being acknowledged.

First let’s explain what dopamine is. According to Pscychology Today,

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”

Dopamine isn’t a bad thing. We need it, but having an addiction to it can be dangerous.

brain on dopamineWhat I learned from dating is that if you have a core unmet need for acknowledgement in some area of your life and someone feeds that need through flattery, praise, or making you feel you matter in that area, you can form an addiction to that person and to the chemical dopamine that is secreted in your brain by having them around or engaging in the rewarded behavior.

This addiction is what makes people do stupid things for love. In essence, if the other person has a mind to do so (and you allow it to happen), they can seduce you down a path you might never otherwise go.

Dompane numbs your frontal lobe which controls logical thinking. You may easily be led like a child to the water’s edge by your Pied-Piper chemicals.

Yes, it’s scary to come out of a relationship, wake up, and realize you’ve been in the twilight zone and haven’t been yourself in months.

So what can you do about it?

You might have to experience this phenomenon and feel like you “messed up” to identify that you have an issue with a core unmet need. As Lisa Rae Preston says, “Until you had to nurse the blister from the burn” you may not really be able to look at your situation objectively.

Once burned, twice shy. Your awareness of the need and knowing what a dopamine addiction feels like strengthens your resolve. With a strengthened resolve, you have more objectivity to keep from making the same mistake again.

Energy therapy has been a big part of my journey. It’s a great way to let go of caring what other people think, release past trauma and break unhealthy patterns.

I told you in my last blog we were going to talk about how to distinguish inspiration from imagination. What does dopamine and crazy, stupid love have to do with discerning the source of inspiration for visionaries? A lot!

Click here to find out.

 

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

building relationships

Quest for Love: Dumb Dating Mistakes Women Make

This entry is the 7th in a series. To start at the beginning, go here.

Being single I’ve studied a few programs created by dating gurus. Most of them have one common theme. Women tend to be needy and over-deliver, over-invest, and over-expect. Before you argue with me, let me explain why there’s a lot of truth in this.

building relationshipsOne program I bought compared building a relationship to building a multi-story building.  The woman shouldn’t come in and build all the floors or even two floors to his one. You should build the floors together. Or if you build a floor, he needs to build a floor.

As a woman you should be contributing less than or no more than equal to the man’s investment.

There are lots of warnings about “neediness.’’ You don’t need to be texting him all the time, calling him, etc. Let him initiate those things.

Another guru suggests that women shouldn’t be hanging out on a guy’s Facebook wall liking and commenting on all his posts. Another says, if he backs off, you should back off. Most women go into panicky chase mode if a man backs away.

My dad gave me some interesting advice. It confused me thoroughly when he said it, but it proved incredibly true.

He said, “You need to not care. It’s when you don’t really care that a man wants you.”

I questioned him, “What? Not care? How do I do that? Just not care at all? And why would I want a man that I don’t care about?”

He added, “Well, care, but don’t care.”

“Gee, Daddy, what the heck does that mean?”

“I can’t explain it to you, but you’ll figure it out.”

I don’t know if I can explain this to you any better than my dad could, but I sure hope I can. If someone had really been able to explain it to me earlier, it would have helped immensely. In the end, I’m sure the timing was all for the best.

In every serious relationship I was in, I cared. I cared a lot. When you care a lot, you go overboard to do things that you think will please the man. It’s not that you’re lying or faking anything. You honestly don’t even know you’re doing it! You’re just genuinely enthralled with the person.

If he burped you’d want to store it in a jar. (Okay, maybe that’s a little overboard!) But you get my drift.

When you’re enamored, and especially when dopamine is coursing through your veins, everything the other person says or does is wonderful. You’re incredibly blind to red flags that tell you otherwise.

You aren’t your every-day, normal self. What happens is you start constructing that multi-story building, predominantly by yourself. Much of it is largely in your mind. It’s amazing how what goes on in your mind and emotions gets emitted to another person without you even saying a word. It’s a vibe.

You also do extra things to please him. You accommodate your schedule to spend time with him. You let some of your own interests go to the wayside.

Not until I went through a major breakup and didn’t trust my instincts, heart, or inspiration anymore, did I learn what it meant to “care, but not care.” I came to this place in two steps.

Step 1: Looking Myself in the Mirror

Immediately after the breakup, I started a new relationship. This man was instantly taken with me and started talking about how he wanted to marry me. He was smitten, and I could see he was very much like I’d been in other relationships. He was moving like a freight train, but I was still incredibly jaded. I remember thinking, “Poor thing, he’s on dopamine.”

This man was not needy, but he was determined. He was convinced I was the one for him. He reminded me SO much of myself. I thought, “Oh, man, no wonder I scared the crap out of those men I dated! No wonder they wouldn’t commit!”

When the other person is so driven and determined, you begin to feel like you want your own choice in the matter. You start slowing things down and telling the person you need some time and space.  Honestly, I wouldn’t call it needy. I’d call it feeling like you know what you want and by dang, you’re gonna have it.

Step 2: Being so Burned, I Couldn’t Care

I don’t recommend everyone learn how to “care but not care” the way I did. Honestly, I was incapable of caring. I was so jaded, I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t trust chemistry or hormones for sure. They’d betrayed me. I also didn’t trust my ability to receive inspiration, because I completely misinterpreted it when love-struck.

I had to get to the point where all I really wanted was someone to hang out with and go places. Marriage wasn’t even on my radar. I let any expectation of commitment go. I resolved to be myself, enjoy my life and never, ever let dopamine (the brain chemical released when you’re in a new relationship) rule my life.

I wrapped up my heart in a nice suit of armor, and I went out into the dating world simply for something to do. Once I did this, once I didn’t care anymore, that’s when the man came along who was ready to commit and choose me.

Because I didn’t care, I didn’t over invest. I was completely  myself. I was honest. I let him know my heart was guarded and that I needed some time to learn to trust my heart again.

He gave me some space. He made it very clear that I was the type of woman he’d been looking for, but he didn’t push. He wasn’t needy, and he wasn’t so determined that I felt pressured. It was the perfect balance.

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t sure I could even open my heart again. The thought occurred to me that I might be incapable of loving. But bit-by-bit, through a lot of prayer and energy therapy my heart began to trust again.

It was from this space of “caring, but not caring” that I found the man with whom I could create the love that I desired.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but I sure hope it helps someone. I hope it helps you find that space of “Caring, but not caring” without having to have your heart hammered to get there. It’s not the most pleasant route to travel.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: Make Room for People Who Value You

This post is the 6th in a series. To start at the beginning of the series, click here.

Recently, I was talking to a client who has a decent size network marketing organization. She has people in her front line spots who aren’t performing. She’d really like to get them motivated to work the business or at least convince them to let her buy them out of their spots. These individuals have been a constant source of angst and stress for her.

I couldn’t help drawing a parallel between her dilemma and my dating history.

I spent the bulk of the last two years, attempting to convince men (who I thought were good for me) that they would be wise to commit and invest in a long-term relationship with me. No, I didn’t really realize that’s what I was doing at the time. But, I could see their spouse potential, just like my client could see the business potential in the individuals she’d placed on her front line.

Every month, this client finds herself placing orders for these people, propping them up so she can get her bonuses. They are constantly benefiting from her efforts while they invest very little. In the process, they are getting checks they haven’t earned, and she is completely frustrated by them not stepping up to the plate.

The problem is, as long as she props them up, they have no incentive to do their part. Why work hard when someone else will cover for you and you get consistent checks? (Hmmm… this sounds like another relationship I was in for way too long!)

I was doing the same thing in my relationships with men. I was over-investing. I was paying for flights to go see them. I re-arranged my schedule to be available when they wanted to see me or talk to me. I bent myself and my values to accommodate theirs.

In the end, not a single one of them were willing to invest in a long-term relationship with me. Why should they when I was doing all the work?

Finally, I got some sense through my head and realized that I had been undervaluing myself in a major, MAJOR way. I had been over-delivering with little in return.

Along with quite a bit of energy therapy, I crafted a series of affirmations that I began listening to daily. They infused me with the knowledge that I was a valuable woman. Any man who belonged in my life would easily be able to see that.

I was dating a fun guy at the time, but I knew he wasn’t really going to end up being a long-term relationship. As I started to listen to the affirmations, it became clearer that he was a transitional man for me. Interestingly enough, that relationship started to fade.

About 3 weeks after beginning to listen to the affirmations I decided to go on PlentyOfFish.com and fill out a profile.

For now, I was done hunting the right guy. Going on POF.com wasn’t about finding a mate, but about having a fun summer dating and getting out of the house. I figured if God wanted me to be married, he could bring me someone.

The first day I completed my profile, I got a message from a guy who was the son of one of my good friends from church. Chris Marcus reminded me who he was.

I easily remembered him because when I had a car wreck back in January between the high school and middle school, he was the first officer on the scene. He had introduced himself as my friend Morgan’s son. I immediately felt peaceful, knowing someone with whom I had a connection was on the scene. Interestingly, I felt that same sense of peace with him when he messaged me on the dating site. There was an immediate sense of trust.

I’d also met Chris once before at his mom’s house, for only a few minutes. Actually we grew up going to the same church together, and his mom was my Sunday School teacher when I was 10 and 11 years old. I didn’t remember him though. He was a couple years older than me. But he remembered me.

So, when I put myself on Plenty of Fish, he reached out, and we began conversing. We had a couple phone conversations and set up a date for that weekend.

What I found out later was Chris had actually been asking his mother about me for months. Each time he asked, “What about Marnie?” she’d reply, “She’s dating someone.”

While she had mentioned to me that he was single and his challenges with single life, she never once tried to set us up. So when he saw me on POF, he said, “I assumed if you were on there, you weren’t dating anyone, so I seized the window of opportunity while I had it.”

From that point forward, Chris pursued me. Not the other way around. He immediately saw my value and said, “I took myself off the market after the first date.”

Notice the contrast. I had been trying to convince men of my value by morphing myself or overly investing. In this new relationship I was being pursued by someone who verbalized that I was a “quality woman” and he was looking for quality.

As I was talking to my client, I realized she was doing the very same thing in her network marketing business. Just as Chris was waiting around for the right moment to ask me out, there are probably people just waiting to work with a person like my client. Just as I was filling up the “mate spot” with people who undervalued me, she’s wasting her time and effort focusing her energy on individuals who won’t invest.

make room for people who value youIn her organization she can actually add more front line spots. She’d be better off attracting people who value her and the opportunity. It would take a leap of faith, but I’d wager she’d be better off starting over with new front line spots than wasting more time and effort on people who have to be convinced that she’s offering something of value.

So I ask you…

  • What are you over-investing in?
  • What are you trying to make work that isn’t working?
  • What if you redeemed your energy from places and people that don’t value you and re-aligned your thinking?
  • What if you grasped your true value?
  • What if you made room for people and things that were worthy of you?

If you suspect you’re devaluing yourself and are serious about making a change, I’d love to work with you. Energy therapy is a great place to start.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Quest for Love: 10 Ingredients to a Lasting Loving Relationship

[This blog post is the 5th in a series about my quest for love and the lessons I’m learning along the way. If you’d like to start at the beginning, go here. If you missed the last post, go here.]

When I was in Utah, I was with some friends who were building a fire. They used some newspaper, a few sticks and a log. The fire started out blazing, but it quickly burned out because they didn’t know to create a teepee of smaller kindling and gradually add larger and larger pieces of kindling and wood until the fire was prepared to handle a big log.

campfireWhen their attempt failed, I said, “Here, let me help.”  I instructed everyone to gather small twigs, and we built a small tee pee and started the fire in the center of it. The fire took hold, and we gradually added larger and larger pieces until it was time to add a bigger log.

There’s a point at which you know a fire is going to last. It’s well before you’ve put the big log on the fire. It’s way back at the beginning when the teepee catches fire and you’re adding more fuel.

I believe creating loving relationships is like building a fire. It doesn’t take much longer to create a lasting fire than one that will fizzle fast. You just have to have certain elements in place and put them on the fire in the right order.

Through trial and error, I have identified the following elements to a long-lasting intimate relationship. While the first 8 can come in any order, one should never risk flipping the order on 9 and 10. Think of #10 as the larger fuel that will smother your fire if you put it on before the other elements have given your fire a good start.

  1. Respect
  2. Shared Values
  3. Communication
  4. Caring and Kindness
  5. Connection
  6. Chemistry
  7. Love & Affection
  8. Trust
  9. Commitment / Investment
  10. Intimacy

While it’s impossible for me to know everything about anyone in a few month’s time. I know a good fire when I see one. My fiance and I have all the elements in place, and we’re putting them on the fire in the right positions and the right order. Provided we continue to fuel the fire, it will continue to burn, creating coals and embers that last a lifetime.

A great relationship comes when two people are willing to invest in each other and in the relationship.

I love this quote by David A. Bednar:

“The word love is both a verb and a noun. I think sometimes we think, ‘Well, I have to have the feeling (the noun) before I can start doing love (the verb).’ It works both ways. Now, I don’t want this to sound unromantic, but love (the feeling) follows love (the verb).

We find young people all over the world who think, ‘I have to find the one, the true, the only; and more correctly, you have to become the one, the true and the only through what you do and what you become. You don’t just sit around and wait to fall in love. You engage in love (the verb) and then love (the noun – the emotion and the feeling) is just remarkable. So I think you create it. You don’t find it.”

There’s something important I learned about why men I dated didn’t want to commit to me and why Chris did. This principle applies not only to dating, but also to life and business. If you have people in your life that won’t step up, I’m really excited to share this concept with you. Click here to learn more.

Be sure to check out my Improve Your Relationships with Men and Money Affirmations.

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

marnie and chris marcus

Quest for Love: Will Your Red Sea Part?

[This blog is the fourth in a series about how I changed the course of my life and what I’m learning along the way. If you missed the last post, go here. If you’d like to start at the beginning, go here.]

What I now call the “divine love download” was so significant, I felt something huge shift within me. My heart began opening to the possibilities. The “download” combined with my experience with Chris let me know I’d found what Martina suggested I look for: “When you find a man who treats you like the Savior would, you will know you have found your SAM.”

I returned home and Chris and I began discussing a future together. Honestly, no matter how much he mentioned marriage, I didn’t believe it would be any time soon. “They all want to marry me in the first three months,” I joked.

Then he started taking me to look at rings. Hmmm.

Sure, I was nervous! Did the download mean what I thought it meant? When I let fears crop up, I became confused. When I hushed my fears, I felt peace. I think it was James Faust who said,

“Don’t take counsel from your fears.”

I went back to what I did know. I’d gotten a clear answer that this was someone with whom I could create the love I desired. I continued to move forward. The Red Sea was parting, time to step onto dry ground ahead of me.

marnie and chris marcus

Chris and Marnie at Lover’s Leap at Rock City, Lookout Mountain

When he took me to Rock City on July 25th, and we ascended to Lover’s Leap, I didn’t have a clue that he was about to propose. I should have read the signs, but I didn’t. I was just enjoying nature and being with this sweet man.

When he saw the look of shock on my face, he was afraid I was going to say no.

The question of “should I or shouldn’t I say ‘yes’?” didn’t even enter my mind. I knew I’d say yes when he asked. I already had my answer. I just had no idea he would ask so soon! With my decision already made, I said, “Yes” and was encouraged by how fantastic it felt — peaceful, yet exciting and completely right.

I keep referring to this relationship with Chris as my Red Sea experience. It seems over the last couple years every way I’ve tried to go has been hedged up. But there is this one path, lit by God’s pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Even though this relationship has progressed quickly and may seem rushed to others, I’m marching forward on the path God has opened up for me.

marnie-ring-rockcityAlong this journey, I’ve learned something important about relationships. There is a distinction between the ones that start off with a fiery blaze but don’t last, and those that build up slowly and warm you for a lifetime. I’ll share those insights in tomorrow’s post…10 Ingredients to a Lasting Loving Relationship.”

In the meantime, think back on your own life when you prayed for something and knew it was right. Did you experience doubts later about whether you heard correctly? We all do.

Trust the answer you received. If you felt peace and knew it was right, trust that. If it was right then, it’s still right. Step out and watch the waters part!

 

The performer at Rock City was singing Taylor Swift’s, “Fearless” when Chris asked me to marry him. Quite appropriate I think…

“And I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me headfirst
Fearless”

About Marnie Marcus

Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.