5 Steps I Took Before Meeting the Love of My Life. ~ Kristin Hauser

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Five years ago, I met the man I now call my husband in the small town of La Fortuna in Costa Rica.

Call it a chance meeting, fate, or divine will, but truth be told I carved the path towards that first encounter. Before we met, I knew that I wanted to be in a committed relationship and I understood why that was important to me, but I just did not know how, when or where it was going to come together. As far as carving paths go, isn’t that how it often feels?

We may know the what and the why, but the how, when and where only become clear with time and effort.

As I carved away, there were times of confusion, feelings of hopelessness and other roadblocks. Despite that, I was on a mission to consciously step towards a life of partnership. Sometimes, I carved steps that took me forward, some that took me backward and with some I stayed in place. The important thing in the end is that I moved and eventually arrived somewhere wonderful.

As it is, looking back I can clearly see what worked and what moved me closer to meeting the love of my life. It’s a beautiful thing to glance back, without fixing the gaze, and honor the place we are standing in now and the path that got us there. This is just that: a brief glance over my shoulder, a glimpse at the steps that brought me to the present.

We all have healing steps to take in this lifetime; steps that take us closer to our true self, closer to the soul’s deepest desires. Without the steps that I share with you today, I would probably still be carving away at the path towards partnership; or worse, I would be sailing the seas of marriage recklessly to say the least.

“When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep”. ~ Kahlil Gibran

 1. Learned to love myself.

I fell in love with others and when that did not work out, I decided it was time to love myself. I did not really know what that meant, until one day after much contemplation it washed over me as I was gazing at the sunset. It was about compassion and a lot of it. How much compassion was I willing to show myself? This is still a struggle for me, but I now have a growing number of practices and skills that serve as a reminder to be loving and compassionate to every part of who I am.

 2. Opened the rooms of the heart.

We all have a past, sometimes convoluted and rough, sometimes smooth and silky to the point that it slips away. Regardless, as human beings, we can get caught in thoughts and feelings that are of the past. Lucky for us, the heart has more rooms than the mind can comprehend. When someone from the past seems to be a lingering resident of the heart, is it possible to just let him or her be there? It seems that often we struggle to either evict this person or permanently close, lock and seal the room.

At some point, I chose to stop the struggle, air out the rooms and with that some stayed and some left permanently. This helped me to realize the infinite space that resides within when we are daring enough to look.

 3. Made a list.

Yes, this is a very cliché thing to do, but it is also a powerful thing to do. I made a list of qualities of a partner that were most important to me. The list was long at first and I only looked at it on occasion. Over the course of three years or so, I refined the list and imagined how it would feel to be with a person who had those qualities. When I did meet my husband, my experience of him felt very familiar.

 4. Imagined being single.

 When I imagined how it would feel to be with someone else, I also imagined how great it would be to remain single. I imagined what my life would look like, where I would live, what I would do and who I would become. In my mind, I really dove into dreaming of my future single life. It was beautiful and completely satisfying to be alone in this alternate reality. Having this outlook kept me hopeful for whatever the future held and re-enforced self-love (step 1). After all, if you are not the first love of your life, then who will be?

 5. Sat with grief.

 After some struggle, I learned that it was perfectly fine to feel sadness, even that heaviness in your heart kind of sadness. I grieved for the loss of my grandmother, my parent’s divorce and love lost. I soon found that more important than the sadness that I felt was the life experience that it gave me. The more I allowed grief to carve into my soul, the more hopeful and open-hearted I became.

Because of this, I became more compassionate to those suffering. I was more open to what life’s experiences had to offer me. Most importantly, I realized that I was not looking for someone to take away the sadness, but someone to share it with.

“Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict; joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are only one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves.”

~ Erich Fromm


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anonymous Dec 19, 2015 5:43am

I've not commented before on an article, but this is wise and beautifully said. Thank you.
– Lori

anonymous Dec 19, 2015 3:45am

I spent a lot of time in self imposed solitude because I had to, but when one is done with that, the drive to find a partner becomes dominant. Your single friends still try to tell you that if you are “looking” to find love, something is “missing” and you’d better take a second job or go to India or start therapy. No. You’re OK. You don’t seek to “settle”. You seek love. Not “a” partner… the “right” one. I made those lists too. Its good to make a list. Its good to have standards. But when I FOUND the one? List wasn’t in front of me. I guess when it hits you that you’ve never met anyone as patient OR kind, and although your list had 18 things, those were probably at the top, then you just allow yourself to become. And then you are not “he and I”, but “we”.

anonymous Dec 19, 2015 2:29am


anonymous Aug 1, 2015 10:31am

Hi Kristin

Do you think it could be true, that the qualities that are most important for us in a partner, are the qualities that were most severely lacking in our parent of the opposite sex, back when we were children?

Feeling really curious if this applies to the list you made 🙂

anonymous Mar 11, 2015 1:40pm

Wonderful! thanks for sharing x

anonymous Oct 26, 2014 2:19pm

Your ending line about wanting someone to share in your sadness rather than to take it away, hit me. I have definitely thought about it before but not in away of just accepting that those pieces of my past, my sadness, are allowed to stay with me and that is ok. It is not a defining part of who i am, but it certainly helped shape who i am and why i think a certain way. This was a great piece, thank you. Not only did you discuss a sensative topic with grace, you provided a way to rethink . Thanks again!

anonymous May 7, 2014 10:35pm

So happy to see your words here Kristin!! Thank you for sharing your love story. xoxo

anonymous Jan 31, 2014 7:28am

Congratulations. This is all so true. The journey of the self cannot be avoided. It's all intertwined.

anonymous Jan 30, 2014 8:56am

Thank you for this beautiful piece!

anonymous Jan 30, 2014 7:44am

Thank you so much. I woke up feeling lonely and a little self-pity. I started looking at all those flaws that could be responsible for me not having a partner in a long time. I will print this and read it often.

anonymous Jan 30, 2014 6:31am

Wonderful reminder and inspiration to opening the door to love. Namaste

anonymous Jan 30, 2014 5:36am

Loved this. How did you air out those rooms?

Falling in love with yourself is a game changer.


    anonymous Jan 30, 2014 11:20am

    Slowly….with compassion for myself and my past experiences/relationships. This included a lot of forgiveness of self and other, as well as honoring the lessons and memories of past relationships by noticing how they had shaped me. Perhaps more importantly was the realization that I could still have love in my heart for people in the past and that did not in any way prevent me from loving someone else in the future. Dive deep and you'll know what to do.

anonymous Jan 30, 2014 3:19am

I like it

And the statement, “I sat with grief” is one we’ve lost in today’s rush. We tell people, if they express ANYthing about their past, “move on.” Grieving happens AS you’re moving, not instead of it. We don’t want to hear, feel or know because we’ve bottled our own grief and mourning tight inside . To know another’s could spill our own in plain sight.

anonymous Jan 28, 2014 9:35am

great article!

anonymous Jan 27, 2014 10:43pm

#3, culminating in the last sentence of #3, was very beautiful.

    anonymous Jan 28, 2014 11:09am

    Thank you Dan!

    anonymous Jan 28, 2014 11:42am

    Thanks Dan! It was a very beautiful experience!

anonymous Jan 27, 2014 9:09pm


anonymous Jan 27, 2014 7:58pm

I usually don’t comment but I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my aired out heart 😉 Will surely safe and reread this beautifully resonating piece as I carve away.

    anonymous Jan 28, 2014 11:07am

    Happy carving, one step at a time! I am glad this piece touched your heart. Namaste.

anonymous Jan 27, 2014 7:35pm


    anonymous Jan 28, 2014 11:06am

    Thanks for reading Judy! You are very welcome. Namaste.

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Kristin Hauser

Kristin Hauser is a passionate yoga student and teacher who loves to learn, mostly through the experience of traveling near and far. She currently lives in Southern California where she is pursuing her Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and dreaming up the next adventure. Find more at her website Ola Healing Arts, follow her on Twitter or connect on Facebook.