traumaticbereavement-thirdTraumatic tragic death bereavement is completely unexpected loss, worst form of grief people go through. Suddenly changes lifeplan dramatically, cancels activities so a shock to the system. One minute conversation is taking place about life but the next minute subject changes to unexpected death. It is most painful if the person appeared healthy, full of life with a great future suddenly cut short by death. The numbing shock of loss is hard to sink in and feels that loved one is about to walk through the door home. Seems like a dream, surreal but wide awake with sleepless nights so deep within the heart an overwhelming pain lingers on. Everyday passes by without a text, contact or phone call, facebook so realises it must be really true. Shock is a normal reaction and unbelief deceased person is really no longer with us here on earth. Sudden change of plans means numbness while taking in loss starting to sink in. Though we understand death as part of life it does not make it easier to accept. Death is painful and difficult to experience it hurts beyond belief and complicated. At times pain seems insurmountable but support and a therapy can help to understand, accept and ease the pain. After death of a loved one life is never the same but talking therapy helps to provide skills and tools to assist with creation of the new normal to integrate life into new existence. Annette was on the way to mortuary when Julia phoned to support death of daughter Amber, aged four, who drowned in a swimming pool, and going to see her body. Many people would not call at that moment they feel encroaching on a raw traumatic grief. bottomJulia, friend of couple, a psychotherapist specialises in dealing with loss knows when people in throes of overwhelming grief, sharing the pain is the only thing that makes even the tiniest difference. Grief professionals don’t have endowed special powers its empathy compassion. Phil answered the phone, so Julia liked to say something to make it better but knew nothing could do that, so she said the only thing she could. “I am terribly sorry to hear your daughter, Amber, has died; I’m sorry the devastating pain that has happened to you. How can I help?” 25 years as grief psychotherapist taught Julia great deal about human condition that focus on grief means focus on life, loss exposes things that matters about a person, their strengths and weaknesses. When someone dies, it reveals faultlines in bereaved family, even deepest, most hidden ones. If you know about loss you know about family, about love, survival, resilience and strength. Knowing about loss means you know about life. But there is a paradox at the centre of loss, and it is this. Grief is the most intense pain there is, and we will do anything to avoid pain. So we run away from it; we run away from our own grief, and we run away from others’ grief. Yet, says running away from grief means we will not recover but embracing helps move through the agony and deal with pain. bereavement-and-traumatic-grief-counselling-pinnacle-therapy-counselling-in-london

Allowing ourselves to be while it washes over us, is only way to survive because we have to feel the worst in order to let it change us. Then we can start to find out who we are going to be in wake of it. This is the message at the heart of Julia’s new book, Grief Works. “If you ignore grief and push it down, you can live and you can function, but you live a very narrow emotional life because using emotional energy to cope,” she said. “Everything in psyche will be squashed down, and that means small things can trigger a much bigger kind of effect. The fact is to do the work of grieving. You have to let it run its course. Pain is agent of change; pain allows you to change, it enables you to reach a new reality.” Her book traces journeys of many of the bereaved people she has walked alongside; she describes how she wept and mourned with them. “let clients know what they say has an impact: Tell them when feels shocked, sad or upset,” she says. So talk about relationship with bereaved and a relationship with friends in service of a deceased. Say what you feel if thinking about them if it’s useful to share. One of the many moving stories in her book is that of Bill and Sally, whose 13-year-old son Matthew died of rare virus. Sally tells Julia losing her son has made her feel dead, no more expectations of life; so does not want to go on living. “I said quite plainly, although she was giving up on herself, I refused to; I would fight for her, held her and whispered hidden strength within her said, to live.’ Julia, in 50s, mother of 4 grown up children, grandmother of four, vivacious and fun: has time to feel recharged with life. You know it helps feeling of clients who like Sally regain joy to be alive again. Helps Julia’s interest in answering questions on experiences of traumatic loss to help open hearts for the healing process.17848

There are two sorts of loss, says Julia: expected loss and traumatic loss. And perhaps, for one in her profession, her own losses have all been expected ones. Her father died at 87, sad, grieved but it not traumatic loss. Bereavement work involves charity Birthright, Well-being of Wo/men made her aware of the pain of losing a baby although wonders was unconsciously influenced by parent’s loss of three parents and three siblings by the time they were 25. “Everything seemed OK, but thinks back aware of some unresolved grief. Almost only personal experience of a shocking, out-of-nowhere, loss figures such death brought loss closer and changed how to deal with grief. Julia was a close friend of Princess Diana, a connection echoed when asked by William and Kate to be a godmother to Prince George in 2013. That is, she says, a very joyful role lots of fun, and the chance to enjoy the little boy as he grows up but she doesn’t want to say much about it or Diana, save she agrees her death made difference to the nation’s approach to grief. So, too, she says, did other major shifts of history, especially the first and second world wars. “Our parents, parents of people of my generation, were the generation that couldn’t afford to grieve. Were parented by survivors of first world war simply to survive but modern luxury means able to deal with it differently.”traumaticbereavement-fullwidth

Despite public outpouring of grief after Diana’s death, doesn’t think most people are sufficiently aware impact traumatic bereavement has, the ripples it leaves or how long they persist. As someone who experienced a traumatic loss at the age of nine, when three-year-old sister was killed in road accident agrees with her analysis. It is 44 years since death, and shockwaves still reverberate in the family: everyone is different because of it, next generation touched by it in ways too subtle for them to fully understand.

Traumatic losses shape future of family as subject of great interest to Julia; so, is the way men and women deal with loss differently. Men, tend to want to move on to make plans, to focus on new horizons. Women on other hand want to spend more time remembering the person who died so want to immerse themselves in the pain. But the fact is, each can learn from others. “You have to do both things: you must have time to grieve and mourn and other time when you have break from the grief. You can create circumstances where you grieve, and circumstances where you move on; so men and women help one another. IMG_20180303_141134He can help her go for a walk to a park or gallery can help him talk about how he feels to express some of his loss.” The problems set in when individuals fails to understand the pattern of grief in the other; they think of them as selfish or they don’t care enough, but it isn’t about that due to the different ways of coping. Grieving is an intensely individual and incredibly lonely experience, which can make it difficult time in family, group of people going through something sparked by same event, but is in each case very differentThe way to cope, is be open in communicating feelings to others in your family. Families that fare best share feelings openly when a death disrupts complex finely tuned balance in a family. So needs a reorganised and open approach to help with process.”

At the beginning, and this is especially true of a traumatic loss, the grief is all-consuming: but over time, says Julia, you find you are starting to live again. The mistake some make, though, is believing they can go back to being the way they were. “Some people say, ‘This isn’t going to change us.’ But that’s not how it is: and it’s when you recognise that bereavement is a life-shattering experience, and that you have to grieve and rebuild, that you can move on positively into a new phase of life. originalYou don’t forget the person who’s gone; you can never do that, and you should not worry that you’re going to. But you keep them in memory so their loss helps you become a new person you become; and maybe in the end is greatest tribute to make to anyone who passed to Glory. Grief affects us all so hope in God and read HIS beautiful WORDS in Bible to guide prayers. Powerful scriptures will help you face feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is very normal to feel it is not really true the person is still alive soo will be at home, then in shock, angry they died, hoping the loved one comes back alive, realising they passed on into Glory and finally accepting loss and accepting new unexpected sudden sad changes of life. Crying, weeping, feeling low not eating properly, sad, confused, depressed are all part of feelings of pain, hurt of loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning. It is normal to feel helpless, lost without a loved one with deep sorrow and pain. One helpful action is remember a loved does not want your life destroyed and ruined because of them. They see you in heaven so like you to live and continue life despite feeling changes happening. There’s no shame in being sad. The life we’ve been given was never promised free of pain or sorrow so during times we hurt most run to God and HIS Word for peace and comfort. Psalm 117:7 says God cares about death of the righteous.listingbereavement-jesus-wept

Help from family and friends 

Listening. Be a friend who is prepared to give their time, to listen and to acknowledge the extent of your friend’s loss. Listening is the key. Bear witness, and allow your friend to be upset, to be confused and contradictory, or to say nothing at all. Every time they tell their story once more, or are allowed to say how important the person who has died was, burden of carrying pain on their own is incrementally a little lighter.

It’s not about you. Follow a mourner’s lead: they may not want to talk about their grief right now, or with you. It is good to say something to acknowledge their loss, but then let them have the control they need, they had none over death so choose to talk or not. If they ask you to come and be with them, and want to talk openly to you, go. If they truly don’t want a visit or don’t want to deal with it at that time, don’t force it on them. Don’t confuse need to speak, call, contact, with friend’s need of privacy to come to terms with grief. Some kings or or important dignitaries, leaders buried in secret. Deuteronomy 34:5-7, Numbers 27:13-28 says God buried Moses Himself without gravestone marker, headstone, monument remain unmarked, Israelites not have idol worship. So Moses’ eternal soul rests in peace buried in the Moab valley opposite Beth Peor near Mount Nebo from plains of Moab near top of Pisgah. None knows where Moses’ body buried, concealed in grave stops people flocking to idolise him. In Jude 1:9 angel fought with Michael over Moses’ body, only unique burial by God. Moses’ body soul, alive in Transfiguration met Jesus with Elijah alive from heaven on Mount in Matthew 27:1-10.

loss-300x225 (1)Mourning state of total shock and disorientation exempts you from performing actions requiring attention to detail. Time is given off work at least minimum of 2 weeks plus due holidays to grieve and mourn. Time is needed to sort out paper work, fill in forms and to notify various agencies of the departed. In mourning people wear symbolic or an appropriate colour suitable for the age of the departed. To be able to attend unhindered to funeral arrangements it is important to dress appropriately. The family decided obligated choice agreed on to help support family. Immediately following burial mourning the mourner does not listen to music, go to concerts, does not attend joyous events or parties unless absolutely necessary. If a date set prior to death strictly forbidden or to be postponed cancelled. Week-long period of grief mourning observance referred to by time to grief. During this period all mourners traditionally gather the home and receive visitors. Mourners refrain for a week from showering or bathing, wearing leather shoes, jewelry, shaving. Some communities cover mirrors in the mourner’s home so they not concerned about their personal appearance. It is customary for mourners to sit on low stools or even the floor, symbolic of the emotional reality of being “brought low” by grief. Meal of consolation first meal eaten on return from funeral consists of hard-boiled egg or other round oblong foods. Biblical hospitality means during this seven-day period, family, friends or colleagues visit and call on mourners to comfort them. Is considered great time of kindness, compassion to pay respects to visit the mourners. No greetings are exchanged, visitors wait for mourners to initiate conversation. Mourner is not obliged to engage in a conversation and may completely ignore his/her visitors. Visitors take on hosting role, attending to guests, bringing food and serving it to the mourning family. Mourning family avoids cooking or cleaning during this period. Those responsibilities become that of visitors to ease burden and pain.


Acknowledgment. Death isn’t catching, but those who are bereaved might think so, judging by the fear they see in other people’s eyes. People are frightened about whether to come forward, about what to say, about saying the wrong thing so, in the end say nothing. All of that comes from a belief whatever you say should make things better but have enough wisdom to make the pain more bearable but you can’t or need to. Be kind enough to acknowledge them and their suffering is difficult enough. Offer to be there if they need you, suggesting that they should be the one to ring you, is probably asking too much of your friend at this time. It is better if you take the initiative and make contact, and then follow their lead: they may want to see or speak with you or not. Often, people don’t make contact because they feel they don’t know the bereaved person well enough. If you are erring one way or the other, better to err on the side of making contact.

Practical help. Doing practical things is often what really makes a difference. Don’t say, “Let me know if I can help”; actually do something helpful. At the beginning of a bereavement, there may be a lot of people around, so bringing food may be the best thing you can do. Taking food around for longer than the initial crisis is particularly appreciated.Traumatic-Bereavement-Ind1_m

Honesty. Be honest because honesty is comforting and easy to deal with. So direct honesty helps complex messiness of grief so an enormous relief to people. Be honest about what you actually can do rather than covering up because you feel guilty about what you can’t. And be specific to say, “I’m going to come round for half an hour” or come on Tuesday” don’t say, “I’ll come when you want, tell me, and I’ll be there”, and then find you can’t deliver on that offer.

Be sensitive. Being honest is important, as being sensitive. Promiscuous honesty is not a good idea. Be aware of showing too openly your life is trotting along as happily as can be, feels like you rubbing their nose in your happiness.

Be in it for the long haul. Remember to make contact and be supportive after everyone else has gone. Usually three months following the death, people get back to their lives, as they should. But it is by no means over for the person who is bereaved. Sending a text or popping is hugely supportive.Gay couple hugging and walking in park

Writing. Letters, cards, texts or emails: it doesn’t matter what you write – all are extremely helpful. It is better, however, to say that you don’t want a reply, because some people simply can’t respond. And it is never too late to send them. It is a welcome surprise to receive a card much later, because it is when everyone else has forgotten and your friend is still grieving. When you do write, try to make it personal and avoid tired cliches such as, “She’s had a good innings” or “Better to have loved and lost because they are trite in some way diminish personal importance of this very loved person who died. You don’t need to go into long explanations of why the person died or theological explorations about death; be loving and personal, warm and acknowledging.


Believers have assurance of eternal life in Christ so mourn with hope for their resurrection. In the Bible Jesus raised Lazarus from death, widow of Nain son, Peter raised Dorcas, Paul raised young man who fell dead sitting on a window ledge. The dead arose alive when Jesus was crucified and went into town seen by many people. We pray and ask GOD to raise loved one too in Jesus Name so thank God Jesus raised Lazarus. Bible says Christianity lasts beyond earthly life into heaven so mourn and grieve with hope in Jesus Christ. Christians call death falling asleep to pass into glory to be with God. Although grief pain hurts deeply and so feels tragic loss yet know future reunion family circle will be complete in heaven in the Presence of God Almighty. In the Rapture, the dead in Christ will first be resurrected to join those alive together to meet Christ in the clouds into heaven. The signs of the end times are predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24. So death is part of transition into eternal life although it is better to have loved ones on earth as members of a family, God calls them to higher service in heaven. Rest in peace safely beloved in the loving arms of God so no more sorrow, grief, pain, tears we love you and miss you terribly but God LOVES you more. We shall see you one day in Jesus Name for you are delivered because your name is found written in the BOOK OF LIFE according to Daniel 12:1-2. All asleep in Christ in dust of the earth wake to everlasting life in heaven in Glory in GOD’S PRESENCE. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter in times like these so we draw strength from the word of God to carry on in life in Jesus Name. GOD Our Father Comforts us too through His Love and Words of comfort from loved ones, friends and family. 

Extract from Grief Works by Julia Samuel



kids-circleAdolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to BrainwavesAdolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.Kids-Diverse-1

Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.
Professor Laurence Steinberg

According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:youth-world-header-large

Obesity & Man-made Chemicals

The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”hot

More SunLight exposure

The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.

“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“World-Population-889x591.jpg

Adolescent Brainwaves

Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.


A North Carolina Gospel Minister Sows Seeds of Hope in a Food Desert in USA. The Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Conetoe, NC, exhorts his congregants to strengthen their community. First, the Reverend Richard Joyner got mad. Then he got a trowel. Sick and tired of seeing his congregation suffer from poor nutrition, the North Carolina minister sowed seeds of hope in a food desert. ABOUT A DECADE AGO, the Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church realized he ministered to a congregation of people often hungry and living in poverty but never complained. He came up with an ingenious use of land that helped keep the young ones involved in learning about nature first hand. The Church members unfamiliar with farming in the city are educated on how to grow own good produce.  The pastor found it difficult to comfort grieving or contain his outrage: “How do you tell someone who’s just lost a child to poor nutrition that this was God’s plan when it was totally preventable? Who would hang out with that God?” Each Sunday, Joyner felt like a hypocrite, urging congregants to worship a deity he doubted. During the week, he was forced to confront the community’s health problems constantly as a hospital chaplain. After one particularly trying hospital shift, Joyner pulled his car over and began to pray. “I heard a voice saying, ‘Open your eyes and look around,’” the 64-year-old remembers. All he saw was farmland. His parents and grandparents had been share- croppers; his great-grandparents, slaves. That moment fields blanketing Edgecombe County represented not untapped opportunity but a painful reminder of the region’s racist past.


Young people enjoy outdoors activity so this roadside epiphany directly inspired the church’s now-bustling nonprofit agriculture and education center might construct a tidy narrative. It would, however, be inaccurate. Back in 2005, when Joyner first equipped area youth with seeds and spades on a borrowed plot down the road, he simply hoped to engage kids at summer camp. The campers consumed their initial harvest, but the following year, they started delivering free boxes of ‘Hen Pecked’ mustard greens, ‘Puerto Rican Red’ sweet potatoes and the vegetables to local senior citizens. “One 97-year-old lady, she was so excited, she kissed the children,” Joyner says. “That was the first time in a long time I witnessed anybody speaking a blessing over our troubled children.” Not everyone welcomes bounty. Only a generation or two removed from sharecropping, some church elders questioned the wisdom of participating in any sort of agrarian pursuit. They remained uncomfortably familiar with Edgecombe County’s role in the South’s antebellum cotton economy. Henry Toole Clark, a Civil War–era governor of North Carolina, owned a vast plantation—and dozens of slaves here. Joyner explains prevailing concern: “Do we really want our kids going back to that?” He empathized. Then again, he’d witnessed satisfaction junior parishioners derived from the soil. Less encumbered by Conetoe’s complicated history, they were free to dig in the dirt. “They’re bringing food to people who need it,” Joyner says. “They enjoy the process. They’re playing out there.” Meanwhile, various activities on the farm like preparing beds, selecting seeds, tending crops, selling produce, tracking digital data impart valuable lessons in science, technology, exercise, economics, math, and nutrition.IMG_20180106_150511


uk-scotland-42510187Congratulations on celebration of inter marriage between different groups of people often seen as source of blending families. In the past was not considered able to do so even within same nation a tribe saw other tribes in the draconian age as enemies unable to relate in long term marriage of family members. And many people missed potential marriage of choice thwarted by feuding families of past generations. Today it is good to see the acceptance and tolerance after many years people recognise humans come from one race. Although some people do not really fully understand the challenges involved it is nice to see a successful couple overcome diversity. It is equally challenging to be married in a common social background because all marriages are hardwork, tolerance and forgiveness of each other. No matter the issues faced its good to see marriage on top of the agenda once again. So nation of Britain prepares to celebrate Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan as Queen Charlotte of Portugal married in UK’s past history of a royal mixed marriage. According to PBS, Charlotte “directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal HoHouse. That distinction goes way back to the 18th century to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. So a black woman in the royal family in the 1700s history nerds say turns out that, while many Englanders were in denial at the time, the wife of King George III, who was Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818, was of mixed race. According to PBSMmmm, Charlotte was “directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.” So not of unsavoury mixed-race origins, but actual black royalty. Her race mostly went under the radar over the course of history until decades later art historians began to take a closer look at distinctly black features in her portraits. Her regal nose, those full lips; as a mixed girl myself who can often spot a person with even a small amount of Black ancestry from a mile away, it’s pretty blatant from looking at her painting.

The fact that her black physical traits were visible in those paintings was, in itself noteworthy because as customary at the time for artists air brushed to “play down soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subjects’ face,” also according to PBS. Even more controversial is the fact that the artist who depicted Queen Charlotte in all of her portraits was Sir Allan Ramsay, an anti-slavery advocate who went on to marry a black woman himself. All that being said, many historians believe the mere existence of Queen Charlotte and these portraits could have played a major role in the slavery abolition movement of the time. And that makes total sense. I mean, think about it: As we saw on The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II wouldn’t even allow her sister to marry a man who had once been divorced. And that was in the 1950s. Can you imagine the existence of a black queen back in the 18th century. Another major plot twis is Queen Charlotte, the actual first black and bi-racial member of royalty, happens to be Prince Harry’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. She’s Queen Victoria’s grandmother, which makes them relatives, several generations removed. So not only is it possible that Prince Harry’s 14th great-uncle may have beheaded one of Markle’s ancestors, but now, it’s looking like Prince Harry himself has some interracial genes. It   turns out Queen Charlotte might not be the lone mixed royal and potentially not the first, either. Philippa of Hainault, a fourteenth-century Queen of England, was also rumoured to have African ancestry. And in 2004, former sheep sheerer and builder Gary Lewis became the first Maori or aboriginal New Zealander to join the extended royal family by marrying Lady Davina Lewis, daughter of the Duke of Glouchester and 28th in line to the British throne. (I know, I know. Let me know if y’all need me to draw a family tree for all of this.)
Regardless, I think it’s long overdue (like, seven generations long) for Queen Charlotte to get some credit for being an early trailblazer among the royals. And even though the official title of the first black member of royalty technically taken a long time ago. Meghan Markle’s recent engagement reminds people that love heart matters for pure happiness.



With Compliments of Christmas Season, May I take this opportunity on behalf of my family and myself to wish you and your family, Merry Christmas and Happy Prosperous New Year. May your Christmas be filled with joy, love, peace and precious special memories. And as the New Year unfolds, may it bring you everything you ever hope for and God’s Blessings everyday in Jesus Name.

God bless you always,

With Love From God’sHotSpot


Best-Christmas-Greeting-Card“Christmas is usually a noisy party: we could use a bit of silence, to hear the voice of Love.” Christmas is you, when you decide to be born again each day and let God into your soul. Christmas pine is you when you resist vigorous winds and difficulties of life because of Jesus Christ the hope of Glory in you. HOL033-G-01Christmas decorations are you, when your virtuous colours adorn your life. The Christmas bell is you, when you call, gather and seek to unite. You are a Christmas light, when you illuminate with your life the path of others with kindness, patience, joy and generosity. The Christmas angels are you, when you sing to the world a message of peace, justice and love.efdffd5e29e003a571e7cac928d871ef The Christmas star is you, when you lead someone to meet the Lord. You are also the wise men, when you give the best you have no matter who. Christmas music is you when you conquer the harmony within you. The Christmas gift is you when you are truly friend and brother of every human being. The Christmas card is you when kindness is written in your hands. The Christmas greeting is you when you forgive and restablish peace, even when you suffer. 6365-inspirational-christmas-quotesThe Christmas dinner is you, when you sated bread and hope to the poor man who is by your side. You are Christmas night when humble and conscious, you receive in silent night the Saviour Jesus of the world without noise or great celebrations; you are a smile of trust and tenderness, in the inner peace of perennial Christmas that establishes God’s Kingdom within you. A very Merry Christmas for all those who look like Christmas.

Pope Francisco


BLOG-ARIS-CAVES-3Find true love again if your friends are all coupled up is possible. If one key New Year’s resolution is again find yourself a relationship, where to start can become daunting. We find ourselves deep in the party season, when even those who are antisocial rest of the year feel obliged to enter the fray. If at no other moment one is compelled to meet people so as to commune, converse often suggestion of intimacy hovers alluringly in the air as surely as mull and the pine. Christmas is time for encounters, social interaction opportunities for a stable romantic love.Valentines_beach_620

And I know of what I speak. Three years ago, at the age of 43, I met my beloved at a Christmas party after years of living solo dream, including writing a column about being single. Still thinks of myself  as ‘professionally single’, despite loved one’s protestations. ‘How,’ people often constantly ask me, ‘did you pull it off?’ given I defied conventional platitudes by relishing my lone life, having a ball, not being particularly bent on ending, it then meeting chap perfect other women refer to him as ‘illusion dream unicorn.’

To my mind, the answer is not only just mere luck but avoiding these platitudes in the first place. Smug I most certainly am not. My relationship hope embraces the new circumstances recommended. Neither do I believe coupledom is for everyone. Cue my first tip…

Work out if needs finding love

It’s not always self-evident as a lot of people assume merely because they are single they must desire partner. Yet the message of behaviour may be entirely the opposite. A friend once informed me I was ‘ideologically single’ so was right. My relationship status wasn’t going to change until this did. Relationships are hard work a different sort of hard work to keeping the show on the road on one’s tod. There can be an ease to single living: a briskness and knowing where one is with it. Despite ability to act as a salve to loneliness one is never more lonelir than in the most difficult flailing, relationship. There are many ways of having love, companionship, and/or sex in your life, and different approaches may be appropriate to different stages of existence. Consider whether it is a partner that you want if it is act on it.

Cultivate a dazzling social life

If you are determined to stay solo not to become conjoined your single or social life is your life; if seeking a relationship, socialising will be means of achieving it. In either case, new blood  is all. Plus, it’s terrific fun. The majority of my closest alliances were forged when  I became single in my mid-30s and I would take a bullet for each and every one of those friends. They are far more involved in my life than friends of yesteryear; what a pal refers to as‘heritage friends’ (like ‘heritage tomatoes’, only frequently  less palatable).Hannah snaps a selfie with her boyfriend, Terence Hannah snaps selfie with her boyfriend, Terence. A lawyer who unhappily single for 15 years, invariably barks, ‘I don’t need friends. I have enough friends. So what is needed is a boyfriend, wonders why she never meets someone, while spending time boring with the same two couples from her university days. The One, or even merely A.N. Other, is not going to appear on doorstep by way of some benevolent deus ex machina. If going to have to put the work in: meet people, risk vulnerability, put yourself out there. Falling back on the argument you ‘never meet anyone’ means you have only yourself to blame. What are you doing about it? Now? Tonight? I get it. I’m a closet introvert myself,  but introverts want to have intimacy. Take some responsibility and get off solo life.

Embrace change for partner

Not only do you have to work at it, you also have to work on yourself as we all do, single or enmeshed, at every age. In the main, single individuals know love is best if people considerably sane like coupled friends, active, self-sufficient, stay on their toes, without an ounce of co-dependency in them. In respect of a few situations, it is immediately obvious why someone is alone, despite repeated attempts to be otherwise. Personally, I needed to stop drinking after a lifetime of raucous carousing. I was 90 days sober the night I met my beloved, and he would have run a mile had this not been the case, as I would be in direction of the next inveterate party animal. So by removing drink blinkers allowed our eyes to meet mine in focus.Honeymoon-couple-romance-and-love-at-beach-1024x576

Finding myself non-plastered while all about me were revelling, I thought, ‘I’m going to talk to most handsome man in room,’ proceeded to do so. A friend said was ‘ideologically single’ so relationship status will not change until embraces compromise for change to include the partner in life. It turned out being hot, clever, kind, witty, generous, entirely sans baggage, and shared interest in literary theory. When another chap (my usual type, a lewd and lovable drunk) endeavoured to go home with me, I had wits to decline and to secure handsome ashing man’s number. Only by altering  the habits of a lifetime could this fateful encounter take place. Three chief single bleaters acquaintance driven away put frankly is exhausting maniac, a swivel-eyed neurotic, and a carping bitch. It’s difficult to be around them let alone as lover.  All badly need therapy; all refuse to countenance it. As it is often said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.’ See yourself as others see you, consider doing things required differently to have good success.valentines-Image-by-Pexels-CC0

Don’t settle for less in life

As a woman, one is constantly being fed that bullshit about being more likely to be blown up in a terrorist attack than meet your partner over the age of 40 etc etc. And it is what it is. Moreover, later life has potential for far more satisfying relationships: you’ve been around the block, know who you are, and you’re 4,000 times more fascinating than you were at 25. Plus, 400,000 times better at sex. My ex-boyfriend and I could have settled not separated when in my 30s. Having the guts to call it a day meant both met people more compatible with. He got together with the love of his life shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, I got to have time of my life. By way of bonus we didn’t kill each other. When I was 40, met some bore at party, wine-fugged, unfaithful to his wife informed me I will only find someone broken as divorcé or some sort of failure’. I refer him to the hot Disney prince scored 3 fun-filled years later.shutterstock_105487772-557

Enjoy life daily though single!

For legions, going solo is a dream. Even those less enamoured will be forced to admit it has its moments. However,  the trouble with single life for those who aim to be out of it is that one never knows when it might end. If only it were akin to gardening leave: a few months’ dazzling hedonistic licence before getting stuck back into the old routine. I say ‘trouble’, but it is also its brilliance. For, really, there is nothing like setting  forth on a glacial December evening, not knowing where the night’s adventures will lead you, or with whom they will be hazarded. So, put your soul into it, to be sure, relax, uncoil, enjoy. If you happen to find love and entwined, single are the days you will look back on with nostalgia. So make the most of it and your life is not worth less because you are single. You are precious to God and Jesus Christ so love yourself first and other people until you find love.

Originally published in Telegraph