Posted by: silverliningsblog | November 30, 2020

A merry COVID Christmas

A merry what?!

Ok, so we all know these are unusual times we’re living in, and that these holidays will not look the same as in years past. Not being able to see our families and friends is not on anyone’s Christmas wish list, nor is spending the holidays alone, especially for single people and seniors.

When things aren’t the way we want them to be, we can make ourselves miserable by resisting the situation and continuing to focus on what’s “wrong.” It’s a guaranteed way to let the Grinch steal your Christmas.

Or―just like the Whos in Whoville who joined hands and sang songs after the Grinch stole their presents―we can make ourselves feel better by adapting to the situation and making the best of it. Ask yourself, “How can I make this Christmas feel good?”

When we embrace―instead of resist―our current circumstances, we may even make the holidays better than before! (I know I’m actually looking forward to a quieter, more peaceful and less hectic Christmas this year.)

Ideas for making Christmas fun

Here are 10 ideas for making Christmas fun, even during COVID:

  1. Light it up – Go crazy with decorating inside and outside…add some extra lights and bows to make things look more festive feel more joyful. We added extra lights in our backyard this year so we can see them out our picture window, and I’m even adding white lights to the plant in my bedroom so it feels sparkly and bright! Oh, and we’ll be keeping our lights on until the snow is gone. 😊

  2. Go light gazing – Many people are putting up extra outdoor lights this year. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood in the evening to lift your spirits, or a drive around town (there are many places that have organized lit trails you can drive through as well – there are 3 here in Ottawa!).

  3. Treat yourself – Splurge and buy yourself some nice gifts this year, especially if you live alone. Wrap them and put them under the tree so you have something to look forward to Christmas day. This year is all about comfort for me…fluffy blankets and socks, bath products and candles!

  4. Host an online party – Big get-togethers with friends and family are out this year, so consider hosting a virtual party instead! I usually host a big “Ugly Sweater, Horrible Gifts, Terrible Singing” party for my friends every year, and this year will be no exception…I’ll just host it on Zoom, we’ll exchange our funny gifts by dropping them on each other’s doorsteps, and we’ll do online karaoke and play virtual games for fun while dressed in silly sweaters and drinking our favourite beverage!

  5. Have a virtual dinner – Don’t eat Christmas dinner alone. If you’re in an area where it’s allowed, find a friend or family member to join you. If it’s not allowed, grab your computer and have dinner virtually…you can still talk and share laughter like you normally would, you’ll just be eating different meals! 😊

  6. Do an online game or craftYaymaker has many cool craft and games that can be done virtually for a pretty low price. Check them out and either join on your own or organize something with friends/family members!

  7. Check out an online concert – Many great artists (Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Barenaked Ladies etc.) have announced they are hosting online concerts over the next few weeks. Do a Google or Facebook search and grab a ticket to something that will inspire you and make you smile.

  8. Get outside – Go snowshoeing, skiing, skating, sledding, walking…enjoy the winter weather and different options it provides.

  9. Have a Christmas movie marathon – Put on your comfiest PJs and watch some sappy, uplifting movies…better yet, do it with a friend (either in person or virtually).

  10. Escape to an exotic location virtually – There are many museums and places around the world you can now “visit” virtually…do a Google search and you’ll soon have many ideas for places to escape to from the comfort of your own home!

Ideas for giving back

Another great way of improving your outlook over the holidays is to see where you can lend a hand. Some ideas include:

  • Support local – Many businesses are struggling, so buying food, gifts and gift cards from your favourite places may help them to get through this winter and still be around next year.

  • Make an online donation – There are so many great charities out there needing support. I particularly like Food Banks Canada, the Shoebox Project (for homeless women), and (microloans for business owners in developing countries).

  • Share your talent – Make baked goods or crafts and share with people who may be feeling lonely or blue this holiday season.

  • Check in with others – Think of who you know who is alone over the holidays and give them a call to check in and see how they’re doing.

  • Random acts of kindness – Do something nice for someone in your community to lift their spirits. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway. Brush snow off someone’s car. Buy a coffee for the next person in line at the drive-through. Tell the store clerk you appreciate their hard work. Little things go a long way, especially in times like these (and they rarely cost anything other than time).

Share your ideas

Please share your ideas for making the holidays great in the comments below!


For more holiday inspiration, see:

If you’d like to join a global community of single women who want to heal, feel empowered and support each other, I invite you to join my free Facebook group:

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Check out Karen’s free inspirational resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | October 31, 2020

10 tips for thriving this fall & winter

Winter doesn’t have to be a season you dread, even during COVID. Plan ahead so you not only survive, but actually thrive this year!

The challenges of winter

As the last leaves fall from the trees and snow begins to fly, many people are particularly dreading winter this year.

With winter comes shorter, darker days, frigid weather (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere), and hibernating indoors. Every year, I witness many people around me crash and burn emotionally somewhere between January and March (and sometimes as early as November). Often, they are being affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder and don’t even know it.

And this year due to the pandemic, we’re anticipating that our activities may be even further restricted, and social gatherings made difficult, if not impossible. So the typical challenges winter brings seem even more compounded this year.

The key to surviving this winter…and dare I say thriving…is to learn more about the effects of less sunlight (and social time) on us, and plan ahead so that instead of nosediving, we keep our bodies running at cruising altitude!

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects people typically during late fall and winter. It occurs most commonly in the northern hemisphere, due to our lack of proximity to the equator and resulting decrease in sunlight (which can cause a drop in melatonin and serotonin production in our bodies).

Symptoms of SAD are the same as general depression, and may include:

  • a sad, despairing mood that lasts most of the day for more than 2 weeks
  • impaired performance at work/school or in relationships
  • changes in appetite and weight
  • sleep problems and fatigue
  • irritability
  • trouble concentrating, remembering and making decisions
  • loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
  • withdrawal from family and friends
  • feeling hopeless and pessimistic 
  • crying easily (or feeling like crying but not being able to)
  • suicidal thoughts (please call a Helpline if you’re feeling this way)

Between 2-3% of people experience full-on SAD, and close to 15% experience milder symptoms. 

Additional risk factors include:

  • Being a woman (women are four times more likely than men to have SAD)
  • Being young (rates of SAD decrease with age)
  • Family or personal history of depression

The most common treatment for SAD is light therapy (i.e. getting outside in the sun more and/or getting a sun lamp). Medication and psychotherapy are also sometimes prescribed.

Thriving instead of surviving

Whether or not you have SAD, this year in particular, we’re all going to need to be extra prepared to weather the proverbial storm.

Here’s the thing…we can head into winter dreading it and bracing ourselves.

Or we can find a way to embrace and enjoy it, COVID restrictions and all.

In 2015, a Stanford researcher studied why there were very low rates of SAD in Norway, despite the northern climate and cold winters. He discovered that the reason they weathered winter better was that they had a very different attitude towards winter than most North Americans…they saw it as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured.

Norwegians have a word for winter called “koselig,” which loosely translates into a “sense of coziness.” They enjoy the change of pace that winter brings, including the opportunity to snuggle up in front of a fireplace and marvel at the beauty of freshly fallen snow.

I’m the first to admit that winter is my least favourite season (I hate being cold, miss being outside every day, and struggle with SAD). But I also don’t want to wish 4 to 5 months of my life away, so I’ve learned how to make the best of this season and actually have fun.

So today, I’m going to share with you my best strategies for enjoying winter!

Top 10 tips for thriving this winter

  1. Sunshine – Since SAD is caused by a lack of sunshine, it makes sense that the first solution is to get outside more, even during the winter. It can also really help to get a sun lamp (you can find a good model on Amazon or through your pharmacy for around $200 or so).

  2. Supplements – While I can’t recommend specific supplements for you (I am not a health care practitioner), there’s lots of research out there to support taking a Vitamin D supplement (a third of Canadians have insufficient Vitamin D levels). It not only helps to replace what you’re not getting from the sun in winter, but it’s also a known immune booster. Other supplements like fish oil and a multivitamin may also help, and oil of oregano is a natural anti-viral. So don’t wait until you get sick…talk to your doctor or naturopath today about which supplements are right for you!

  3. Stillness – Instead of pushing against winter’s natural period of contraction, work with the energy by carving out time to simply BE. Meditate, sit quietly and check in with your body, listen to the silence, enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with less frenetic periods of life.

  4. Inspiration –Use your downtime to take in inspiring ideas through uplifting magazines, podcasts, music, movies, quotes, websites and apps.

  5. Perspiration – There’s tons of research to show that exercise helps to boost mood…it increases the levels of dopamine and endorphins in your body (happy chemicals). It also helps to release stress chemicals like cortisol. The very worst thing you can do if you feel depressed is sit still. The best thing you can do is move your body…ideally outside if possible. So create a plan NOW for how you’ll fit in exercise this winter…find a walking buddy, sign up for an online workout program or yoga program. Even 15 minutes a day can have a tremendous benefit.

  6. Projects –During winter, we’re indoors more, so it’s the perfect time to look around your home and start a project to beautify and improve your living environment. Some ideas include: decluttering, redecorating, putting pictures in frames, starting a DIY project, re-arranging furniture, repainting.

  7. Play – This will be a different kind of winter…but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Think about what you can do in winter that you can’t do in other seasons. Better yet, make a winter bucket list! Some ideas include: skiing (downhill or cross-country), snowshoeing, skating, making snowmen, making a snow or ice fort, going sledding or tubing, going for a walk to see Christmas lights. You can also look for ways to bring more of the things you enjoy and that make you laugh into your life (e.g. comedy shows, sitcoms, funny movies, board games, flowers, etc.).

  8. Creativity –Related to play, find ways to bring out your creative muse this winter. You
    don’t have to be an artist…everyone has a creative side. It gives us something positive to focus our mind on so we don’t drift to negative thoughts and allows us to express ourselves. This is also a great opportunity to take a class and learn something new (check out Yaymaker for lots of great classes). Some ideas include: doing a paint night, drawing, getting an adult colouring book, cooking/baking new recipes, painting rocks, doing origami, knitting, playing music on an instrument, singing, writing/journaling.

  9. Comfort – Borrowing from the Norwegians, find ways to make your home cozy and warm. We need more fire element in the winter! For example, use soft blankets, warm tea/hot chocolate, a fireplace (real or fake), candles, warm socks, warm and bright-coloured clothing, twinkling lights.

  10. Community – It is SO important to connect with others, especially in the winter months. We naturally tend to keep to ourselves more…but then we feel isolated! Make new friends through an online community or Meetup. Have at least a couple people you connect with regularly. Schedule your next call or video chat…don’t wait for something to happen. Volunteer to help others (e.g. writing letters to seniors in nursing homes, filling purses for homeless women, participating in food drives, helping out in a soup kitchen). When we help others, it makes our problems seem smaller.

You may be thinking, “This all sounds great, but I don’t have time.” I’d suggest you don’t have time not to. As the saying goes, “If you don’t make time for wellness, you will be forced to make time for illness.” When we prioritize our physical and emotional wellbeing, we don’t lose so much time to being sick, having low energy or being depressed. We also have more energy for work and for our loved ones.

So use these ideas to create your own Winter Wellness Plan, and take charge of how you feel this winter!!


If you’d like to join a global community of single women who want to heal, feel empowered and support each other, I invite you to join my free Facebook group:

If you’re really struggling to cope this winter, reach out and call a Helpline:

And if you’re struggling with heartbreak and want to heal your pain faster, I invite you to attend my 1-day virtual workshop (the cost is very low, you can attend from anywhere, and all proceeds go to charity):

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Check out Karen’s free inspirational resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | September 30, 2020

What to do (and not to do) when a relationship ends

When a relationship ends, it can be excruciatingly painful, regardless of the reason…

Maybe the person cheated on you and chose someone else, causing you to feel like you weren’t good/young/pretty/sexy enough to make him stay.

Or perhaps you were with a toxic partner, someone who beat you down and drained you of your positive energy, leaving you feeling like a shell of the person you once were.

Maybe he told you he didn’t love you anymore, causing you to wonder if all those years of effort you put in really meant anything.

Or maybe it was you who decided to leave, after years of growing apart and wanting different things. And while it was your choice, you still feel the guilt of breaking up your family.

No matter why your relationship ended, one thing is for sure…it hurts and it’s hard.

The impact of loss

Going through a break-up can send us reeling. It takes a toll on many areas of our life, like our:

  • Kids – Children can really struggle with the loss of security and stability they once knew.

  • Extended family – Relationships with in-laws and even our own family can become strained.

  • Friends – Sometimes friends pick sides, or because they’re still married they stop including us.

  • Home – Often we have to sell or move out of the home we spent years building.

  • Finances – Splitting assets and paying for bills and lawyers can be quite costly.

  • Self-esteem – Especially if the other person left, we may doubt our lovability and desirability.

  • Physical health – We may feel exhausted from the stress, and suffer from an illness as a result.

  • Mental health – Prolonged stress can lead to disorders like depression and anxiety.

Make no mistake, recovering from a break-up isn’t easy. They say on average, it takes 7 years to grieve and recover from the end of a relationship!

Typical coping strategies (and why they don’t work)

I believe a big part of why it takes so long to recover from heartbreak is that people use the wrong strategies to deal with their pain.

The most common ways people cope with a break-up include:

  1. Keeping busy – Working too much, socializing so much they’re rarely home, constantly cleaning or fixing things around the house, over-focusing on their kids (instead of themselves).  

  2. Zoning out – Numbing their feelings with drugs, alcohol, TV, gaming, social media, shopping, etc.

  3. Dating too soon – Running right back out to find someone new in the hopes that they’ll make them feel better.

  4. Obsessing about their ex – Getting angry and blaming their ex (or feeling sad and missing them), and obsessing about what they’re doing day and night.

  5. Giving up – Dwelling on the pain, feeling hopeless and depressed, shutting down and shutting people out.

The reason why these strategies don’t work well is because they involve either avoiding pain or dwelling on pain, instead of learning how to properly process, release and heal difficult emotions.

What we focus on expands (dwelling on pain), and what we resist, persists (avoiding pain). So the pain never really goes away when we use these strategies. And contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds (I’ve worked with many people who decades later have still not healed).

A better strategy for healing and moving on

So instead of avoiding or dwelling on your pain, what should you do?

These 5 steps will help you to feel better faster:

  1. Focus on healing. Your first step should be to practice self-care and give yourself time to heal in a healthy way. There is a lot we can learn from our relationships, including the ones that didn’t work out…if we give ourselves time to heal and grow.

  2. Understand your role. It takes two to tango…you’ve made choices and decisions that contributed to whatever happened, and the sooner you figure out what your role was, the faster you will grow and move on to something better (instead of constantly repeating the lesson/mistake). 

  3. Learn who to avoid. If you’ve been in unhealthy relationships, it pays to learn more about your relationship patterns and toxic people…so you know who you don’t want to attract.

  4. Raise your standards. If you’ve been choosing people who can’t (or won’t) meet your needs, who take instead of give, who are abusive or unkind…it’s time to raise your standards for love, and learn what a healthy relationship looks like.

  5. Get on the fast track to love. Once you’ve done your healing work, it’s time to learn how to attract a great partner…one who will treat you with love and respect and be capable of creating a joyful, harmonious partnership with you.

With some concerted effort and the right advice and support, you can heal after heartbreak and lead a joyful, fulfilling life (either on your own or with a new partner).

If you need more help…

If this all makes sense but you need some help with the healing process, I have great news for you…I have two FREE online workshops coming up that will really help you move the needle:

And if you’re really wanting to dive deep and heal your pain faster, I invite you to attend my 1-day virtual workshop (the cost is very low, and all proceeds go to charity):

Finally, if you’d like to be in a community of other single women around the world who want to heal, feel empowered and support each other, I invite you to join my free Facebook group:

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | August 27, 2020

How to avoid online dating scams

If you’ve ever had someone pretend to be someone they’re not online in order to get money from you, you’ve been catfished.

And you are not alone. 

Catfishing (also known as a dating or romance scam) is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Both amateur and expert criminals around the world prey on lonely people (women and men), telling them what they want to hear.

With women, a catfisher usually appears as a handsome man with a good career who says “you’re beautiful” and “I love you” often and quickly (appealing to a woman’s desire to be validated and loved). With men, they appear as young women sending sexy pics and telling them they’re handsome or hot (appealing to a man’s desire to feel young and manly again).

Once they’ve gotten your attention, they love bomb you and message you frequently, creating an online “relationship” with you to build your trust. They may even send you a gift so you think they’re real. Eventually, they ask you for money, with some kind of convincing reason.

If this has happened to you, don’t take it personally or think it means no-one is trustworthy. Just learn the signs to watch for and how to protect yourself (and pass this information on to your single friends!).

Common catfishing signs

Here are some common signs you may be dealing with a catfisher:

  1. They look like models in their photos – If they are drop-dead gorgeous and their photos appear to be professionally taken, the photos are most likely stolen from someone else. Most people get their friends to take photos for them (or take selfies). Another give-away is that aside from the pro shots, they have few or no candid photos showing them in everyday life (e.g. with their dog, playing sports or gardening).

  2. They have a limited social profile – If your potential love interest doesn’t have a lot of friends or posts showing interaction with others on Facebook (or their profile looks new), they are likely not real.

  3. They have poor English – Many of these scams are run from foreign countries, so English is often (though not always) their second language, and their spelling/grammar is poor.

  4. They love bomb you – They get serious way too fast, are over-eager to communicate with you often, and make early promises of love and affection.

  5. Their stories lack details – When you ask them about their life or history, their stories seem very vague, with few personal details and odd inconsistencies (e.g. they say they’re from a certain city but can tell you little about it).

  6. They avoid meeting in person – Probably the most classic sign of a catfisher, they say they can’t meet you in real life, and seem to have a good excuse (currently travelling for a lengthy period, working on an oil rig or diamond mine, on a military posting, etc.). They usually avoid video chats as well (claiming poor Internet connection), wanting to stick to texting/messaging and maybe the occasional phone call.

  7. They ask you for money – The inevitable goal of catfishing is to extort money from you. They will make up an emergency or sob story to convince you their situation is real. Common reasons include: medical (needing money for a prescription or surgery), travel (needing money to come see you), for a child (medical emergency or custody/divorce issues), for legal fees, they need help cashing a cheque, and so on. Don’t fall for it! Never send money (in any form) to a stranger (no matter how well you think you know them / how long you’ve been chatting online).

How to avoid being scammed

Some tips to avoid falling prey to a romance scam:

  1. It’s not a relationship if all you’ve done is chatted online. Understand that the real purpose of online dating is simply to connect with people you otherwise wouldn’t. It is not a good way to form a relationship. That must be done in real life…yes, even if you’re shy!!

  2. Don’t get swept up in praise and early promises of love. Take it slow. Ask questions. Learn to love and validate yourself so that you’re less vulnerable to someone who’s paying positive attention to you. 

  3. Research your date – Do your research to make sure this person is who they say they are. Google their name (and city if it’s a common name). Look them up on Facebook and LinkedIn. Do a reverse Google image search on their photos. You can even do a full background check using a service like (most of the time this isn’t necessary if you do the other checks first).

  4. You can’t know someone is real until you’ve met them live. And a phone call doesn’t count – they can hire someone to talk to you. So don’t spend weeks and months chatting online. Move to a real date in person within a week to two weeks tops. Yes, even during COVID (you can do a socially distanced walk or drink/coffee). If they won’t meet you in real life (they usually have a good excuse like work, travel, etc.), stop communicating with them and move on to someone who IS available.

  5. Trust your instincts – Whether meeting live or online, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You don’t need to know the reason why…trust yourself and move on!

  6. If someone asks you for money DON’T GIVE IT TO THEM!!! It doesn’t matter how good their reason is or how much you think you love them. This is a SCAM!! (See below for more on what to do instead.)

  7. Stop over-giving. Don’t share your heart so eagerly with someone you haven’t even met. Don’t give money to a stranger. Stop selling yourself out to people who will hurt you. Learn to heal your past (including trauma from your childhood and past relationships) so that you’re not so vulnerable to these types of people. You are a precious gift, so please start treating yourself like one, and stop giving yourself away so easily. (Reach out if you need help with this part.)

What to do if you’ve been catfished

Photo by Pixabay on

If someone asks for money, immediately end all communication and block them. Don’t confront them – this can result in them luring you back, harassing you with threats, or in calling you at a later date pretending to be police or an investigative agency to get MORE money from you.

Save any records of communication with them, then report them to local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. See Protect yourself from scams and fraud for more on what to do if you’ve been scammed.

Lastly, be sure to report them to the social media or dating site you were using as well, to help protect other innocent victims.

It’s unfortunate that catfishing is out there, but there are many good people online too…you just need to be aware of what to look out for, protect yourself, and above all else, learn to trust your instincts!


For more information on this important topic:

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | July 29, 2020

Making new friends (as an adult)

Photo by nappy on

Several years ago, a series of events happened that caused a huge shift in my social circle. Overnight, it seemed, I lost several key friendships, my mom and my boyfriend.

I felt very alone.

At first I beat myself up about it, thinking I must have done something wrong for so many relationships to be ending.

But in doing some research and talking to friends, I realized it was just the normal cycle of life. People enter our lives, stay for a while, and then sometimes leave. The older we get, it’s common for our social circle to tighten, as we get clearer about our boundaries and the types of people we want to have in our life.

And if you’re a growth-oriented person like me, you may cycle through your friendships faster because you’re changing a lot. I’ve found that I seem to have a significant shift in friends roughly every 7-10 years. There are some friends I’ve had for decades, while others I’ve gained along the way as my interests and consciousness has evolved.

Long story short, it’s normal for your friendships to change over time, and to lose some people along the way. The question is…how can you find new friendships that suit you better?

How adult friendships are different

Making friends as a teenager or in your 20s is pretty easy. As you go to school, go to work or attend social gatherings, you organically bump into people like you and decide to “hang out.” It happens rather naturally.

Fast-forward a few decades, and suddenly making new friends doesn’t seem as simple. We have jobs, families and responsibilities that often don’t leave us a lot of free time. We know more about what we like and don’t like, so are less open to just choosing anyone. And many people already have established social circles and aren’t looking to make new friends.

So how, as an adult, can we begin new friendships?

The starting place isn’t taking action…yet. It’s actually deciding what kind of people you want to meet…in other words, what is important to you in a friendship?

Your list of what you want in a friend might include:

  • Warm and friendly
  • Outgoing (or maybe you prefer quieter)
  • Open-minded
  • Good communicator
  • Consistent (e.g. in responding to texts / emails)
  • Generous and thoughtful
  • Fun / open to new experiences
  • Good sense of humour
  • Athletic / outdoorsy
  • Cultured
  • Smart – able to share ideas
  • Spiritual
  • Likes xyz activities (whichever activities you want to share with someone)

There are many other things you may want in a friend…give it some thought and create your own list of what’s most important.

Then ask yourself the question: where would someone like this tend to hang out?

Where to meet people

Unfortunately, there’s no one magic place where all the good people hang out (either for finding friends or finding dates).  😊

Typically, the best way to meet people is to put yourself out there and go somewhere new. Some ideas for where to go include:

  • Social gatherings organized by friends (e.g. BBQs, house parties)
  • Organized activities that you already enjoy (e.g. MeetUp events, sports events)
  • Events in your area (e.g. outdoor concerts, wine & food shows)
  • A park in an area of town you don’t usually go to
  • Religious services or charitable events
  • Business networking events

The current pandemic does make social gatherings more challenging, so other ways you could meet people without going to larger events include:

  • Joining online groups (there are many on Facebook)
  • Attending online events (look on MeetUp or Eventbrite or do a Google search)
  • Asking existing friends to introduce you to people in their social circle

The more you focus on and talk about finding what you want (e.g. sharing with others what you’re looking for in a friend), the more likely you’ll be to find it!

How to begin a new friendship

So let’s say you’ve met someone interesting, either online or in person. How do you reach out to initiate contact and possibly begin a new friendship?

Often we forget how to start relationships because we’re so out of practice. Here are some ways to get things started:

  1. Comment on something they said (e.g. either say you liked it or mention if you have the same thing in common).
  2. Ask a question to get to know more about them (people love talking about themselves).
  3. Once you’ve established commonality, ask if they’d be interested in getting to know each other better.
  4. If yes, exchange emails and/or phone numbers, add each other on Facebook, etc.
  5. If you met online, set up a time to talk on the phone or on Zoom.
  6. If you live in the same area, set up a “date” to meet for coffee, a drink or a walk.
  7. If that goes well, continue planning regular outings! The way to build a friendship is to invest time and energy in the other person.

Many times, we sit back waiting for someone to initiate contact with us. But if you’re wanting to make new friends, don’t wait passively – take the initiative to reach out to someone else. You’d be surprised how many people are sitting back wanting someone to reach out to them too!

The worst that will happen is they won’t be interested (or you’ll discover there’s not enough in common). The best that can happen is you gain a new wonderful friend!

Five years ago, I reached out to a number of people to connect, and today several of those people are now good friends. I’m so glad I took the risk, and you will be too! 🙂


If you are a single woman who is looking for a warm, welcoming community, I invite you to join the two I have created (both are free):

For more information on overcoming loneliness:

Share your thoughts

Have you been struggling to make new friends? What is the first step you will take to move out of your comfort zone?

About the author

Karen Strang Allen

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | June 28, 2020

Using your voice

We’re in a challenging period on our planet, where it’s more important than ever to learn how to use our voices effectively.

If you’ve ever been subject to racism, prejudice, bullying or abuse (especially at a young age), you may have learned to “bite your tongue,” “turn the other cheek” or “not ruffle feathers.” And if your parents were afraid to speak up too, you were even more likely to have been conditioned to keep quiet.

The problem with not saying anything when others are hurting us with their words and actions is that nothing changes. We teach people how to treat us, so by saying nothing, it’s as if we’re condoning what an aggressive person is doing.

It’s time to collectively break the silence…and break the cycle.

Why you’re afraid

Feeling afraid to speak is a trauma response…a fear of being harmed if we say anything. It’s a result of having been silenced by others, sometimes violently. For people of colour and other marginalized people, that fear is magnified from being afraid that the majority (an entire mob) will turn against them.

If you’re afraid to speak your truth, set a boundary, tell someone to stop mistreating you (or others), share your experience, or ask for change, it’s quite likely this fear was triggered long ago, likely in childhood.

You may have grown up in a home where using your voice was actively discouraged. In my home, when I’d try to ask questions or share my thoughts, my mother would often slap me across the face, telling me to “stop talking back.” I was simply trying to understand her decision-making process, but she took it as a threat to being in charge, and silenced me.

I didn’t realize then how great the impact of her actions would be on me. It has taken me many years to find my voice again, to dare to share my thoughts, feelings and needs with others, especially publicly. I sometimes still struggle with it, to be honest.

What was your experience growing up? Did you face neglect, abuse, violence, mental illness or addictions in your home? If so, you were likely not allowed to have healthy boundaries, to say what was ok and not ok with you, to ask for what you needed and have someone respond appropriately (with care and concern).

Did you hear any of these statements growing up?

  • Children should be seen, not heard.
  • Keep your voice down.
  • You’re too loud.
  • Bite your tongue.
  • Be quiet.
  • Shut up.
  • No one wants to hear what you have to say.
  • Your opinion doesn’t matter.
  • Don’t rock the boat.
  • Don’t ruffle feathers.
  • Don’t poke the bear.
  • Good girls don’t get mad.

If so, these statements were teaching you to be quiet, to not use your voice…even when you needed to defend yourself. Even when something needed to be said.

And if you were bullied at school, or unfairly targeted by a group of people for something you couldn’t change (like your skin colour, sexual orientation, or size), you again likely learned to say nothing, because as pack animals, it is a survival mechanism to avoid being excluded.

As a result, there may be many instances in your life when you wanted to say something…to protect yourself, to protect others, to speak up about something that wasn’t right, or even to simply say how you felt or what you wanted. But instead you shut down and said nothing…like you were conditioned to.

Moving through your fear

Learning to use your voice can trigger an intense fear, especially if you were punished for speaking up as a child or bullied/intimidated by a group of people.

It’s important to learn to move through your fear, and also to be compassionate with yourself as you’re learning this new skill.

Some powerful ways you can use your voice include:

  • Sharing an opinion or idea (what you think about something).
  • Asking for clarification (e.g. when you don’t understand someone’s point of view).
  • Sharing how you feel (e.g. when something is upsetting you).
  • Asking for what you need or want.
  • Telling someone when what they’re doing makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Asking someone to stop what they’re doing (or to do it differently).
  • Saying no.
  • Taking a stand for someone else.

3 steps to overcome fear

Knowing that it can be scary to speak up when you’re used to remaining silent, here are three tips that can help you build your confidence:

  1. Make notes. Begin by making notes about what you want to say. Check out 3 steps to express yourself without conflict for ideas on how to present your thoughts in a way that is likely to be heard and understood.
  2. Practice. Once you know what you want to say, practice in front of a mirror, or with someone you trust (someone you know will be supportive). Saying the words out will help you to get the jitters out ahead of time (and refine your message).
  3. Visualize the outcome you want. Visualize having the conversation and feeling confident as you use your voice. Imagine the outcome you want to achieve (in other words, set an intention for what you want to have happen, and visualize it going well).

By practicing what you want to say and visualizing the outcome you want, it will be easier to deliver your message calmly and confidently when the time comes.

Say what you need to say

There will always be fear when you first start using your voice, especially if you’ve been conditioned not to. The way through fear is one step at a time. Every time you say something you would have repressed before, you’ll gain more confidence in yourself and your voice will become stronger.

Use your voice. Say what you need to say. The world needs to hear what you want to share…and more importantly, no matter what the response, your spirit needs you to say it.

Good luck – I believe in you!


For more information on using your voice:

If you are a single woman looking for a tribe of other supportive women, I invite you to join our global community for Empowered Single Women.

Share your thoughts

Have you been afraid to use your voice? What is the first step you will take to move through your fear?

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | May 1, 2020

The positive side of this pandemic

I’m a firm believer that there are blessings in every difficulty, opportunities in every change, and gifts in every challenge.

But here’s the thing…it’s difficult to see the blessings, opportunities and gifts when we’re focused on what’s going wrong.

Of course there are difficulties in our current situation…I don’t think there is anyone unaffected by this pandemic. I won’t elaborate on the difficulties here because the media (and social media) already has that more than covered.

What I’m suggesting is that it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are some good things that are already coming from this pandemic…and many more likely to come.

How good or bad we feel right now isn’t simply a question of what is happening…because we can all interpret the same situation much, much differently (as we can see on social media). It’s a question of what we choose to focus our attention on…the difficulties, or the blessings.

Elevating our perspective

I’ve been thinking a lot since this all began about what is the spiritual significance of this pandemic. And I believe, overall, it’s about raising our consciousness…moving from a state of fear to love, from powerlessness to empowerment, from disconnection to connection, from judgment to compassion, from individual focus to community focus, from nationalist materialism to world-wide humanitarianism.

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone (or every nation) is shifting at the same rate, which is why we’re also seeing lots of fear-based behaviour going on too. But overall, I believe this is a call for us to dig deep and become a better version of who we already are.

As with all challenges, the key to elevating our perspective (to raising our consciousness) is to ask better questions. Instead of “why is this happening” or “when will this end,” we can ask:

  • What are the gifts/blessings during this period?
  • How might this period change things for the better?
  • What is this providing me with the opportunity to do?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What good things in my life was I taking for granted?
  • Who do I want to be during this pandemic?
  • How can I help?

When we ask better questions, we get much more empowering answers and find solutions we couldn’t see when we were focused on the problem.

Focusing on the blessings

Let me share with you the 5 key blessings I see coming from this pandemic (and I’d love for you to comment below and share your ideas too):

  1. Stillness – Being forced into isolation is causing us to slow down, to be less busy, to literally “go within.” In this stillness, we can breathe deeper, hear our own thoughts, re-center our energy, and refocus our lives.

  2. Balance – Let’s face it…there is much in our world that has been out of balance for quite some time. This pandemic is causing us to re-balance our priorities…to decide what REALLY matters most. Many people are recognizing how important things like health, family, friends, community, the environment, and their purpose really is to them. I suspect that many of us will be making much more conscious choices about how we spend our energy, money and time after this.

  3. Healing – Our planet has needed healing for quite some time. The breather our environment is currently getting has been noted in many photographs about dolphins swimming in canals, animals playing on beaches, skies clearing, and ozone holes closing. Our own bodies have been needing healing too, and this time of rest is a good opportunity to give our bodies what they need.

  4. Connection – People are recognizing like never before that we really are one world…we are all connected. The actions we take as individuals literally can impact people around the world. So not only are people connecting virtually with friends and family, many are connecting globally and looking for opportunities to help others like never before. When you hurt, I hurt. When you heal, we all heal.

  5. Innovation – The people and businesses who will do the best through this period are the ones who look at how they can adapt, grow, change, be creative, innovate. I’m seeing such creative uses of technology right now – everything from virtual paint nights to choirs singing virtually to global online concerts. Many businesses have found ways to go online. And many individuals have found creative ways to connect online and adapt to life at home.

Focusing on what we CAN do

When a person first loses the ability to use one or more limbs, there is usually a period of intense mourning for all that is lost…for the activities the person can no longer do. The turn-around point comes when they realize how much is still possible…in other words, when they begin to focus on what they CAN do, not what they can’t.

Coming through this pandemic feeling mentally and emotionally strong requires the ability to adapt…to look at what we can still do (and even what’s become possible that wasn’t before).

Here are some things we CAN do:

  • Call, message, or chat online with friends
  • Connect on social media
  • Participate in online groups
  • Set up a virtual coffee, drink or dinner date
  • Have a virtual games night, dance party, or karaoke night with friends
  • Watch an online concert
  • Take (or teach) a virtual class (art, yoga, exercise, education…so many to choose from!)
  • Get outside and go for a walk or sit in the sun
  • Order in food or get take-out
  • Shop online for supplies (and fun stuff too)
  • Support a local business that is struggling
  • Pick up groceries for someone who’s ill
  • Donate money to food banks or charities
  • Check in on people who are isolated alone
  • Ask others for help if we need it!

There’s no doubt there are some freedoms, activities and people we are missing right now…so let’s use this as an opportunity to realize how fortunate we really are, and a reminder to not take those people and things for granted again.

By focusing on what we CAN do, on what we’re grateful for, on the gifts/blessings/opportunities during this period, we’ll shift our perspective, feel better, and be able to make the most of this period while preparing for the “new normal” afterwards.

Sending you lots of love and positive energy!


For more information on shifting your perspective and feeling better during this time:

If you are a single woman looking for a greater sense of connection to other single women during this time, I invite you to join our global community for Empowered Single Women.

Share your thoughts

How are you doing in this challenging time? What has helped you feel better?

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | March 31, 2020

Finding your balance in uncertain times


Wow, a lot sure can change in a month…

A month ago, my yard was buried in snow. I had just started dating again and attended a speed dating event at a restaurant. I was preparing to host my next live workshop in my home. I went to a movie with friends. I was doing yoga at my gym. I was seeing my chiropractor and going for physio regularly. I was packing for a trip to California.

Now, the snow is gone. My trip is cancelled. And the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic due to the Coronavirus.

The streets are empty. Airports are eerily quiet. Everyone is “sheltering in place” and “socially isolating.” Gyms, theatres and restaurants are closed. So are libraries, parks and other public services. Schools are closed and kids are at home. Many people are working from home. Some people are out of work. And still others, deemed “essential,” risk their lives to provide food, supplies and healthcare for the rest of us.

These are strange times…unprecedented really. It’s little wonder we’re feeling off-kilter.

So how do we make any sense of what is happening? And what can we do to feel better?

Begin where you are

When major change happens, it’s important to notice how we’re feeling. That requires tuning into our bodies to see what they’re telling us.

Stop what you’re doing for a moment. Sit down and breathe. Notice any physical sensations in your body. Place your hand on your heart, and ask yourself how you’re feeling. Notice and acknowledge what comes up, without judging, resisting or trying to change it.

You may be feeling a mix of things:

  • fear about you or loved ones getting sick (or dying)
  • panic over losing income
  • sadness about losing access to people and things you love
  • overwhelm at trying to work while homeschooling kids
  • loneliness from living alone or missing loved ones
  • anxiety about what to do in what order
  • uncertainty about when this will all end

It’s important to acknowledge and validate your real feelings, instead of bottling them up and putting on a happy face for the sake of being “positive.” These feelings are completely normal given what is happening around you! So remind yourself that your feelings make sense.

Your feelings aren’t the problem, even if they are “negative.” Problems only arise when we:

  • ignore our feelings (and they explode out of us later)
  • react to our feelings (instead of processing them and choosing what to do)
  • identify with our feelings (and forget our strengths and ability to adapt)

Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Emotions will pass through us if we let them.

If this is an area you struggle with, I encourage you to check out this post on processing your emotions.

Re-center and re-focus

Once you’ve checked in with your body and acknowledged your feelings, it’s time to re-center and re-focus so that we can calm our nervous system, regain equilibrium and feel better.

To re-center, follow these steps:

  1. Slow your breathing – Take a quick breath in, then a long, slow, breath out. Repeat for at least one minute, until you feel your nervous system begin to calm down.

  2. Ground yourself – Place your feet firmly on the floor (the earth is even better), and pretend you have roots growing out of your feet and into the earth, stabilizing you.

  3. Notice your surroundings – Notice the environment you’re in. First, focus on the sights…observe each item fully, as if it’s the first time you’re seeing it. Notice the colour, texture, shape. Next, focus on the sounds…notice the ones really close to you, then further away, then as far away as you can hear. By focusing on your immediate surroundings, you are re-focusing on the present moment.

  4. Remind yourself you’re safe – Anxiety is future-based…it’s caused by imagining worst-case scenarios instead of what’s right in front of us. Remind yourself that you’re alive, you’re healthy, you’re safe. And that’s enough for right now.

  5. Focus on what is good – Think about what is still good in your life…the people, freedoms, things you still have, the activities you can still enjoy. Make a list, as big as you can. This will help your brain shift out of negativity and into a more positive focus.

For more help with re-centering and re-focusing, check out this post on What to do when life gets you down.

Elevate your perspective

Once you’ve calmed your nervous system and are feeling more centered, it’s time to connect with your higher self (your spirit) and elevate your perspective…from one of powerlessness, to one of resourcefulness and empowerment.

Follow these steps:

  1. Connect with spirit – Close your eyes and connect with your higher spirit, that part of you that is infinite, limitless, and connected to source energy.

  2. Leave your problems behind – Imagine that your spirit is floating up into the sky, away from your problems, to a place that is free, easy and limitless.

  3. Call on your strengths – As you rise above the clouds, remember a time when you overcame a challenge…what strengths did you draw upon? Can you use those strengths again now?

  4. Ask for guidance – Ask your spirit/higher self what advice it has for you now…what is the higher truth about this situation? What is a more empowering perspective about what’s really going on?

  5. Take inspired action – Notice what it is you’re really wanting right now. Ask your higher self what action(s) you can take now to make things better…both for you and for others. Commit to what you think you can do in the next week. Return back to your body.

If you need more help elevating your perspective, check out this post: Unwanted changes: How to let go and move forward.

Take it one step at a time…

Too many people (myself included) try to jump to the positive before they’ve connected with their feelings, calmed their nervous system and re-focused their attention. Be sure you follow the previous steps before trying to “be positive,” otherwise you’ll find yourself sliding back the moment you feel stressed. Truly feeling positive is a process…so give yourself the time you need, and take it one step at a time! 😊

You’ve got this. I have faith in you. You’ve gotten through difficult times before. And you will again. Trust in your ability to figure things out. Trust in the Universe to provide. Trust others to help if you reach out. And trust that, even if things are a little bumpy right now, good things WILL come from this period.

Everything is working out the way it’s meant to…and you will be ok. Just remember to reach out for help if you need it!


For more information on getting through difficult times:

If you’re looking for a greater sense of connection to other single women during this time, I invite you to join our global community for Empowered Single Women (women only please).

Share your thoughts

How are you doing in this challenging time? What has helped you feel better?

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | March 1, 2020

Getting the love you deserve

With spring in the air, many singles come out of hibernation and turn their attention back to finding love. They have renewed hope that this year, they’ll find the love they deserve…

The dream

And what do most singles say they want?

  • Someone to go on adventures and road trips with…to go hiking and travelling and experience life with.
  • Someone to come home to at the end of the day and fall into their embrace.
  • Someone to share meals and great conversation with, and simply talk about their day.
  • Someone to wake up snuggled next to on a lazy Sunday morning.
  • Someone to get them their morning coffee.
  • Someone who treats them with respect and shows them they care.
  • Someone to share the responsibilities of life with.
  • Someone who supports them in challenging times, and who makes them laugh even when they don’t want to.

The reality

Everyone deserves great love. But not everyone finds it.

What many people find when they go out dating is disappointment. They find people who:

  • haven’t grown up and still don’t know how to make a meal or do laundry
  • just want a hook-up, instead of a long-lasting relationship
  • are good at taking, but not so good at giving
  • are good at talking, but not so good at listening (or taking action)
  • are jealous and controlling, instead of trusting and loving
  • are emotional adolescents, who aren’t capable of having a healthy, happy adult relationship

And inevitably, many people get frustrated with these results, and come to the conclusion that either:

  • There are simply no good people out there who are single.
  • There’s something wrong with them that they’re not finding someone good.

Both of these conclusions are faulty…they are limiting beliefs that will keep you from finding the love you want.

So what is the truth?

How to get what you want

The truth is that we don’t attract what we want…we attract what we believe deep down inside that we can have.

So if your dating results have not gotten you what you want, it’s time to look inside to see what’s getting in your way.

  • If you have faulty beliefs about who you are and what you’re worth, you will not find the love you’re looking for.
  • If you have faulty beliefs about other people, and are afraid to trust that there are kind, loving, generous partners out there who would be a good match for you, then you will also not find the love you’re looking for.

Not because you don’t deserve it. Not because it’s not possible. But because you don’t really, truly believe in your heart that it’s possible for YOU.

Taking action to find a great partner when you don’t believe you can have one is a recipe for disaster. It’s time-consuming, frustrating, and down-right exhausting.

Thankfully there is an easier way.

And the easier way is to do the inner work to get your beliefs in alignment with what you want to have before you go out looking for it. It’s to make sure you’re feeling good about yourself and your life before trying to add someone to it.

It might sound like that will take longer (which is why most people skip that part and jump right into the dating world), but it’s really the shortcut to getting the love you deserve with far less effort and much greater success.

If you know you struggle to believe in yourself, or you have trust issues, or you’ve lost faith that you can find a great partner, it’s important to change your beliefs before venturing out dating. Otherwise, you will attract someone who simply proves you right.

And is that what you really want? Somehow, I don’t think so.

So spend some time looking within to find and change your beliefs before dating, and you’ll find the process much more enjoyable…and also find your loving partner much sooner.


If you could use some help with getting the love you deserve, there are two virtual events coming up that may be of interest to you (both are free):

Share your thoughts

Do you believe you can find the love you deserve?

What do you think is getting in your way?

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and workshops at

Posted by: silverliningsblog | January 30, 2020

Looking for love in all the right places

I’ve spent a lot of my life “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many faces…

–Johnny Lee

As a young girl, I didn’t feel understood, loved or even liked by my family of origin. There wasn’t a lot of affirmation and support going on…instead, there was a lot of harsh judgments and criticism. As a result, I didn’t have a good sense of my strengths, and didn’t feel particularly lovable.

So like many women, I bought into the promise of the Cinderella story, and thought I just needed to find a man to love me…and then I would feel loved.

And I did find a wonderful man when I was just shy of 20…and he did make me feel loved. Until just after our engagement, he suddenly fell ill with cancer and quickly passed away. The source of my love was gone, and suddenly I felt unlovable again.

So I searched for a new source. Someone else who would make me feel deserving of love and attention. I’d find one, and that would work for a while, until the relationship ended, and then I was back to square one. And on and on it went…

Somewhere along the way, a friend of mine asked me, “Do you love yourself?” And I remember getting choked up, knowing the real answer was “No.” I didn’t really love who I was…I was looking for love outside of me, instead of inside of me.

Why we yearn for love

It’s normal to want love and affection…human beings are wired for connection, so it’s a core part of our make-up to want to be surrounded by loving people.

But when we yearn for love, it’s usually because we did not have our need for love, affection and affirmation consistently met as children. Maybe one parent died or left. Maybe our parents got divorced. Maybe our parents were physically there, but were alcoholics, abusive or neglectful.

Whatever the reason, when our emotional needs are not met in childhood, it creates a strong desire in our psyche to receive the love we deserve. And so we spend the rest of our life chasing after and clinging to anyone who shows us even an inkling of love and affection. Even if they are less than what we really want, we settle, thinking that some love is better than no love.

But is it really?

By the time we reach mid-life, most of us have discovered that having an unhealthy or toxic relationship is not better than being alone. And yet we fear being alone, so we cling to what we know, even if it’s not good for us. Better the devil you know, as they say…

So how do we break free from this vicious cycle?

Where love comes from

When we look at love as something to get from others, we miss the very important truth that all emotion – love or otherwise – comes from within us. Sure, someone can be the object of our attention (and therefore, we think they are “making us” feel loved), but our thinking about that person and the emotions we are feeling come from within.

So does it take another person to feel the emotion of love? The answer is no.

No one can make you feel anything, including loved. And therefore no one can take love away from you. Only your own thinking about a person or situation can do that.

Try this experiment…close your eyes and think of someone you feel pure, healthy love for. Can you feel the emotion in your body? Where do you feel it…in your chest area? What about if you think about something you love about your life, or about yourself…can you feel the emotion of love?

When you open your eyes, you’ll see there is no one here…it’s just you. So where did that feeling come from? Did someone give it to you? No, you created it yourself…you generated it with your own thoughts! And if you did it once, you can do it again, and again and again.

This is a powerful realization…because when you become a creator of love, instead of a consumer of love, you become the source of love…a source that is reliable and never-ending. A source that can’t be taken from you…even if someone dies or leaves.

Loving others

So is it wrong to want someone to love? Of course not. But what we’ve been calling “love” isn’t healthy love. It’s a clingy, addictive kind of love that comes from a place of lack…of fearing there isn’t enough to go around.

Real love is an over-flowing feeling of having more than enough to share. It’s a giving energy (not a taking energy) that comes from a place of abundance…a place of knowing there is more where that came from!

You see, we’ve been getting this love thing wrong for millennia. We have believed that we need to find someone to love us in order to feel loved…and that simply is not true. What we need to do is learn how to create love within ourselves, and give it to ourselves first, then share it with others.

Trying to find someone to love you in order to feel loved is coming from a place of lack. Finding love within you and then sharing with another comes from a place of abundance.

But how do you do this if your needs weren’t met in childhood, and you don’t feel lovable?

Loving yourself

The answer is to learn how to love yourself first.

I used to hate this answer…what on earth does it mean to “love yourself” anyway?

In its simplest form, loving yourself means re-parenting yourself…giving to yourself the things you wished your parents did. It means treating the little girl inside you with the same care and compassion you would offer your own child (or a niece/nephew/student in your care).

It means listening to your own body, and respecting your own limits. Giving yourself the nourishment and rest you need. Affirming for yourself what is good about you. Encouraging yourself to take risks and try new things. Offering yourself care and compassion when you’re struggling. In essence, it means being your own best friend.

It may sound corny to “love yourself,” but this really is the path to personal freedom, and to success in relationships. It puts you in a place where you can really love someone else, without requiring them to make you happy (because you already know how to do this for yourself).

Loving yourself is the best gift you can give to yourself, your kids, your friends, your partner…because when you truly love, accept and nurture yourself, love and joy will naturally flow out of you, and everyone around you will benefit from your positive energy.

More on this topic…

If you’d like to learn more about how to love yourself, I invite you to attend my FREE online masterclass on February 12, called Fall Madly in Love with You.

And if you’re feeling lonely and want to connect with other single women, you can join my free Empowered Single Women Facebook group, where we share ideas on how to love life as a single person and attract real love.


Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract (and keep) their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and workshops at

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