It might be a fiery nature, sensitivity, or vulnerability.“When we have a core gift that has not been ‘loved into fullness,’” he writes, “acknowledged, respected or valued…we experience feelings of pain or inadequacy when we are in touch with that gift.” When we honor our core gifts, they become something positive.

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And so we have tried, again and again, to stifle or change those aspects of ourselves — all to become more palatable to romantic partners. Take them lightly and you’re likely to miss the point and just keep on doing what you’re doing, which presumably isn’t working or you wouldn’t be reading a book like this.

Perhaps what is really at the core of you, however, is passion, or deeply felt emotion, or assertiveness, or honesty. And so Page devotes the first part of the book to discussion, exercises, and meditations to help us see what our heart wants to tell us.

This isn’t as impossible as it may seem (“No one will have time.” “I can’t talk about this.”) since they are not lengthy activities and rely on the reader to find their comfort level. As much as there’s a spirit of helping yourself, there’s also an acknowledgement of the importance of others – your tribe, your community – and how finding them is part of the delves into attraction, what it is, and how to make it work for you.

Attraction is a viewed as both a positive and a negative. And a lot of what Page talks about regarding attraction is recognizing negative patterns (“Deprivations”) and how attractions have worked against you in the past, always with an eye towards making a better futures.

Counterintuitively, he explains,“until we understand them, our Core Gifts are often the very qualities we are most ashamed of, the ones we keep trying to fix or hide because they make us feel so vulnerable.

Yet they are also the places from which we love most fully.”In a kind voice and with examples from his own and others’ experiences, Page teaches us that the first step to finding a soulful connection with a person who will love us for our essence is to reframe our sources of shame.This positive outlook is the motivating factor as he urges you to examine where you are in your life.Everything is designed to move you forward and keep you forward.But much of that is the unnecessary byproduct of how we’ve been conditioned to approach our dating life. We’ve been handed a defective map of the path to love! What are single people constantly encouraged to do? We’ve all heard some version of these ideas before. It’s based upon revealing who we really are and then choosing people in their late 40s, 50s and older because at this stage of life, we are much less willing to waste our time in the pursuit of unhealthy relationships., psychotherapist Ken Page takes that wisdom and drills into it, helping us learn not just to love ourselves in a facile sense, but to love, respect, and use as an emotional compass our deepest selves: the places of our greatest vulnerabilities.