The Map of Love: Bust Through the Ghostlands to Create the Relationship You Want!!


Updated: February 14, 2011

ghostlandsAre you stuck in the Ghostlands of love?

With Valentine’s Day in the air, many of us find ourselves wandering through the Ghostlands of love. Perhaps you’ve been ruminating about your past relationships or looking back through the lens of romanticism and nostalgia. Or maybe you’ve gotten wrapped up in longing for and planning out the fantasy love you want in your future. Even if you’re now in a great relationship, you can find yourself stuck in this emotional landscape by trying to over-control the unfolding of your relationship, becoming fixated on how you can avoid pain, or allowing your past to continue to haunt your present.

I was recently talking with a client who was struggling with her love life. She really wanted to met Mr. Right and get married. By the time she came to me, she’d read pretty much every relationship book out there and had been trying to date, but she just wasn’t meeting anyone she had chemistry with. Needless to say, she was beginning to lose faith. I immediately “saw” the problem—she was wandering through the Ghostlands of boyfriends past and future. She was caught in a frustrating cycle of ghostly travels. First, she’d get wrapped up in nostalgia about her past partners, then she’d beat herself up about what she did wrong in those old relationships. And then, she’d get lost in a daydream about how she longed for her love life to unfold. Sometimes she even traveled through all these Ghoslands several times a day! Longing and yearning for things to be different traps you in a place without substance – only able to see the lack of love like a mirage masquerades as an oasis.

If your thoughts are constantly focused on the past or future, instead of the present, you’re experiencing a Ghostland. Of course, some focus on the past and future is important for gaining more self-awareness and co-creating your highest destiny. Yet, as I talk about in detail in my new book, The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life, the Ghostlands isn’t a place of power or wisdom. Rather, it’s an inner landscape of no substance where you’re stuck in your head and no emotional growth, learning or healing occurs. In a Ghostland, you freeze time instead of taking the steps to move on to the next landscape. In fact, any land can turn into a Ghostland if you stay too long and don’t do what you need to do to continue to move forward in your life.

ghostlands2When it comes to love and dating, wandering through an emotional Ghostland will keep you stuck, lost, and frustrated, just like it did with my client. Living in nostalgia about your past relationships prevents you from experiencing joy in your present and from moving toward something better in your future. Likewise, dwelling and rumination keep you attached to the old experience and prevent you from discovering any valuable lessons you need to move forward. And, wishful thinking and longing for the future thwart you from opening your eyes to what you can do today to manifest your dreams.

There’s no shame in entering a Ghostland; we’ve all end up there from time to time. But, the longer we spend wandering in this inner landscape, the more time gets away from us and the more lost and powerless you feel. As I’ve often said, all of our power is in the present. The primary environment you inhabit is your thoughts, feelings and beliefs—that is what you’re experiencing in each moment. In the Ghostlands, your mind is keeping you frozen in a place without substance. So, how do you get out of a Ghostland? You don’t need a special team of Valentine’s Day Ghostbusters, but you do need to tap into your innate ghost-busting powers of self-awareness!

Anytime you think you might be wandering through a Ghostland, you can restore the magic and harness your mapmaking power by feeling and identifying your emotions. You must ask yourself, “Does this issue have real substance for me here and now?” If it does, it’s time to dig for the lesson you need to move forward on your path. If it doesn’t, it’s time to turn to yourself in the present.

The way out of the Ghostlands is to walk between two powerful pillars: surrendered acceptance and creative action. You must accept that you’re not the only mapmaker of your life and that you’re co-creating with Spirit. Likewise, you see that the past is gone and understand you cannot dictate exactly how your future will unfold. You take responsibility for creating your life now instead of waiting for someone to rescue you. Rather than be an armchair astronaut hoping things will just work out, you’re courageous and willing to take action. Rather than spend hours scheming about how to win the heart of Mr. or Miss. Right, you surrender to the now and have faith in Spirit’s plan. You stop waiting for a relationship to make you happy and instead create a happy and full life now.

Ultimately, when it comes to our love relationships and all other aspects of our lives, we must live in the present. We must claim our highest good right now! We must create the experience we long for first within ourselves in order for the external world to begin to reflect it. And then we have to surrender to the mystery and trust that Spirit will enable everything to unfold as it should in Divine appropriate timing.

I will be talking in great detail about love and harnessing the power to shape your relationships in my Map of Love online lesson with Hay House’s Makeover Your Love Life online course this Thursday, February 17. It’s a six-lesson intensive and will cover everything from manifesting the right partner to transforming your relationships to forgiveness and self-love. I hope you can join me! For more details, click here.


When it comes to love, where are you, when are you, and who is guiding you?

Close your eyes and get quiet. Allow your intuition to guide you in answering the above questions. Then write down what comes to mind in your journal.

Next, ask yourself:

  • Are there any past relationships that I’m still holding onto? If so, what lessons might I not be seeing?
  • What steps can I take right now to create the loving relationship I want? And, what thoughts, feelings, and beliefs do I need to nourish from within to create change in my external reality?
  • What message does Spirit have for me about love?

In love and service,


P.S. I’d love to hear your feedback! Please share your thoughts about the Ghostlands of love.



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