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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Every Day Love: An Interview with Judy Ford

Judy Ford (an authentic romantic who has had every marital status there is: single, married, widowed, single, married, divorced, single, living together, single again after the death of her partner) is a couples counselor in Kirkland, Washington, as well as a best selling author, mother, friend and inspirational role model. She has been studying love and relationships for over three decades, specializing in love, loss and the things that matter most.

Articles on Judy's work have appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day and Family Circle among others. Her media appearances have included Oprah, CNN and National Public Radio. With compassion and candor, Judy’s work speaks to the heart, inspiring us to love life, to persevere through its challenges, and to share our gifts with others.

I’ve been a huge fan of Judy’s books for a long time, and I was so excited to talk to her about one of the best subjects there is: Love.

Shelly Rachanow: Tell us more about your book, Every Day Love.

Judy Ford: I wrote my first love poem over 50 years ago. It was published in the junior high school paper and since then I’ve been curious about relationships and a student of love. Every Day Love is based on my personal experiences (by the time I was thirty-four I’d had every marital status there was) and my professional experiences as an individual and couples counselor. I’ve worked with singles searching for love, couples so bogged down and overwhelmed with the demands of daily life that love took a back seat, and with parents who claim to love their children, but sometimes I couldn’t tell it by their actions. I once asked a seven-year-old boy how he rated himself in the love department and he answered, “Good” and then he added, “but my parents don’t love each other as much.” Turns out we all have much to learn about loving.

The questions I am interested in are: What is love? How do you find it? Is it possible to love every day? Is a broken heart inevitable? What is loving action?

Every Day Love, a peek into love that comforts and flourishes, is filled with couple’s stories and experiences that are often overlooked as insignificant. I wrote this book as reminder of what every day love looks like and feels like and how to put our love into action even when we don’t feel much like loving.

Shelly Rachanow: In your book you say that, “Falling in love is easy; sustaining love is difficult.” Why is that true for so many of us?

Judy Ford: It is easy to be loving when the setting is romantic, when you’ve got extra jingle in your pocket, when you’re looking good and feeling fine, but when one of you is out of sorts, exhausted, overwhelmed and distracted then behaving lovingly requires conscious effort. It’s in those moments of restlessness and upheaval that you find out who you are and what it truly means to love each and every day.

Shelly Rachanow: Why do people try so hard to change their loved ones, when we know that the only person we can ever change is ourselves?

Judy Ford: We fall in love with a person who has the qualities that we would like to develop in ourselves. We see all the budding possibilities and are excited to be accepted by such a wonderful and perfect person. Watch out! A strange fog will cloud your vision and you will become disoriented. Rather than developing the qualities in yourself that you would like, you will try to develop the other person’s potential. This creates havoc because there is only one person’s potential that you can develop and that is your own. This is one of the basic teachings in a love relationship. We change for love and love changes us.

Shelly Rachanow: What are some things people can do to be more loving in their everyday lives?

Judy Ford: Be aware that nothing you do lacks meaning. Everything you do and everything you say has the power, on the most subtle emotional level, to bring you closer or tear you apart.

Shelly Rachanow: If there’s one idea you want readers to take away to help them give and receive more love, what would that be?

Judy Ford: Nothing is as important as day-to-day life.

Life is hard. It goes by fast. Love matters every day.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Judy Ford: I would talk about love. I would practice love. My motto and attitude would be: “It is possible to love the whole world.”

For more information or to contact Judy:

Web site: http://www.judyford.com/
Email: judy@judyford.com

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