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If you dread Valentine’s Day, you might want to read this book

   You probably know of a couple who tried for years to have a baby, gave up and adopted, then found out that the woman was pregnant. Studies have confirmed that it does, in fact, happen with some frequency.
   You’ve probably heard of the saying, "Want a boyfriend? Then get a dog." Or, "It’s easier to find a job when you have one."
   What these three situations have in common is this: Sometimes our overwhelming needs keep us from getting the very thing we want most.
   Life coach Talane Miedaner addresses this phenomenon as it applies to the subject of romance in "The Secret Laws of Attraction: The Effortless Way to Get the Relationship You Want" (2008, McGraw Hill). Miedaner is one of those people you can hire to motivate you to accomplish various objectives in your life, whether it’s advancing your career, losing weight, quitting smoking or, in this case, finding someone to love and marry.
   The term "secret laws" might conjure up some arcane philosophy involving fairy dust or tarot cards, but this guidebook is firmly grounded in psychology. In fact, Miedaner gives a lot of credit to Abraham H. Maslow and his classic text "Toward a Psychology of Being," which discusses the hierarchy of needs. Maslow showed that our emotional needs are as important and demanding as the needs for food and shelter and must be answered, one way or another. How we satisfy our emotional cravings determines how happy and self-actualized we will be.
   Most of us are fairly adept at listening to our friends’ problems and realizing, ‘‘She needs to dump that guy,’’ or ‘‘He’s about to marry a loser.’’ But looking objectively at one’s own life is too often a different story.
   "Secret Laws" contains a series of tests to help us discover what emotional needs are controlling our lives and perhaps preventing us from meeting the right person. Why would that happen? If our strongest needs are unmet, we become desperate, even if we don’t realize it, she explains, and desperation repels.
   Miedaner also outlines steps we can take to feed our emotional hungers, pointing out that another person can’t make us happy; only we can. And guess what? Once we’re happy, she says, the right person will come along so effortlessly it will seem like magic.
   (One of the steps she suggests is to get a dog, if you love dogs. Don’t wait to be happy she says. Don’t postpone your life until, as the song says, the right one comes along. YOU’RE the right one.)
   "The Secret Laws of Attraction" is an interesting book containing much to think about, even for those happily in a relationship. Self-knowledge is a valuable gift to give ourselves.
  

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