Love Lessons from Alana Stewart
Several weeks ago, I interviewed Alana Stewart about her new memoir Rearview Mirror. Alana is an international model, actress, talk show host and filmmaker. Alana has an interesting love history, as she was previously married to actor George Hamilton and singer-songwriter Rod Stewart. Don, the producer I met on the plane to Los Angeles earlier this year, introduced us. (You may remember that Don also set me up with an interview with supermodel Beverly Johnson – many great love lessons in that post!)
I’ve been way too busy at work to focus on Simply Solo, so it’s taken me far too long to write up my interview. I wanted to make sure I posted this before the holiday, though, because Alana has some great advice to share, and her life story is incredibly interesting. Maybe you know someone who would like this book as a stocking stuffer?
Alana’s life is truly a rags to riches story. She grew up in a poor, rural part of Texas. When she was 19, she was raped at knifepoint. This experience gave Alana the courage she needed to get away from Texas, move to New York and become a Ford model. According to the book’s description, Rearview Mirror chronicles Alana’s “unstable, chaotic childhood, her traumatic sexual abuse, and her struggles with bulimia, depression, and self-confidence. She also writes about her marriages and divorces with two iconic stars, actor George Hamilton and singer Rod Stewart, raising three children on her own, the devastating effects of drug addiction in her family, and the tragic deaths of her mother as well as her best friend, Farrah Fawcett.”
Alana and I spent much of our interview talking about surviving divorce and heartache. “A good amount of my book is about heartache,” Alana told me. “Some people think that if you are a celebrity, you don’t feel it as much. It’s always difficult to go through a breakup – your heart is hurting, and nothing makes you feel better.” One of the hardest parts of her divorces, too, was that she had to see her heartache plastered all over the magazines. “It’s kind of humiliating,” she admitted.
What’s the best cure for heartache?
Alana told me that her breakup with Rod Stewart was transformational and incredibly hurtful for her. She realized in the breakup that she had not dealt with many issues of her past, and they all came back up.
During this particularly tough time, Alana met with a minister, who told her, “If you get involved in any spiritual teaching and study for two years, your life will change for the better.” After this, Alana used her breakup as an opportunity to heal herself spiritually, through mediating and reading inspirational writings.
Breaking the cycle – “I’ve always been attracted to unavailable men.”
Alana admitted that she’s always been attracted to unavailable men. She has had a pattern of pursuing one man after another who wasn’t available for a consistent, stable, nurturing relationship – whether they were a workaholic, alcoholic, cheater, whatever.
Alana noted that we tend to seek out men who are like our fathers, and that therapy and twelve step programs have helped in her journey to get to know herself and finally address the deep secrets she’s kept her whole life. “Therapy is helpful for anyone who has grown up around alcoholism or drug addiction. Therapy helped me understand my patterns. Twelve step programs changed my life. Hearing your own story in various forms over and over makes you feel less alone.”
The result of all this work? “I think today I know what love is,” Alana says. “I had no clue when I was younger. I would fall passionately in love with someone, but I didn’t have a deep relationship with either of my husbands, because I was emotionally unavailable myself.”
What makes for a healthy relationship?
Alana says the most important things you must have in your relationship include kindness, respect and appreciation.
Communication is also essential to a relationship – the ability to “talk to each other about yourselves, your deepest feelings. A relationship cannot be focused on the other person in an unhealthy way, but in a healthy way. You have to want the best in them, and not want to change them. You have to accept men as who they are and support them and celebrate who they are, as opposed to looking for all the things that are wrong [with them].”
Alana is currently single. As we talked about marriage, she said, “I don’t think marriage is meant to last forever. Some may, but sometimes I feel like marriage is to provide a lesson for you. Sometimes it’s possible to learn your lesson, and then move on.”
Alana’s love lessons for Simply Solo readers
“The one thing I would advise is to get to know someone before you get involved,” Alana said when I asked what love lessons she wanted to share with my readers. “If you get involved too quickly with someone without getting to know who he is, you set yourself up for disappointment.”
“Do something to help you grow as a person. So many young women are looking for that man, that man is the answer. I don’t think that any one person can ever be the answer. You need to make yourself a more well-rounded person, not hope for someone else to fill in the spaces. Then you can meet someone.”
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.