February Blog 2016 Archives

       It's A Master Class On Love!

February 29, 2016

How long do you love?

 

A client asked me that recently.  Her husband had been dead for 3 years and she said it seemed like only yesterday.  It’s easy to love, so loving even after someone has gone back to God makes sense.  Panic sets in when you can no longer remember the sound of their voice or what they looked like.  But the imprint on your heart remains, even when those obvious things seem to fade.  We all have an essence, and even after years of loss, the essence of those we love remains. 

 

Maybe it is not how long you love, it is how strong you love.  I believe you can carry love through lifetimes, at least I intend to try.  I certainly don’t expect to leave this world and leave it behind.  After all, I believe that’s why I came here to start with and choose to remain.

 

You are a manifestation of how you are loved.  If you are loved well, you can go out in the world and love well – you have the skills.  No excuses.  It will seem like a natural thing.  If you are not loved well, that loss will show up and can make you someone others find difficult to love.  It can be quite a journey to find yourself and cultivate those skills, but I highly recommend you do. 

 

I know from my own experience that loss of love is devastating.  The idea that we need to go on seems absurd and impossible.  Time helps, but the void has a life of its own.  Dr. Phil McGraw says:  “Time doesn’t heal all wounds, people heal all wounds.”  You have to come to some impasse with yourself, that allows you to hold the essence and honor it.  You have to figure out how to tame the void they leave behind.  No one can do it for you.  More importantly, you need to be willing to love again.

 

I’ve watched others and how they cope with loss.  I don’t think anyone has it down to a science.  We all grieve differently and we have to do it according to what we know, not what someone else believes is true.  After all, it was your love to start with.

 

So how long do you love?  As long as you absolutely can.  Because great love would have it no other way.  Because we are never the same person once we are truly loved.  And because it is the only way to honor the gift we are given. 

 

 

 

February 26, 2016

Let me correct the love thy neighbor thing….

 

I have lifelong friends who were my neighbors.  They didn’t live next door, but close enough to count.  Those relationships, which have evolved into family by choice, were a different kind of evolution.  We started as people inhabiting the same place, dealing with the same circumstances, and because we worked to make it community, it became so much more.

 

In Texas, we brought our baby home to a house 3 doors down from a bustling family of 4.  Their youngest became the ‘best babysitter in the whole wide world’ and grew into a remarkable adult.  His family taught me all about love from a whole different point of view.  The mom made me a better mom and I will always be thankful that I met her.  The dad has a sense of fun and kindness that positively changes everything.  Each one of their children embraced our son as a sibling and still celebrate him with us.  It’s a different way to love ‘family’, but it has made all the difference to us.  Lori, the mom, came to my house when I was trying to decorate – not my strength – she said just put up family pictures everywhere, not necessarily the perfect ones, but the ones that remind you this life is something to be thankful for daily.  It totally worked and she’s still my ‘go-to’ mom. 

 

In Maine, with 4 feet of snow between me and the road, and a job I needed to be on time for, I went searching for a neighbor and got a lifelong friend.  Mike is a tough cookie, but he had a strong desire for a full blown breakfast and strong coffee.  We struck a deal:  I cooked and he plowed.  It saved my job and created a friendship that still gives me courage and strength.  Just thinking about him makes me smile… 

 

In Indiana, I simply could not have figured it all out without Larry and Sherry.  They helped me understand the ways of a ‘Hoosier’, embraced my child as their own, got me out of Lucy like calamities, and still hug me like their own. 

 

So I digress.  You can love your neighbor.  But in all fairness, they have to meet you half way.

 

 

February 25, 2016

Love needs to grow…..

 

Wistful love is someone who stays in a relationship because they remember the first time they saw each other, or what romantic thing they said, or how wonderful their vacation was together even when the real relationship is not all that good.  Here’s a little piece of advice:  If you can behave on vacation and be a loving spouse/partner, you can do it in real life.  And if you don’t?  Something is truly wrong.

 

Someone who loves you can make some great excuses for you:  Tired, working too hard, sick, he and that girl are just friends….  But if that is all they are reduced to?  You got some growing to do and you best get on it.

 

If you are that tired, sick, grumpy, yearning to be free person, take stock right away and figure it all out.  Life is difficult, but it is for all of us.  More importantly, it is short.  Next thing you know, your options will be out.  So fix whatever it is and get about something that makes you happy and is kind to those you love.  It seems to me those people always find the people who have the most tolerance to be with and so they get a pass on nasty for way too long.

 

I have yet to figure out when people should throw in the towel on a relationship.  I know it’s an individual thing, but how many chances do you give to an alcoholic/gambler/cheater/slacker in the name of love?  Seems to me there should be some hard and fast rules.  And once is enough.

 

A client asked me how long should she love someone who didn’t love her back.  My first answer was not more than a moment.  But she loved him.  So her love won out and had to take its course.  She’s 40 years into it and just coming into being truly fed up.  Much like running a 100,000 mile race and nearing the finish line.  I pointed out that the growth was hers to do and should have happened a long time ago, around mile 10.

 

Love is always a learning curve, even when it is open, honest, and true.  Both parties need to grow constantly.  Maya Angelou said, “When I knew how to do better, I did better.”  That’s the perfect mantra for love.

 

 

February 23, 2016

In the business of love there are priorities…..

 

For instance, in the business of love versus money, it is all about where your values and priorities lie.  If you were raised poor and struggled your whole life for money, love may not be as valuable to you as money.  You could marry for money and not love, people do it every day.  The old saying, “It’s just as easy to fall for a rich man as it is a poor one”, takes on a whole new meaning when you are weary of wondering where your next meal is going to come from. 

 

As someone who walked away a long time ago from a marriage with just my clothes and a really beaten up Ford Pinto, I can say that I never considered marrying for money.  But I know people who set out to capture it and did.  As a high school student, I was working as a grocery store cashier and the girl on the next register had a list of rich men she intended to marry.  About a year after graduating, she did marry one of the local doctors on her list, breaking up his marriage in the process.  She was over the moon and he was wealthy in her mind.  It lasted about 5 years before he went on to someone else, but she got quite a nice settlement.  My last update on her she was on husband number 5 and said she would never have to work again.  She noted: “Love has been good to me.”  And if you only subscribe to her list of priorities, it has.

 

I’ve seen love and fame go together.  Marrying someone just for the fame involved.  It can be a great boost for your career, and theirs too, but in my humble opinion, you have to leave yourself at the door of a relationship like that or it will catch up with you.  But then you could make a movie about it and get rich…… see paragraph 2.

 

I’m old fashioned and I prefer love for love.  But it wouldn’t be as intriguing if it didn’t have facets and possibilities that were endless.  Love is a powerful force and so are money and fame.  I guess they were bound to find their way to each other somehow.  If you find yourself wrapped up in that triangle, have the sense to know love only truly resides at the bank.  It will help with the inevitable heartbreak.

 

 

February 22, 2016

Who taught you to love?

 

I’ve written about this before, but it is SO important that I am going to go there again!  We are not born loving.  We are taught to love.  So who taught you to love? 

 

For years, I thought I knew who that was.  But often, the way I loved didn’t work out with the people I thought taught me.  Then one fine day, when I was in my 50’s (please don’t wait that long to get this!) I went to a family reunion and in walked the person who taught me to love.  My cousin Steve is older than me by 3 years.  He was the oldest grandchild and his sister was next, then me.  Every Sunday my entire childhood, we met their family at my grandmother’s for lunch.  I had other cousins, but Steve taught me to love. 

 

I hadn’t seen him in about 25 years or so, but when he walked toward me I recognized it and I knew.  His values were my values.  His fierce way of loving was my fierce way of loving.  His heart met me long before we got to the hug.  That’s what I recognize.  And boy did I get lucky.

 

Of course, I picked up bits and pieces about love all along the way.  But Steve put the foundation in place and he taught me how to love, what mattered to me, why it was okay to go above and beyond, and how to set up parameters to walk through this world with love.  He was young himself and yet, it all worked out.  Maybe I just observed and took on those traits he exhibited.  Maybe some of it was natural to me.  Maybe he didn’t mean to, but he was still brilliant at it (and still is).  And I am so very thankful for him.

 

If you don’t know who taught you to love, you aren’t fully in touch with the love you bring in this world.  But when you do figure it out?  It all comes full circle and it begins to make sense in ways I can’t begin to explain.  Look around you.  Figure it out.  Honor your teacher or teachers.  Hold them and their willingness to love very sacred.  Then use those skills to pass it on. 

 

I love you Steve.  And I always will.  Just the way you taught me to. 

 

 

February 19, 2016

My favorite love stories….

 

Are the ones where the guy says, “I knew the moment I saw her I was going to marry her.”  And please, I know that’s not realistic!  But it makes me feel so good inside to hear it.  It makes my heart soar and throws hope into overdrive.  Thank you Cinderella. 

 

That’s a girl thing though.  Most guys don’t ponder that kind of stuff.  They don’t expect to see and want to marry all in the same moment.  It’s stuff of romance novels, right? 

 

I tried marrying strictly through instant attraction and when the new wore off, there wasn’t much left to work with.  More importantly, a closer look revealed someone I didn’t know or like very much.  When I married my best friend, that was a whole different thing.  And even though we didn’t have a lot of new to discover about each other, there was just so much to explore together.  We got all the crazy out of the way in the friendship.

 

When I was in my 20’s, a group of us would take bets on who would stay married and who would divorce.  It was based on years and sometimes months.  I didn’t win much money, but I learned a whole lot!  And I should have listened when they informed me they bet on my own early marriage crumbling in 8 months.  But I was mad, so I showed them! I hung in there for 7 years trying to prove them wrong.  Oh but they were right and I should have listened…. 

Funny thing?  Only one marriage in about 24 is still going…..

 

Get your hopes and dreams in check before you set out on the road to love and matrimony.  Make a list of what you are looking for and be honest.  Be the person you want to see coming down the road toward you and if you need counseling to do that – get it UP FRONT!  Keep Cinderella and her lovely story on the back burner and remember to be realistic.  Yes, she had a glass slipper, but she also had a carriage that turned back into a pumpkin! 

 

Looking for love is a skill.  Hone yours.

 

 

 

February 18, 2016

This might capture it…..

 

I was watching ‘Madam Secretary’ and they used this phrase:  “Flawed mortal fumbling toward enlightenment”.  I scrambled for a pen to write it down.  I think it best describes our quest for love.  I watch the dating commercials and just can’t see how that will help you find someone.  Yes, that’s old fashioned.  But computers are cold and calculating – I don’t think that’s how love should start.  And talk about across a crowded room…..

 

We are all flawed mortals, even when we are giving it our best shot.  One of my clients who has ‘disabilities you can’t see’ often reminds me that the hardest thing about a new relationship is filling in the blanks before things get serious.  Telling the person, “Hey, you are attracted to me now, but how will you feel when I tell you I have a congenital heart disease that could kill me in my 40’s?”  People actually get up and leave the table.  It’s not what their master plan looks like.  And yet, they could get run over going to their car…….

 

And aren’t we all ‘fumbling toward enlightenment’?  I know I am and I see dead people!  Lol  There simply is not a ‘right’ way to do everything and for everyone.  I would love to know the odds for finding the perfect-no-flaws-person.  I bet they are not great or in anyone’s favor. 

 

If you assume you are a ‘flawed mortal fumbling toward enlightenment’, where does that leave you?  In a pickle surrounded by all your stuff (good and bad), and praying that whoever sees your stuff and comes anyway won’t have more bad stuff than you!  Now we are getting somewhere.  It’s a sobering thought.

 

And by the way, my client with the ‘disabilities you can’t see’ is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.  And remarkable even for a moment is worth the trip.

 

 

February 17, 2016

Love Thyself.

 

This may be the hardest facet of love.  So much of who we are is projected onto the people we love.  How we love them and why we love them comes from within us. 

 

I was in the car with teenage girls and they were talking about who to invite to a school dance.  Going through their possibilities, they culled out guys based on things like the way they walk, what music they listen to, if they are ‘smart acting’ in class, and even one poor soul got left out because ‘his eyes aren’t blue enough’!  It was a life lesson.  I think as we age, we forget about Love 101 and all the insanity that went with it.

 

When the boys got in the car, the girls had reduced down the list considerably and were ready to throw out their decisions to see if the boys agreed.  The first name was suggested for one of the girls and the boys said I unison, “He won’t go out with you!”  The shriek was ear piercing!  “What?”  Because you see, it had never occurred to the girls that the boys would refuse them.  Hilarious!  And what a master class in life….

 

It really is true that what you put out in life – WHO YOU REALLY ARE – is what attracts someone to you.  So if you are self-centered and worried about bluer eyes?  Well, that guy will be a real treat won’t he?  What would self-centered and eye judging look like coming at you?  Chances are you wouldn’t be happy with it……

 

Be yourself.  Hold sacred that which God saw fit to create.  Take your place in this world and see who comes walking down the path to you.  It’s an adventure in love and it matters.

 

And yes, the boys talk about the girls too……   

 

February 16, 2016

What do you know about unrequited love?

 

Love that is not returned or rewarded.  In other words, you love and they don’t.  Or more often, one of you just didn’t get a clue quick enough about who you should be with and married someone else….. 

 

It is not unusual for me to have a least one client who longs for someone they wish they were with or that they hope to be with in the future.  Unrequited love can keep you up at night and put you smack in the collective cry.  Often we put that kind of love up on a pedestal and judge all others against what we think that love was or could have been.

The first time I ever went to a senior citizen wedding, she was 84 and he was 87, it was all about unrequited love.  Both their spouses had died and they went right back to each other.  They were married within a month.  Afterwards she said, “Now all is as it should have been.”

 

If you find yourself longing for someone you can’t have, don’t let it keep you from other love.  There are so many facets to love.  Often, that in-between love sets you up to love well enough to justify unrequited love. 

 

Every day of your life, you are honing the skill of loving.  Make no mistake, great love has its challenges, too.  If you don’t take the time to acquire the skills, you may not be enough to rise to the occasion.  Anything you put on hold does not grow.  It simply remains.  Be smart enough to progress and appreciate what even unrequited love can teach you.

 

 

February 15, 2016

Well, how did it go?

 

Was it the most romantic day ever?  Did you create a sweet diversion?  Did you survive it mostly intact?  Are you now more convinced than ever that chocolate can heal all wounds?  lol

 

I just went to Facebook and was interested to see how so many different people celebrated or ignored Valentine’s Day.  I find it interesting that just because we declare a holiday, so many of us feel bound to do something about it…..

 

At my house there was chocolate, hugs, and gifts.  One of which proved me behind the computer times, again.  I got my son an I-Tunes card and he was gracious, but announced that he no longer needed it – apparently there is a new music app that keeps you from having to buy and manage your music.  I had no idea that happened, but it’s okay, it will save me money!

 

I hope you learned about love.  Whether it was with friends, family, pets, neighbors, or just a little more about yourself.  Holidays are teaching moments you know.  They make us think, react, invite, challenge, and learn about ourselves.  This is one of my favorites because it doesn’t involved as much potential trauma as say, Thanksgiving….. 

 

Now that you are smarter in love.  Check out the whole month of blogs in February for more things to ponder.  The whole month is dedicated to love.  And isn’t it just about time?

 

 

February 12, 2016

Let’s talk about kisses……

 

Don’t you love a good kiss?  Which ones have been your favorite so far?  Remember your first kiss?  You do know that a good kiss can touch your very soul….. don’t you?

 

Kisses come in all shapes and sizes – just like people.  I remember when our son was months old, he would kiss us with a totally open mouth, slobber everywhere!  We loved to get those kisses.  Puppy kisses are warm and wonderful, too.  My first kiss was with my best friend.  He and I decided to try it out to dispel all the rumors about it.  We tried a couple, decided it wasn’t all that exciting and went back to listening to records.  We still laugh about that! 

 

The first real kiss can set you back some.  It takes you by surprise and is clearly a defining moment.  Things are never the same after that.  I remember thinking this was a really good idea after all!  Lol  I thought they would all be wonderful, but that’s not true at all I came to realize.  Some just cost too much. 

 

I taught my son to blow kisses when he was little and anyone was leaving.  We all still do that with both nostalgia and lots of love.  Kisses have lots of purposes.  They can help you say hello or goodbye.  They can seal any deal, lead to something fun, heal wounds and even change your life.  That’s a tall order for one little gesture….

 

So on this Friday before Valentine’s Day, may you get the best kiss this weekend you’ve ever had.  May you glory in the simplicity and revel in the touch of genius.  May it be filled with love.  And may you have the soaring heart to realize it.  Celebrate love this weekend and any other time you want too.  It’s always a good reason to smile.

 

Wah!

 

February 11, 2016

Why we have choice and free will……

 

Because if we didn’t sometimes we wouldn’t love….  Remember that person you had such a crush on and the relationship only lasted a few months?  What did you learn?  Would you do it over again?  I used to think I would not have, but not anymore.

 

What we learn about love is instinctual, spontaneous, and cumulative.  So even that brief fling holds some critical information that can lead you down the path to another love.  I remember my first love.  His name was Greg and he had blond hair.  We were in first grade.  I brought him out to the car when my mother came to pick me up, introduced them and announced that we were going to get married!  My southern lady mother was gracious, but I could see the concern in her eyes.  We didn’t marry of course, I don’t even think it lasted through first grade.  He did turn out to be a very nice person, great father, and respected member of the community.  I like to think I had really good taste in men right from the start!

 

But it’s not always that easy.  As we grow older and more discerning, we have to acquire some savvy in picking out a mate.  From the attraction (Do you like beards or not?), and the conversational (If he can only talk about sports, I’m out.), to the emotional (Do you want children?).  Other factors like religion, exercise, where to live, hygiene, and musical tastes also play an important part.  My husband is from Michigan and thinks Bob Seger is a perfect music choice.  I’m a James Taylor girl all the way and you are not likely to see those two performing together any time soon….

 

Those things are give and take, but they do matter.  As you grow in your knowledge about love, give yourself the gift of time.  Don’t settle for less than you know matters to you and don’t let someone you love do that either.  Talk about the questions.  Honor the differences and remember:  True love resides in the sacred for a reason….

 

 

February 10, 2016

Love doesn’t have to hurt……

 

Ever.  A long ago victim of domestic abuse myself, I am still baffled by just how difficult it can be to walk away.  There are so many excuses you can make to explain away bad behavior and the aftermath when they are sorry can seem sincere.  But that’s not enough.  If they were going to learn from their mistakes, the abuse would have never gotten this far.  After all, it is a learned behavior.  So think about that when you are weighing their potential to change.

 

Think about the times you’ve made a mistake yourself.  Did you correct your mistakes?  If you did, you have the potential and the ability to change.  Someone who doles out abuse based on their temper, lack of control, something you said or did, and repeats the behavior even once, does not have the tools to change that behavior.  Male or female.  Serious counseling is necessary and honestly?  I don’t know if those relationships are repairable, because now you know their potential to hurt you and you will always wonder when it will occur again.  What will it take next time?

 

Value for yourself is a slippery thing.  If you put too much value into the opinion of an abuser, you can easily find yourself upside down.  I remember working with a woman who came into work with a pretty ugly shiner.  She said she burned the biscuits the night before.  She believed she was the cause of the abuse.  That’s a chasm that they both needed counseling to repair.  It was so sad to see that amazing person reduced to the price of a can of biscuits…..

 

My abuser was smarter.  He only hit me in places no one could see.  He was a charmer and it took him almost killing me to wake me up.  That was the second time I lost everything I owned, but it was really worth it.  It took a long time to recover and I still don’t like to see anyone mistreated, but I know I would never pass that way again.  I learned and I know what an abuser looks like now.  My regret is that I never turned him in, I was young and succumbed to the fear that people would think I provoked him or deserved it.  But years later, a chance call from an agency wanting to hire him to work with teenage girls as a coach, gave me the opportunity to tell them just who he had been and point out that he had changed his name.  He didn’t get the job.  And I hope my second chance to prevent abuse was successful.

 

Let me end by saying if you are doing too much explaining and listening to too many apologies, you need to get out.  Save yourself.  You are more than worth it and material possessions are not worth the struggle or chance you take for yourself and your children.  Love does not have to hurt.  People who truly love you will never think to hurt you.  Stop and find your true value.  Save yourself.

 

February 9, 2016

How do you know love when you see it?

 

I know people who wouldn't know love if it bit them on the face!  They might think they do, but not so much.  I do not claim to be an expert, I learn something new about love every day, but I can identify real love when I see it.  I wish everyone could. 

 

Love comes in a lot of different packages.  The way you love your parents, is not the way you love your children or your pets.  The way you love to travel, or eat your favorite dessert is not the same kind of love either.  You might love to water ski, but it has nothing to do with the way you love your best friend... or does it?  Maybe it's all about how you love and what your priorities really are.  Think about it.

 

A lady told me yesterday that she loves the color of coffee just the way she likes it.  So she took her perfect coffee to the paint store and had them replicate it.  She had her whole house painted that color inside....  I was speechless and yet, I could see how she got to that point (it's so hard to pick out a paint color!).  She noted that it was such a success, she never wants to leave home.  She loves it! 

 

I attended a funeral of a 34 year old woman, married just 18 months, a year of which she was dying of cancer.  Her grieving husband just kept saying to everyone, "I loved her so much.  But it wasn't enough to keep her here."  Love was all around him, even in those circumstances, and it was obvious that even in that too short time, she loved him fiercely.  Watching him survive it, I was so thankful for the gift she gave him.

 

I got busted myself this past weekend at my son's tuba competition.  He was playing so beautifully and with such emotion.  I couldn't help noticing how much he had grown, how proud I was of him, and I began to silently cry.  He looked up and saw me crying and missed a note.  Oops!  From now on, I'll be sitting behind him.  But I didn't apologize for the emotions.  They came from genuine love and I am thankful for that.  I hold it sacred.  He doesn't really understand that now, but one day he will...

 

We are all students of love.  Let me repeat again:  It's a master class.

 

February 8, 2016

Does love matter to you?

 

Well, does it?  I know plenty of people who have an agenda for success that puts love way down at the bottom of life.  Those are the people who come up for air in their 40’s and suddenly realize they are alone.  Sometimes they make the mistake of marrying out of convenience and the person left at home waiting for the 40’s realization to come grows weary and can’t stay for the revelation.  It’s a lot to ask to someone….

 

I find it interesting that love doesn’t matter to some people.  They have a thirst for life, adventure, success, discovery, and don’t necessarily need someone to share it with.  Often when they stumble upon someone they do love, they don’t recognize it.  Those people require a whole lot of patience and yes, love.

We are all products of what we were taught about love.  Some of us are demonstrative, others never speak of it at all and yet they possess it.  Some of us were taught it was a frivolous thing and not necessary, the rest of us were taught it is essential.  If you were taught to be fearful about love, that’s a tough place to come from and I would recommend counseling to help you get back on a reasonable path.

 

Love doesn’t have to matter to you.  But if it does?  Be a good steward of it.  It will be a very significant guiding pathway in your life. 

 

February 5, 2016

What does love really mean to you?

 

If you don’t know that, make it a priority to figure it out.  If it’s not important to you, it shows.  If it’s all important to you, you can’t do anything well until it is worked out.  Do you require love?  Does it matter to your happiness?  That’s something you need to know. 

 

I know people who put such importance on finding love that they simply cannot get about life.  They work at doing things, but they don’t really find themselves, because they are waiting on love to happen.  Often, it shows up in their lives and they don’t even recognize it.  If you look too hard for something, it can become skewed.  You need more perfection, more commitment, more bang for your buck…..  It becomes the impossible dream…..

 

If you are looking for love, start by loving something.  An animal, art, food, a sunset, a color…  Begin a list of the things you know you love.  Put together a picture of yourself and the person you are taking out into the world.  That person will attract someone who sees what they are looking for, someone they can love.  If you don’t know what you love, you will attract someone who doesn’t know what they love and it will be a train wreck……  So get it together before you take it on the road!

 

One last word of advice:  Love is not perfect.  None of us are and flaws are what make us interesting.  There’s an old worn out joke about a man on a roof surrounded by flood waters.  Boats keep coming by to rescue him and he refuses them, waiting on divine intervention.  Finally God has to tell him, “I’ve sent 9 boats what do you want?”  Every ‘boat’ that comes your way is a life lesson.  They may be ‘the one’ or just an exit stop on the way to ‘the one’.  Life lessons come in a whole lot of ways.  But they rarely look perfect.

 

February 4, 2016

Who loves you and you absolutely know it?

 

This is the stuff dreams are made of because it frees you up to go out into the world and be who you really are.  When someone loves you and you absolutely know it, it provides a foundation you can come from, that allows you to soar.  It is a gift.  It is no small thing.

 

But how do you absolutely know it?  Ask yourself.  Ask them.  My goal as a parent is to love my child so that he knows he is loved.  I don’t ever want him out there in the world wondering about it.  I believe it will free him up to explore other things.  After all, some people look for love their whole lives……

 

As a person, I learned when my father died that if you love someone you should tell them.  And I don’t think you can do that too much.  I was blessed to have talked to my Dad that morning and even though he wasn’t known for saying I love you, I told him I loved him and he replied in a genuine way.  It was our last conversation.  I have no regrets. 

 

My goal is to let you know if I love you.  It’s important.  I consider it a privilege to have people to love and I try to keep that goal in focus.  I don’t just throw it around.  I think about it and make sure what I’m saying before I make the commitment.  I just can’t take it lightly. 

 

I was privileged to be loved unconditionally by my grandmother.  I know how it feels and I know what it must have taken for it to occur.  I aspire to love that way myself.  I believe it will touch the sacred. 

 

If you are loved and you know it?  You are blessed.  Honor that.  Be thankful.  It’s enough.

 

February 3, 2016

Who do you love unconditionally?

 

Webster says unconditional means:  Not limited in any way:  complete and absolute. 

 

That’s a tall order.  That means if someone you love does something stupid, you still love them.  How you love them may change, but unconditional love is complete and absolute.  So get this:  Most people do not love unconditionally!  They can’t.  It’s really hard to do.

 

If someone loves you unconditionally, you will absolutely know it.  It is free of judgement.  It is free of guilt.  It is free of shame.  It is not tied to success or money.  It is pure, simple and doesn’t happen very often.

 

Why?  Well, life gets in the way.  People do all kinds of crazy things that make you suspicious of their love.  They take you for granted, use you and mistreat you.  That’s not unconditional love.  It’s complicated and when I hear someone tell me they love someone else unconditionally, I am often suspicious.  That’s a lot of pressure on a relationship of any kind!

 

I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it requires a great deal of trust and faith.  I think it’s mostly reserved for parents and grandparents, but anything is possible. Look around you for someone who loves unconditionally.  See what it looks like and figure it out.  How could you be a person who loves like that?  Who loves you like that?  It’s nice, but is it necessary?  How could it benefit you or someone you love?

 

You see, when you go shopping for something as important as love, I think you should have some pretty good knowledge about what kind of love you are looking for.  So do some research first...

 

February 2, 2016

Who do you really love?

 

Webster defines love like this:  A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person; attraction that includes sexual desire, i.e., the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship; and a person you love in a romantic way.

 

That’s a good start.  Strong and constant affection is a real clue.  Who can you love?  Friend, spouses, children, neighbors, animals, inanimate objects, nature, food, etc.  But you need a criteria for when you make that decision.  And if you are bold enough to state it, that means you’ve owned it in some way.

Entitlement does not really count, although we seem to think it does.  For instance, if you have a family who does not really love you, abuses you, uses you, and treats you poorly, just because they are your family does not automatically gain them your love.  In fact, those are the very people who know you best, so they should be the ones who give you the most consideration and love you the most. 

 

We are taught to love our family and we don’t say when it is okay not to.  But we should.  It would save a whole lot of heartache.  Suffice it to say that if your family cannot be kind and loving to you, then they don’t get the pleasure of loving you.  And family or not, you can walk away.  It's called 'saving yourself'.

 

Should love be earned?  I think so.  People need to earn your trust and love and you need to do the same.  Otherwise, it’s all just smoke and mirrors and who can say it is valid? 

 

I always learn from my clients and one person talked to me about the men he served with in the military.  He said, “I love them and I always will.  We are brothers and until the day I die, I will be there for them.”  That’s a different way to look at love, but it’s fierce and such a visceral thing.  He said, “We may go years without being in touch, but all it takes it one phone call and I’m on a plane to help them.”  That’s powerful and born out of trial by fire.  I wish we could all experience that type of love.

 

I hope you love fiercely.  I hope you are loved fiercely.  I hope when and if you are, you know the value of it.  And I hope you have the sense to honor it.

 

February 1, 2016

It’s all about love this month……

 

Who do you really love?  Who do you love unconditionally?  Who loves you and you absolutely know it?  What does love really mean to you?  Does love matter to you?  How do you know love when you see it?

 

Those are some fine questions and while I do not expect you to know the answers to them all, I would hope you have some idea where you are in the process.  Love is important.  It’s not just a made up Hallmark holiday to annoy you and make you eat more chocolate or spend outrageous money on flowers.  It’s a major force to be reckoned with on our planet and you can never, ever underestimate it.

 

So this month, at least up until the 14th or so, I will be breaking down the questions and offering up some real answers or insights to help you come to some valuable conclusions.  May the force of love be with you……

 

Let’s start with some basic principles – rules if you will:

  1. Love is never, ever, unkind.  Honesty is the best policy, but with kindness only.

  2. You do not, under any circumstances, hurt the ones you love.  There are no acceptable excuses.

  3. Loving someone requires commitment.  It’s not something you enter into lightly.

  4. Anytime is a good time to tell someone you love them.

  5. If you love your children, and they absolutely know it, they can go out into the world without having to figure that out and that is HUGE!

  6. You never, ever take advantage of someone you love.  Ever.

  7. You never use their fears against them.  Never.

  8. If you fall out of love (or suddenly realize it was just lust), have the courtesy and decency to tell them face to face.

  9. Honor love and hold it sacred.  Everyone does not get to experience it.

  10. Lastly, be thankful someone loves you.  It is no small thing.

 

Loves solves a lot of things, confuses a lot of things, and even when it is great, is never easy.  It's a master class in life and rightly so. 

Don't miss the course!

 

We will take it a day at a time.  If you have questions, email me at lynnslines@msn.com.  I’d love to hear your take on things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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