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Learn To Do You First, The Rest Will Come

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peace-serene-lake-view

Do your own thing and whoever shows up, shows up.  This is my personal version of “Follow your bliss…”  It’s your ride.  Make it a good one.  Took me a long time to learn that.

I have always tried to accommodate everyone, even for my birthdays.  When I say I’m going to be somewhere, I can almost always be counted on to do just that.  I pride myself on it.  But not everyone shares the same priorities in life.  What is important to you may be trivial to another.

One of the keys to happiness is learning to accept reality.  It’s pretty important in love and relationships too.  If I don’t accept my friends, my family, my significant other as they are, and for who they are, then it’s hard to be happy with them.  It just ends up as a fix them, or fix me scenario.

This doesn’t mean I have to like everything about someone or even tolerate the things I don’t.  I am free to end or modify those relationships as needed.  I get to set boundaries and expect others to respect them.  I get to say yes and no when I feel like saying yes and no.

I think it all comes down to the old adage, Know Thy Self.  I know who I am.  I know what I like and what I don’t like.  I know what I can tolerate and what I abhor.  I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses.  And in doing so, I’m also able to recognize these things in others.

One of the things I know is when I’ve done something that displeases another.  It was a talent I developed in childhood.  My mother had a bit of a mercurial temperament and I never wanted to be the source of any of her upsets.  But being a child, you just pissed off adults even when you weren’t trying.

So I became a very conflict adverse person, rarely being able to come at things head on and often sacrificing my wants and needs to keep others happy.  It’s probably why I enjoyed and even needed a good amount of time spent alone.  No one to satisfy but myself.

But I like people and I like shared experiences.  I don’t want to be alone all the time.  No matter where you go, there you are and my people pleasing habit was always close by.

After much introspection, I know that the way that I am is the way that I am.  It’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s just me.  And I like me.  I wish that everyone liked themselves.  Self-loathing is the source of so much misery in this world — for people and the people they inflict their misery upon.

If you do one thing this year to improve your life, I recommend you make it this.  Love yourself more and more each day.  Whole new worlds will open up for you that you never even knew were available.  Someone loves me more than I ever knew was possible.  All I have to do is let him.

We all have a light that burns brightly but it’s up to us to stoke the flame.

 

 

 

Spread the Love Around

There are certain holidays that I still celebrate like an eight-year-old.  Valentine’s Day is one of them.  I never got into the whole romance aspect of it.  I like to give Valentine’s cards and treats to everyone, just like we used to in elementary school.

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show a little love to the people in your life, not just your special someone.  It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or mushy, just something that says, “I think you’re alright and I like having you around.”

Every year I choose the most fun box of Valentine’s cards.  One year it was Spider-Man and another year it was Hello Kitty.  Then I make cupcakes or cookies and when the day comes, I hand them out to just about everyone I come in contact with.

You don’t need a special day to let your significant other know you love them.  You should be doing that on a regular basis.  But sometimes it’s good to be reminded to let the rest of the people in your life know that they are special to you.  That’s what Valentine’s Day means to me.

choo choo

Timing Is Everything

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In a week I will be getting married for the first time in my life. I’m in my early 40s.

My fiancé has said that he wishes he had met me sooner so we could have spent more of our lives together. As sweet a sentiment as that is, the truth of the matter is if we had met sooner and somewhere besides Southern California, we probably wouldn’t be together today.

I know who I was in my twenties and thirties and the settling down type I was not. I had a wanderlust and a thirst for freedom that my husband-to-be would never have been able to understand or accommodate. I needed to sow my wild oats in order to be with him today.

We all think that hindsight is 20-20 and if we knew then what we know now, it might make all the difference in how we lived our lives. But I say timing is everything. The Rolling Stones got it right with this one.

What we want and what we need are rarely the same thing. We want to be loved but we need to love. We want freedom but we need responsibility. We want adventure but we need stability.

None of these things are contradictory. They are actually complimentary. I want to be wanted but I need to be needed. And this is something that I didn’t know before my late 30s.

Sometimes we luck out and get what we want and need before we’ve had the opportunity to get clear about it. Then we just come to recognize our good fortune. Other times, we have to try on a few options before we find one that works.   And every once in a while, something old is new again.

I didn’t get what I wanted but I got what I needed. That makes me want it all the more now. And its timing couldn’t have been better if I had planned it myself. Life is funny that way.

Ren Faire kiss

Love is…

love is2

Valentine’s Day is a mixed bag.  For some people, it’s a great reminder to let someone know you care.  For others, it can make them feel like no one cares.  I’m here to encourage you to make this day (and really every day) the day you want it to be.

I’m not an overly romantic person.  I show my affection but it’s not covered in hearts and flowers.  Love to me is a much more practical, tangible thing.  But it still lives in the realm of the ineffable.  Words can allude to it but not capture it completely.  I can describe how I feel but that’s still only the surface of what lies beneath.

Love is giving him the bigger piece of steak.

Love is telling her she’s beautiful in her sweats and no make-up.

Love is giving hugs whenever they are needed or wanted.

Love is making room for her Muppets collection.

Love is all the way to the moon and back.

Love is “your song” even when it makes absolutely no sense.

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