The Truest Love Of All

January 19, 2011 by  
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heart on the beach

Huffington Post

by Deborah Calla
I was married at age 20 to a man who was 11 years my senior. When I married the man, I was a recent Brazilian arrival doing a lot of drugs and hanging out with all the wrong people. I thought getting married would settle me down and straighten me out, but instead it marked the beginning of the worst period of my life. The man was intelligent and creative, but he was also possessive, manipulative and had an ego that didn’t allow any other human to occupy the same space as his. Within the first year the intelligent man showed himself as delusional and abusive…Continued

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Connecting To Love On Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

January 17, 2011 by  
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Angie Rubin

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it – Martin Luther King Jr.

Today marks the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., an exceptional man who understood violence begets violence.  No one will disagree that MLK had every right to be hateful.  But the pastor knew in hate he would destroy himself and what he was trying to accomplish.  And even though he was murdered what he had set as his life’s goal and mission did come to fruition.   No, we don’t have racial equality today, but we do have laws that protect our ongoing serious discourse. Much has been accomplished and much more needs to happen.

If you think about it, in its essence hate is an emotion of the ego.

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Love Lessons From Erich Fromm

January 12, 2011 by  
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“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”

We are first attracted to someone because of a chemical compatibility.  We want to be with them and can’t get enough of their touch.  It is passion and it is an all burning sensation.

As time goes, passion starts to fizzle and either turns into love or the relationship ends.  When we decide to be with someone we are also making the decision that as we get into life’s routines we will remember and honor the decision made.  That is why a healthy long lasting relationship, requires respect, friendship and commitment.  Because without a doubt there will be many occasions we will feel like throwing everything out for the chance to experience the cycle all over again. Deciding to be with someone and loving them should be based on friendship and admiration for the other person’s values, growth and struggles.

“Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love”

We all have love within us.  It is up to us to connect and embrace this life energy source that is at our disposal.  It isn’t true that we can’t feel love unless we are in love with someone else.  Feeling love is a state of mind and heart that each one of us can apply to our lives and the world.

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.”

If we really want to have a healthy and intimate relationship with another person, we must first acknowledge the love already exists and permeates our lives.   We must know we don’t need to be in an intimate relationship to be in a state of love. We must know no one outside of our selves can turn us whole.  We are whole to begin with.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

To be creative, to tap into our most original thinking and dreaming; we must let go of the notion of certainty.  Creativity means exploration.  It means enjoying the process without demand for a specific outcome.

“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas and feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health.”

On our search for well-being we are always confronting ideas that are accepted as “normal” by a majority but go against a truth we are in the process of unveiling.  The result can be 1 – feeling outside the norms of society and therefore alone 2 – feeling less than as we are not fighting for the same goals but somehow allow our lives to be measured by those values which we no longer adhere to 3 – feeling like we give more than receive as we become more aware of other people’s needs and rights.

It is important that we continue to remind ourselves that our well-being and mental health is our own journey and the reward is a life well lived. Conforming to a consensual validation goes against finding our own truth.

Erich Seligmann[1] Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German-American Jewish social psychologist, psychoanalyst, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist.

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What It Takes To Love

January 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Just found the below article on Oprah.com and wanted to share it with you.

The post “What It Takes To Love Well And Wisely” discusses the transformative power of romantic love. That is because  in intimate relationships we get to show ourselves in ways we don’t  in other relationships.  We also get to know parts of us which are called upon in romantic relationships.

I believe for a romantic relationship to be “successful” we must first be a complete person; love ourselves, and have our own interests.  It is then we can be vulnerable without the feeling that we are losing ourselves.  It is then we can truly share without feeling we are giving up on our own lives.

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The Truth About Love

January 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Popular Posts

heart on the beach

I was married at age twenty to a man who was eleven years my senior.  When I married the man, I was a recent Brazilian arrival doing a lot of drugs and hanging out with all the wrong people.  I thought getting married would settle me down and straight, but instead marked the beginning of the worst period of my life.  The man was intelligent and creative but he was also possessive, manipulative and had an ego that didn’t allow any other human to occupy the same space as his.  Within the first year the intelligent man showed himself as delusional and abusive.   It took me a long time to understand the man’s bravado was a cover up for deep seeded insecurity which he was ready to go to any lengths to hide.  Three years into the marriage, and I no longer knew if what I thought and felt was real or not.  Only my fantasies – where I took refuge- remained mine.  In them I dreamed of being rescued and of living the love story I so much craved.  But back in the real world my husband was busy spraying beer all over me and undermining any attempt I made to stand on my own two legs.

One day, as I stood on the edge of a subway platform, I thought I could make it all stop if I took one step forward.  Now I’m a survivor and that kind of thinking just scared the hell out of me, so I summoned all the courage I had, and sought out help.

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Experiencing Endless Love

December 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Candles

I have just read the below article in the Chicago Tribune.  It’s a story of love and courage of a 32 year old woman falling in love and marrying a 31 year old man suffering from a very aggressive cancer.

When Bahar Mallah met Nick Schmidt at a bar in Chicago, he told her he wasn’t drinking because he had cancer.  Instead of being thrown off she replied by asking him if that was his best line.  By staying there Bahar made the decision to live in the moment and see where it led.  Bahar and Nick fell in love and married.  And 51 days after their wedding he passed away. Bahar is in a lot of pain now.  She misses Nick. But, she is also quick to share she is okay with all the decisions she’s made.  She got to deeply experience love and to discover the door within her that was opened by meeting Nick will stay forever open.

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Are You Really Ready For Love?

December 9, 2010 by  
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I have a very close friend who is now 45 years-old, but has never lived with a partner or been married.  She always says she would love to be in a committed relationship and often asks me if I think that will happen to her.  My answer is: “I don’t know.”  That’s because I don’t have a crystal ball. But whenever we get into these conversations I try to point out that to truly love others we first have to connect with the love we have within.   We don’t create love and then use it on someone else.  We already have love. We just need to let it flow.

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Experiencing Life Through Other People’s Point Of View

November 25, 2010 by  
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Years ago I saw a film called The Joy Luck Club.  The film tells the story of a few women and their mothers from the mothers’ point of view.  I watched the movie alone late at night. Half way into the film, I started to sob. I was overcome by a deep sorrow of having lived so many years without ever attempting to experience my relationship with my mother from her point of view.  In my wants and desires for my life in the world, I had forgotten I was part of her. She had given me life while I wanted to live that life. Because of that experience I was able to gain a new understanding and compassion for her.

Our minds are set up in such a way that we observe and experience everything as if we are the center of the universe.  Things and people exist because of us and for us.  The result is most often conflict and judgment.

Reminding ourselves to also experience our relationships through other people’s point of view turns our own lives into more layered and rounded existences.

The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes onto oneself Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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The Transformative Power Of Love

November 22, 2010 by  
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Below is a beautifully written and touching post by Dan Gottlieb on the Huffington Post.  Dan discusses how when we open ourselves up to the love that already exists within us, life changes.  When we finally realize that loving someone is not about changing them into the people we would like them to be, we are ready to embrace the love that lives within us. We often spend so much of our time and energy trying to prove who we are to others and ourselves that we end up running over what would actually make our lives in what we keep searching for; a more profound and transformative experience.

His observations come as a result of the loss of his mother and of a friend’s loss of his son.  Unfortunately sometimes it takes a tragedy for life to come into focus again.

Don’t wait to experience a great loss in your life to peel away the layers of anger and discontent to find what already lives within you.  In love there is compassion and warmth. Love yourself and others today.

—-

By Dan Gottlieb

As much as I hate to say it, the Beatles were wrong when they said, “Love is all you need.” It’s just not that simple.

Love nurtures life, but we need much more. I think Andrew Lloyd Webber got it right when he wrote the lyric, “Love changes everything,” for the musical “Aspects of Love.” Love changes our lives, whether it’s the openhearted, head-over-heels kind of love that makes us obsessed with our lover, or the kind of love we feel for a child. But love also changes our lives when it slowly begins to die in a marriage, or when it’s betrayed by broken promises.

And the nature of love is forever altered when death visits the relationship…Continued

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4 Relationships Myths That Almost Everyone Perpetuates

November 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

By Angie Rubin

Before my husband got sick and passed away, we had a very fun and fulfilling relationship.  Many of my friends, both men and women, would ask what our secret was.  The truth is; there were no secrets.  There was only a great dose of reality.  Neither Chris nor I expected the other to fulfill every desire we had in life.

We were aware we were not perfect people.  And so when we were faced with each other’s “imperfections” we weren’t disappointed.

We were aware our internal struggles belonged separately to each one of us.  We knew we could count on support as we struggled, but we were responsible for our own life decisions.

We spent a lot of time together, but also had the freedom to have a “girl’s night out” or a “boy’s night out.”

We had similar values and most importantly; we loved each other’s company.  We also respected each other’s opinion and looked forward to sharing our thoughts and experiences.

A foundation of love and respect carried us through five years of fun, difficulties, struggle, love and contentment.  Having realistic expectations of what a partner means in your life is key. Knowing our issues will still be our issues when we come together will save a lot of headaches later.  Remember, no one can make anyone else’s life perfect.  What we do for one another is love, support and share.

——–

By Dr. Terri Orbuch

Last week I was invited to a wedding shower where the guests were asked to bring a note card with one piece of advice for the new couple.

Most of the cards had typical comments like “Always compromise,” “Be honest and truthful,” or “Never go to bed mad.” As a relationship expert, I knew that the majority of the advice was not supported by scientific findings. So I began to wonder: how much of what people know about relationships is repeated as fact but is more like fiction? …Continued

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