A Walk To Remember

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Writer and film producer Nicholas lost his sister to cancer and events in her life inspired him to write “A Walk To Remember”. The book was made into a movie I have not seen. However, the book touched this old hapless romantic’s heart.

“Do you love me?’ I asked her. She smiled. ‘Yes.’

‘Do you want me to be happy?’ as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. ‘Of course I do.’

‘Will you do something for me then?’ She looked away, sadness crossing her features. ‘I don’t know if I can anymore.’ she said. ‘but if you could, would you?’

I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I’d never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment.

As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me.

‘Yes’ she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. ‘I would.’

Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do.

Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she’d wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I’d been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find.

She’d told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we’d asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do.

Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. ‘Will you marry me?” From “A Walk To Remember” by Nicholas Sparks

For a soul that is open enough to accept big love; for a heart that is strong enough to love with every fiber; and a mind that can get out of the way and let love soar… I am deeply grateful.

Love is like the wind,
you can’t see it
but you can feel it.
Nicholas Sparks

Posted in Love, Precious things, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

Whatever Life Throws At You

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This is what you don’t do.
Don’t let this world make you bitter.
Don’t let the actions of other people turn you cold on the inside.
Certain things happen that hurt us, people come that leave us,
and most of all there are moments when you’re bound to fall.
Don’t let those things make you unkind.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay to be sad.
But it’s never okay to do other people wrong
just because you were done wrong.
We’re human.
We break.
We make mistakes.
But don’t let pain and sadness run your lives.
Wake up in the morning and do what you think is right.
There are moments in your life where you feel like giving up
and you can’t take it anymore.
It’s okay.
Breathe.
Inhale.
Exhale.
I know you’re weak.
But the things that show your weak side
are also the same ones that make you stronger in the long run.
It’s all about taking whatever life throws at you and learning from it.
https://www.facebook.com/joyofmom

Today is just an ordinary day; a good day. I am feeling a little melancholy because my son who came to visit for several days went home yesterday. The woman I love and live with is at work, so it’s just me and Fred, the dog, at home. I rested well last night and got more sleep that usual (helped me catch up from going all weekend). But I was dragging a little.

There is much serendipity in life if one’s aware enough to notice. I needed a little pick-me-up… just a small one and found it in the joyofmom post above this morning. Thanks “Mom” I needed that.

Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world
may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/pleasefindthis

Posted in Life as it really is, Living in the Present, Living life well | Tagged , ,

Teaching Me How

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There are few things like watching a child grow up to remind one of how fast time marches by. My “boy” is in his early 30′s now and it seems like only a few years ago he was eight and playing street hockey in the driveway.

Although my son is still finding his compass, I am very proud of his free-thinking ways and determination to live his life his own way. He pays his own bills, is in a meaningful long-term relationship and is loved by family and friends. To stay in school and be nearly done with a PhD has taken determination I don’t have. Way to go Nick!

During a visit this past weekend my son and I talked about how dreams thought up behind us, look very different in the present. We agreed that it is far to easy to get down because things did not turn out the way we once hoped. Coming to believe that is okay was something we saw eye to eye on.

The simplistic idealism of being 21 is a marvel to see in one’s son. Even more impressive is when a child has grown fully into an adult with a much broader perspective. The only thing that concerns me sometimes is his (and his generation’s) cynicism about the future. Once in a while I wish he had a little more of the idealism of a decade ago.

For, after all, you do grow up, you do outgrow your ideals, which turn to dust and ashes, which are shattered into fragments; and if you have no other life, you just have to build one up out of these fragments. And all the time your soul is craving and longing for something else. And in vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking in these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan it into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes, and that so splendidly deceived him! From “White Nights: And Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I am grateful that I grew up with my son to be a pretty decent Dad. I made plenty of mistakes, but did a good bit well also. I know today I am a better Father than ever before. I thank my son for teaching me how.

I believe that what we become
depends on what our fathers
teach us at odd moments,
when they aren’t trying to teach us.
We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.
Umberto Eco

Posted in Beyond the obvious, Children, Embracing life | Tagged , ,

With Each Passing Day

If you think that finding a soul mate 02

…love is the key
to understanding
of all the mysteries.
Paul Chelho

Posted in Beyond the obvious, Love, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

Cannot Love Without Giving

unbalanced-scales The Rule of Obligation or Rule of Reciprocity says when others do something for us, we should feel a need to return the favor. By ‘evening the score’, so to speak, one is relieved of the ‘obligation’ created by a good deed done for them. In a general sense, one good turn really does deserve another.

Only in childhood is it normal to receive more than is given. With maturity we should become able to maintain more balanced giving/receiving relationships.As an adult to expect another to do for us without reciprocal good turns in some approximately balanced measure is somewhere between impolite, selfish and down right stealing of another’s time, effort and resources.

It does not matter if we ask for help or not. If another person does an uninvited favor for us and we accept it, there is still indebtedness for the receiver. Allowing another to do too much for us while we do too little will lead to an imbalanced relationship and in time, animosity.

When the give and take equilibrium becomes off kilter by one doing much and the other doing much less, both people are in essence controlling the other. One by what they allow to be given to them, the other by what that persons gives. The Rule of Obligation and Reciprocity is then broken and equal discomfort is caused for both parties (or at least should be).

Reciprocal relationships require a spirit of cooperation, as well as an understanding of and ability to embrace interdependence. With awareness, it can become a robust, healthy feature of the relationship. Reciprocity requires people to be invested in their relationship.

A basic building block of intimate relationships concerns how people define reciprocity about the exchange of goods and labor. It is prudent to have discussions about those issues, before committing. Reciprocity in other areas of the relationship, such as emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy also needs to be discussed. Negotiating reciprocity is a skill that people can build with one another.

For intimate relationships to grow and become healthy, lasting, and committed, reciprocity is vital. The thrill of the adrenaline rush that comes from attraction is never enough. That ends—often quickly. It is easy to delude ourselves into believing that a partner can and will be able to build the kind of loving, committed relationship that most of us want. Talking openly, honestly, and deeply with our partners can help us make a better decision about whether or not we are genuinely capable of building a healthy reciprocal relationship. From an article © Copyright 2010 by Anne D. Ream MA, ATR-BC, LPC http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/relationship-reciprocity/ See below for more information about http://www.goodtherapy.org

It’s common for me to do too much for those I love and at times become frustrated because my considerations are not returned. Intellectually I know it is often just me “playing to my own needs” of being taken care of. Regardless I end up feeling under loved and in most cases am better off doing less which lowers my expectations. I’m working on that.

I am grateful today for a reminder that I still wrestle with feelings of giving, then feeling bad when the act is not reciprocated or at least acknowledged. The primary responsibility for my feelings belong to one person: ME! It is all my “stuff” to work on. Smiling. I am thankful for the nudge.

You can give without loving,
but you cannot love without giving.
Amy Wilson-Carmichael

 

Ranked as one of the top therapist directories on the Internet, GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries worldwide who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy. GoodTherapy.org was founded by Noah Rubinstein, a licensed marriage and family therapist, in an effort to address and prevent therapists from misusing their power, getting their own needs met at the expense of their clients, violating boundaries, and treating clients in punitive and condescending ways. As an advocate for healthy psychotherapy, GoodTherapy.org educates the public about the differences between healthy and unhealthy psychotherapy practices and promotes collaborative and nonpathologically based approaches within the professional community. Launched in 2007, the GoodTherapy.org Network receives more than 1.5 million therapist searches each month and reaches, through a variety of partner and advertising networks, an estimated 7 million people per month. GoodTherapy.org maintains the highest membership requirements, individually verifying that each applicant meets strict educational, licensure, and philosophical guidelines.  GoodTherapy.org is uniquely positioned as a social enterprise, using entrepreneurial principles to achieve social change. While corporations typically measure success in terms of profit and return, GoodTherapy.org focuses on blending market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose and create social capital, leading to change in mental health.

Posted in Beyond the obvious, People, Relationships | Tagged , ,

From the Inside, Out

i-am-beautiful-inside

When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman with an adjective that isn’t dripping in sexual innuendos and defaming premises? When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman by something that compliments her soul and her inherent elegance? When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman as beautiful?

There’s been a loss of respect when it comes to admiring women, shifting towards describing us as objects, rather than people. Men look at women as pieces of tail, “things” to be conquered, rather than appreciating women for their individuality.

A large portion of today’s men are momentarily allured by hair extensions, large chests, big bottoms and stilettos. They think sexuality comes in the form of bronzed skin, bikini waxes and fake eyelashes. They’ve been programmed to believe that any woman with a sculpted body and perky breasts is attractive.

What about the women who don’t want to indulge in the male fantasy? What about the women who just want to wear comfortable sweaters and flats? What about the women who don’t dress to impress the opposite sex, but instead, to just feel good in their own skin? Isn’t there attractiveness in that? Isn’t there an appeal to that sense of confidence?

When did women become forced to acquiesce to this standard, or otherwise get lost in the crowd? When did getting a man mean painting on layers of makeup and investing in mini skirts? There is a certain type of man that continually defames women, judging them solely on sex appeal, failing to see the actual grandeur of women. These are the men who don’t understand the concept of natural beauty and uniqueness in flaws.

They don’t recognize that “hotness” doesn’t last past midnight, when the makeup has smudged onto the pillow and the hair extensions have been taken out. It doesn’t last when the spray tans have washed away and the tight dresses have come off.

It’s not real; it’s an illusion that’s been forcing women to conform to unhealthy habits for too many years. It’s time these men are reminded of the difference between hot and beautiful. It’s time men realize that women have more to offer than just a body.

Women are stunning creatures, with assets and traits both unique and enchanting to each one of us, and it’s time we started showcasing our individuality and stop giving in to the illusion of sexy created by man. Because beauty isn’t about wanting to f*ck her; it’s about wanting to be with her.

Hot is admired from afar; beauty is to be held.
Hot is perception; beauty is appreciation.
Hot is smokey-eyed; beautiful is bare-faced.
Hot is an appearance; beautiful is more than skin deep.
Hot is the way she moans; beautiful is the way she speaks.
Hot is a strong appeal; beautiful is strong mind.
Hot is youthful; beautiful is ageless.
Hot is conventional; beauty is unique.
Hot is a one-night stand; beautiful is sleepless nights.
Hot is a state of being; beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Hot is devious; beautiful is innocent.
Hot is bending her over; beautiful is baking her blueberry pancakes.
Hot is sultry; beautiful is wholesome.
Hot is her curves; beauty is her nerves.
Hot is a text message; beautiful is a love letter.
Hot is a facade; beautiful is a woman.
Taken from an article by Lauren Martin http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/the-actual-difference-between-women-who-are-hot-and-who-are-beautiful/

Intellectually I have long known what Ms. Martin writes is true. Yet, it took a long time for me to come around fully and live it with my mind, heart and soul. I know well the emotional moment the life changing epiphany arrived and wrote about it: http://goodmorninggratitude.com/2012/06/04/i-have-been-a-fool/

I am grateful to have gained the ability to look into the fog and see clearly. Beauty can only be found from the inside, out.

It is amazing how complete
is the delusion
that beauty is goodness.
Leo Tolstoy

Posted in Beauty, Embracing life, Inspiration | Tagged , ,

Simple Truth

04 03 2014 tumblr_ltkju98q4g1qdzpbco1_500

Posted in Simple Pleasures, What really matters, Wisdom | Tagged , ,

More Important than Facts

attitude

Fifteen years ago if someone had earnestly tried to explain the impact a person’s attitude has, I would have listened patiently while thinking the premise was mostly new age swill. I would have been wrong but staunchly convinced I wasn’t.

Albert Einstein was accurate when he said, “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character”.

So was Khalil Gigran when he more poetically wrote, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens”.

When I thought my life sucked the most and had the guts to take a close look why, I found the culprit most often staring back at me from a mirror. About a decade ago I decided to stop having bad days and over time was able to do just that. As you chuckle to yourself about how crazy that sounds, let me say I have very difficult and challenging days. But they are never bad.

As long as I breathe I will relish the gift of life. What an amazing difference an attitude shift made for me. Now I embrace the knowing that grief, heartache and pain are as surely parts of a good life as joy, happiness and contentment.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances,
than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company… a church… a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude
we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me
and 90% of how I react to it.
And so it is with you…
we are in charge of our attitudes.
Charles R. Swindoll

All in all today is a typical day. I am neither boiling over with joy nor wandering around in the shadow of grief. But it’s a damn fine day. As much as anything because I chose to label it as a good day. My attitude is my choice and I choose to be grateful for every second of today.

Attitude is a little thing
that makes a big difference.
Winston Churchill

Posted in Attitude, Beyond the obvious, Coping | Tagged , ,

Wouldn’t It Be Great?

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Once upon a time, on a world far, far away a planet’s inhabitants woke one Spring morning to find things had remarkably shifted for the better:

- Peace had been achieved. All inhabitants came to believe that loving others was the key to happiness.

- Men and women are no longer unfaithful to each other. Those in a committed love have chosen to be loyal and those in bad relationships moved on.

- Child abuse is over. A great epiphany arrived to show all adults that to hurt a child is to hurt the ‘child’ within every grown up more.

- Education has become highly important with healthy budgets shifted to teachers and schools. Less government spending on other things has done no harm.

- Business is done with honor and ethics. No longer is screwing someone for a buck thought of as a big win. People are judged by they character and not their bank accounts.

- The elderly are being seen for the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they have to share. Old people are shown respect and cared for as a great resource.

- Advertising is true and not misleading. The most principled companies are doing best and those making use of indecent practices are struggling and failing.

- The planet is being given great care and large effort is being made to heal damage already done. Nature is healing, slowly, but surely.

- Respect for all religious practices has been established. People are no longer judged by what he or she believes.

- There is no hunger. Seeing that everyone has enough to eat has become a priority. There is so much more peace now that no one is hungry.

- Honesty is respected and the ability to openly express emotions is valued Living a moral life that hurts no one else is now viewed as a far greater asset than a big bank account.

Today is the first of April or the day that is known as “April Fools Day”. There are a number of theories about the origination of “All Fools Day” but the one I prefer to believe goes back to Emperor Constantine in the third and fourth centuries A.D. As the story goes, jesters successfully petitioned the ruler to allow one of their elected members to be king for a day. So, on April first, Constantine handed over the reins of the Roman Empire for one day to King Kugel, his jester. Kugel decreed that the day forever would be a day of absurdity.

Knowing there is often great truth in jest, my list above is offered today. It’s absurd to think of the list as true for sure, yet every item is worth yearning for. Wouldn’t it be great if my little April Fools joke all came true?

I am grateful for an open mind, heart and soul that cares deeply for this planet, for other people and how we treat one another.

If every fool wore a crown,
we should all be kings.
Welsh Proverb

Posted in Beyond the obvious, Hopes and Dreams, What really matters | Tagged , ,

Two Companion States

paradise-trail

Grateful…

…to be alive on another Monday…

…to have great health…

…to have a son I am proud of…

…to have the love of a beautiful woman in an honest “no secrets” relationship…

…to be completely in love with the woman who loves me…

…the wisdom and desire to make my love relationship really work, no matter what…

…to live in a home I enjoy very much…

…to make a home with the woman who has my heart…

…to have good friends…

…for the pretty bushes, trees, flowers and grass in the yard…

…for the light rain coming down today…

…for a new car (2010..new to me) that I love to drive …

…to have a healthy curiosity and desire to learn, to know, to experience…

…to be where I am today knowing every heartache had a hand in shaping my path…

…to believe there is a God takes care of me even though I don’t understand God…

…to love living even on the most difficult of days…

…to laugh more than I ever have…

…to have a life filled with possibility…

…for all the people who take the time to read my ramblings…

…for a full pantry and fridge…

…for music that is almost always playing in the background…

…to be happy…

…and the greatest amount of hope for the future I have ever had!

Being consciously grateful is essential to a happy life. It keeps you positive and optimistic, which are two of the most important things you can be. Never forget that you get what you give, and being a positive person will bring more positive people, events and opportunities into your life. If you honestly think there is nothing to be thankful for in your life, you’re not trying hard enough. Marissa A. Ross

I am filled with happiness and gratitude; two companion states of being that almost ensure a good life. They are powerful weapons against depression, lack, uncertainty, difficulty, sadness and grief. Being happy and glad with gratitude unlocks the bounty of life.

Walk as if you are
kissing the Earth with your feet.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

Posted in Perspective, Simple Pleasures, Thankfulness | Tagged , ,