Rules for Love

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http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/11/55-rules-for-love/

1. When it arrives, cherish it.

2. Whatever you accept, you will get.

3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.

4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.

5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.

6. Accept and forgive easily.

7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.

8. Never be too busy for each other.

9. Do not punish.

10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.

11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.

12. Support each other when the going gets tough.

13. Live in the moment—be present.

14. Leave the past where it belongs.

15. Leave drama out of it.

16. Don’t try to control.

17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.

18. Don’t use comparisons.

19. Celebrate differences.

20. Communicate openly and honestly.

21. Listen very carefully.

22. Don’t judge.

23. Don’t manipulate to get results.

24. Learn and grow.

25. Don’t try to change each other.

26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.

27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.

28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.

29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.

30. Instead of power, aim for balance.

31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.

32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.

33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.

34. Be each other’s best friend.

35. Don’t play mind games.

36. Do not carelessly throw away love.

37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.

38. Compliment often.

39. Discover each other.

 40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.

41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.

42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.

43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.

44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.

45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.

46. Be loyal and faithful.

47. Trust.

48. Be grateful.

49. Fluidity is good, accept change.

50. Don’t sleep on a fight.

51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.

52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.

53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).

54. Give and receive without measure.

55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.

 

Being deeply loved by someone
gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply
gives you courage.
Lao Tzu

Romance is Empty. I Want to Taste Real Love.

6940148192_c86fa810cd_zI love romance.

I will always love romance.

A cheek to cheek tango wearing nothing but moonlight while stepping on a soft mountain of rose petals is pretty much what I’d rather be doing at all times.

The sweeping breathlessness, the fluttering hearts, the sweaty crescendo of kisses.

Mmm!

It all goes straight to my head like cheap champagne, making my face flush, knees shake.

But, delectable as it is, romance served alone is ultimately empty.

Almost anyone can lure us in with a box of dark chocolate truffles, an adoring compliment and a blossoming bouquet of red roses.

But, love—juicy, pure, real love—is something entirely different.

I did not always know this.

I used to be a romance-junkie, a red-lipstick wearing thrill-seeker, a high-heeled pleasure addict.

I chased after lovers like it was my full-time job.

I chased so hard for so long that I lost myself.

I traveled to the depths of despair and buried my soul in blankets of worthlessness and self-hatred.

I thought I might never make it out alive.

Finally, after far too many years, I had enough.

So I set myself on fire and sat in the scorching flames of transformation.

And, I transformed.

I became courageous enough to taste what I had always truly wanted—real love.

I sank my hungry teeth into it, and the juicy, nourishing nectar filled my mouth.

Warmth spread throughout my limbs and I saw real love.

I saw what it is.

And I saw what it isn’t.

I saw that real love is not a bouquet of red roses, a sweet kiss, a mind game, a glass of extra-bubbly champagne, a flirty e-mail, or a sexy glance.

No.

Real love is raw, pure and breathtaking in its simplicity.

It’s a spiritual adventure, a f*cking crazy journey, a completely transformative experience.

Real love dives deep, looks directly into your soul, sees exactly who you are—and wouldn’t change a damn thing.

It cherishes the deliciousness of every perfectly imperfect part of you.

Because mostly, it just wants to gaze into your eyes and kiss your soul.

And never stop kissing your soul.

It wants to ask, “How are you?” and listen to every single syllable of the long-winded answer.

It wants to know your secrets and your shame, gently peeling back each shiny layer to get to your core.

Oh, how it longs to peak at your luscious core.

Real love grabs on fiercely and holds you hard as f*ck, but is wildly unafraid to set you free.

It’s intensely compassionate, unfreezing even the most stubborn icicles in your heart.

It helps you heal without even trying.

It has the courageousness of a brave soldier and the softness of a nurturing mother.

Real love takes a shit with the door wide open.

It forces you out of hiding.

Because the things you used to hide are the things it admires the most.

Real love bleeds truth, honesty and talks about the things you’re too scared to talk about.

But, most of all,

Real love doesn’t walk off into the sunset, it walks directly into your life.

I will always adore romance.

But, real, pure, juicy love is worth a thousand violin sonatas and starry-eyed kisses.

Real love is raw and satisfying.

Real love is real.

And, more than anything, I want real.

Author: Sarah Harvey – Editor: Travis May – Photo: Juliana Coutinho http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/romance-is-empty-i-want-to-taste-real-love/

 

Like a Hand Sewn Quilt

lldIn June of 2011, I began a blog titled loveletterdaily.com that is still active on-line. It is/was one of three blogs that were a part of healing from past heartaches and turmoil and a tonic for restoring my belief in romantic love. For several years, near daily, I posted an personal thought about the beauty of loving and being loved, followed by an image and a borrowed quote or poetic line. What I wrote was fiction the vast majority of the time and originated from hope, aspiration and belief in the power of the human heart.

For close to three years I contributed regularly to loveletterdaily.com and the statistics on visitor traffic (back when I checked such things) showed the blog visitation grew slowly, but consistently. For the last couple of years I have contributed occasionally, but highly irregularly to LLD and had not looked at the statistical info on traffic in a long, long time.

Recently I have been re-inspired to begin writing and posting to three blogs I was dedicated to for several years (this blog – goodmorninggratitude.com – loveletterdaily.com – brokenheartsanonymous.com ). Only in the last few days I became curious and checked out the stats for the content posted on all three. While the number of visitors and page views them have grown beyond anything I ever considered possible, the usage of one now blows my mind!

My writing has always been largely self-administered healing and I never felt like I was writing for any other reason. Just this week I discovered loveletterdaily.com apparently has over time found an audience whose hope, aspiration and belief in love is something of a match for mine.

Stats about loveletterdaily.com I found a few days ago that are mind-blowing to me:
Approximate average daily visitors over the last six months: 1,000
Approximate average monthly visitors over the last six months: 25,000
Number of visitors in 2015: 230,838
Number of page views in 2015: 605,528
Read at over hundred times in 62 countries
It’s difficult to wrap my intellect around the popularity of something created only as self therapy.

The gratitude I feel for the support of loveletterdaily.com is near overwhelming. It seems there are lots of people who identify with romantic love in similar ways as I do. I hope many have borrowed lines and from the material I have posted in their own expression of love for someone special. To be a small portion of others’ romances is so sweet to my heart and mind. Thank you. I am deeply grateful for the validation and promise to become more consistent in my contributions!

Love should feel like a hand sewn quilt made by grandma,
wrapping you up on a cold winter morning.
Carroll Bryant

25 Pieces Of Spot-On Marriage Advice From People Who’ve Been There

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1. Choose to love each other, even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling.

2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling. When possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse.

3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships,” so consistently invest time into your marriage.

4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage. Remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character.

5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy. And even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh.

6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You’re partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution.

7. Realize that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.

8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it.

9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50/50 — divorce is 50/50. Marriage has to be 100/100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got.

10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else.

11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique.

12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage.

13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy.

14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage.

15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly. This will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.”

17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important than your schedule.

18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands, and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives.

19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them.

20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places.

21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse and will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits.

22. Connect into a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family.

23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it.

24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time.

25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yourtango/25-pieces-of-spot-on-marriage-advice_b_8917732.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063
This article originally appeared on YourTango.

To be fully seen by somebody,
then, and be loved anyhow –
this is a human offering
that can border on miraculous.
Elizabeth Gilbert

Channels for Sharing

 

rubber-stamp-gift-wrapping

To those who love me:

Had I been told as a teenager my life would turn out this well, I wouldn’t have believed it. While no stranger to pain and heartache, so much good has come to me through the years. I’m grateful. However, it’s so easy to let gratefulness become more knowledge than a sense of things. Grateful can unconsciously become more noun than verb. True gratitude should be action in the present. I’m relearning that.

Being blessed with comfort and possessions, I humbly ask any loved one who is considering giving me a gift for Christmas to reconsider the item. Instead of buying a gift do something simple: give to someone in need, make a craft; a meal (or certificate for one in the future); written good luck wished in a bottle thrown from shore; a kind word of appreciation; share time together;  remember to call on the holiday or any effort that is given from the heart and not a store rack. And if all you do is think of me kindly on the holiday that will be more than enough.

My most hoped for gifts this holiday season are to love and be loved. For every smidgen of affection and caring I receive year round, I am grateful.

We are not cisterns made for hoarding;
we are channels made for sharing.
Billy Graham

Dance in the Moonlight

dance in moonlight

I dance in the moonlight and your ghost in my arms dreaming of what might have been.

I hope that life has been kind to you and that I am not forgotten.

I send warm breezes to kiss your lips that I cannot reach and I envy them.

Time and space has taken their toll, but the memory of you and our lost love lives in the secret places of my heart.

We cannot know what the fates have in store for us as the future has yet to be written.
I wonder, will the paths we choose bring us back to each other or further apart on divergent paths, never to meet again in this life.

I only know that my memories of you warm me like a soft blanket against winters cold grip, comforting me when I feel I can no longer stand strong against the hardness of life.

We will not waste our precious time on ‘what ifs’ but yet in fleeting moments they invade my thoughts without invitation and that is when I dance in the moonlight with your ghost in my arms.

A poem titled “Ghosts” by Sherry Potter
https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2012/08/30/thank-you-sherry/
https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2012/11/25/thinking-there-is-one-more-stair/
https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2012/08/31/thank-you-doug/

Traces…

my-window-night-rain-c2fb9be2-177a-40c3-8af6-fb082d1f8731Faded photographs
Covered now with lines and creases;
Tickets torn in half
Memories in bits and pieces;
Traces of love long ago
That didn’t work out right;
Traces of love with me tonight.
Buie/Cobb/Gordy/Lee

“Our time” will always be remembered with great reverence. I’ll cherish your expressions of love forever. Your gifts will be treasures that grow perpetually in value. I’ll never stop holding on to “us”.

Did you know I once saved strands of your hair? And then there’s the music I’ll never be able to listen to without memories of you filling my mind while love surges in my heart.

I have felt love for others, but paltry compared to what I felt/feel for you. Amore never blazed so brightly as it did in our embrace. The flame of our great love remains safe within. Curse or blessing, it always will.

Maybe our love was too much for two people to successfully bear.

Maybe we were too different in spite of all we had in common.

Maybe we were not supposed to find our way together.

Maybe we found each other at the wrong time.

Long ago I spent so much time being lost and searching; confused and uncertain of myself. Only when the damage seemed irreparable did I realize the destination my heart wanted and needed had moved out of reach. But that’s okay. the beauty of the lesson remains.

Thank you for loving me. Please keep the memory of our once upon a time love safely tucked away. What’s in my heart for you will always be there in a space reserved for you. Loving you so many years back was one of the lasting lessons that taught me how to love. Thank you.

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Edna St. Vincent Millay