LoVe is….

December 6, 2012

INESTIMABLE CONNECTIVE TISSUE, BREEDING FORTH RAPTUROUS DELIGHT

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I couldn’t have said it better:

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Love is …..

adaptable adventurous     affable     affectionate     agreeable     ambitious     amiable     amicable     amusing brave bright broad-minded calm careful charming communicative compassionate  conscientious considerate     convivial     courageous courteous creative decisive determined diligent diplomatic     discreet     dynamic easygoing emotional energetic enthusiastic extroverted     exuberant     fair-minded     faithful     fearless       frank friendly funny generous     gentle     good     gregarious     hard-working     helpful     honest     humorous imaginative     impartial     independent     intellectual committed  intelligent     intuitive     inventive kind loving loyal modest neat nice optimistic passionate patient persistent  pioneering philosophical placid     plucky     polite     powerful practical pro-active quick-witted     quiet     rational     reliable  reserved  resourceful  romantic  self-confident  self-disciplined sensible sensitive shy sincere  sociable  sacred  straightforward sympathetic sensual thoughtful tidy  tough     unassuming  understanding husband engaging  versatile  warmhearted  wife   willing     witty heart  family  caring  happiness   forever  happy trust   passion  romance  sweet  kiss love  hugs sexy  warm fun best friend honorable  kisses  joy  sex   friendship   marriage  sincerity  dates   forever   caring

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A Union of Thoughts

January 19, 2011

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The bride wore an ivory vintage gown with a long, rounded diamond encrusted neckline that hung gently upon her soft shoulders. Diaphanous netted elbow length sleeves etched with patterned stars, floated over the air as she made her way down the aisle. Simple, yet elegant, the dress clung and relaxed in all the right places. She paced her way, hand in hand with her father, between the wooden church aisles to the tune of Frederick Loewes’ ‘Gigi’, from the 1959 Academy Award Best film.  The groom
donned a gray suite, handsome and poised; his eyes held a loving gaze, the kind that every child since the age of sand boxes and nursery rhymes dreams about.

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A vintage wedding in modern times; the church was filled with sincere hearts, open minds and purposeful breath. Witnessed on a rainy Saturday morning in a small church in Wimbledon, London, a rare moment of severe conscious breath took form in the exchange of vows. After having attended a beautiful wedding on the 8th of January, it got me thinking; marriage, of any kind, is not dead, it is our optimism and sentiment with action behind our words that has gone to the grave.

When I was in high-school I used to film weddings and receptions, two- a -weekend. After doing so for an entire summer, there were only two weddings that I attended in which both the bride and groom seemed to have
consciously and happily chosen their situation. All the other weddings had a strange energy; one of routine, of repetition, the essence of cliché was in the air. At nearly every wedding I attended, observation showed the brides and grooms furrow-browed, flustered and scattered prior to the ceremony and frozen-faced during. They repeated to one another their vows in the same way
one repeats the Pledge of Allegiance in grade school.

If we are not conscious of the dissidence or connection between
our words or sentiment and our ability to live up to what we’ve breathed life
into, then are we not in fact dooming marriage from the moment we first shake
hands with ‘the one’? Whilst in relationships, there are those who sheepishly
sport confident wolves’ clothing and allow their consciousness to escape them.
In doing so, without thought, they let their breath take over which results in
the inevitable disconnect between their actions
and their words.

Words, these vessels, bubbles at best, carrying sounds that are
meant to vibrate deep internal sentiment. For too many, feelings are carelessly
placed in hidden caves while our throats, like damaged faucets, leak accidental
empty words. Our breaths should be a place where gatherings of profoundly
filled cosmic letters reside, existing and motivated solely by virtuous intent.
We have witnessed throughout history the power of behemoth imaginations,
infused with optimism and conscious words instill peace, justice and love in
our world. Being that it has and can be done on a massive world scale level,
then it’s even more possible to achieve such greatness within the immediacy of
our own relationships.

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Although it is difficult to be conscious of all our words at all times, it is something to work towards. We all have moments where we utter things and we are either not attentive to or sometimes we do not respect the weight of the words that travel from our hearts and inevitably
fill the silence. We merely let words slip, escape and tumble between our lips. As time goes by, something jolts us wide awake and for the first time in years, many will consciously attest to not choosing their path. I assure you in fact, that every path we are on and every situation we are in, we have imagined with our thoughts and drawn out with our lips. Some of us have more challenges than
others, yet one of the miracles of life is choice; the ability to choose where
to go from wherever we are and with whom we take with us.

It should be a goal every day, to inject consciousness into our breath, so that our words do not fly upon their own accord, planting oblivious seeds that sprout as unwanted weeds. An ‘I love you’ backed by optimism, purity, action and gut-induced sentimentality is as refulgent as a
star, as powerful as the gravity that pulls the tides and aside from death, probably the only thing that can make your heart stand still, if only for a beat.

So I say, as with our glasses, let us then raise our sentiment and
action to meet our voices, happily accepting responsibility and boldly daring
to say consciously filled “I do’s”. These are the building blocks of,
although a cliché saying, the most sought after experience of “and they lived
happily ever after.”

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You Snoop You Loose

September 22, 2009

You Snoop You Loose

Eye Spy

Yesterday I was on MSNBC.com and I was surprised when I read the headline for one of their news stories on Relationships written by someone who not only has a PH.D but who is a Sex Therapist, Relationship Counselor and a TODAYShow.com contributor.  The title of the article was “Why you should snoop on your spouse online.”  Thinking that maybe the articles message was something possibly deeper or smarter than the headline, I read further. Turns out the article itself lacked just as much relationship sense as the title did.  Sex therapist Ian Kerner believes that when it comes to couples issues “Internet Infidelity” is the biggest.

He says, “The internet is still a relatively new technology and there isn’t a clear relationship rule book on how to use it. In many situations, snooping isn’t a pleasant choice, but it’s the right choice.”

After reading that line I scanned the top of the article and was shocked that this was the kind of advice a relationship counselor was giving people.  It reminded me that just because someone has a degree or the job title doesn’t mean that all the advice they give is right or should be followed.   The premise upon which ones truths are based upon will affect the format of the message.  Because of that, it is always important to remember that common sense comes before the book, and in this case, the “expert.”

Looking through your partners things without their permission with hope of an infidelity sighting points to a bigger issue, a lack of trust.  Snooping reflects a gap filled with  insecurity possibly induced by your spouse’s behavior, not knowing your spouse well enough, or your own inability to not project from your past issues. Whatever the case may be, if you “suspect” or feel “paranoid” about your relationship, the first step is communicating that with your spouse.  No matter how silly or uncomfortable it may be, a healthy relationship is about being able to be open, blunt, blatant, and transparently vulnerable.

Mr. Kerner says that he has one password for all of his various emails account, but that he suspects his wife does not use it, but is welcomed to “sift through my e-mails anytime she likes.”  He continues, “That’s what trust is all about; having nothing to hide and being able to respect each other’s privacy. One can’t exist without the other.”

I agree with his statement that trust is about not hiding things and being respective towards one’s privacy. But he can’t fully believe that people should respect people’s privacy and at the same time say that there are moments when you can disrespect that privacy by snooping. That’s a contradictory statement within itself.  You either respect ones privacy or you don’t.    If you feel the need to snoop then you’re definitely in an unhealthy state in your relationship and need to communicate that to your partner.   Although there are many “relatively new technologies” out there that  Mr. Kerner says don’t have a “clear relationship rule book,” a couple who has their own rule book and a strong foundation will not have a major issue in distinguishing appropriate from inappropriate. Someone who is bound to cheat will cheat whether that is by means of the internet or some other tool and someone who is honest will be honest, no matter the tool that comes their way.

Mr. Kerner has a list of questions to ask yourself before you “snoop” or “dig around” but the list is composed of questions that I’d hope one would have answered before one married someone.  And if you did not know these things about your partner, it is not concrete proof that your partner is cheating, but maybe more proof that you need to get to know each other better so your both aware of each other’s sensitive’s thus enabling both of you to develop a foundation for mutual respect and boundaries.

On the other hand if your partner is flirting, being evasive, disrespectful or anything not within the realm of what a loving partner should be and is not willing to ardently work towards change, than you need to ask yourself if this is the kind of person you should be spending forever with.

One of the questions Mr. Kerner says, one should ask themselves before snooping is, “Has your sex life changed as of late (as in you’re having less of it)?” The problem with this question is, there may be so many reasons not having to do with cheating that one’s sex life could change.  So say you do snoop, and you find out that your partner is not cheating, what then? You still have a problem and it’s not being talked about. So by snooping you have worsened your trust issues and put yourself in a demeaning position whereupon your desperation for answers caused a  breach of respect.

Mr. Kerner says, “Depending upon how you answered these questions, it might be time to snoop, especially if you’ve tried to talk about your concerns with your partner but have been stonewalled. Hopefully there will be nothing to discover and you’ll be able to breathe more easily and more coolly examine why you had suspicions and where you might be able to improve your relationship.”

I don’t see how Mr. Kerner could say that snooping is the next to best thing after being stonewalled.  If you are dating or married to a “stonewaller” than that is a HUGE issue within itself.  You will never be able to sort your problems out because your partner will constantly be putting a block up any time an issue arises.  You shouldn’t be in a relationship that relies upon snooping over talking.

Another question the article addressed was about dating someone who is friends with their ex.  If that makes you uncomfortable for whatever the reasons, this needs to be put out in the open before you put the ban of gold on.  And if you are married and your partner is friends with their ex and you don’t feel comfortable, than it is important that both sides are honest about the situation and come to a compromise. It is not fair to date someone who stonewalls your questions and in the same turn it is not fair to have to deal with someone who is projecting their past relationships upon your own.

The bottom line is this, if you take your time in finding the right partner and in communicating and creating a joint foundation and rule book it doesn’t matter what tool (internet) comes your way, you will always come through triumphant. I’m not saying there won’t be difficulties and that sometimes it won’t get hard, but betrayal of trust in any way (snooping) will only lead you down a dark rabbit hole.   According to the article, “A 2008 study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy explored how men and women perceive online and offline sexual and emotional infidelity. The results showed that men felt sexual infidelity was more upsetting and women felt emotional infidelity was more upsetting.”

Would you eat a fruit that had five spoiled bruises over another that had six?  Or would you just choose neither?   The point is cheating is cheating, whether it is sexual or emotional, they are both rancid things to do. If you are truly IN LOVE with someone, respect them, care for them, and are living in the realm of conscious love, you will do neither.

In the words of the character Jess from the great 1989 film When Harry Met Sally, “Marriages don’t break up on account of infidelity. It’s just a symptom that something else is wrong.”

So I think I may have discovered a way to travel through time, well at least in theory.

On August 25, I went to BridgePoint, a senior assisted living community in Beverly Hills. I figured that to understand how love has been interpreted throughout the ages, it might be a good idea to stop, talk, and soak-in some perspective from “The Greatest Generation.”

I went there with the expectation to hear what their views on love were, but I received so much more.  It was a romantic flashback to a time when women described their men as “A man about town;” a time that when you said “I do” you did, for 53 and  69 years till death, and even then they’re not apart.

I was smack dab in the middle of the room, a bit nervous, what could my 20’something years worth of living impart to the ten people surrounding me that together totaled over 400 years of experience? I proceeded to tell them what my blog was about and before I could delve deep into the topic of love, I was asked, “What’s a blog?”  My nerves quelled as I realized that in an ever changing world there’s always something new to learn no matter how old you are. Ms. Knowles, the Activities Director jumped in and began to explain to them. “Do you remember the film we just saw, Julie and Julia? Do you remember what the girl was writing about with her cooking? That’s a blog.” After a simultaneous “ohhh” I asked them if love had changed. Alice, who was born in 1926, right away, replied,

“It’s changed quite a bit, the attitude has changed. A lot of it has to do with upbringing and religion, whatever religion it is,” she said, “we all need guidelines.” She continued explaining that many people today don’t seem to have strong tenets when going about themselves and relationships.

She continued, “Life was simpler. It’s [marriage] not as sacred as it used to be.”

When asked their thoughts on co-habitation, the room was split, some saying it was a definite no no and others saying it just depended upon the relationship and the couple. Others agreed that co-habituating before marriage dwindled the romance of unfolding a mystery. Some also agreed that it could give some people the illusion once married, that they don’t have to work things out when it gets reasonably tough.  Mimi, 93, who met her husband at a Xavier Cougat big band dance agreed, “People live together without the benefit of marriage.”  She explained that it was especially not good for the woman, who besides their sensitivities also have to deal with the possibility of pregnancy.

She continued, “I think it’s a lot more stress on the relationship than if you just got married. One of the other parties can just move out during a time when you could have stuck it out. Now you can just leave, just walk out!”  When asked how co-habitation was seen back in the day, she said, “For the most part it didn’t happen, it was considered a scandal.”

When asked about how women and men’s attitudes have changed towards sex. They all believed that people have become too relaxed about it.  Alice commented that if she were a guy that her views on respect would affect her activity with woman. She said, “If you were a good person, I would think it would bother me to ruin a girl’s reputation.” Pat, an older gentleman then spoke up, “We’re living in a whole new world, and so much has changed so radically. It’s the thing to do so they do it. Now a day it’s pretty well accepted. I went with a gal for four years and had no sex. I was married 69 years.”

Joyce, an older woman, chimed in saying, “I always thought I don’t want my kids to get a disease.  To me there’s always that thought. I wanted them to be respective of women, to always be considerate.”

Bea, a 92-year-old Big Band Singer from the 30’s and 40’s, married her husband, a radio and TV announcer, Andre, when she was 21 and was married for 53 years. “I had an eye for him from the beginning,” she said, “He had a magnificent voice.” She adoringly spoke of him as “a man about town.”  What made their relationship work? “We had respect for one another. It [love] was so  natural.  And communication, that was the key, we never yelled at each other,” she said. “We could enter a gallery and split up and by the end of the day; we would be standing in front of the same painting.” The synchronicity in which she described their relationship was one of kindred delicateness furnished with mutual respect, admiration and love.

Many of the folks at Bridgepoint seem to agree that although people married young, a 21-year-old now lacks the maturity in decision making that a 21-year-old had in the past. Pat explained that besides some people having the fortune of good parents,  what made him responsible and mature was working as a shoe shiner since he was an 8-year-old. He earned 90 cents to a $1.50 a day, helping provide for his family.  It was his sense of responsibility and care for his family that created the structure for his morals and principles.

As I sat and listened, ever so present, I felt as though I was visiting the past, while I looked at the future of what I was to one day become. It was a flash forward and backwards capsulated within the moments of two hours.  I inhaled relief and exhaled some worries, for within the subtext of their account existed the roots to a happily ever after story. Yes they had ups and downs, but by no means were their definitions of a healthy relationship structured with as many complications as our generation seems to be riddled with.  It was simple for them because their ingredients to love began and ended with their consciousness of principles, morality, responsibility and respect.

Right before I left and after I thanked them Mimi handed Ms. Knowles a brown cut out of a quote that looked like something out of an aged old newspaper. She read it out loud, “They’ve taken the beauty out of art, the melody out of music, the pride out of personal appearance and the Love out of Love Making.”