Saturday, February 10, 2018

Countdown to Valentines; Post Links. Celebrating the Love of Grandparents, Single hood and Togetherness, Country/Home, Marriage, Young Love, In Laws, Friendship, Self Love and Our Choices.

Two years ago, I wrote HERE, "Valentines day comes with mixed emotions for me. It used to be my favourite holiday as a teen. The cheesy mushiness of it mixed with pink and reds was my optimal experience. Plus, it involved happy, innocent crushes and wonderful gifts. I had a protected princess sort of experience in most of my teen hood...and whenever I didn't, I created imaginations in my mind. My inner character is sort of similar to Sara, the main character in the book 'A Little Princess' though I am not as kind. I often imagined the way I wanted life to go and if it was awful, I pretended most of it away. In sensory experiences, I made up a different scenario in my mind. Life was magical because I wished it to be in most regards.

As I grew up and have spent almost fourteen years in a marriage, I have realized that love comes in many stages. There have been Valentines that have broken my heart or when my husband and I had only feelings of apathy towards each other, but there have also been breathless highs full of euphoria and bliss together."

I still feel that way about Valentines. Here is a handy list of posts from my archives that celebrate all different sorts of love with a brief snippet below. The posts range from short ( a few paragraphs) to quite lengthy but you can pick and choose the posts that fit your circumstances the most. Many of these are some of my favourite posts. A few I re read and think, "Wow I wrote that? That's good advice...I should probably listen to myself again..." Ha ha...When I get in writer's mode or have something to say I am surprised that my normal non eloquent self in real life can express in writing what I wish to say! I hope you can also find an aha moment or two...;

1.) 32 Life Moments to Love- Valentines for Anyone (Single, Together ect.):
"32 VALENTINES of LOVE: A List of Soulful Beauty: 1. Spicy cinnamon topped on a latte or steamer in the form of a heart. Suck out the spice in life. 2. Books. Glossy covered, worn paperback, tattered and cornered. A symbol of wisdom. 3. Words. Saturating our being. I have a ebullience for eloquence. A dalliance everyday into the assemblage of dulcet lyricism. 4. Petrichor. The smell of the earth after rain...."

2.) Celebrating The Love of Grandparents: "Instead of barking, the wolf-dog next door sends her howling songs to the moon. Smooth, raw, and haunting, her long held breath causes a stir within me. Glancing out the window I see beauty across the frozen landscape. The moon looks brighter with the backdrop of her sound and the prairies seem less tame. If I step out my front door will I experience the primal part of nature? Feelings of the sacred past connect to the gifted present. The possibility of the primal and tame merge into a song of mournful calling. A calling for friends, for a mate, for someone or something to answer. The creature begs the earth to offer back.
Growing up I listened to the gravely reverent voice of my Spanish/ Native grandfather discuss his hunts in the forest. Passion would seep in when he spoke about those who killed simply for the sake of the kill. Anger rose up as his chest heaved with displeasure. "Don't you ever rob the earth Missy of something you don't need. It's there for us to use but don't get greedy or make something suffer just to show your power." Excitement would take anger's place as he continued the dialogue of his hunt and the moment when he knew his gun was aimed to snuff out life instantly...ideally without any pain. His heart would break if he missed and had to put the suffering soul out of misery.  Patience overtook his stealthily pace in the forest. He would wait, his breath mingling with the crisp air, for the right moment. He viewed the beauty of creation as a sacred treasure. Grandpa would never say that a bear is brother enough to live with the human. He would say a bear is a brother of creatures who needs a healthy respect, to eat when necessary and to admire. Grandpa did not forget his place. He cultivated respect and used creation as a vessel to worship, to gain wisdom, to teach patience, to show beauty, to experience raw mystery and simple wonder. He taught to take only what is needed. Nature taught him virtue or perhaps his virtue gave grace to nature?..." "There is an aspect of home that can only be found in a smell. I am lucky that my memories associated with this are pleasant ones. The aroma of brewed coffee says, "You're safe, you're home, breath it in." The sharp tang of vinegar carries reminders of pickled beets canning and the changing season of fall. Cinnamon speaks of Thanksgiving and Comfort. Onions tell a tale of richness, satisfying nutrients, and a hearty hearth begging the question of what is under the silver lid. Since I have been five, Grandma T's house has always been less than a few blocks away. Currently, she lives in the front suite of my parents home. Each time I walk to that house I can smell the rich taste of home from the driveway tempting me to stop in and see what is cooking or baking, even if I can not eat it due to dietary needs, the smells alone are divine and a comfort to me. It takes a few minutes in her home to feel balanced again. I just need to breathe the air, say a quick hi to grandma, and go out the door feeling lighter than I was before...." "Grandma is known for her blunt statements. She doesn't cushion her delivery but she also doesn't have any intention of hurting anyone. She simply tells it like she sees it, if she's asked. A trait I share. Upon seeing my husband's picture in the paper, my husband asked what she thought, and she unexpectedly remarked, "Wellllll, it's not your best picture." We cracked up. My husband came up to me later and whispered, "Now I know where you get it from and it's a brilliantly funny trait." In her basement there is a red Radio Flyer wagon crammed and overflowing with Little Golden books in original mint condition. Her washer is a 1979 Inglis and the dryer's label is completely worn off. My Grandmother is modern but not encumbered by modernity. She may have a computer area upstairs but she also has a brown 1964 built in Moffet stove. I love that about her. How she seems to flow seamlessly between tradition and the current now. I can't place her in any time...she just IS. I obtain a great sense of BEING from Grandma..."

3.) Savouring The Love of Country: 
"From season to season, the skies continue to inspire, enhance and remind me, both of how large I am in my world, and how very small. A blanket of stars is often the last sight I see in my window before I sleep. Upon waking it's the brilliance of drastic changes and possibilities reflected in the sky. The symbols of freedom, heritage and passionate, ever changing spirits. From dusk onward the moon starts it's hidden path into darkness. That moon, unapologetic, shows off it's full face to the world, nude and resplendent without shame. Paradoxically, the moon allows itself to shrink into dark shadows. It leaves an air of mystery as it slowly circles inward. It's cycle comforts, hides and brings to light. It has witnessed darkness and light, shadow and sight. Yet, it never fails to show up in any state. The moon is a brave part of nature. A instigator of tides and schedules, but also a spiritual nature that causes chaos and moods. The moon just IS. From century to century it has witnessed the love and hate. It has shone down on lovers in the darkness and crimes of the centuries. It has anchored the earth and contributed to weather. It is steady yet not. A magical guide that is explored and scientific. A paradox. A beacon..." "The warmer days were still morose and moody. The land was still budding and the repressive brown ruled. Yet even with that, it was a 'Wuthering Heights' sort of beauty. The grey skies matched my spirit of energy. When the sun did brighten the sky it became a deep hue of blue that stretched beyond the scope of the eye and the land would buzz with signs of awakening. We were not yet at the stage of buzzing bees, although a few flies came out, but the precious stirrings of new beginnings were hopeful. Awakening is always a beauty to behold. And then it snowed. .."

4.) THE LOVE OF HOME (2 posts that are dear to my heart.); "It was one of those rainy nights in which the fireplace flickered across the carpet. Bellies were satisfied with delicious morsels of fish seasoned with avocado oil, dill and lemon, and mashed potatoes perfected to creamy swirls of satisfaction. The window was washed with droplets of sacred water. Instead of creating rainbows of sunlight, the light catchers dripping from the window casings reflected murky gray. Outside the panes, the Gothic arch opening in the front wall framed the muted green tones of the outer world. Gnarled branches grew over the frame and two trees stood guard on either side of the arch, roots twisted and deep... "
"Our culture has a bit of an obsession with travel. An element of education can happen through travel but I know many people who have travelled who have dis -ease with their lives, unfulfilled love,  and lack of rooted being. There is beauty in travel. There is beauty in rootedness. There are benefits and downsides to everything. To celebrate one over another or to think one is more educated is simple snobbery.

I am an intuitive. I also have sensory overload and other limitations. Thus my travelling days are probably small in number. I don't believe rootedness is the only way to BE but rootedness has given me my best shot at life. Just like, I am sure, travel would for others. Even though I have been to many places  that DID shape me, I find I am most educated through my rich imagination, my books and the people I choose to love...along with loving myself. I am educated by being in nature and that does not mean having to travel to find certain nature scenes. The world is full of wondrous beauty but I don't need to own all of it or be in all of it- to feel it. All it takes for me is to sit outside on my deck and smell the wild roses, see the grasses sway, hear the bees buzz and the frogs in the marsh croak...and I KNOW I am connected to each creature in a beautiful way. The earth is often an equal partner in community as people are...."

5.) Marriage and the Joy of Young Love: "Marital success and wise life choices depend on the situation, but regardless, young love could use a little more support. Maybe if couples had more support and successful portrayals of the good and the bad, there would not be as high of a break up rate? Maybe, just maybe, those stats are a little misused? Marriages break up often, regardless of age. It depends on LIFE, on circumstances, on support, on personality, on communication and dedication. Thank you GLEE for once again fighting for the underdog. Finally, I got to see my life choices promoted in a positive way. I'm sure something will go wrong on the show and young marriage won't happen. Already critics are critiquing, but it was beautifully done and I am grateful. My husband and I, we started young. We just knew when we met near the end of grade twelve in separate schools that we should travel together through the rest of life. Because of that bravery we bought some extra time and we got to fall in love, over and over again, through some extreme life changes. Choosing each other at 17, despite the grief almost everyone gave us, was worth the battle. In this life and into the next, we hope to keep rekindling that kindred love..."  "..."As I mentioned in Part One, my husband and I knew at 17 that we were soul mates. It made no logical sense for us to wait until school was over or we were older, just for the sake of age, yet that is what people continually told us to do. Our support, which we needed desperately, was either pulled from under us, bossed and demanded from us, or hard-won. It was rare to have anyone with enough logic to see the love that we had and accept that even if it was a mistake, it was worth supporting love. Those who DID actually give support have stayed as a fixture in our lives and we deeply appreciate that accepting love. We did not want to waste a day. We were not being harmful to ourselves or abusive, yet we were treated like criminals at times because we were (and never have been) traditional, conservative, or followed society's protocols. My eyes teared up at the above conversation because it was one I never had... and really wished for. I just wanted someone to say, "Are any of us really ready for anything? Go and fight for your love." As I mentioned previously, marital success and wise life choices depend on the situation, but regardless, young love could use a little more support. Maybe if couples had more support and successful portrayals of the good and the bad, there would not be as high of a break up rate? Maybe, just maybe, those stats are a little misused? Marriages break up often, regardless of age. It depends on LIFE..."
6.) Learning to Love and Understand InLaws:  "Mom and I started out with a bit of strife. In the first few years I did not understand it because all I could think about was wondering why I was not loved or accepted. As I grew into my own role of motherhood and especially after I had my youngest son, whom is so like my husband, I suddenly realized it wasn't me she was opposed to. It was that her youngest, her heart in many ways, had been  taken so young by another woman....and a woman who already was so different from anything she knew or had expected. As the years turned, we decided to make some efforts. We were vastly different in many ways. She took the personality test for us and was an ESFP- she said it was entirely accurate- she IS the entertainer with a big persona and I am an INFJ who is intensely private yet seems to give a lot of information away. I have mastered the art of seeming like I tell everything without telling important private reflections to most. We clashed in many ways. However, we were very similar when it came to being clumsy, sticking our foot in it, and saying outrageous statements. Once we started  becoming comfortable with this aspect we had a frank conversation. I simply said, "Mom, we don't have to be friends if that is not what you want. We don't even have to be close. But can we agree to be honest and just not try to people please each other?" She surprised me with, "Oh good grief, what a relief! It can be so exhausting trying to figure out what you want and I would LOVE it if you gave me the blunt honest side of yourself that I know you have." And she meant it. From that point on, we were fairly honest with each other and started to become friends ironically...."
"...The concept of adaptability in families can be illustrated by the weather. People who have grown up in cold conditions have an easy going camaraderie with sub zero temperatures. There may be some healthy fear and a bit of risk involved but generally they adapt to their environment with little thought. There is comfort in the level of energy that has to be put out to survive because there is a knowing. That knowledge is based on understanding, and that understanding gives the innate ability to be generally safe to go about the normal. Take the same person and drop them into hot humidity and their ability to adapt is hampered by experience, time and ignorance. In just a few hours they could be de-hydrated in the hospital. As time goes by, if in the environment long enough, they learn some tricks, may have a little bit more room for personal normalcy and may even enjoy the change. But in general their first home, where risks are the least, and beauty can be experienced in full force because of the lack of misunderstanding/ mistakes, is the place where they can just truly be...." " I wish I could share this information appropriately with the relationships that long for healing in our lives but that do not understand the nuances, reasons and motivations behind many of the issues. I feel like understanding could foster the six ingredients of love. Perhaps our world would suffer less from mindless violence if we focused in on just a few people in our lives to give the six ingredients of love and if we would at least attempt to understand driving preferences, cognitive functions, perhaps we could change the course of history slowly with simple regard and general respect?..."

7.) Loving the Choices We Make In Life: "These are all choices that I never in my wildest dreams thought I could implement as a child. I thought I would be a working woman with an epic love story but I did not want kids. I believed that University was the sign of success and that job security was the sign of a fruitful life. I valued education not realizing that really what I valued deep down was choice, freedom, responsibility and learning about diversity and choices. I didn't want to stay home and I certainly didn't want to ever entertain the idea that I may change my faith and go to hell. Turns out there is a lot in our place of freedom that can be done to make a living or Be.
Other choices and changes that brought us to this point:..."  "Due to a few people asking I am putting this post back up for awhile. These are MY considered best decisions. This list is PERSONAL. I don't believe it would be the same for anyone else nor should be.
Even if I say it was the best decision for me, I am NOT saying it may be the best decision for someone else. Nor judge their lives as lacking. These are simply the most fulfilling or rewarding 30 choices in 30 plus years that came into my mind. They are also not in any particular order of importance but these were all game changers for a better lived life in MY Story. This is a personal post so skip it unless you are interested to see what choices made someone else feel that their life was well lived;..."

8.) The Love of Friendship:  "Personality aside, I have given great thought to what makes our relationship different. There have been many times when I have felt guilt because other friendships, while amazing, could never attain what I have with her, and I know that sometimes that hidden hope is there for others. We all long for friendships that are strong, true and feel like family. She is more of my family than most of my family. I put her next in line after my husband and children. Her children are more than cousins. I can't duplicate that relationship with anyone else simply because it takes a lot of investment of time, explanation and communication..." "As my daughter gets older, I have been giving this more thought. She is now at the age where I started having crushes, "boyfriends" and soul friends whom were the opposite sex. And where I had no memories before, I am now being triggered and remembering events I have not thought about in years. I can honestly say, that looking back, I am so relieved. I can not even begin to explain my gratitude to all my friends, male and female, who accepted me for whom I was or enabled me to seem less disabled during times I needed to be so. I sometimes wish I could thank each one of them, but I know that would be weird and considered socially inappropriate..."  "We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning, we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night, we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. " -John O'Donohue.  In this tangible life, there is both darkness in light. Both require surrender and awakening. An easier example of this analogy would be in friendship. "Every friendship travels at sometime through the black valley of despair. This tests every aspect of your affection. You lose the attraction and the magic...."

9.) Self Love and Being an Artist at LIVING:  "You will have lost hope for most of your twenties even though they were some of the best family years of your life, giving birth and learning. Yours is a story still unfolding. There will still be pain and loss, but there is a lie out there that says life goes downhill after 18. Ages 3-6, 12- 14 and 20 to 27 were the toughest for you. During these times there was fear, there were lies that you believed regarding health, beauty and what matters...and even though you had the inclinations all along it was hard to believe it when the proof seemed to be all around. I am writing this letter to you, dear self today, to show you ten things that IMPROVED as you aged or changed your life for the better. Love Older Self..."  "One life. We each have limited time. We need to own that. A choice. We have the gift of a choice to simply show up and allow the canvas of life to do the rest. If we fight too much we lose. If we let go too much we lose. Wake up to the beauty that is in you and around. WAKE UP; As soon as you make being alive your goal you lose the significant story line. Goals become something separate from YOU...just beyond reach. Living well is beyond goals, it is simply opening up to the life around you..." ( oh and then there was This post which was my first blog post on this site!:)

February 2018- May it be a month to celebrate or reflect upon all the different types of love in your life. Thank you for being part of the story.
With Gratitude:
To be Loved- Michael Buble


S said...

I can connect so much with all your posts on love and relationships. I have to re-read them again. Thanks for sharing the links. In fact just now, I read your mom in law post ( not the link but here) and it made me feel so much. I liked reading all your insights and especially the "honesty" aspect in relationship. Keep sharing !

Kmarie A. said...

S: I am so glad you can connect with them. I am glad it resonated so deeply. Yea, I cant seem to be anything but honest in my relationships that matter:) OXxo