This is Valentine’s week and I know that love is not limited to a day or a week but I wanted to address all the facets of love I can come up with in this week’s posts. My husband and I have been married for 42 years and I have learned a lot about love and different relationships and that there’s a time to give and a time to receive. I know there are still some new things about love I can learn and the spiritual ways to express it.
Several years ago, in the corporate world I had a talking-stick discussion and we were talking about harmony. I asked them, if given what we know to be going on in the world, did they believe we could achieve harmony? They all adamantly said, “No!” I asked, “Why?” Some of the answers were: Too much hatred; too much distrust; greed; selfishness; power. I agreed it seemed pretty gloomy and then they turned and asked me if I thought we could achieve harmony. My answer was, “Yes!” And this is what I’m going to talk about today in this post on Love – Part 1 of 5.
What has the main theme down through the centuries in all the carvings on the caves, the manuscripts, poems, books, letters, movies, and music been about – Love – in some way or another. If it’s not important to us or something to be desired, why do we think about it, write and sing about it so much? It’s because no matter who we are, where we live, what we do, we have a common denominator of Love. We were designed that way by our Creator, who is Love. No matter how much you deny it, or have been hurt; no matter how angry you are, or how much you hate, deep inside there is a dormant desire waiting to be sparked and felt and that is love. You may have never been taught how to love or have felt love, but it all comes to the surface the moment someone shows you kindness or affection and feelings you’ve never known before appear. Love is a part of you and it is a part of me and as long as we have that common connection there is always the possibility of harmony in the world. What a beautiful reminder each year with Valentine’s Day and the many ways we can express our love to one another.
Last night, I talked to the elderly residents at Morningstar and asked them about True Love. Here are some of the questions we talked about and you may think of how you would answer:
Does Valentine’s Day have any meaning or significance to you and your husband/wife over the years? How are some of the ways you celebrate? Do you go to dinner, give each other cards? Or do you have your own tradition?
How do you maintain love for each other over the years? Do you do something special for each other that make your relationship interesting?
What interests do you each have that are similar? What interests are different? Differences in each other’s tastes and interests make life exciting and new things are introduced.
What was the attraction to your husband/wife? What do you think attracted him/her to you? How did you meet?
What do you think keeps your relationship vital over the years and keeps you together? Being partners is a key to any relationship and being supportive of one another.
If you had a piece of advice you could give people in the world today on love and their relationships, what would it be? Dr. Phil McGraw once asked a couple who had been married over 65 years how they were able to stay together for so long. The wife said they never fell out of love at the same time.
A couple of responses to these questions from the residents were significant to me in how we view love then and today. Pieces of advice they would give to the world would be: to always forgive and forget because if you still remember there’s more you need to forgive; and from my 101-yr old resident who had been married for 70 years said, “If you care for someone, you never do anything to harm them”. This is the kind of love that is nurtured and developed as years add on to each other. Love is to be valued and cherished and remembered even beyond this life.
From the kitchen table - Pat
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