Love? Does it last? Do we give up to easy when the going gets tough? Well here are some folks who have stood the test of time. Who, through good and bad, stuck it out together.
What does long lived love look like? I imagine the best folks to answer that question would be those who have loved for a long time. Lauren Fleishman did exactly that. In her book, The Lovers, Lauren photographed couples who have been together for more than 50 years. It's an intimate look at love surviving the test of time. So what does it take to make love last? I suppose we'll need to read Lauren's book or ask someone near us whose Love has Lived Long.
Photos Courtesy of: Still Crazy in Love
I've given a lot of information on relationships and love over the last month.
There has been some great conversation over everything I've shared.
I'm excited to hear from this week's guest author, Owaiz Anwar, who writes over at The Imaginarium; he takes a completely different perspective than we've been looking at.
This is good stuff people!
Enjoy! I know I did!
I think it is safe to assume that we all do know about love, whether we have been in love or not. We see it in movies, dramas, and even in the cartoons. They all paint a fairly accurate picture of love, although experiencing it in real life is different. Again, I’m assuming you’ve already been in love, whether it was one-sided or reciprocated in kind. But, don’t you ever wonder what it is like to have never felt the touch of love? Well, you’re in luck because I’m about to tell you just that.
Before we begin, let me classify love. There are two main types of it:
(a) The love for/from family, friends, and anyone you care about
(b) The love for/from your boyfriend, wife, or whoever your other half is
Now, why classify? It is important to classify it because while both of these are similar forms of love, they should never be compared. For instance, suppose your mother has loved you unconditionally since your were born. 18 years later, you move out to be with someone you’ve been in love with for like 6 months. It doesn’t mean the one you’re moving out for loves you more than your mum (making that comparison is sick anyway) or something, but that it just is a different type of love. And, honestly, you don’t want someone you want to spend your life with to love you like your mom does, right? I have experienced the purest and the best form of the first kind of love. All right then, that’s settled, let’s move on.
When I was in college, one of the things that all my guy friends talked about, daily, were their girlfriends, or those that they were vying for. I was never a part of those conversations because there was nothing for me to talk about. I simply wasn't interested in anyone. But then I started feeling like I did need a girlfriend, simply because everyone else had one. Soon enough, I found myself in a relationship. A month in and she started ending her calls with “I love you’s.” Then she started complaining that I didn’t say it back. I told her I’ll say it when I feel it, why lie about it or rush into it? But the truth is I just never felt the love. Or, more importantly, I never allowed myself to love her because I did not see it working in the long run, so I called it quits a week or two later.
Later on, I did have many opportunities to fall in love and have relationships that were likely to work, but I never tried. My reason was simple: why complicate life unnecessarily? If my life was good and I had no problems then I saw no reason for complicating it. If I did have problems, my reason was the same: why add to the burden? So, that resulted in me as I am. A 25 year old guy who has never had a relationship or been on a date.
The truth is, and I am not afraid to admit it, I do not want to get hurt. If I love, that will have to be it, I will give my all, and heavens know what I’ll do if that fails. I keep getting told that life is a gamble and we have to take risks, or that it is okay to make mistakes and all, etc. I have a few friends who have beliefs similar to my own, yet they are in relationships. They take the risks over and over. If one relationship fails, they try again. But if what they’re doing is their choice and is okay, then so is my choice to not take the risk. I do not feel like I’m missing out on anything. I live an easy, simple life. Yes, I’m rather unemotional, but that’s only because I worked too damned hard to control and suppress my feelings. You may not agree with me, but I have seen people go through heartache and I have seen how it wrecks them. It is terrible, I know, and every time I hear of their heartache, I tell myself, “You’re lucky you don’t have to go through that.” Living like this may sound dull and boring, and, at times, I do wish I had someone to love, but that wish goes away and in the end I’m always glad I have no one to love.
If you want to build a fence for security purposes, you don’t want to add exceptions or leave loopholes because you never know who will exploit it and rob or hurt you, so I built rock-solid, impenetrable walls for myself, and love hasn’t been able to find it’s way in.
That allows me to proudly say, I haven’t had any heartache at all. Besides, not being in love is like having one less thing to worry about. In my free time, I do not have to think about my other half, plan a date, or be on phone with them. Instead, I get time for myself. Time and space. And I’ve gotten so used to all of that, that I don’t think I can ever let anyone in. So, while love can be all rainbows and butterflies, the time passes by and things change, and it usually ends with tears. Lovelessness may not be all rainbows and butterflies, but it is peaceful and tranquil. There is no fear of rejection, no cheating, no limits, and no heartache. It is very liberating, like having wings and being able to fly. Plus, you can flirt with whoever you want. I do allow myself to get infatuated, enjoy the feeling, because it never lasts for anymore than three days. That’s the limit I’ve set for myself, and it does work remarkably well. So, you can be a risk taker, risk heartbreak and pain, or you can ‘not’ be a risk taker and truly be free. Of course, I’m all for not taking these risks because of obvious reasons.
Today I want to share a story with you that touched my heart in ways I can't explain.
It's by a fellow teacher who has decided to move on from teaching.
She is documenting her last days as a teacher and how those days are effecting her and her students over at where you'll find me.
Not only is she a beauty on the outside, but most definitely a beauty on the inside.
She leaves a positive mark everywhere she goes.
Heather, thank you for being the person you are and for sharing her with us! ♥
and so it begins...
Thursday, February 19,
On Day 71, I stood before my students with a giant "71" projected on the screen behind me. (Note - I plan to project the number every day. Today was Tuesday. I dread Thursday. The projector might be conveniently "broken" on Thursday. Do the math. If you've ever taught middle school, you know why.)
I asked them if we could talk for a minute.
For the record, when you ask 8th graders this question, the answer is always, always yes. Yes, Mrs. Nianouris, we can talk! Talk for an hour! In fact, talk for TWO! We don't care! We will listen like it's the best story we've ever heard! (...as long as it has NOTHING to do with what we are studying.)
So I sat down on my stool and explained my plans to leave the classroom this spring. I didn't really tell them why, because that wasn't the point. Their reactions were mixed. Some teared up, some looked betrayed, some looked at the clock, others at their fingernails- the usual myriad of adolescent expression.
I explained my mission: "For the next 71 days, I vow to do something to make sure each of you know how special and loved you are. So we are going to start with standing ovations. How many of you have had a standing ovation?"
"Why do people give others standing ovations?"
Hands shot up. "Because they're good at something!" they replied.
"Right. We give standing ovations to celebrate people. And you know what? You all deserve to be celebrated. Celebrated just because you're alive. Celebrated because you've made it this far. So beginning today, one of you will receive a standing ovation until we've gone through the entire class. You will yell, scream, shout, and stomp. We will be so loud that they will hear us in the office. We will be so loudthat other teachers will come in here wondering what the heck is going on. You will cheer for your friends, and you will cheer for your enemies. You will cheer equally loud for every single person because that's what you'll want them to do for you. Normally, we will pull names out of a hat. But today, I will pick the first person."(Read: I hadn't cut up the names yet)
I quickly scanned the morning group and called on a sweet girl named Mary (names have been changed to protect the privacy of the students). Mary is a cancer survivor. She's beautiful, quiet, and kind. She wears a head scarf most days, and man, she rocks it. Mary is a true testament to beauty and strength. A warrior among warriors.
Mary walked tentatively toward the front of the room as the students rose from their seats. And then, for 60 glorious seconds, her classmates went crazy. At one point, about 15 seconds in, I watched Mary gasp and bring her hand toward her mouth. I wasn't close enough to see if she was crying, but I know one thing: I was. You guys, I wish I could play you the video, but you'll just have to trust me when I say that it was one of the most beautiful moments I've ever witnessed.
In the afternoon, I took a different route. I chose a boy with whom I've really struggled this year. See, this young man doesn't really do much in my class. Homework, to him, is not a requirement, but an option. An option he rarely never picks. And man, does that frustrate me sometimes, because he's SO capable.
But here's the thing I love about him: He never makes excuses. He doesn't pretend to hunt through his materials when I'm collecting work. When I ask him if he has it, he just says no. When I ask him why he isn't paying attention, he often tells me he's just not interested in what I'm saying. It's refreshing, actually, his honesty.
He's a really neat kid. Very deep. Very introspective. I have a feeling he'd have a lot to say if he thought anyone at school cared enough to listen.
Yesterday afternoon, we celebrated this young man. A young man who's probably never been celebrated in school for any reason. He stood there accepting the applause, looking very unsure at first, holding on to the back of his neck. By the end, he finally smiled. Just a little, but I saw it.
I hope that he felt special. Because he is.
70 days left.
Who will you applaud today?
So, we've arrived.
Arrived at the end of Finding and Keeping Love week.
Where did the time go?
I guess just like when you're having fine, time flies when the topic is engaging (HA that could be a pun for this series) Get it? ☺
We've talked about so many things this week: Writing love letters as a way to express how we are feeling towards another; using Lent as a springboard to becoming a better person towards those we love or want in our life. (how's your challenge going, by the way?); we've pondered love through the eyes of mathematics; and yesterday, we discovered 13 wonderful gifts through scripture to guide us along the way to finding and keeping love.
WOW! Doesn't that look extraordinary all in one paragraph! I'm not sure about you, but I've learned so much this week.
I'm extremely proud of us for wanting to become the person we were created to be; creatures of love in so many more ways than either of us could have possibly imagined.
It takes some energy to do the changes we're looking to do. It can be exhausting, at best.
I hope you'll do what I intended to do this weekend and take some time to do some self-care & self love practices. For me, that looks like stealing off with a good book and my softest, coziest blanket and then later, a nice warm essential oil soak!
As I leave this week, I wanted to share with you just a bit more to chew on. I found this article over on Psychology Today and it was thought provoking.
It's title rings true for our week: Six Secrets to Finding and Keeping Life Long Love
(I know! I couldn't believe the title matched the theme for this week either!! ☺)
Do be sure to stop by and give it a read! You won't regret it, I pinky promise.
I'm so glad you joined me this! Be sure to tune in next week for Long Live Love week
What are your thoughts on this past week and the theme of finding & keeping love?
Welcome to the first day of Lent and your new40 day challenge.
Have you decided what your going to Recognize about yourself, Fast from, and Discipline yourself in?
I'm so proud of you!
Way to Go!
I have a fun little video for you as we head into this time of introspection and
finding and keeping love
in our lives.
I found it helpful as well as fun!
It covers those of us who haven't yet found love and those of us who have.
Hannah Fry: The Mathematics of Love
What do you think;
Hi! I'm a 40 something-ish, working, Christian wife & mom with a passion for faith, reading, writing, frugality, simplicity, diy-ing, compassion, and love.
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