Love relationships for Valentine’s Day

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On such a day, I am compelled to write. But of what?

I could write about

  • the commercialism of this day known as Valentine’s Day
  • love renewed because of the call of Valentine’s Day
  • affection expressed when compelled by Valentine’s Day
  • faith in another inspired by Valentine’s Day
  • romanticism, cynic or believer, occasioned by Valentine’s Day
  • the many creative products from the idea of love which inspires Valentine’s Day
  • going through the day unaffected by Valentine’s Day
  • those who are hurt or disappointed on this day and why
  • those who find meaning on this symbolic day.

Love exists in a myriad of relationships, not just those of a romantic nature which seems to be the focus of Valentine’s Day.

So for today, an exploration of love in relationships through meaningful quotes. Perhaps you will find one which resonates within.

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. ~ Robert Browning

 

Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough.  ~ Robert Downey, Jr.

 

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy. ~ Sam Levenson

 

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.  ~Orson Welles

 

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

 

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

 

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. ~ Thomas Merton

 

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. ~ Alan Watts

 

None of these is possible, unless we are in a love relationship with ourselves, as it is a necessary foundation upon which other relationships flourish.

Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers.
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.
~ Maria Quintana

 

Whether Valentine’s Day is significant to you or just another day, it means something.

May you have courage to romance yourself, love all that you are.


~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Love can bring out the best in you

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“You bring out the best in me”, many says when in love while many others quest for the ‘you’ that would bring out the best in them.

Ever wonder how you would bring out the best in me, and vice versa?

Psychotherapists speak of “the gaze”. The gaze of acceptance of your flaws, the gaze that speaks of your ‘perfection’ in another’s eyes. I know the value of non-judgment and acceptance, of seeing the best of my clients.

That is a necessary but insufficient condition. Do we not also see the potential? I certainly do, and my job is to facilitate a journey of self-awareness, that my clients may also see their potential, their resources, their abilities… and take personal action towards it. I am not attached to a particular manner of journey-ing for I cannot walk their paths for them; nor can I appoint the destination. But this does not prevent me from encouraging the process of self-awareness.

As with my clients, and perhaps more so I see potential in my loved ones. And is it my ‘job’ then to also facilitate their journey of self-awareness? Why would I not, in my love for them?

And as a recipient of their love and thus their gaze, should I revel at being seen, to their belief that I possess potentialities? Should I not welcome a loved one’s encouragement and teaching? Perhaps then we may be at our best and with each other?

So then why is it that often, the “encouragement and teaching” are perceived as criticisms and unnecessary feedback? Why do we lament that “s/he should accept me for who I am” … when we can be more than who we are? Don’t we want to be the best we can be for ourselves, and for our loved ones? Encouragement and teaching do not equate to non-acceptance or worse, rejection.

In the dance of love, each has the responsibility to teach and to learn to perfect our part in the dance.

Love is to be the safety within which we explore our Selfs together.

 

~ FlorenceT

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Selfish loving – Ayn Rand

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Love & sex

“Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions.

Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they’re taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment – just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience – or to fake – a sense of self-esteem … Love is our response to our highest values – and can be nothing else.

― Ayn Rand,writer & philosopher (1905 – 1982)

 

Is sex a reflection of our convictions?

I believe one’s perception of what sex is or can be, is indeed a reflection of our deepest values and convictions.  One cannot approach sex in a manner which one does not believe in, at least not without it causing psychic injury.  Be authentic.

Is sex inevitably a selfish act?

Philosophically, yes.  if one doesn’t enjoy oneself then sex has not fulfilled (one of) its purpose.  Thus, the complete experience of sex necessitates one to do what one enjoys… which in essence is selfish. Even the proclamation of one’s enjoyment is in giving to the other leads to a self-fulfillment that is exquisitely selfish. 

And is love a response to our values?

A resounding yes, one can only love – express love and receive love – in the manner which accords with one’s values.  If one’s value is of hard work and effort, then more likely than not, her love is shown by doing and service – that is how love will be shown and received. And no, it does not mean one can’t change or be versatile as one becomes more self aware.  That’s my take anyway 🙂

So, do you agree?

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Stole the show

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I am a mother, and thus by popular narrative, I am ‘daggy’, ‘old-fashioned’ and not cool according to my children. They love me lots but I am ‘old’.  This naturally translates to the music I listen to, as being ‘not trendy’.

Lucky for me, they attempt to educate me on what ‘good’ music is, and as any ‘good’ mother would do (saying this tongue in cheek!), I listen, I learn and I allow myself the space to embrace (or try to embrace) the music from their perspectives.

As Khalil Gibran in his poem “On Children” stated,

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

I can never be them nor they me, but I can certainly walk with them on their journey, if for nothing else but curiosity.  Both children have worked out what my musical ‘taste’ is – or I should probably say, what my ears are attuned to. They introduce their music to me, every so often testing the limits of my endurance :-).

As I open myself to different experiences, they show me a world I would not have encountered on my own. I am also being privileged with beautiful music I am likely not to chance upon on my own.

One such song is ‘Stole the Show’ by Kygo, a Norwegian music producer, in his collaboration with Parson James. This song made its debut in Coachella 2015 and was quite a hit.

I love this song – for its rhythm, melody and lyrics. What a metaphor for the end of a relationship!

I hope you enjoy!

 

Darling, darling, oh, turn the lights back on now
Watching, watching, as the credits all roll down
Crying, crying, you know we’re playing to a full house, house

No heroes, villains, one to blame
While wilted roses filled the stage
And the thrill, the thrill is gone
Our debut was a masterpiece
But in the end for you and me
Oh, the show, it can’t go on

We used to have it all, but now’s our curtain call
So hold for the applause, oh
And wave out to the crowd, and take our final bow
Oh, it’s our time to go, but at least we stole the show
At least we stole the show
At least we stole the show
At least we stole the show
At least we stole the show

At least we stole the show

Darling, darling, you know that we are sold out
This is fading, but the band plays on now
We’re crying, crying, so let the velvet roll down, down

 

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Hold… onto my hands

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mauve leaves

Hold onto my hands, dear
I will not let you falter
And should you need a rest
Among the eucalypt trees
Let us take in the scene
Of beauty and breathe

Hold onto my hands, dear
You will never be alone
There will be thoughts and wishes
To keep you company
Love and care to guide your sleep
Remember, never alone

Hold onto my hands, dear
Almost to the mountain top
Looking across the southern seas
You may let go then
My hands but not my heart
Stand, beside me forever.

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

On love…Alain de Botton

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“… any of our ideas about love comes from reading novels… essentially we are shaped by the love narratives that we read. … We love within a very historical social context…” 

“… romanticism has been a catastrophe to our capacity to have good long-term relationships…”

Alain de Botton: On Love (at the Sydney Opera House, 10 July 2016)

 

What does he mean? True for you? 

Watch and enjoy. 🙂

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

All My Life

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Checklists are dangerous. I cannot recall, and therefore I am disavowing, ever having a checklist for “the man of my dreams”. “Tall, dark and handsome” wasn’t a thing for my teenage self. Well, maybe tall… Neither was romantic, charming, suave, humorous or tough. I don’t think I have a type, but I do wonder sometimes if it is a huge blindspot I have about my men 🙂

For someone who is “mental” – no, not mental as in crazy, but mental like using the mind a lot – perhaps my requirements are someone who engages my mind, who inspires my imagination, who challenges me intellectually, who is open to and receptive of new ideas and ways of being, who stimulates my creativity. Perhaps the cover is much less important than the content of the book. I suspect even if I had a checklist, it would have evolved and what is now will hardly resemble the list of my pubescent day.

Because here lies the danger of the checklist. We ought to appreciate it for being a list of preferences as our young self believed it to be at that point in time many years ago. By the way, if you recall a list like this in your past or present, what are some of the characteristics you had listed?

Well, the danger is we then take this checklist and make it our ‘truth’ that cannot or must not change. The search then continues for this illusion of the perfect person of yesteryears. For me, needing someone else to fulfill me is a little disturbing, worse if a set of criteria must be followed! When you are present in the moment with your loved one, sharing experiences … loved and loving, does a checklist matter?

Is your checklist of whatever keeping you stuck in the past? Do you have one you would like to get rid of?

– FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Love is love

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Love is love, don’t you think? Does it matter the occupation, the socio-economic background, the gender, the race, the culture, the nationality, the age, the abilities…

We love because we do, and we are loved just because. Some have a tendency to overthink, to intellectualize what is deeply emotional.  I wrote about labels we in society give to each other which serve to bound and limit our creativity, our self-expression, our sense of self. The risk is we end up allowing these labels to define us by their dominant attributes.

Here’s an interesting and recent TED talk about a heartwarming journey of two women who explored the world seeking hope and belonging.

“And in the end, love is gonna win out!”

– FlorenceT

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

Just a man…

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man alone

Just a man

My knight does not wear armour
He embraces vulnerability
Like a warm cloak
Sheltering, yet soft
Welcoming with a hint of humour
 
There is no armour which shines
With brilliance of a jaded world
Only of beauty within
That none could dismiss
That none would forget
 
My knight does not wear a halo
A crown of self-righteousness
Willing instead to follow God
In love and humility
A vessel for positivity
 
There is no vie for attention
Of women with their fake rewards
Nor allusions to feats of mortal men
Knowing his worth in his letters
And his boundless heart
 
My knight does not sing love songs
Haute-couture masking his fears
But in his quiet sacred ground
Demonstrating his care and love
With no demand for returns.
 
He does not shout from mountain tops
Undying love, unabating desires
Merely uplifting when I am weary
Holding when hope is nearly lost
Anticipating needs, always present.
 
My knight does not wear armour
He is just a man who loves.

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

#BeWow Inspirations for a life

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Of all the people who have entered my life,
They have been inspirational
They who shall remain nameless;
But you know who you are
You who have stood beside me
And inspired me by the way you live.

You who showed me perseverance in the face of adversities, never losing your humanity.
You who showed me kindness and affection despite accusations of ‘weakness’, never faltering still loving.
You who showed me strength and independence sometimes losing your way, yet kept moving forward.
You with your vivacity and confidence reminded me who I was once.
You with your calm and thoughtfulness granted me an understanding of the other.
You who showed me how to ‘live and let live‘ when I needed it most.
You who showed me a vision of grace and femininity, inviting me to explore my own.
You who showed me true strength and courage despite the ravages of life, always standing tall.
You who showed me one is only ever limited by the failure to imagine.
You who showed me the vagaries of the mind unless we feel, unless we are solitude personified.

I am blessed for your presence in my life’s moments
For the lessons I have learnt
For the inspiration and encouragement I have felt
That I am still learning, feeling
No matter where we journey, together or apart
I thank you.

In gratitude,
– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.