Love is Real: The Blog

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Helping

Photo by epicioci/Pixabay This week’s topic pushed me into a careful consideration of words and their nuances. Ten days after a significant surgical repair, I was feeling profoundly grateful for all the caregiving provided by my loving husband and I wanted to write about "Caregiving" — providing help to someone who needs it. But “Caregiving” conjures up images of dependency more profound and perhaps more permanent than I wanted to address. Similarly, “Support” didn’t capture the phenomenology of need. I was indeed dependent [...]

March 20th, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Life, Refracted, Well-Being|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: No Stealing

Thou shalt not - Photo by aitoff/Pixabay One of the five Buddhist precepts is “Do not take anything not freely given”. The same commandment appears as “Do not steal” in the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 20:15 and Leviticus 19:11) and the Western religions that grew from it. One way of thinking about that commandment is to realize that taking what is rightfully in one person’s domain is theft unless done with that person’s explicit permission. Showing love means to [...]

March 17th, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Giving

Offering earth's finest - Photo by Hietaparta I asked a granddaughter to describe her favorite gifts. They were those that led to discovery, that made her smile, or that helped her feel recognized and understood. She described receiving two clean mayonnaise jars for her birthday, one labeled “Quotes” and the other “Happiness." Inside the “Quotes” jar, her friend had placed 100 handwritten quotations on brightly colored post-it notes, each folded in half. The “Happiness” jar was empty.  An [...]

March 10th, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Remembering

David and I had been living in different cultures.  Twenty years ago, what were peripheral holidays in France were major occasions in the United States, thanks in part to Hallmark and other corporate marketing strategies.   When he visited me in the United States and I observed celebrations with food and festivities, he enjoyed them and I (wrongly) assumed he understood how much joining in such national or religious rituals meant to me.  (They still do - see my initial post [...]

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Choosing

  Where to go? What route to take?  Photo by Antranias Every day we make countless choices, some consciously and many unconsciously.  Do we look at our motivation?  The consequences of the countless decisions that affect our relationships?  Through them, we are forever balancing closeness and distance, self-interest and that of the one whom we love.  What do we need and want?  What does the other person need and want? With the transition to parenthood, we learn to [...]

March 3rd, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Life, Refracted, Psychology|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Listening

"Le Cri" by Auguste Rodin, Musee Rodin, Paris This morning my husband and I had one of our rare fights.  He asked me if I had seen anything interesting during my online skim of The New York Times  morning  headlines. I began to describe my reaction to an Op-Ed piece written by Alexa O’Brien about Amazon’s use of the helper technology that shares her name, a reference to the Greek goddess who defends and protects.  I was explaining what [...]

February 22nd, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Sharing

A Swedish proverb promises: “Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”  Experiences of sharing — anything from a troubling dream to an ice cream cone — can show “I Love You” across cultures, gender, age.  A two-year old will reach out her hand to offer a turn at a toy to someone she trusts and wants to see smile; a romantic relationship takes a step forward when one person offers a sip from his or her drink to the other [...]

February 18th, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|

52 Ways to Show I Love You – #2, Touching

To make us more aware of all the ways we can make love real, that we can show "I Love You" both with and without words, each Sunday I am posting a piece on PsychologyToday.com describing the what, how and why of another way to express love.  Today's entry describes "Touching" and appears here.   Please send me your own stories of ways you show love or feel it coming from someone else.  I will keep track of them and [...]

January 8th, 2017|Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Psychology|
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