Close Relationships

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Accepting Responsibility

and Old, Familiar Ones.... Last week, in “Recognizing Mistakes”, I introduced some ways in which a close relationship can become derailed. Misunderstandings, poor or missing communication, failures to clearly express wants and needs and to consider ways to meet them can all offer occasions to show love. Taking these opportunities a bit further, we can Accept Responsibility for a challenge within the relationship. What needs accepting? Individual responsibility — I did it! People vary in how they experience their inevitable errors, especially those [...]

May 7th, 2017|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted, Uncategorized|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Recognizing Mistakes

Source: bykst/Pixabay According to Cardinal John Henry Newman, “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” Hopefully, we grow not only in response to changing conditions but also in recognition of “mistakes” we have made in the past. Regrets of ways in which we may have hurt someone we love, or damaged our relationship with them, can be the most troubling. Recognizing such errors can be a big first step towards repair and showing your love. What [...]

May 1st, 2017|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|

Creating Surprises: An Excellent Way to Show Love

Source: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay A few days ago, when I slid into the driver’s seat for the first time since the anesthetic haze following surgery had cleared, I buckled up for my debut solo excursion in nearly a month. I noticed how spotless the windshield looked. The car was immaculate. Lint and debris had disappeared from the seats and floor mats. Bottles of water sat in the spaces designed for them. Clearly my husband had intended to surprise me. I was delighted. His unexpected actions have long left me [...]

April 26th, 2017|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|

“Showing Up” Powerfully Demonstrates Your Love

Being there for performances, events, dates and times of need shows love. Source: cocoparisienne/Pixabay Woody Allen is often credited with saying “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” I don’t know what the statistics would say about the proportion of love that is expressed through “showing up” but my guess is that, in successful relationships, it is large. “Don’t tell me, show me.” “Don’t talk the talk; walk the walk.” There was even the hit song from My Fair Lady, “Show me”. What do we show up [...]

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Expressing Love Through Observing

Observation, the first task of scientific inquiry, can also express love. Source: nightowl/Pixabay With careful observation, people can identify the sources of their own happiness, meaning and joy. For example, using discernment, they can evaluate what money can and cannot buy. Yes, it can secure a good bit of comfort, beauty and freedom, providing relief, pleasure, and opportunity. But it cannot buy respect, love, trust, or creativity. While purchased pleasures can also offer distraction from intensity or relief from the grind of discipline, they can also [...]

April 12th, 2017|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted, Uncategorized|

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Allocating Resources

Source: liuhonghezhengsji/Pixabay We each have resources available to us. Internal resources, such as our genetic potentials, developed talents, memories, personality styles. Motivations that animate us intersect with external resources — including time, money and energy — accessed through or heavily influenced by our environment at any moment. We constantly make decisions, consciously or unconsciously, about ways in which we use our resources. When we choose to use them in the service of a relationship or of someone we care about, we are showing [...]

April 5th, 2017|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|Tags: , |

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|Categories: 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|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|Tags: , |

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 [...]

March 7th, 2017|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|Tags: , , |

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|Categories: Aspects of Loving, Close Relationships, Life, Refracted|
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