Understanding Love Communication

Did you know that we all communicate love in very different ways?

love

As Valentines Day fast approaches, I thought it would be good to reflect on how we are communicating our love and why sometimes we feel frustrated because we don’t feel loved or appreciated, and/or those we love get frustrated with us for the same reason.

The best way to celebrate Valentines is to understand love and improving our relationships through effective communication, whether it is with your partner, your children, your friends or your parents.

Some time ago, I read a great book called: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If you are not familiar with it, this book talks about 5 different ways in which each of us feel loved and express our love to others.

We all have a primary love language (the way in which we most feel loved and cared about) and our natural tendency is to show love in the way we most feel loved.

Because we have our own way of loving (or showing love), we unconsciously expect our partners to “love us back” in the same “way”, and this can create HUGE misunderstandings and frustrations!

In his book, Chapman describes the 5 love languages as follows:

  • Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

  •  Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

  •  Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

  •  Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

  • Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Once you know your primary language, you and your partner can discuss it and try to use each other languages more often. If you are not quite clear about which is your primary language, you can take this Assessment offered at the official 5 Love Languages Website.

Below is a great exemple of miscommunication.

Taken from the article: Six Ways to Keep Your Relationship Healthy By Dr. Ben Kim He writes:

“Margaret’s primary love language is quality time, while mine is acts of service. So while she appreciates various acts of service I might perform with her in mind, they don’t end up meaning as much to her as, say, spending an evening together just talking about this and that after the boys have gone to sleep.

I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten this and spent one too many hours at the office, thinking that she would appreciate how hard I was working for our family, only to become devastated and angry in discovering that she was angry with me for neglecting her. The perfect example of two people looking at the same event with completely different perspectives and all the heartache that can be caused by not knowing and acting on your partner’s primary love language.

Know what your partner’s primary love language is. Act on it. Repeat as often as possible.”

Understanding that we all communicate love differently was a HUGE eye opener for me, it helped me feel more loved and love more effectively. And this is helpful not only in couple-relationships, but also with parents and children, and with all the people you care most in your life!

So, what is your primary language of love?

Have a wonderful week!

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PDA, what…?

Back in the days, before I became a mom, I used to travel a lot, that was (and still is) one of my passions…I remember often sitting at the airports and watching people come and go. One of my favorite things was to watch the smiles, kisses, hugs and even tears of joy when people were reunited.

pda

So, one day, I was at an airport in the US, waiting for family members to arrive when I saw a young couple run into each other’s arms and kiss passionately, they were clearly happy to see each other, I felt their joy was contagious! and then, I heard the lady next to me (who had also witnessed the encounter) say with a dismissive tone and a grimace on her face, P-D-A!

At the time I was new to the US, and my knowledge of English did not encompass all the many acronyms that people love to use here! so I had NO idea what she meant, but I knew she was referring to that couple. I was puzzled, wondering what could have possibly triggered that lady’s negative reaction.

So, a few days later I asked a friend what this “P-D-A” meant, she told me it was short for: Public Display of Affection!

I had to ask her twice, I could not believe it! I was in TOTAL shock!…

How could that couple’s tender embrace, and that moment of pure human joy be seen as a bad thing? and coldly labeled as P-D-A! I just could not make sense of it… maybe that lady at the airport was just very bitter and lonely, so her reaction was out of anger and frustration at her own life… I wondered.

However, I came to realize over the years, that a lot of people in this country frown upon “PDA” and I still have a hard time with that. I come from a culture where public displays of affection are commonplace, not only among couples but between friends, family members, co-workers, etc. We easily hug and kiss our friends in the middle of the sidewalk if we feel like it, and everybody else does…

OH how I miss that!!!

Is affection between human beings something we should be ashamed of? is there something wrong with it? what is it that makes Americans frown upon it…?

This is still a mystery to me (and probably will always remain a mystery), I just can’t get into that mindset, even though for as long as I have lived in this country I have had to adjust to the culture and therefore limit my “PDA” to the minimum, which is really hard for me!

In recent years, however, I realized that I could not hold back my own nature, at least not all the time, so I decided to show my affection more freely to people (especially those who seem open to it) at the risk of been misunderstood or frown upon.

I truly believe that affection, kindness, compassion, love, etc. should be applauded, should be part of our every day exchanges, and it should be modeled for everyone to see, especially our children! When we are sharing a special time with friends, family or partners, wherever that is, why not show them our love and connection through our bodies? It is one of the most natural and powerful ways to connect after all.

Should there be a limit…? Sure! I certainly do not advocate having sex in public, or being sexually explicit in front of everybody, but other than that: hugs, kisses, winks, holding hands, kind caresses, etc. are all beautiful signs of affection that can be contagious and very beneficial for people. If we could offer these loving expressions freely, I am sure it would have a positive effect on people’s mood, health, and level of happiness all around!

I am a 42-year-old woman, and I am not ashamed to say that when I walk on the street with my dad side to side, we are likely to hold hands or have our arms around each other, same with my mom; just as much as I would give my partner a long kiss in the middle of the street if I feel like it, but this is natural for me, as I grew up in South America, there is nothing weird about it. If you think of it, what is wrong with that? If you do find something wrong with that, please write to me! I am interested in hearing your thoughts and start a conversation!

Today, I encourage you to go public with your displays of affection, my guess is you will feel liberated and the people who receive your affection will be happier!

Anyway, that is just a thought from the mind and heart of the outsider that I am!

Have a Great Week! (hopefully with lots of hugs and kisses!)


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The difference between free and dependent love

I have been reflecting on relationships a lot, it is a topic that comes back often in my blog, simply because our lives are made of relationships and they play a very important part in our daily experiences. A friend of mine recently shared a quote that got me thinking about the fine line between free and dependent love, there is a great contrast between the two and it makes the whole difference in the quality of our relationships.

fingershugging

Here is the quote: “Affective dependence sooner or later will generate suffering and depression. Insecure love is a time bomb that can explode at any time and hurt deeply. However, if one can eliminate attachment and still engage fully into a relationship without changing nor denying oneself but rather integrating with the other respectfully, love is a sum of 2 where no one looses anything” W.Risso

The message in this quote is that the way to achieve a healthy and satisfying relationship is by not being attached to the object of our affection, or I would say: having a healthy attachment (non-dependent that is). This is of course easier said than done, but the truth is, until we realize the major difference between free and dependent love, we may often end up heart broken or unsatisfied in our love relationships. Until we are able to move from a state of dependency to a state of true partnership we are setting ourselves up for suffering.

My dad always told me that only those who can be alone deserve to have a partner, I used to be annoyed by his statement, but now I understand it. It isn’t until you are fully OK with who you are and what you have, that you can successfully share your life with a partner. If you think a partner will save you from your life, or will make you whole, or will fulfill all your needs, you are not really looking for a partnership but rather a co-dependency.

I guess the path to happiness and peace ALWAYS starts within ourselves. It is only when we find contentment, acceptance and respect for who we are, that we can start to actually improve our lives in many ways, and that includes finding the right partner and having nurturing relationships in general.

But to be OK with who we are isn’t easy, it means accepting, respecting and honoring ourselves fully, embracing everything about ourselves: our looks, our talents, our past, our bodies, our emotions, our limitations, our weight, our flaws, our mistakes, our health, our failures, and everything in between. Most people are not even aware at how much they judge and criticize themselves, or how much they deny their own needs on behalf of others. It takes a lot of introspection and awareness to actually grasp who we really are, let alone honor it fully.

I feel that loving without attachment (or rather dependency) is one of the hardest things to do, it is totally counter-intuitive, but it is possible and it is a self-awareness learning process, a freeing process! When you realize that you don’t need the other, you can actually BE together. Once you free yourself in this way you can love even more deeply precisely because you don’t depend on that love.

The process of self awareness will help you look at yourself more clearly and by doing so you will look at others much more clearly too. You will become free of expectations, you will stop making assumptions, and loving without expectations and without assumptions will really allow you to love unconditionally and fully.

Here is another one of my favorite quotes:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” – Khalil Gibran

To finish this thought, I just want to add that every relationship in our life is important and having a specific expectation on how long it may last is also attaching (to an outcome that is out of our control…) so remember that no matter how long any relationship lasts in your life, you can still give it your full engagement and make the best of the partnership for the time it lasts, it will never be a waste of time!

Like I read somewhere: relationships enter your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime… so we should embrace them all with full awareness!

Have a good week!

Related Articles:

The Myth of a “Better Half”

The Bitter Sweet Taste of Love

Relationships are Our Greatest Teachers

How to establish healthy boundaries in our relationships?


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Sometimes a hug is all you need…

Continuing with the theme of body language, relationships, and connections, today I would like to explore another body language favorite of mine: HUGS. The truth is, the power of hugs is way underrated!

hugs

I come from a latin country, where we hug a lot, and I have to say that HUGS is one of the things I miss the most from my country, we hug our friends, our neighbors, our parents, our grandparents, our cousins, you name it, and we do it all the time!

I recently read a blog post from the Mars and Venus website (the official website for the famous book: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
by Dr. John Gray). It is a short article written by a witty blogger, on: “How to keep intimacy alive in the day-to-day grind”

Basically the article talks about how hard it is to find the time to nourish our relationship on a daily bases, especially for busy, working couples with or without kids; apparently, the secret short cut to nurturing and connecting is as simple as a hug!!

According to the article: Studies have shown that hugging for 20 seconds raises levels of oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone. A hug re-establishes the intimate connection and trust between you and your partner on a fundamental hormonal level. If you wish to read the full article, click HERE.

Another story I love to share is that of “The Rescuing Hug” which had a positive impact in the way medicine and hospitals treat premature infants, the original article appeared on Reader’s Digest and Life magazine in 1996. If you have not heard about this story, there is a quick description of it HERE.

Also, I remember a few years back I took a course on personal growth and one of the things that stayed with me was an exercise that we did towards the end of the 2-day course, the presenter had us split in pairs and showed us how to give each other an “energy hug” we had to hug our partner hard, really holding them in our arms, and then we had to take 3 deep breaths together, silently. The idea was that we could use our bodies and breathing to raise our energy and establish a deeper connection to one another.

I really liked this exercise, and all the participants agreed that they felt very relaxed, very connected and happy after doing it, this was back in my country, however, so we didn’t have much of a cultural barrier against close physical proximity. Hugging is a natural part of our human essence, beyond cultural and social conditionings; it is the first thing we do with our human babies, we hold them, we hug them, we press them against our bodies and that physical contact is a very important factor on their survival. If you wish to read more about this, I recommend the article: The Experience of Touch: Research Points to a Critical Role by Daniel Goleman, 1988.

After moving to the US I slowly but surely stopped hugging people, to respect the cultural norm here and to avoid sending mixed messages, but this had a toll on my emotional well being, so finally, after many years, I have decided to allow myself to be who I am, and hope for the best. I still don’t do it as freely as I would in my country but I do it as much as I can and often find myself apologizing when people are surprised or taken aback by it, I just tell them I am from a different culture. I really believe Americans would greatly benefit from more free hugs!

I have shared many conversations about this with American friends who have traveled or lived in countries were there are less “physical boundaries” and they all agree that one of the things they liked and miss most about those cultures was their “warmth” and the hugs, kisses and other ways to freely connect to other people with our bodies.

I find that here many people are quick to associate this easy-body connection with the danger of inappropriate touching, so they try to protect themselves from it, and teach their kids to avoid touch because of this. I feel however that there can be a happy medium that is much healthier and that would allow people to feel a lot more connected and supported.

Growing up I had a very clear idea of what was appropriate and what was not, and I fully enjoyed the freedom of connecting with friends, cousins, relatives, etc. using my body in a healthy way. So here, I just wanted to start a conversation on how cultural and social codes may sometimes prevent us from getting closer and more connected to people around us. That said, I know a lot of Americans that are big huggers, thank God!

Sometimes a hug is all you need

Have a good week!

Related Articles:

The Importance of Physical Touch


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The bitter-sweet taste of love

How to describe love…?

I recently read an interesting article where 5 writers from different fields (a physicist, a psychotherapist, a philosopher, a writer, and a nun) were asked to describe this emotion.

Each one of them had a different approach to the question, for the Physicist, love is chemistry, because it is a powerful neurological condition that involves the release of many different chemicals in our bodies. For the Psychotherapist, love has many forms but it is basically an emotion that connects us to ourselves and other human beings in positive ways. For the Philosopher, love is a passionate commitment that we nurture and develop. For the Writer, love is our inspiration, what drives all great stories. And for the Nun, Love is more easily experienced than defined.

love

To me, love remains a big paradox, it is the most beautiful emotion we can feel, yet it can also cost us dearly. Love is totally free, yet it can bind us strongly. When we love, we almost inevitably become attached to the object of our love, and with that attachment comes fear of loss, and fear is the opposite of love!

Just as love can bring positive attitudes in us: compassion, kindness, understanding, generosity, etc. Fear can bring negative ones: worry, insecurity, anger, etc. Love and Fear seem to be opposing forces, yet they can be interchangeable in the presence of attachment.

Some people resist love, they try to shelter themselves from it in order not to get hurt, not to feel pain, avoid grief. It seems like sooner or later love will inevitably bring hard emotions out because of the attachment that comes with it. So, how can we love without feeling attached and scared?

I believe it is virtually impossible to love without attachment, however, the degree of the attachment and its nature are important, for instance when the attachment creates dependency, there is more suffering.

There are many different kinds of love and different intensities of attachment of course, there is love for our parents, our children, our partners, our friends, our family, our country, our pets, etc. But probably the love relationships that will create the most intense attachments are those of romantic relationships (in the first place) and those of family relationships: siblings, parents, children (following close behind).

In any case, there is no doubt that romantic love is the most bitter-sweet love of all. As we start experiencing it when we are teenagers, we go from ecstasy to broken hearts and from incredible happiness to unbearable grief, over and over again, until… hopefully, we find that one partner that we commit to and that reciprocates our love, but even then… even when we think we have found the perfect love, there can be more suffering down the road, as in love, there are no guarantees.

The high degree of attachment and dependency in romantic love, may be due to the idea that we are not “whole” until we find that one person that will “complete” us, that will understand us beyond words, that will share everything with us, including the most intimate part of them. But, is this idea really true?

I feel like the secret to a successful relationship in the romantic arena is to feel whole without the need for another, and this is tricky… but possible. We can’t be looking for a partner that will make us happy, or make us whole, instead we need to work on our own capacity to be happy, to be whole (which starts with understanding, loving and nurturing our own selves), and then maybe we can attract someone who is equally capable of self love. This kind of partnership can be more solid as the attachment that develops will be healthier, less intense and less dependant.

Also, with true self love and respect you can ensure that when you fall in love, you will not loose yourself in the process, you won’t become someone else for your partner, you won’t sacrifice your values for the sake of the relationship, as this will likely bring suffering and separation sooner or later. By knowing yourself and respecting yourself, you are more likely to find someone that will love and accept you just as you are, which is what most of us dream of.

We also need to remember that love can have many qualities to it: it can be blind, one-sided, steadfast, fickle, reciprocated, misguided, unconditional, etc. It is very important to be able to tell if we are in a relationship that is reciprocated in order to avoid further suffering.

But probably the most important element to a healthy love relationship is commitment, without true and conscious commitment there can be no real and lasting relationship, and commitment requires nurturing the relationship every day, with little things.

“Love is a passionate commitment that we nurture and develop, even though it usually arrives in our lives unbidden. Without the commitment, it is mere infatuation. Without the passion, it is mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the strongest love can wither and die.” – Julian Baggini

As I get older and look around at all the couples that I know, amongst my friends, my parents and their friends, etc. I realize that there are very few that are lucky enough to have a really, truly fulfilling relationship; there is no such thing as a perfect relationship of course, but there are relationships that are successful, with a similar degree of fulfillment and passionate commitment from both partners.

The majority of the couples, however, as long as they can tolerate one another, they remain together for many different reasons (that can be more or less valid): dedication, fear to be alone, staying close to their children, financial constraints, social norms, religious beliefs, etc.

But those few couples that after many years can still laugh together, look at each other and feel excited, enjoy each other’s company, share their intimacy, are indeed very few…

I believe we can all find the relationship that works for us, but it is important to start by understanding and loving ourselves, having enough clarity on who we are and what we want so that we will know when we find the right partner, and last but not least, being capable to passionately commit to that partner by nurturing the relationship every single day.

One thing is for sure, love will bring tears to our eyes, those of joy and those of sorrow, which I guess is part of the wheel of life: sometimes we are up, sometimes we are down, and so it goes…

Have a good week!

Related posts:

The Myth of a Better Half

Relationships are complicated

Finding Happiness and Peace Within

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Relationships… Our Greatest Teacher!

A few days ago I saw a quote that somebody shared on Facebook, and I have been thinking a lot about it…

girl-dolls

I was looking for it again, but of course I could never find it on Facebook (too many things going on there :). So I looked around, goggled a bit and finally found something that sounded pretty close:

“In life, God doesn’t give you the people you want. Instead, he gives you the people you need – to teach you, to hurt you, to love you, and to make you exactly the way you’re meant to be.”

Some people will argue that God does not send others to hurt us, of course not, I agree, but we can’t take this quote so literally, the whole idea here is that every single human being we come in contact with, is, to a certain extent, our teacher.

In our lives, people come and go all the time, with some of them we may only share a few minutes with others we may share a lifetime, and we have everything in between, but each and every one of them crosses our lives for a reason.

I once met a guy in a train, he made a comment on the book I was reading, and we shared a brief conversation in which he recommended another book to me; our conversation lasted just a couple minutes, I never saw that guy again, yet the book he recommended to me was a life-changer. This is an example of a quick encounter that brought something very meaningful and long lasting to my life.

Then, we can all think of more obvious examples, for instance: friends or family members that helped us through difficult times or teachers that were mentors to us at some point. But what about those relationships that we may have seen as negative, toxic, difficult; or those that did not last as long as we had hoped for and left our hearts broken. Well, even those relationships where there for a reason.

The truth is, our lifetime on earth is nothing but a journey of growth, a journey in which we have to find ourselves and find peace, contentment and ultimately happiness. But this journey is also a journey of struggle, loss and grief, because it is often on the moments of hardship that we can really grow, renew, restart, transform, etc.

And since relationships with our fellow human beings are probably the most important source of emotions in our lives, there is no mystery that it is through relationships that we can learn the most, and grow the most. Every relationship in our lives is to some extent a reflection of what we need to learn at any given time, sometimes the lesson is clear and easy to grasp, other times it is hidden and complex, but it is there nevertheless.

The loss of a relationship is probably our greatest teacher, because with grief comes new understanding and from new understanding comes growth and transformation.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a group meditation with Tara Brach, and she shared a story that brought tears to my eyes. I would like to share it here because I think it is relevant to the topic of grief and loss of relationships:

It is said that Kafka one day found a little girl sobbing desperately at a park, she told him she had lost her doll, he then told her the doll was not lost but rather went off to travel the world. Week after week Kafka saw the little girl at the park and brought her a letter from her doll, sharing her wonderful travels and telling the girl not to worry because she was happy.

Finally, a few months passed and Kafka brought a doll for the girl, it looked totally different, so he told the girl that her travels had “changed” her.

It wasn’t until the girl was a grown woman that she found a little note hidden inside the doll, and the note read:

“You will loose everyone you love in life, but love will come back to you in different forms

I am actually crying as I am writing this… Although we may not actually loose everyone we love, the last quote really hits a note of truth for all of us. Life is made of small and big losses that can break our hearts over and over again, when we see dear friends move away, when we leave our parents house for the first time, when we fall in and out of love, when we loose a loved one, etc. All these are part of life and we have to live through each and every one of them.

So, no matter how long a relationship is in your life for, it is important to cherish it, take the best of it, give the best of you and let it go when it is time for it to go. Living in the present or rather living “in presence” (there is actually a big distinction between the two!), can help us see every relationship with more clarity, as well as enjoy every person in our lives without any attachment to them.

Relationships are one of our best teachers, so be thankful for each and every person in your life and what they bring to you, in whatever form they do, remember, they are there for you to grow and become a better version of yourself.

Have a good week!

A Tribute to my Grandmother

Last week, on Monday night, my dear Grandmother passed away. I want to dedicate this post to her, to everything she meant to me, and to the reflections I’ve had following her passing.

mamielonlon

In thinking of her and evoking all the memories I have of the times we shared, I realize once again, how incredibly important it is to bring quality and love when we are in the presence of our family, our friends and ultimately every human being.

My grandmother was French, so I didn’t see her very often, I grew up in Ecuador and then moved to the US, so she and I had always been separated by a large ocean of distance. However, I feel, with great relief that every moment I shared in her presence was filled with joy, complicity and laughter; I feel like even though the quantity of time we spent together was short, the quality of it was great.

My mom always says very wisely, that we have to make sure we enjoy and cherish our loved ones while they are alive, so as not to have any regrets, guilt and unsolved resentments when they leave the physical plane. And I feel that I did that with my grandma. I was not very good at keeping in touch, that is my only regret…

I remember climbing in her bed when I was a little girl and she was visiting us in Ecuador; or making my first crèche for Christmas with her, she had many ideas to make it unique; or the times as a teenager when we would stroll the French village markets arm in arm, trying on clothes and funny hats. I remember baking in her kitchen and eating her delicious meals. So many rich memories of love and companionship come to me now and bring tears to my eyes.

My grandma wasn’t perfect, but then again, nobody is, and she did what she could with the tools she had, which is what we all do. I always loved her just as she was and saw in her mostly her qualities: she was full of life and determination, she had a very young spirit and believed every age had its charm (and she proved it), she never let herself go, she was vibrant, smart, beautiful and brave!

I remember she started piano and oil painting lessons in her 80s! She was a living example that learning never ends, unless we decide to stop it. Maybe that is why her mind was sharp till the last day.

I recall when, as a teenager I told her I did not want to have kids because I was disillusioned with the state of the world, and she (a mother of 6) told me that no matter how dark the circumstances look there is always a light at the other side of the tunnel and we have to focus on it, even when we can’t see it. For someone who was a young mother when her husband went to war, who lived through the German occupation of WW2, and who lost 2 of her children tragically, she surely knew how dark life can get, but she always stood tall and kept going!

I am thankful for all the years I shared with her, she passed at 96 after a long and full life and although the moments we were together were scattered through time and distance, they were wonderful. She always lived in my heart and will continue to do for as long as I live.

Living physically away from people we love can be very hard, everyone handles the distance differently, but loosing someone who is far away is even harder. Our everyday routine is unchanged, the loss seems unreal, and we have to digest it slowly, we have to find some closure on our own. My relief is, again, knowing that the times we shared where filled with high quality.

Some of the reflections I wanted to share and the things I want to remember following this loss are:

  • If we bring love, acceptance and forgiveness to the people around us, we will have no regrets when they leave.
  • The most important is the quality of the time we spend with someone, not the quantity.
  • The effort of keeping in touch with our loved ones is worth it, and we need to carve the time for it.
  • It is important to find ways to mourn at the distance, either by crying our eyes out, taking a day off to rest, calling your friends to talk about it, looking at pictures, writing letters, etc. We need to let the pain flow so that it leaves our body eventually, instead of locking it in our hearts.
  • Enjoy your loved ones while you have them, dedicate them your full attention when you are with them!

I know the last point is probably easier to do with someone who lives far and you seldom see than with someone that you see every day and therefore have more opportunities for conflict. However, this practice applies to everyone around you and it is worth doing, no matter the effort it takes. Be fully in their presence when you are together and see them always through the eyes of love, no matter what the circumstances are.

I recently shared a little card on Facebook that I liked very much and I want to copy it here: The card has the image of two elderly parents and it says:

“Parents are not eternal, call them, visit them, bring them your kids, invite them for dinner, get them their favorite treat, hug them and laugh with them. If necessary let them talk and listen to them lovingly and patiently, tomorrow might be too late.

This is not only true with elderly parents but with everybody we love, no matter their age, we don’t know how long they will be with us, so start today bringing quality to the time you spend with them.

Have a great week!


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