Learning to Love and Walk Away

Sometimes you rub me raw.

Like sand paper,
You tantalize me
With the promise of a smooth future
I am scratched by reality.

You are not part of the dream.
I feel the sands of your abrasiveness.
And I know
You are just
an in between.

 

The phrase I use  to explain reasons why we stay in obvious futile relationships  says it all: “You’re not done, until your done, but when you are done, you will be SO DONE”.

Love does not quit easily. Love often binds us to unhealthy situations. It is the reminder of happier days that keeps us involved. It is to this memory we pay tribute. To complicate things further, the depth of our love is not always indicative of the amount of time spent cultivating it. The only person who knows how long the relationship should last are the parties directly involved.

Often we stay in relationships until the memories of the past become so painful that we must walk away for the love of our own survival. It is when you have reached this critical mass, that you slowly scrape yourself together, battered and bruised and walk away.

Till death do you part?:

Loss is loss. Rebirth is the moment when you know you simply cannot keep living in this perpetual mourning of the loss of your brighter days. It is time to clear the past away and reclaim your choice to change your experience. This is when your love for yourself takes precedence over love of the other person. This is when you stand and reclaim your birthright: happiness.

The key to success in any type of  relationship is to stay put at the first sight of trouble, but to choose to walk away when there is permanent damage. Honor the memory of your relationship by never allowing the love that existed to become a weapon. If your interaction has become more painful than pleasurable it is time to dust yourself off and start fresh.

This does not mean your relationship was unsuccessful. It means you successfully chose to honor the relationship with yourself. This is critical. A healthy relationship is based on healthy participants.  It is imperative you take the necessary steps to correct the imbalance.

These powerful journeys in love, and life, will provide an experiential history that will follow you thought your life. Even when no longer physically connected, we have spiritual and emotional connections to all those we have loved. They have shaped and molded us to become who we are today. It is up to you to choose what what you create.

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I Could Never Be a Surface Lover

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I can only go deep.

It seems that there is a current trend of forgoing deep meaningful relationships in an effort to protect myself from the pain of a possibly tragic break up. Maybe it’s because I am in my mid 30’s,  still single and this new collective vibe has caught my attention.

Whatever the case may be I am not a fan of this retreat to what appears to be safer waters in relationships. I hate to break it to you friends, but you can drown in two inches of water.

I have taken note of those in my sphere who have tried the shallow end of the dating pool, only to find that the pickings are slim, with small fish that end up becoming nothing more than a snack or small meal that has left them starving after empty hearted consumption.

For me, love is an issue of great depth and importance.

It is not something I can enter into lightly. I am well aware of the risks and the rewards and am still willing to live among the waves if its absence and presence as I wait. I have learned to love the still of this ocean as its currant supports me along with the sound of the quiet and the roar of the water.

A few years ago I was introduced to the song Cool Change by the Little River Band. It became an intricate part of my life. One of my favorite verses is:

“Well, I was born in the sign of water
and it is there that I feel my best.
the whale and the albatross are my brother. It’s kind of a special thing
When your out on the sea alone, staring at the moon, like a lover.”

It’s true that a life of solitude takes some getting used to, but the rewards have been exponential. I am comfortable in my own skin. I am happy even when alone with my own thoughts. I am no longer haunted by the storms of yesterday and the nights that made me question if I would see the light of day again.

I have found peace with myself and the ocean. The evening sky has truly become intricate part of my existence. It’s in these moments of quiet solitude that I have discovered the ability to be my own best friend. Encouraging, uplifting, and simply enjoying my own company has been a reward for all of the effort. It’s not easy to fall in love with yourself.  You have to get used to looking beyond the flaws to see the jewel that is the real you. If what I seek never appears, my years of the oceanic journey will not be in vain, I am not empty. I am filled with my own joy, self confidence, and peaceful happiness. These things are worth their weight in gold.

Burned Bridges: Is it Possible to Rebuild?

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There may be a person in your life that you just can’t shake – a person that is missed so much that whatever drove you apart sits on your back like a bag of bricks. Perhaps you’ve tried to set that bag down and leave it without unpacking the contents but  it’s still attached to your weight slumped shoulders from the burden of things left unsaid.

How do you go from no contact to tentative conversation?  It can be done with time, patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

  •   Admit you started the fire to burn the bridge: One of the hardest things is to admit to yourself when you’ve done somebody wrong. It’s easy to lay the blame at their feet because after all, they’re the ones that caused your anger and your release of the relationship in the first place. But sometimes that’s a lie we tell ourselves to keep from being responsible for our own actions. It’s a reflection of our not so shining moments.
  •   Build a new bridge: Reach out to the person via text, email, phone call, sky-writing, blog post or any other way to let them know you’re willing to speak with them. If the person is receptive, apologize for what you did or said wrong. Leave expectations on the floor because sometimes the wound you’ve caused can run so deeply that there may be rejection or disbelief of your intentions. Remember to not just speak the words but take action. You’re asking for a new relationship which means you’re approaching this not as the former person, but as you are right now.
  •  Compassion for yourself and the new relationship: The old wounds will be there. They may be scabbed over or even scarred, but they will be there. Realize that when you look at the other person with compassion in your heart, the scars fade after time.  It is as falling in love with that person’s current self and from this point you’ve come to in the realization that this relationship is worth it. History can’t be changed, only the here and now is important.
  •   Dissolve anger, pride, and resentment: Holding on to anger is that bag of bricks that weighs your spirit down. Realize that you reacted or acted in a very human manner. Your feelings of resentment  have no place in the new relationship you’re attempting to re-establish. The pride that kept you from making the reconnection before needs to find the humbleness of release. Feel the emotions, but don’t hold them. Allow them to dissipate.
  •   Evolve your view of the person: Are you the same person you were when you cut the relationship from your life?  The other person isn’t either. Meet her as if for the first time, because technically, you are. Get to know their current self because what you remember may (or truthfully, may not) be accurate. Anger changes the color of memories to murky depths instead of embracing the current vibrancy of now. This is a new day and a new relationship based on time passing. Let her be who she is now, not how you remember them.
  •   Forgive yourself and the other person: This one can prove difficult depending on the circumstances of the separation. By setting down your feelings from the past and allowing things to be as they are, forgiveness is not far behind. Forgiveness helps us to see things clearly again. It wipes the slate clean even if the faint outline of the transgression can still be seen, it’s no longer the focus of the relationship. The focus shifts to rebuilding instead of rehashing.
  •   Give love willingly: What if the person you’re reaching out to rejects your attempt at reconciliation? What if they don’t want anything to do with you or your efforts to rebuild? Love her anyway. Just because you’re ready to re-establish a relationship doesn’t mean she will be.  If she is willing, then don’t be afraid to let her get to know you as you are now. Your personal growth has brought you to a point where you realize the value of what you’ve been missing. Allow the vulnerability of love to fill in those parts, whether rejected or accepted. Love the other person. Love yourself. Let it be organically grown from your heart no matter their response.
  •   Healthy Communication: Be honest with yourself and the person you’re re-establishing a relationship with. Speak from your heart while listening to spirit. There is nothing more satisfying than accepting one another exactly as you are. You don’t have to be a allow yourself to communicate your own wants and needs. you’re establishing grounds of mutual respect. It builds trust, balance, and reinforces your sincerity.

Great things can take time to build or rebuild.  Although there is no guarantee that the other person will be receptive to your outreach, discovering that you can set down that bag of bricks is totally worth it.

Say Goodbye: Ending Toxic Friendships

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How far down the road are you willing to go before you realize that you have gone the wrong direction? It is human nature to believe that we have it all under control, that we know what we are doing but let’s face it, even the best of us have stayed our welcome in our comfort zones a little too long.  Look at The Buddha. It took him seven years to realize he was on the wrong path with starvation, neglect, and self-abuse as a pathway to enlightenment.

It’s really okay to say I don’t want this anymore.  In fact if it wasn’t said, how could we ever evolve?  We would be putrid with the stench of murky stagnation, and no one would ever want to be near us.

When it comes to friendships, this is a truth that is so essential that our very life force depends on it.

When a friendship has overstayed its welcome, both parties know. It is like having a corpse lying on the floor in the middle of a vibrant garden party.  You can smell its decay over honeysuckles, sweet pea, tea and chocolate truffles. And if you are not careful, you end up tripping over its remains and landing face first in the grass where a dog has just marked her territory, mussing up your fine attire while everyone calls you the fool.

There are just some moments when you know there can be no more compromises, when you realize your friend has not taken your best interests to heart and you must let said person go.

Relationships are a pathway to your best self. The very best of those you choose to relationship with will hold a key that was always yours, given to them before either of you touched your feet on the planet’s surface.  They know your best and worst without you having to say a word and are willing to spar you until you get your shit right and take you into their arms with the greatness of their love. The deliciousness continues when there is a mutual desire established to make the other person smile, laugh, and grow.

We teach people how to treat us.  If we are silent because of mistreatment that is clearly evident to both parties, it becomes Palestine level hostile territory. You both will begin to count the things that you have done for each other. You will hold the remaining power you possess over the other person. Resentment will hold you both at gunpoint, and then you will toxify each other with your darkness. Suddenly you will awaken to the realizations that all of those little snide jokes, subtle insults and the blow-offs were hostage negotiations for your soul.

But I need my friends, you will think, as your dignity trickles down your leg.

It doesn’t matter how long you have known someone, if it isn’t healthy, you are a hostage and captor as is your counterpart. Your sick game continues with each of you playing either role until someone is strong enough to squeeze her sweat-stung eyes shut and pull the trigger before the last tear falls.

Let it be you.

Spotting a Toxic Relationship

If you are afraid to tell the truth in any relationship, there is no relationship at all. We need to give ourselves permission to speak the truth when we are hurt at the very moment our heart has been pierced. If a friendship is ever going to get past the first flush and get real, admissions of mistakes and exposure of our worst selves is inevitable. If you have difficulty allowing this to happen, you are participating in the creation of a toxic environment.

In healthy relationships, respect and understanding to the commitment of cultivating a relationship is present. In unhealthy relationships, boundaries are blurred through the most vulnerable moments.  As you pour your heart out, the information may be reserved for another moment when among friends, it is used to weaken you. Gift giving and other heart-felt moments will be used to keep you hanging on in a tiresome dance of besting. You may hear your bestie say terrible things, and you excuse it thinking she would never say anything like that about me until the day comes when you  meet your confidences face to face in the form of an invasive, sensational question being asked from someone you don’t know.

What makes toxic people?

Toxic people make toxic people. When we are silent to our own needs and put the needs of others above all else, we are creating a toxic environment for ourselves that will naturally permeate all other relationships. In the silencing of our true nature, we lose our uniqueness and our psyche, heart, and soul become diseased.

When we ignore our intuition screaming in our head – run, yet we step closer, we have a real problem on our hands. Our own judgment cannot be trusted. We will therefore attract untrustworthy people.  They can spot us a mile away.  We are the ones wearing the graphic tee that says “naïve prey.”

We need to first make sure we are the happiest we can be in the present moment with ourselves. We need to make sure we enjoy solitude, our inner wildness, our assertive attitude, and our flaws before we go outside ourselves to make solid relationships. It is essential to get to know and fall in love with ourselves. We need to have a healthy dose of selfishness. We require individuality, our own identity. There must be a reason for wanting to share our moments with another person that comes from the core of who we authentically are. That takes serious integrity.

Integrity is a balm for toxic people. It is a force of energy that commands respect and straightens the spine.  It tells us that we are worth the very best of life through its unconditional sustainment in all that lives. Those that do not possess or understand it are easily detected – they are the same as our underdeveloped selves and because of that, we may fall hard for their potential.  While such a person may appear to be kindred to our own days of being a demi-goddess, it is not up to us to take them under our wings and create them. Who created us? Our excruciating pain of learning the hard way did.  So, when they walk into our sacred space in short shorts, fuck-me pumps, a whole lot of smooth talk and zero substance, it is okay to gracefully decline engagement in favor of your heard-earned life wisdom.

Letting go of unhealthy friendships is the very best gift you could give yourself. Sometimes, friendships that have no anchor just dissolve, but others have such a deep rooted spur in the heart that they need life-changing truth spoken with fire before a quick goodbye.  Follow your heart. Love yourself first.

Know limits, boundaries and choose friends wisely with your intuition as your guide.

 

 

 

 

 

Creating a Working Marriage

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Call me a hopeless romantic or an endless fool, but I never imagined myself without a partner which unfortunately has caused me to make several very poor choices. I am on my fourth marriage. I met my current and last husband in 2004 and married him in 2007. He’s taught me more about my wrong view of marriage by being the kind of husband I need, more than what I learned from the bookshelves of the many self-help books on how to make a marriage work.  I’ve found several differences between my current relationship and  my previous marriages.

Just because someone says “I love you” doesn’t mean they love you the way you need to be loved, or know how to love you in a sustaining way. Love doesn’t take away from who you are, it’s an addition to your very being. It allows you to bloom in the fertile soil of the heart that gets watered with tears, shined on by laughter, and nurtured into a fully bloomed you. That applies not only to having a partner, but also in loving yourself.

The little things aren’t so little. My spouse likes to make me coffee on Sunday morning. I like to make him dinner when he comes home from work. He likes to bring me my hard to find favorite beverage. I like to make sure he has plenty of his required alone time. Reminding each other regularly that we’re thinking of one another prevents us from taking each other for granted. It’s like mini-dates throughout our busy (and sometimes not so busy) days.

Forgiveness goes a long way. Your partner is human just like you. They have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies that make life with them interesting. If either of you make a mistake, genuinely apologize then respect one another enough not to do it again. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve erred. Laugh out loud at the crazy world. Laugh often. Be ridiculous and silly without fear. Humor goes a long way in smoothing out some of the bumpy spots.

 Communicate your wants, needs, and expectations to your partner. If they don’t know it’s broken, they can’t fix it. If they are unaware of your needs, how likely are you to get your needs met? Each couple communicates in different ways. Explore, then do what works for each of you in a healthy and productive way.

Accept them for everything they are, but also know that they will probably change and grow.  

Your partner is your best friend. Treat them with compassion. If your partner is dealing with a tremendous loss or stress and they ask for your support, don’t reject them by fearfully running away. Take time to see what you both need in times of distress. It could be just listening to them while they talk through what’s bothering them. 

 

Mastering Our Communication Lives: Plus, Enjoy Some Mixed Metaphor

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“Communication is SO key.” –the great social philosopher and former Disney star, Ashley Tisdale.

Human communication, or how we use our verbal messages (language) and non-verbal actions, is very powerful.  Yet, like fish missing water, most people take communication for granted, assuming that possession of ears and a working mouth is all that is needed for successful communication.  Or more dangerously, we progress through our communication landscape mindlessly like bulls in a precious china shop, leaving devastation in our wake. Communication mistakes are easy to make and can be personally, interpersonally, and professionally costly.

The messages we send are the spells we use to create or destroy the reality we experience.  It is our communication to ourselves that empowers or disempowers us; making communication critical to our personal well-being. Many metaphysical techniques rely on positive communication and the power of words to accomplish great energetic shifts in our lives. Communication is the social currency that we use to initiate and manage all of our relationships.  Anyone who has said something cruel or thoughtless in a relationship knows how destructive a simple string of a few words can be.  Words, if used mindfully and ethically, can be the fertile soil for love to bloom. Yet using a negative word is like throwing a grenade into the shelter of your love, potentially causing irreparable damage. Research done by John Gottman and colleagues finds that for every ONE negative comment you make in a relationship, FIVE positive comments are required just to balance things out!  It is so easy to destroy something so precious that you have to work extra hard to repair the situation.  Understanding how to manage interpersonal communication will improve your chances of having satisfying and healthy friendships, romantic relationships, and families.

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Communication is also the vehicle we use to navigate our interactions at work. Try holding onto a job if you are difficult to get along with or careless in your communication. Communication is the ticket we have to participation in the public sphere. It is through communication that we influence others and the world around us. Critical thinking, informed citizens, and civil discourse are the ways that we will have a chance to solve the looming problems that threaten our society.

Fortunately, the interdisciplinary field of communication studies (generating its own theory and also pulling theory into communication contexts from English, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and Rhetoric) offers a vast body of literature on human communication and what it takes to be communicatively competent.  Where there is communication occurring, there is often some communication researcher studying it.  Sometimes in surprising ways, what we assume to be true about how communication functions does not match what is found in the research, so it is good to check the data instead of just relying on stereotypes.  Spiritual traditions and metaphysical thought systems also address the ethical and authentic use of communication, and can provide a higher level of understanding to complement modern social scientific findings.

In this regular column on the Anjana Network, I will provide quick communication tutorials that you can apply to your everyday interactions.  My approach to communication is deeply rooted in social scientific research, with an occasional metaphysical twist!  Communication is just a series of neutral tools; it is up to us to use communication wisely. And it is through knowledge based on research and the writings of spiritual thought leaders that we can make wise and strategic decision to use the magic of communication to create the personal, interpersonal, and public lives that manifest our dreams.

Body of Truth

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While trying on clothes at a retail store lately, this point was dramatically displayed in the stall next to mine.

A beautiful, physically fit woman in her early fifties was talking with her younger counterpart – a woman in her early twenties. “Oh, if only I could lose five more pounds,” she said pensively.  She stared at her washboard abs sadly. “Men only like skinny women.”

I wanted to come leaping out of my stall grab her by the shoulders and have a heart to heart. I wanted to say “Darling, you are perfect and beautiful. If you have not found a man that has fallen in love with your soul, keep looking!”

Moving to a second store, I was surprised to run into the same two women in the dressing room. Again, the conversation turned to a diatribe of self loathing. This time the young woman piped up replying “You are beautiful. You have a womanly body ripe with curves.”

I wanted to applaud.

YES! Be grateful for your body, it is your temple. Your physical form is the sanctuary that houses your soul. Surround yourselves with worshipers who will delight in your presence. It is time that we love and respect ourselves, especially while on the road to self improvement. Be your own source of encouragement.

When it comes time to selecting your mate, choose when you are at the height of your self esteem. Choose someone who reflects you at your best. True self esteem is connected to your core, not the superficial. Self-acceptance comes from truly looking at yourself, even the shadow-self, forgiving and embracing it all with love.

When I am asked why I am still single, I am quick to reply with a smile. “I believe I will find someone when I am at the height of my self esteem.  Apparently there’s still a little room for improvement!” This usually catches people off guard at first, but after my truth resonates with them they say “WOW, I really like that. You are so positive and happy!”

YES!  Yes I am!

The journey of self discovery is amazing and I am happily counting my blessings. In fact, I think more people would be happy if they did just that.

Count your blessings. Life is a wonderful experience and I promise when you leave this plane, no one that loves you will notice if you take an extra five pounds with you. They will, however remember how you felt about yourself. They will remember if you were happy or if you were critical.

Choose wisely.

Soul Bonded: A Thank you Note to My Husband

"Everything Good in The World" Photo by Anjana Dixon

“Everything Good in The World” Photo by Anjana Dixon

Deliciousness incarnate, you stepped with your grandness into my life when I needed you the most.  You bore the weight of a life that was meant to soften your heart.  It taught you lessons of a weathered, shipwrecked soul with its absence.  Yes, we both were shipwrecked, on the same island, hiding from one another in lives that didn’t fit the grandness of our spirit.

Thank you for searching for what makes you happy all the time.  If you had not been on the quest to be a master of life, enthralled by the beauty of the world’s untamable landscape, our paths would never have crossed.

We were bonded at the time the Universe divided into fractals of self-reflection.  We are primordial connection, we are earth and fire. They bring life when they are joined in the heat of sacred union.  We are love.  We create together.

Thank you for creating a life that is exciting, aware, and tenderly fragile in the darkness.  Perfection lies in our moments of full exposure, when we fear the magic of our bond will somehow be stolen from us.  We will even fight one another to preserve its perfection.

I absolutely adore you. You are everything to me.

I was closed, afraid of the scent of a fresh morning.  I reveled in the perpetual shame of being incompletely yolked with the monsters that were welcomed under my sheets.  Then in your heroic quintessence, your unconditional love transported me away from the warzone.

Thank you for making me the best, worst, most invested, excited, nervous, shy, sex crazed woman in her full-bodied, unapologetically voluptuous and ripened state of being.

The fruit is yours for the taking.

Thank you for being you.  The silly, sweet, brilliant, sexy, maddening, best father and husband a woman could ever want.

Love,

Anjana

Intimate Expectations

Relationship AsylumIn the beginning there was heat. The heat emanated from their hearts and their sacred organs for body worship. Poems, sonnets, and songs radiated from their lips as they danced on the cloud of newness.  They tasted the nectar of the gods with each delicate act of love.  They chased time with their all-night rendezvous lasting for what seemed to be only a moment, and it was very good.

Wait a minute. It WAS good?  What about it still is good? You mean those mind-blowing all-nighters, nooners, morning quickies, and sixty-nine sessions are finished?!

Not necessarily…

As a relationship matures, the inevitability of the first flush waning can become disappointing to a romantic.  It is a time when lives merge and reality sets in. This is just as explosive as the physical bonding that takes place, but it is present in the alchemical changes that are taking place as you both step into a new reality together. A common misconception is that the intimate magician within you and your lover must make way for the still waters of stability.

Life has its rhythms. People grow, revert, change ideas and evolve. As this symphony unfolds, you may find a pensive or inattentive mate by your side.  Love making may become routine, or functional. Does this mean that the intimacy is gone?

No.

To make love with your partner is to be by her side for life. It is hidden in the treasure of normalcy and is proven in how you support each other as you each take time to be intimate with your inner selves. As your storehouse replenishes itself, you will find your hunger for your mate increase. This is the key to the insulating your relationship with remnants of the first flush.

Look at your lover with new eyes every day. Each day there will be something different that can be observed and appreciated. Share your findings, and see where the trail leads. To be in a relationship is to be in a continual scavenger hunt for new aspects of a long-time love.

If you hold expectations over your lovers head, things will implode.

Expectations are necessary but can sometimes get in the way of deep intimacy with you and your mate.  For women, intimacy begins at the moment of connection. Encouragement, reassurance, attentive care and then sex are essentials for her flower to open. She seeks to find her lover thinking and dreaming of her. She wants to be in her lover’s thoughts, actions and feelings. When this does not occur, and the everyday life threatens to diminish the spark of a relationship, it is up to her to go within and evaluate her expectations of perpetual perfection.

Conversely, a man is visually stimulated before his magician can reveal what is hidden. He desires his partner to maintain an alluring look, health in the body and mind so that he may connect fearlessly to his or her body. That being said, it is important that the intimate expectations of both parties are met healthily and do not overpower the intimacy to create a power struggle.

The heat of the first flush is always available to you and your lover. Make it interesting, make it light, and make it spectacular.

Rise Above Sparkless Love

Relationship Asylum Wait not one second longer before the ember goes out.  You are running out of time and no other lover will come to your rescue from the unconditional love you are already privy to. This is your love affair with the everyday unkempt, smelly, habit ridden magic that you once cried that you may not ever experience and have now have become disenchanted with. Oxygenate the tired embers that still glow even if you choose not to notice their haunting smolder. This is the call to arms, lips, hands and hearts to re-awaken the love that you once hungered for.  Are you really going to let boredom rob you of what’s yours?

The love that you have with your partner is rare and will never occur again. You both stand as the only prototypes of your art with your love as the medium. You awaken to a blank canvas and an unwritten song every morning.  Your routines are the symphonies of connection.  Your lover’s sonnet to you is in his unwavering presence and her devotion that has become second nature. Can you see the magic of love? Can you taste its salty-sweet nectar?

Do not give into believing the lies that love is always romantic, orgasms are always easy, and that problems are solved at the end of a twenty-two minute segment after an orange juice commercial. This is real life.  Love is gritty, vulnerable with ugly messy cries and sweaty nights of passion. It is the teamwork of financial problem solving and child rearing.  It is the hand holding even when you think your partner is wrong as it is you being held when you are devilishly hateful.  Life is most exciting without the comfort of a safety net.  Love is the other-worldly tandem trapeze act that is your greatest art form even if it looks like flannel pajama bottoms and tousled hair.

It is time for you to connect to the daredevil within to forgive past resentments and release lofty expectations. Look beyond annoyances and zoom right over the edge of the cliff onto the other side of vulnerable, tenderly soft-hearted love. This is the love that makes you remember why his eyes can speak to you without the movement of his mouth, and how that little spot under her nose is the most comforting vision you have ever experienced.  There are still hidden treasures that you are meant to discover.

Give gratitude to all that your lover does and attempts to do.  This exchange will create so much prosperity, it will not be able to be contained in your hearts or even your home. With such a palpable energy, you can change the state of non-functioning aspects of your relationship and inspire others around you to do the same.

This love is the only language that no one will ever know. It is your secret, exclusive rendezvous behind the velvet rope of the creator realm.  The power of the universe emanates from within you at the exact same frequency as the love of your life. Comparing such a treasure to the watered down version of life that is emulated through your perception of other people’s happiness is the greatest disservice to the Universe’s creative expression through you. Live through your own brand of love, love yourself,  become better at loving through your own lessons learned, and wrap your arms and legs around the reality that love is work with explosively pleasurable results.