Posts Tagged ‘love’

Grief

May 22, 2012

Love knows not its depth until the hour of separation – Kahlil Gibran

(this blog post is a reminder to NOT let Kahlil Gibran’s message be your experience)

(In memory of dh)

Several blog posts ago, I wrote about people I know or know of, who were seriously ill at the time of that writing. My message was about gratitude and living our lives awake and in each and every moment.

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post. The friend of my friend I wrote about passed away on Mother’s Day 2012 leaving behind a loving wife and two teenage children.

In my own life, a woman I have known for many years – the mother of a dear friend of my son’s, a good friend of my best friend’s, a woman part of our tightly knit Jewish community, a woman who worked tirelessly for disenfranchised people’s rights both in Vancouver and South Africa, the mother of two beautiful teen girls and a much loved and adored wife/partner just passed away after an extremely short battle with cancer.

It is so difficult to put into words what profound sadness feels like but I do know it sits in the body and aches. Words do not give voice to the depth of feeling when someone dies before their time.

What has stood out for me during the past number of weeks is the deep love and commitment the woman’s husband continually expresses to her and about her. He has kept our community aware of her condition through a beautifully written blog. In it, he writes about her cancer diagnosis, her treatment, her thoughts, his journey and sadly her passing. What stands out in every post and the many photos he shares, is his incredible LOVE for her and their marriage of over 20 years. His expression of devotion and love during this time of personal terror has taught me about love and vulnerability in the face of incredible powerlessness.

His message is about his deep love for her, his commitment to her, his witnessing of her courage and his invitation to those around them to support them. It is through this lens that my heart experiences the meaning of a conscious loving relationship. My tears are tears of grief and tears of awe, wondering how a relationship can endure such heartache. The unwanted experience that a life threatening illness presents and the devastating effect it has on a relationship is one of the lessons we may not want to learn and yet we must find a way to cope with such lessons. I do not know nor believe there are answers or even sure paths to take to deal with such unimaginable loss. The journey seems a very personal one that takes as long as it takes and is done however it is done.

As I write this my heart is still heavy. I am again reminded of the real possibility that exists – unwanted illness and even death can happen to great people we know. Wonderful people who live healthy lives and love others deeply and who do good work in the world. Marvelous people who are able to develop and maintain loving relationships with family and friends. People we aspire to be like because of their generosity of spirit and ability to love unconditionally. When we have the privilege of knowing even one person like this we learn a lot about what is important in life. When such a person becomes ill and passes on before they should we feel life doesn’t make much sense and seems completely unfair.

I mourn for the wonderful man I know who has just lost the love of his life and his two daughters who must find a way back to their own lives without their beloved mother. Life is beautiful and sad all at once, I am holding both of these feelings and it is not easy.

Dare ya –

Have a real look into your partner’s eyes and let your body feel the beauty you are beholding. Sometimes there are no words…..

For now,

T

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Gimme a Double Shot

February 23, 2010

Did you know there are two brain chemicals any relationship can’t be without? One is Oxytocin – the cuddle chemical, which is the feeling we get when we are safely held or think about our beloveds. The other is dopamine, the natural high, that we get from a good belly laugh, vigorous exercise or being pleasantly surprised.

Both of these hormones move to shut down the stress hormone cortisol. What does this mean and how does it relate to my relationship? Let’s talk about oxytocin here.

Not only does touch stimulate production of oxytocin, but oxytocin promotes a desire to touch and be touched: it’s a feedback loop that can have wonderful results. Oxytocin makes us feel good about the person who causes the oxytocin to be released, and it causes a bonding between the two people. Nursing a baby produces oxytocin in both mother and child, and this is a major part of what initially bonds the mother and her baby. Even thinking of someone we love can stimulate this hormone; when women in good relationships were asked to think about their partners, the level of oxytocin in their blood rose quickly.

Every time you get a shot of oxytocin, you will feel calmer and more content. You will feel a sense of love and happiness. Love is like oxygen for humans. We are all looking for love and we really crave feeling it as much as possible. This is because finding a secure attachment bond is encoded in our brains when we are infants, and we are wired to search for it in an adult love partner. When we feel safe and loved, our worlds are expansive. When we feel scared and hurt in our relationships our world narrows. We actually feel these sensations in our bodies. We are attachment addicts and we are always looking for a fix. The brain is a powerful thing.

Unconsciously it is as if we are asking the eternal questions:

Are you there for me?

Do I matter to you?

Can I depend on you?

Am I really important to you?

These are questions that those of us in relationships feel but are usually afraid to ask. This is where the oxytocin part comes in.

The more oxytocin we have flowing through our bodies the easier it is to answer yes to all of the above questions. The better we feel. Monogamy and long term love make sense.

You might wonder how you can get a shot of Love Potion #9….

Reach and out and touch your Partner!

Hold hands!

Give a shoulder massage or a foot rub!

Sit close while watching TV!

Orgasm (that’s always a good one)

Look at a photograph of your sweetie.

So, pull out your favorite pic of your lover, just look at it and let the feelings wash over your body…feeling it yet?

Feels good doesn’t it?

Dare ya –

Do one thing this week that non-verbally expresses to your partner that they really matter to you. Tack that special picture up on the wall where you can see it. Now look, really look, and smile back.

Yours really truly,

T & M