Thursday, August 31, 2006

Love and The Meaning of Life

Love - or more specifically the giving of oneself in a deep, sincere transparent relationship- is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences anyone could ever enjoy. A relationship where you can trust the person with your life and know they love you as much as you love them and want to spend every waking moment with you is one of those foundational, defining experiences that undergirds every other endeavor or activity or pursuit we could ever be engrossed in. Many times we realize this too late - we seek for that value that only deep love can give in other places - success, fame, wealth and we come out with the deepest, penetrating regrets (often at the end of our lives).

I have been so saddened and amazed recently at hearing the stories of so many women who've experienced physical abuse at the hands of the one they loved and I wonder why even right now so many still remain in these destructive relationships and I think I've come close to some sort of explanation . . . For most (men and) women the pain of lonliness is simply more bearable than the pain of lonliness. Because love is an indispensible human need that gives purpose and meaning to our lives upon which every other part of our lives ought to rest.

Yet in loving there too is a risk. I love the way the German sociologist Erich Fromm says it . . .

"Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. "
-Erich Fromm

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ah, Women . . .

Here's a great quote by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that beautifully expresses the truth about women -

"Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, August 28, 2006

'Tis Better to Have Loved and Lost . . .

I absolutely love this quote/ poem . . . I think it is so profound and searching and most importantly brutally sincere.

"Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"


Literal meaning.


From Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'In Memoriam:27', 1850:

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

With Every Great Love Comes A Great Story

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Paradox of A Successful Relationship

One of the weird (or counter-intuitive) things about having a successful and lasting relatioship is surprsingly not in controlling or changing the other person you're involved with, but to make sure that YOU are ready for the fit. It's what I call the paradox of a successful relationhsip because it goes against what one would think is necessary in making a realtionship work. For example- if I ask you what you think is necessary to improve your current relationihsp you might say "well my boyfriend/girlfriend or wife/husband needs to change this or he/she needs to quit doing this and start doing this - fair enough. But there is one little devil that affects all your relationships- both romantic and interpersonal - in a direct and very significant way. Self- esteem. The way you view yourself and what you think of yourself. To be even more direct - the very reason you want(ed) to be that relationship that you would kill for and believed you could not live without, will become the problem in the relationhsip. If you don't feel good about yourself, that you are not good-looking enough or you want somemone to constantly make you feel special or beautiful that very desire and expectation will become the problem- because you are expecting your partner to meet a need in you that only you can meet. Another example, in a recent Psycholgy Today article which you can see here 000002.html adds "In the journal Personal Relationships, Sandra Murray, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of New York at Buffalo, warns that overly sensitive and insecure partners may "read nonexistent meaning into their partners' ambiguous cues, thus leading their relationships to the outcome they wish to avoid." While misreading cues may seem to be a greater danger in nascent relationships, researchers have found that even after ten years of marriage, people with low self-esteem believe their partners love them far less than they actually do."

Makes you think huh ? So while you think the problem is out there, it's actually in here (within yourself) . . . . I'll write more on this later. Be sure to let me know what you think.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Truth about Tolerance and Relationships

In keeping with Yesterday's theme of "what matters most in a relationship" I was thinking about the interesting phenomena (or more accurately, contradiction) that all of us live with when it comes to our romantic relationships. No matter how open-minded you may consider yourself to be or how far left or right or up in the sky you are- this is true of you. It's amazing that in 21st century America the highest and most commended virtue is tolerance. Tolerance for those who are different from you and/or may have different beliefs, values or customs as you - everywhere from the workplace to the Doctor's surgery to your child kindagarten class, tolerance is the highest and most noble of virtues and peace is the highest good. Good enough. But, the truth is when it comes to relationships and in keeping wth the importance of "immaterial" over the material things in a relationship, we are the least tolerant when it comes to who we want to get involved with romantically and emotionally. Think about it . . . do you want to marry someone who is of a different religion than you? (usually there would be a concession or compromise before any official plansare made) Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who disagrees with your most basic and cherished views ? If you believe in God do you want to spend most of your time with an atheist ? For most of us the answer is no. We want someone who shares and agrees with our views. We'll only tolerate values, beliefs, customs and morals that are the same as our own. And that's the truth.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What Matters Most in a Relationship ?

If I should ask you what matters to you most in considering or checking out someone you might be interested in dating and/or having a relationships with, what would you say ? If you are honest with yourself you'd probably say "well a nice smile would be nice" or "my boyfriend cannot be short" "he must have a great body or nice legs" or whatever, for most girls it might also be "well he must definitely have a nice car and have his own place" - To be sure physical or "material" things do matter in a relationship, ofcourse for some more than others. However, the above answers would imply that if all our material critieria would be met that would be a match made in heaven or more specifically, that would mean the relatiosnhip almost defintiely (or more than likely) would work or last - Or would it ? The weird thing is that for most relationships it is the "immaterial" (non-physical) things that make or more importantly break down a relationship. By immaterial things I mean : their self-esteem, their confidence, trust or trust-worthiness or their beliefs or habits etc. You know this from personal experience. So next time first get to know their immaterial qualities huh ? Here's to good relationship decisions . . . . cheers
"I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction." — Ayn Rand, Anthem "The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb" - Solomon