Tag: love

Divorce

How sex can be like fast food or organic food

cupcakes, online dating, relationship, divorced mom, single mom,

Enjoying much deserved cupcakes after a disastrous evening

How exciting it is to be connecting with friends on Facebook! I met someone who I knew in sixth grade and visited him at his house for the first time several weeks ago. I have to say that was a big mistake, Grace. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but recalling the text messages and phone calls, I felt a bit giddy and nervous at the same time.

I haven’t dated since about 14 years when I first met Adam and, quite honestly, forgot what it’s like to be asked on a date, have a proper courtship, or meet someone on neutral ground. When I showed up at his house I simply thought it would be nothing more than a friend meeting a friend from a long time ago.

Oh, Grace, then my yearning for touch got the best of me. One thing led to another and after about a month of talking it led to a physical encounter. I don’t know what I expected to happen; certainly it was not what I expected. After realizing what had just occurred, I bolted out of the house. My sense of touch combined with fleeting emotions for a meaningful relationship became a combination for disaster for this divorced mom. I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach. I need a cupcake!

Guiding lesson:

Eve, the sweet embrace that our human condition desires heightens in the presence of possibility and hunger that exists between physical beings.  The need for touch is normal and is necessary for growth that begins from the day we are born.  Without it, hearts and souls shrivel up.  Without it, hearts and souls are unable to understand true intimacy.  Without it, God’s embrace is never felt.

So what happened that day when you innocently went to visit your friend?  When you look deep inside, was there any part of you that was considering the possibility of an encounter?  I ask this because many times the silent, hidden parts of our beings are more aware than the parts that are visible.  It is for this reason that taking time for prayer, meditation, and silence is important to understand the depth that exists underneath the tip of the iceberg only found in the deep waters of the soul.

What would you have discovered by sitting and being still before the meeting?  Would you have felt some stirring that was like a little child pulling on the parent’s clothes trying to get their attention?  Would you have discovered your “longing for touch” attempting to make itself known?  This is what it means to live the spiritual life.  It begins in your body.  Your body holds all the wonderful senses, feelings, and thoughts that God uses to connect with you and invites you to a deeper encounter.

So where do you go from here?  Well, it’s important to look at what happened with gentle eyes and unfold this desire that was not filled from your last relationship.  It appears it has been neglected, but you also know a fleeting encounter will not suffice because it doesn’t have substance.  It’s like choosing to eat fast food vs. fresh organic foods that is prepared with love.  Your body will respond very differently and likewise with a touch.  When we are starving you will most likely choose the wrong foods or eat too much feeling horrible afterwards.  During these times, I’ve heard people say they need to go for a run or walk it off and isn’t this what you did?

Pay attention and begin to learn from your desire for a true embrace.  You deserve to be nurtured and caressed.  You will be satisfied as you awaken to the beauty of sincere and loving touch.  There is nothing like it.  There is a big difference and the choice is yours.

Pray that you will recognize love…for LOVE is looking for a true lover to embrace and hold.

Love,
Grace

Marriage

How to Love an Ex

Love is thoughtfulness. Acting thoughtful of your ex can definitely be a stretch. Oftentimes, I want to say the first thing that comes to my mind, but I bite my tongue. I realize it’s best to quiet myself and not engage in behavior that will yield negative effects.

I remember the honeymoon stage of dating and marriage; I am thoughtful of him, wanting to satisfy him in many ways. Thinking first of my partner then me often comes with the territory of a loving relationship. After several years of marriage, I faded in my thoughtfulness and thought of the children. I began to do everything for the boys, settling in my relationship and accepting what I had.

Wishing there had been more, I think about what I could have done. But today, the best thing to be with my ex is thoughtful. Together we are co-parenting our two boys who need our unconditional love and attention. I need to stretch my mind and exercise the act of loving thoughtfulness. To think good thoughts is the beginning and I have a new beginning every day.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, it is wonderful that you are aware of the impact that your thoughts and words have. And you’re right that they are the beginning of being thoughtful towards another. It’s not always easy, but when practiced every day, the grace of God meets you and strengthens you.

Thoughtfulness, as you have discovered, is a door that opens you up to a world of many blessings and graces. It lures you into a dance and then invites the other person into this dance. Each thoughtful encounter becomes sweeter and expands your mind and heart as well as those around you. One can’t help but join in the dance that sets you free to love in a new way what might be unlovable. And let’s face it, loving an ex can be challenging at times.

I encourage and support you in your desire to responding thoughtfully towards Adam. And even when it appears you efforts are failing, don’t give it up. Like you said, each day is a new beginning to recommit to living and acting thoughtfully. You have the power to transform your family’s world by sprinkling thoughtfulness in all you do.

Love,
Grace

Marriage

Love is Not Selfish

Love is not selfish. Often in marriages we forget that doing things for others in what is their best interest is a sign of love. We do things for others in what is beneficial for us. The same applies in co-parenting after divorce. We do things for our ex-husbands and ex-wives in what will be for our best interest long-term and we disguise it as beneficial for the children.

I know this because I have done this. I admit it and rationalize it as “I’ve earned it! I deserve it! And he messed up!” Oh, but the feeling leaves you empty, deceitful, and manipulative. This is not love–well, maybe love for me, but not a respectable me.

Co-parenting deserves the same kind of love as marriage–a love that is not selfish. I know I should not be deceitful and manipulative, but rather be humble and grateful. To have a partner with whom I share the responsibility of raising two wonderful boys is a blessing. Many single moms don’t have another partner, parents or a support network and I have a feeling they would feel blessed to share the responsibility with someone else.

Whether my ex agrees with me or not, I should not care. I know that I have a responsibility to do what is best, best for our children. I know that I have a heart filled with compassion and sincerity. Sometimes in all the chaos of living life and getting divorced, it is a welcomed thought to be reminded that love is not selfish.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, Love is not selfish. How easy to speak these words, yet how difficult to practice and apply to someone who’s not at the top of your list and has wounded you deeply. You seem to be very aware and open to admit your shortcomings. It probably doesn’t feel so good to really look at yourself and find yourself not living according to your values.

So if love is not selfish, what causes one to be selfish?  Is there a wound that needs to be protected because it has not healed?  Are you aware of this wound?  Can you name it or describe it?  Who caused it?  If the answer is yes, then could it be that one acts selfish because they have not been generous in loving themselves to care for this wound?  Would you call it selfish to care for your wound?  To be loving towards yourself, could it require you to say “no” to others which may look selfish at first because they may not be used to this?   

Your outward actions only reflect your actions towards a certain part of yourself.  Generous love has to be planted with seeds of attention, kindness and thoughtfulness inside you.  Within your interior soul, the depths of heart, is where the generosity of love is conceived and brought forth in the world around you.  So what is happening in the dark and core of your being will be magnified in the light and interactions with others.  Loving is caring for oneself.  Here is an exercise that may help to consciously and intentionally love generously. 

Eve, Love is not selfish because God’s love is within you and all around.  Continue to tap into this love and know that with God’s grace he will fill you up and heal you based upon his holy will.  Go out and be generous with what God has and is giving you.  He gives his love to you, multiplies it within you so you can bless the world around you.

Love always,
Grace

Pearls of Grace

An Exercise to Love Generously

Here is an exercise that may help to consciously and intentionally love generously.

1)      Prepare – Find a comfortable room and chair to sit.  Darken the room to represent your interior soul and depths of your heart.  Light a candle to remind you that it is only God who can illuminate the path out of darkness.

2)      Release – Begin by taking deep breaths.  With each breath let go of everything that prevents you from being free, open and present to the moment.  Still your mind, calm your soul and connect with your heart.  Arrive inside your body, your mind and your soul.  Know that God has been waiting in the dark desiring to take your woundedness and pain and replace it with healing and joy.  Let go so you can be free to receive.

3)      Arrive – You are now “here” and it may feel like you are “nowhere.”  It may feel uncomfortable to being before God, naked, vulnerable and trusting.  Take an inventory of your thoughts and feelings.  What is stirring within?  What are you ruminating over in your mind?  What has been the longing of your heart?

4)      Encounter – Greet your God as you would a lover.  Notice what part of the Trinity you encounter (the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit).  Don’t rush this.  Feel God’s warm embrace, see God’s longing for you in his eyes, and hear him whisper, “I love you as you are.”  Receive God completely and don’t let go.  Let God’s healing touch, compassionate heart and pure desire for you penetrate your being.  Surrender completely and fall into his arms.  You are safe and you are loved.  Rest here as long as you can.  Relish and cherish this moment.  It is real.  Don’t be afraid of true LOVE.  Welcome it.  Let his light illuminate and heal your wound completely.  He is the Divine Physician who heals with love and gentleness.  You are his and he is delighted in you.

5)      Delight – Delight in the experience and give thanks to God.  You are now filled with his Love and have something real to offer others.  As you express your gratitude, slowly begin to come back.  Use your breath and become present to your body.  Continue to be grateful and feel a smile form on your face as you do this.  Know you can always return to this safe place where God is always waiting for you.