Appreciation, Happiness & Love…

This morning Facebook reminded me that three years ago (today), one of my friends posted something on her status that prompted me to shared my thoughts on the topic. Today I revisited that memory, and my feelings about her personal thoughts and my own, have only been amplified…tenfold.

My friend often posts about her life; a life which she happily shares with her beloved husband of 29+ years. I enjoy her posts… In fact, I look forward to them because she is REAL. She shares her thoughts with friends in such a candid way, I often have the feeling I am right there beside her, witnessing what she is describing, as it happens.

On that particular day she mentioned missing her husband when they are apart, and though she felt silly about voicing it, I thought it was one of her most adorable and REAL stats ever.

When I was younger, in my late 20’s, early 30’s, I often asked myself what made a relationship last so long, and just as often the question went unanswered. Luckily, with age comes wisdom, and wisdom is perhaps the most valuable mental power we possess; the one which allows us to see life and its many aspects in a new, more accurate and revealing light. I am now in my mid 40’s, and though I might not have all the (accurate) answers, I do have a better understanding of what makes it work.

So…what makes a relationship last so long? What makes the embers of what once was a hot burning fire, continue to glow brightly after so many years? Some say communication, others say trust, but “we” the romantics say love. I personally believe love is the fundamental emotion in a relationship; however, “Man does not live by bread alone”, and the same can be said about man and love.

A relationship cannot depend solely on any one emotion in order to blossom, thrive and survive. It needs the added assurance and security of other feelings as well. Loyalty, trust, understanding, companionship, intimacy, and other factors need to come together in harmony, in order to carry two people along the hard road to everlasting happiness. Sadly, relationships today are more often strikingly out of tune, making the highly desired harmony almost impossible to attain.

The one thing my sweet friend says has contributed to her lasting marriage is the mutual appreciation she and her husband have for each other. I wholeheartedly believe and agree with her.

Regardless of how much love is shared, the appreciation factor weighs heavily in a relationship. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that it is in appreciating the (often small) things done and said to one another, that we perpetuate the motivation towards the rest; after all, the patience, understanding, and even acceptance suffer when we do not feel appreciated. But when we do, our mindset and our demeanor speak volumes.

In short, appreciation makes us feel valued, which in turn helps us become happier versions of ourselves, ultimately leading us to love.

Appreciation, Happiness & Love… Perhaps it really is that simple.

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An Open Letter to My Past

My friend, the wonderful and sweet Mr. Jay Long… ❤

Writer Jay Long

It took me a little time but it finally has come. The gut punch that feels as if it came from the far reaches of the map hitting me squarely. Although our time was short, my love grew quicker than I’d like to admit. Quicker than yours. Deeper than yours. I finally stopped long enough today to think on what happened. But this house is far too quiet to think. I never knew how small these four walls were until they started to squeeze. I frequently think of you during the day. At night, while I stare at the stars and moon I whisper your name, hoping that somehow we are still connected and you will hear me.

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Live for Today…

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I first came across this very short story a few years ago, and today it resurfaced across my news feed, as if to remind me of what really matters in life.

“A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied:

‘I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother but I only have seventy-five cents and a rose costs two dollars!’

The man smiled and said: ‘Come on in with me…I’ll buy you a rose.’

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She accepted and said, ‘Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.’

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house…”

Life is precious, and we are all here on borrowed time. Tomorrow is never promised, so let’s live for TODAY…

~R.M. Costa ©

 

Missed opportunities to love…

Sometimes we find love, but sometimes – if we are lucky enough – it finds us…when we least expect it, and in the least likely ways. The problem is, very often it does so when we are unprepared for it, and even more often, we lose it before we realize we had it.

I think that might be what people call, bad timing…

 

We all hope to find that one person who will understand and accept us; the one who will look at all those annoying imperfections we see every day and perfectly love them; the one person who will love us unconditionally…mind, body and soul. But while we all want to find that all consuming, all encompassing love that will last forever and always, not all of us is ready for that love, and when that happens, we blame it on time.

 

There is no way for us to know if the time is right or wrong; there is no timer. It is impossible for us to know if we are at the mercy of a very small window of opportunity that slowly closes us in or out of someone’s life…we just don’t know.

 

I am not so sure I believe in bad timing… What I do believe, is that sometimes we react in certain ways because we fear falling in love and getting hurt again. I believe what we think is a window closing before we notice it was open or even there, is in reality the time it takes us to realize the new person is worth the risk, worth loving…

 

We must let go of past hurts and doubts. We must lose the fear that keeps us from moving on, from living, from loving. We must live the moment, and love here, now, with all our heart and soul…while we can.

 

Yes it hurts to love and lose love, but to realize you missed the opportunity to truly love someone special, is the greatest tragedy of all, and more painful than we can imagine. But sometimes great happiness emerges in the midst of such tragedy. The real lucky ones find an open door just around the corner from that closed window, and walk right in without hesitation. This is dedicated to someone who did just that… A very special man I know who finally found love, perhaps at the right time, at the right place, and took the dive into the unknown. And I could not be any happier for him.

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Photo Credit JGC

 

 

Life is short, and tomorrow is not promised, so live your NOW, love your NOW, because you just don’t know how long you have left to love.

 

~R.M. Costa ©