kindness

Episode #37 - Forgiveness and Sex with Ty and Terri

forgiveness-640.png
To enter a relationship is to court pain.
-Leo Buscaglia

If we truly desire to experience deep, soul-shaking, life-changing love, we have to drop our shields, tear down our walls, and let people into our hearts. To love is to constantly run the risk of being hurt. Loving is staring potential pain in the face without flinching.

Sadly, people who live this way - and love this way - sometimes get hurt. The hurts of the heart are often the most painful. That pain can be dangerous if you don't have the right knowledge and tools to help you recover from these hurts. Many people have opened their hearts to love freely and passionately only to be hurt, and react by building new walls twice as thick as before.

There is a secret tool available to us that will help keep us out of our Fortress of Solitude. That tool is Forgiveness.

Too many people withhold forgiveness because the person who wronged them hasn't suffered enough, or even acknowledged that they've done something wrong. They hold on to the emotionally-cancerous grudge as it slowly eats away at their happiness and consumes their lives. They don't understand the true purpose of forgiveness.

Forgiveness does far more for the forgiver than the forgivee.

Forgiveness is allowing yourself to move on. Forgiveness is letting go of the burden of a grudge. Forgiveness is not allowing someone else's choices to ruin your life. Forgiveness is acknowledging the imperfectness in us all, and chalking up mistake after mistake to being human. Forgiveness is a fresh start. Forgiveness is a clean slate. Forgiveness is a newly opened heart... a heart receptive to love and resilient to the inevitable pain that life unexpectedly hit us with.

Forgiveness is not fair, which is what makes it so beautiful.

Forgiveness is mercy winning over justice. It's love conquering hate. It's new life rising victorious over death.

Forgiveness, like love, is often irrational and counter-intuitive. It works when put into practice by the shamelessly optimistic. Forgiveness is often mistaken for a feeling, when in fact, it's a choice.

Those who never learn forgive will never have hearts open enough truly love... because, one forgives to the degree that one loves.

Who do you need to forgive? How can you forgive more freely? Can you forgive somebody even if the emotions of pain are still present? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments!


Here are some of the books referenced in the podcast:

Episode #31 - Roger and Judy

roger-and-judy-final.png

[powerpress]

Patience: The Art Of Being OK Not Getting What You Want When You Want It

(Click here to tweet this quote.)

I remember that feeling I experienced when I had to wait for each Harry Potter book to be released. For months, and even sometimes years, I'd be left on pins and needles, wondering what was next, who would die, and how Harry would defeat Voldemort. Kids now-a-days who get to read through the whole series without having to wait don't understand the months of anxiety and speculation and drama that preceded the release of each book, and the overwhelming joy that ensued when I finally got my greedy little hands on a copy.

I experience similar feelings recently when I got introduced to Breaking Bad. It had been a long time since I had to count down months, then weeks, then days until the big finale. The waiting was almost torturous. I'd find a way to bring the series up in conversation at nearly any opportunity, and when people didn't know what I was talking about, I'd try to convert them.

Harry Potter and Walter Wight... They have taught me the virtue of patience.

Or at least that's what I thought.

It wasn't until I met Roger and Judy that I realized the "patience" I exercised while waiting for cookies to bake in the oven is just a drop in the bucket compared to what is often required to experience a deeply loving and satisfying relationship... the kind of relationship that some people only dream of.

When What You Want Means Waiting...

Roger and Judy met in a very small town where everybody knew nearly everybody else. One day he walked into a hotel, and saw this beautiful woman with amazing legs answer the phone, and he was sold. He knew they had to be together.

Over the next few months as they became fast friends, feelings began to develop. They wanted to be together, but Judy was already married. Her husband - a helicopter pilot - had been sent off to the Vietnam War and was proclaimed Missing in Action after he was shot down behind enemy lines. The military informed Judy that it was highly unlikely that anyone would survive a crash of that nature, but until they were certain, they could not proclaim her husband as Killed in Action.

Their friendship grew as Judy overcame the hardship of losing her husband, and Roger patiently acted as a friend and support to her.

Even when feelings began to develop between them, they exercised patience, and did not disrespect the vows Judy had made with her missing husband.

Over a year later, Judy received confirmation that her husband had, in fact, been killed in action, which allowed for Roger and Judy's relationship began to progress into something more serious.

Roger attributes this time of healing, and waiting, and building a solid, steady friendship as essential to creating a the strong, stable foundation their relationship now rests on. The care and love they developed for each other ran incredibly deep before they were ever romantically involved with each other.

Their willingness to be patient added a whole new depth and dynamic to their relationship.

Sometimes You Get What You Want... Just Not The Way You Planned

After getting married, Roger and Judy wanted to have children. It wasn't long before they found out that they couldn't have kids on their own.

Anyone who has struggled with this can attest to the fact that it is maximum suckitude. It can take a toll on a relationship. When people get married, nobody plans to not be able to make babies. It's not something you can anticipate.

The realization can make a person feel empty and hollow. It can be incredibly overwhelming, emotional, and discouraging.

But rather than lose hope, Roger and Judy decided to try for adoption.

They filed their paperwork and began the familiar process of waiting.

They waited for weeks. Then months. Then a year.

They prayed. They hoped. They leaned on each other for strength.

They practiced patience until their patience ran out... and then they practiced some more.

Then, the call came, and they welcomed their first child into their home.

In a matter of years they had 3 more children, all adopted, and all incredibly loved.

What does it mean?!

I guess the point of all this is that life just doesn't often work the way we expect it to.

The plans we make for ourselves are often foiled by serendipity and happenstance. Our biggest struggles and unexpected challenges can lead us to our most satisfying victories. The longest waits often result in the greatest payoff.

So, if there's something you're fighting for, or working for, or wishing for... hang in there. Be patient. Keep focusing on that goal. But don't forget to check your peripheral vision. Sometimes the answers we're most ready for aren't exactly where we expect them to appear.

Episode #29 - Reed & Allene Whitesides

Reed-and-Allene.png

[powerpress]

Do you want your marriage to be rewarding, and happy for over 70 years?

Reed and Allene have done exactly that. I believe their relationship has lasted so long, and been so amazing because they have stuck to some incredibly effective and simple (though not always easy) values throughout the entirety of their relationship. Here are a few things you should do if you want your marriage to last as long as theirs:

Always Speak Kindly Of Each Other

When Allene was younger, she had a speech impediment. Even though we can all admit that it's wrong to tease people for a stutter, or mispronouncing their "R's," we've probably all thought about it. (Ok, I've definitely thought about it.)

But Reed's number one priority was always to make Allene feel good about herself. He never made fun of her for the way she spoke. He was always supportive and encouraging. "We make it a point to always speak kindly of each other."

They don't gossip about each other. They don't call names, or say hurtful things. They know words carry weight, and you can't take them back. After 70 years of kindness, and compliments, it's no wonder they get along so well.

Help Each Other Be At Their Best

When Reed got the lead for South Pacific at the university he was attending, Allene said, "Aw, crap!" She knew this meant she that she had to sit in the audience and watch her husband kiss another woman... and do it convincingly.

Rather than hold a grudge, or discourage him from pursuing his goals, she decided to help him be the best Emile de Becque that ever was. She helped him rehearse lines, understood when he had to stay late for rehearsals, and attended every performance. His success was more important than her discomfort.

The tables were turned later in their marriage when Allene was asked to be the president of a local women's organization for her church. Her leadership role meant she would spend many hours and late nights worrying about, serving, and visiting the women in her congregation. It was a big investment of her time and attention.

Rather than complain that his wife was away, or criticize her decision to take on so much responsibility in addition to raising their 7 children, Reed supported her, counseled her, and stayed up late to wait up for her when she was out dealing with unexpected situations.

When we help other people achieve their goals and become their best selves, we do not lose anything. We gain everything.

When Things Get Tough, Get To Work!

At one point in their relationship, Reed and Allene opened a jewelry shop. The shop was robbed several times, and they struggled to pay their debts. Rather than complaining about their circumstances, blaming each other, or asking for a bailout, they went to work. They encouraged each other, took any opportunity that came along, and conquered their challenges head on... together.

When things get hard, don't run away from each other, or push each other away. Instead lean on each other, and support one another.

Kiss

Get in the habit of showing your significant other how much you love them through physical affection. Hug them. Touch them. Hold their hands. Kiss them on the mouth.

It's so easy to let physical intimacy grow stale. If you're feeling like things are getting dull, surprise someone with a bit of unexpected (and tender) physical touch and see what happens.

[jbox title="Show Notes:" border="5" radius="15"] Thanks for listening! Don't forget to check out our Kickstarter campaign!

[/jbox]

National Love Note Day 2013

love-note-day-recap.jpg

Yesterday was National Love Note Day.

We decided to hit the streets and spread some love. We set up a 75 sq/ft piece of paper on the sidewalk in downtown Salt Lake City, and asked strangers to write a note to someone they loved.

Hundreds of people participated, and in less than 2 hours our love note was full. We loved doing this so much that we're going to do it again in major cities across America.

My favorite part about yesterday? We invited a lady to sign our love note. She told us, "No thanks," and hustled past. She stopped, looked back over her shoulder, and reconsidered. She then walked back, grabbed a pen, thought quietly for a moment, and  bent over and wrote a love note to someone.

She stood up and said, "Wow. I feel a lot better now," and walked away with a smile.

Love letters make everyone happy. Write a love note and submit it to our Last Love Letters project HERE.

We hope you enjoy some pictures from last night's experiment:

Love Note Day Panorama | The Loveumentary