Tag Archives: love poems

Love is the Goal, Discover Your Own Path

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 6.45.22 AM“In love lies the seed of our growth. The more we love, the closer we are to the spiritual experience.”–Paulo Coehlo

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A simple quote and image on Facebook today triggered a thought I’ve been nurturing for quite some time. Love is the goal, yes, but LOVE as a state of being can happen at anytime and over some fairly trivial things. The point is to notice when LOVE enters your life and do more of what makes you feel those warm fuzzy feelings.

Crave them when they are not with you. Enjoy and savor them when they are with you. And feel the complete fullness of life when you have been satiated by them.

I wrote a post yesterday about my perfect breakfast. What was interesting, was how much I love my breakfast. I crave it in the mornings. That’s a good indication that my body is getting some benefit from the combination of yogurt and low-sugar granola. But the experience of longing and fulfillment that happens each morning, is a teacher. I enjoy the craving. I enjoy the act of eating and savoring the meal. And I enjoy the warmth I get from being satisfied with my meal. It’s a perfect relationship.

That’s sort of how we want our relationships with people as well. Crave them when they are not with you. Enjoy and savor them when they are with you. And feel the complete fullness of life when you have been satiated by them. And I’m not just talking about sex here. Satiation comes from the ritual of the morning as you wake up together. Make sure you appreciate your partner just for being there. Celebrate what you have, getting ready, making coffee, eating breakfast. Celebrate the time you are together.

It’s the longing that can get us in trouble. We long for our connection and we turn to other things. I really like ice cream. But my craving for ice cream is different from my craving for my fiancé. They are also similar. I can sublimate my desire for love in many ways. By eating ice cream I get that fuzzy feeling during and after, but I don’t get any of the other warm fuzzies that true caring and nurturing can bring. Ice cream is a hollow craving. And ice cream bears no love for me.

Make sure you celebrate each other. Find the things you love to do together and do them. Make time for those things. Discover new things you might both like to do.

My mate, on the other hand, lights up with my attention and affection. What I give in love I receive back in laughter and kisses. This is the space we’d love to live in. And then… there’s all that other living we have to do. Parenting, if you have kids. Earning a living, to make the ship go. Exercise, so you have a long and healthy life. And chores, the struggle to stay one step ahead of entropy.

As we can remember our beloved during the day, we can remind ourselves of our deep love and craving of that other person. And this is not obsession, this is healthy desire. I don’t want to control or manipulate her, I just want to be beside her, touching the small of her back, whispering my joys into her ear. And you can do this with little connective texts throughout the day, “You crossed my mind and stayed there.” Little competitions between you, “How far have you walked today?” And little messages of caring, “I’m stopping by the store, is there anything you need or desire?”

Just letting the other person know you are thinking about them is a great first step in connecting for the long haul. Make sure you celebrate each other. Find the things you love to do together and do them. Make time for those things. Discover new things you might both like to do. And get out there and do them. An active love is much better than a sedentary love. If you love doing activities together, you get a double boost, love and endorphins. Go for it. Stay connected and celebratory as much as you can. There is plenty of time for the mundane, but it’s tapping into the extraordinary that’s the key to a long-lasting love affair.

Always Love,

John McElhenney
@wholeparent

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What’s One More Love Poem Worth?

WHOLE-trailsofjoy

I’m tired of love poems. But I can’t stop writing them. Haven’t all the best love poems already been written? Or is the love poem the perfect tonic to our busy and hectic lives? If we stop and listen for the echoes of love, even when love is not around us at the moment. When we hunger for the affection we knew, or dream about. Isn’t that as good an impulse as any to open ourselves to the muse?

A love poem is an act of love, for sure, but a love of oneself, a fascination with our own lovingness.

In all the moments, as they come and go, we are given a choice about what we pay attention to. If we are listening from a place of anxiety or worry, our world is colored with the risk and assessments that come along with that mode. On the other hand, if our tuning has aligned with the magnetic pull of the heart, we might find that we are more loving, more aware of the love around us, and more able to express love when we notice it.

As I surround myself with love and words, I begin to tune into the poetry of the moment in many ways. I can’t stay here all the time, I’d get nothing done. But for a moment, in a break between tasks or phone calls, I can pause and a allow the stream of language to pour out, unedited, unfiltered, and unabated for a short period of time. If I can allow the love poem to come through me, without the normal resistance, then maybe I will catch one that has magic. Maybe if I keep trying, I’ll hit a resonance. I’ll connect with the moment, with the letters and sounds, and create a tiny “ping” of joy. A blip of hope in a frenetic paced life.

More listening, and more pauses, more love poems. As I wind through the emotional highs and lows of this life, I begin to align more closely with the love poem side of my life. I am hearing love poems, my thoughts are filled with love poems, and even my longing for a relationship, has a poetic quality to it. My life is one big poem. If that’s not flow, I don’t know what is.

By appreciating the stream-of-consciousness firehose of my mind, I can dip into the flood and retrieve small moments, tiny glimmers of hope, and memories of love once attained and now lost. But even in the sad love poem, there is aspiration. In the calling out of my ache, I am celebrating the ability to feel deeply.

A love poem is the potential for love. A love poem is a prayer for the coming of love, or a swan song for the loss of love.

In this moment, a new person has entered my field of vision. She is merely in my imagination, and yet with the chemicals and vowels all jumbled up in my brain, I can unlock something deeper than my “love letter” to this particular woman. I can dive beyond this woman and into the grand tradition of the poets before me, I can let myself wanderlust and flutter in my salutations, confessions, and enticements to my temporary Aphrodite. She is here for this moment. She arrived by accident. And the mere act of her arrival can spark a new flurry of joyful verse, a new flight of fancy, and even delusions of grandeur.

It’s okay. She’s not to be blamed. And hopefully, not to be scared off by such a bold and perhaps childlike gesture as a love poem. Again, I must withhold the expectations of being heard. The poem is and isn’t for her. It is clearly triggered by her arrival and my imaginations of all that could follow. But she too is somewhat of a victim in my shadow play of imaginary touches, hopeful adjectives, and whimsical anticipation of our eventual connection.

But you see, it’s not about her. I have no idea who she is. We have just met. She has an amazing smile, this is all that I have to go on. In love poetry, that is enough. In crying out to the muse, who has thus far left my prayerful poetics unanswered, I am not really calling out to this woman, but to the goddess. As Rumi had his beloved, I have my lover. As Whitman had his “self” I have my love-projected self. It is all a prayer and a folly. There is no substance or profit in the effort, this ceaseless clattering of keys and words and mouthing of sounds to capture a rhythm.

A poem is created only for itself. A love poem is an act of love, for sure, but a love of oneself, a fascination with our own lovingness. I love the woman inside this woman already. I love something I see of myself in her. I see some hope of making her smile arrive at various moments in the future. But we’ve never met. Not yet. She is perfect. She is more than perfect, she is a muse who has never been disappointed by me, never disapproved of any action or lack of action I have taken. She just is. And for the poet, and the love poem, that is enough.

A love poem is the potential for love. A love poem is a prayer for the coming of love, or a swan song for the loss of love. The more we listen, the more we hear the love poetry all around us, moving towards us and away from us inside our very minds.

She is everything.

She is nothing.

And she gave me yet another love poem. She gives hope in her smile alone. In her saying hello, I am launched.

Always Love,

John McElhenney
@wholeparent

e.e. cummings erotica excerpt

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image: leaving trails of joy, john mcelhenney, cc 2014