Fostering Silence for Love: Day 64 of 365 Days of Love

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Fostering Silence for Love: Day 64 of 365 Days of Love

For the past few days I have tried to take time to write, to share with you some thoughts on love but nothing was coming out.

Silence kept reappearing.

It was not because I felt blocked in love or lacked it rather I felt deeply content.

I felt I neither needed to say, do, push or pull. Rather I just needed to be.

in today's busy world, silence has become one of the greatest luxuries. When it comes to love, finding it and keeping it alive finding those moments of silence has become (I think) even more essential. Because only when there is true silence can true flow come in. Ask yourself: 
When was the last time you neither pushed or pulled but rather just were?

It’s those moments of being in silence, in stillness, in flow that confirms that you are living a life rooted in love and my heart is deeply grateful I got to experience a bit more silence this week (I hope you do too). If you can this week try to take a moment to sit still regardless of whether you are in a relationship with a partner or not because at the end of the day the start of any relationship starts with you. So sit with yourself in silence, listen, experience, live and be with that precious silence that allows you to bloom.

With Love,

Aida

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Grounded in Uncertainty (The Good Kind): Day 63 of 365 Days of Love

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Grounded in Uncertainty (The Good Kind): Day 63 of 365 Days of Love

It’s a Saturday afternoon and I sit behind the screen supposedly working but in reality I am daydreaming of love as I have the warm sunlight touch my face and the smooth waterfront fill my eyes.

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I imagine how beautiful it would be if the person I would love (or currently love), would be next to me right now.

I imagine how beautiful it would be if instead of working (even though I love my work), I was talking and laughing with him.

I imagine how beautiful it would be to unfold the layers of a person one coffee at a time, one Saturday afternoon at a time.

But as I daydream about this the questions also arise:



When will I meet this person?

If I have met this person, is he the one for me?

How will I know he is the one?

Is there such thing as the one?

Once I know he is, how do I keep him forever?

Is there such a thing as a forever love?

and how does one guarantee it?

if I never find it or find it then loose it, can I truly be happy?



As this inner dialogue between me, myself and I happens I recall my reading earlier this morning from the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, specifically the chapter on the Law of Detachment. The Law of Detachment says that in order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it. This doesn't mean you give up the intention to create your desire. You don’t give up the intention, and you don’t give up the desire. You give up your attachment to the result.


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The book reminds me that attachment to things is truly just false security. It is fear based and love has no integration with fear and thus cannot have attachment or conditions. It can only be found and laid in uncertainty (the uncertainty that is based in love not fear)

And to answer my own question about being happy with or without him, true happiness cannot be conditional.

True happiness comes from an empowered heart and not a conditioned outcome. And the ironic thing is the second you truly live with that mindset everything you want will just come.



The fulfillment of security and happiness only once you find your partner is an illusion. The best possible outcome is that he/she amplifies the best version of you, allows you to shine more, makes space for you and pushes you to unfold yourself a bit more everyday as you do the same for him/her.




Dependency, conditionality and guarantees cannot be part of true love, freedom and happiness. We will never truly know what may happen but what we do know is that uncertainty will always be there. So to make room for growth we need to become grounded in uncertainty. The uncertainty of not knowing what will happen because you are no longer dependent on false securities and illusions.


As Deepak says “relinquish your attachment to the known, step into the unknown, and you will step into the field of all possibilities. In your willingness to step into the unknown, you will have the wisdom of uncertainty factored in. This means that in every moment of your life, you will have excitement, adventure, mystery.”

So as I go back now to my slightly colder but still delicious coffee, I go back to it a bit more grounded in uncertainty, a bit more comfortable and with a heart that can breathe a bit deeper knowing that I have it all within me and the path to all possibilities is found in the uncertainties of life. I hope you do too.

With Love,

Aida

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I Choose A Better Love: Day 62 of 365 Days of Love

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I Choose A Better Love: Day 62 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Iman

Story from: Washington DC, USA


Today I have no story for you and no love lessons but a simple affirmation.

I choose a better love.

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Sometimes taking the step to say this out loud is all that is needed. I know that is what I needed this week, to just say it in my heart and out loud that I choose a better love.

Regardless of your relationship status I hope you take the moment to choose a better love.

I know I will have plenty of more work to do but for now I am happy because I had the courage to say I choose a better love and I hope you do too.


With Love,

Iman




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Choose to walk into love rather than fall: Day 61 of 365 Days of Love

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Choose to walk into love rather than fall: Day 61 of 365 Days of Love

I’m scared of love, Chantel.” - Aida

Silence.

Chantel in her silence gives me (Aida) permission to dive in deeper, sit a bit more with that statement and listen.


Aida: “I’m scared to be hurt again. I’m scared of the uncertainty, of not knowing what is going to happen and to end up with disappointment once again. I’m scared to give him my all, only to be left depleted. I’m scared of building him up to something he just isn’t. Chantel, I’m scared of falling in love.”


Chantel: “Aida first thing you need to know is that you choose love, you don’t fall into it. You have options and you chose to give this man your attention so remember that this is a choice. When we say fall there is an impression that it was completely out of our control but it isn’t. When you love someone it’s because you chose him and choosing him meant you had (and still do have) other options. Seeing this immediately gets you out of the victim hood mentality because you know the power of choice is with you.

If you do choose him and he feels right then my advice to you is to walk in with wide open eyes, eyes that walk with awareness and reality seeing both the very ground we are stepping on while equally looking at the infinite sky, a beautiful balance of pieces of heaven and earth.


It is that balance between knowing your power of choice and deeply trusting in your choice.

You will always be surrounded by uncertainty and that is where you carry on with what you can control which is your self-love and the continuous attitude in love that you wish to receive be it from him or someone else.


I will never love my man more than I love myself because I am the foundation of myself - not him. I have walked into love with him because we agreed to be two separate individuals who choose to co-create together.


We love deeply but loving deeply doesn’t mean I must forget myself, forget caring for my heart, being aware of the reality of things..etc.”


Love with the right person, the person you will eventually choose means that you are embraced as you are, where your crazy individual language needs no translation but is just simply understood, welcomed and embraced. Love with the right person will insist you take care of your heart and you will never need to question whether he was the right choice because you walked into him (whether you did so consciously or sub-consciously)


I hope you start 2019 walking rather than falling into love. Thank you Chantel for reminding me to do so.


With Love,

Aida

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Thank U, NEXT: Day 60 of 365 Days of Love

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Thank U, NEXT: Day 60 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram

Story from: Washington DC, USA



Let me start by saying, I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions. I’ve always been of the mind that every milestone, every moment worth noting in your life is one worthy of reflection. But this year was one of the hardest of my life.

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This has been the year of extremes; extreme happiness, devastation, stress, calm, like an insane merry-go-round that I was forbidden to get off. I made strides towards becoming the woman I always wanted to be, but at the same time feel like I’ve fallen more behind than ever. Balance and stability were never my strong points; I always dive headfirst and think later. Needless to say, I’m now feeling extremely burned out.

But the crazy thing is, as I sit here, on the afternoon of December 31st 2018, writing this article, I can’t remember all the unhappiness endured over the past 12 months.

All that stands out for me from the past 12 months is the love -- and love is all I want to bring with me into the new year.

It may sound cliche but I have no interest in carrying the negativity of this year into the new year.



I’m leaving it in 2018. Every hardship was a lesson and I am consciously separating the two. I am leaving the sadness behind and bringing with me only the outcome, the stronger version of myself that emerged.



********************


Have you ever seen an insect molt? It’s pretty disgusting. The exterior of the insect is a dark grey, it looks almost rotten. It stop moving, except for a little tick, coming from within. Suddenly, the skin splits, and a second head emerges from just above where the dark grey, lifeless head sits. It starts to pull itself out of its old skin, colours vibrant. The insect bends backwards, and if it has wings, they quickly unfurl, bigger and stronger than they were before.  The Insect climbs out of its own skin and seems to dance on top of it as it finds its footing.




Like I said, it’s pretty gross. But when you think about what’s actually happening, it’s so amazing. It’s a reminder from God; the lowest creatures on the planet literally outgrow what they are regularly. They don’t feel any pain, they simply realize they are too much to be contained in their current skin, so they outgrow it and leave it behind. It’s a grotesque show of magic.




So today, I made a conscious effort to molt. I sat and thought to myself about this past year: What am I shedding? What ugliness can I leave behind?




More importantly, what do I want to bring with me into the new year? What are my wings, my vibrant colors?




With the extreme hours and stress, I wouldn’t have made it if not for the support and love of my husband by my side. When I had to work 1 am shifts, he would pack me a breakfast and drop me off in middle of the night. He would be by my side at events I didn’t really want to attend and my cheerleader at every fighting moment.

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The love of my family,  every moment in my life is one whatsapp group away from encouraged, celebrated or mocked (depending on the moment). When I’m afraid to share my personal and profession milestones with the world, they are always unconditionally happy for me.



And finally, the love of a girl gang -- this year brought with it the love and support of a core group of fierce, driven and incredible women who understand both my professional and personal struggles. These women remind me that I’m not alone and I’m exactly where I need to be.



So try it. Take a moment to sit on your own and think about how you spent the last year. Think about the moments that made life worth living, where you felt the most safe, the most alive, the happiest you’ve ever been. Hold on to those moments.



Then think about the things you outgrew, the anger, the disappointments, the things that made you question who you are and what you stand for. The times you knew you deserved better, the times you felt overlooked, the times you didn’t know where you were going and it terrified you. Think on all that you endured over the last 12 months.



Now shed that shit.



Shed it and start the New Year with wings, completely reborn.



Thank u, next.

-Sumayya

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My Other Half, Whoever He May Be: Day 59 of 365 Days of Love

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My Other Half, Whoever He May Be: Day 59 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Anonymous woman

Story from: LA, United States



My Other Half, Whoever He May Be

 

 

I am a twenty-something year-old Arab woman, but I am westernized to an alarming degree. And so, the man I will marry in the future is something I ponder often. I don’t think about personality traits or even specific physical characteristics. I only wonder about what ethnicity box he will check: Arab, white, or other.

 

The concept of an arranged marriage is not uncommon in Arab culture. I already have people asking my father if their sons can have my hand in marriage. But, if an Arab man is willing to commit to an arranged marriage in his early twenties, then he most likely will possess the closed-mindset that many Muslim Arab men often have. This will be a point of friction if I do decide to walk the arranged-marriage path. I am liberal. If my children are gay, I need my husband to be okay with that. If they want to date, I want their father to meet their partners instead of scaring them off. I think the only way I’d be happy with an Arab if he were almost as whitewashed as me – the perfect dilution of white Arab is really hard to come by, though. The funny thing is, even though I don’t need to marry an Arab, I do want to.

 

My parents ideally want me to marry an Arab-Muslim. In Islam, it is unacceptable for a woman to marry out of her religion unless her husband-to-be converts. I had a conversation with my mother about this because I was wondering where she stood. I asked her if she and my father would accept me if I bring home an American one day. She said, “Obviously, I prefer somebody like us. It would be easier and better. But, as long as he’s a good man, as long as he takes care of you and loves you the way you should be loved, then I don’t care where he comes from.”

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 Proximity is a factor which determines who we are attracted to. As the term connotes, humans tend to congregate towards people who we are near geographically, solely out of convenience. My lifestyle living in the U.S. has me surrounded with white people more often than not. My dating history is indicative of proximity playing a role in whom I choose to be with romantically. I’ve been with more non-Arab men than Arab, and of those, most were white. My biggest fear if I marry a white man is that my children will not grow up speaking Arabic. I want to converse with them in the language that I speak with to anyone who will listen. I want them to read and write it better than I do, to not lose the skill when they are taught it, like I did. I want them to eat mana’eesh zaatarand foolfor breakfast with their family every Friday morning, like I did growing up. I fear that this will not happen. I fear that they will only know a few words of the language and that their favorite food will be French-fries.

 

If I fall in love with a white man and decide to marry him, I would not be questioning my confidence in my looks like I’ve done in my past white-boy flings. No matter the race of the man I marry, I know he’ll think I’m beautiful. The thought of marrying a white man, though, gives me anxiety in a different way. I wonder, if marrying one will make me truly happy, or if I will sacrifice even more of my identity to Western culture than I have already. In forfeiting a part of my identity, I would be insulting a culture and religion that my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles all bear so proudly on their shoulders; a culture and religion so rich in history and beauty, a culture that I should seek in a spouse. 

 

 

If I do not marry a nice, Arab, Muslim man, I know I will be okay, but there will be an aura of disappointment or discomfort around me within my family. I would be a pawn contributing to the slow sacrifice of identity to the West. I’m the granddaughter of refugees: my grandparents have already watched their culture thin down, their roots break more and more. Their pain translates into some sort of expectation I have for myself to squeeze on tighter to what I have left to uphold their legacy when they all pass.

 

It’s rare enough to find love without this restriction I’ve placed on the ethnicity of my partner, the criteria of being Arab, but not too Arab. But, this stipulation is what I want for myself. Looking at successful Arab-to-Arab marriages in my family, those that are the perfect fusion of Arab and Western, makes me crave the same bond. These marriages make me realize that what I want is indeed possible, and I shouldn’t settle out of convenience or proximity. I need to remember that.

 

 

All my love,

 

Anonymous


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you to the woman in LA for your beautiful love story! I would love to hear from you to see how do you balance your heritage, culture with the way you pick your current/potential spouse? I’m working on figuring this out so would highly value your thoughts!

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 306 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

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A Walk Down Memory Lane - My First Kiss: Day 58 of 365 Days of Love

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A Walk Down Memory Lane - My First Kiss: Day 58 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Anonymous woman

Story from: LA, United States



A Walk Down Memory Lane: My First Kiss

 

Many people have harmless, short pecks on their lips in elementary school. These become the indispensable memories of first kisses. Others have sloppy make out sessions in seventh grade, always with too much tongue – their first realkisses. The first time a person kissed me, though, I was sixteen and the last of my friends to go through this experience. Because those around me were practiced in the art of smooching – or as practiced as they could be in their mid-teens – they thought that this gave them the authority to ridicule my chastity.

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I wondered why I was so late to join my friends in the group of having been kissed. In retrospect, it had a lot to do with my identity as a young, Muslim woman whose religion fosters conservatism. This created a stark contrast with the primarily liberal, Western sphere in which I was raised.



My Arab parents’ beliefs towards “young love” were subliminally passed on to me. I remember coming home from school in fifth grade and telling my mother about two people in my year who just announced they were boyfriend-girlfriend– the first people in my life to hold that title. I shared the news with my mother because it was habit to keep her in the loop of fifth grade gossip. She was appalled, though, exclaiming that they were too young to be in a relationship and that this was a bad influence on me. She never overtly voiced her disapproval in regards to my life, but her adverse her reaction made me believe that kissing was wrong – that I needed to stay away from boys. I didn’t seek physical affection for a long time after that conversation. I never craved it or felt as though I was missing out, I instead just accepted that boys were not for me.


-   -   -   -   -   -  - 

My first kiss’ name was Eddie. He was suave, Puerto Rican, and not a virgin. On one afternoon after a lot of flirting, we were discussing our points of view on hookup culture in our divergent high schools. He told me how he prefers his “hookups” to be discreet so as not to hurt his ex-girlfriend’s feelings. I would later learn that this preference was because he never broke up with her in the first place.

I agreed with preferring privacy when being intimate, partially because this is what I wanted in theory, but mostly because I did not have any previous experience to determine my preference.

“This is pretty private right now, right?” he asked me, referring to the fact that nobody was around us.

“I guess,” I said.

“So like, do you want to?”

“Now?”

“Why not?”

I could think of many reasons why not, but I was so surprised with his preposition that I didn’t know how to articulate my thoughts. Instead, I let him take my hand and walk me to his room. He pulled me into a hug, closed his eyes, and kissed me. I put my hands on his waist and did my best to navigate his lips, and before I knew it, his hands were underneath my maroon t-shirt. My body clenched up. I didn’t know where to place my hands.

“Have you done this before?”

“Yes,” I lied.

I did not want the day of my first kiss to also be the day a man saw my breasts for the first time, but it was. I was so overwhelmed by the novelty that came with “romance,” if you could even call my experience that, that I didn’t know how to put a stop to what I wasn’t comfortable with until he began to remove his boxers. Only then did I make up an excuse, leave his room, and not respond to his text messages the next day.

I didn’t blame him for making me feel uncomfortable. Because I was so sheltered from this side of being a teenager, all these new stimuli smothered me, almost like I was deep in a sensory overload that hindered me from drawing on the logic I knew I had. 

 

-   -   -   -   -   -  -

 

            I ask why I often find myself thinking back to this moment, or as a woman in her twenties now who has kissed a fair amount of men in more comfortable situations, why I still fixate on my first kiss story. I also ask myself why I am sharing this frivolous anecdote with all of you when I hid the story from my parents, from my older role models, and from other people whose opinions I valued. It’s a simple first kiss story: not cuter, scarier, or more special than yours, nor as significant as a loss-of-virginity story.

I guess, upon reflection, my short teenage story shows how our perceptions of love, or acts of love, are molded at such an early age. Mine were shaped from my mother’s without either of us even realizing it. I was never really aware of how her beliefs influenced my actions until early adulthood. I don’t expect my silly experience to alter mothers’ parenting methods and make them more “open” to relationships at younger ages. I also don’t expect this to stop friends’ peer pressuring each other. If anything, I hope I impress this: the way in which we “teach” love to our friends, to our daughters, to our sons, can either harm or help them on their own paths. It is important to be aware of this, to create conversation, and to communicate, even if this means reminiscing on our memories of our own “firsts,” – good, bad, or mediocre. 

 

With love,

 

Anonymous x

 


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you to the woman in LA for your beautiful love story! Having been raised in the Arab world myself I totally relate to your story but most importantly I thank you for your final message of a simple call of action for being aware of how we are directly or indirectly impacting one’s perspective to love. Take a moment to think about this right now. How are you doing it and to whom? Who influenced your perspective towards love?

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 307 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida








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My First Time Falling in Love: Day 57 of 365 Days of Love

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My First Time Falling in Love: Day 57 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Hanaa Garad, Integrative Life Coach & EFT Practitioner + Blogger & Podcast Co-host at Bold True Life

Story from: United States

Get to know her: Instagram: @hanaa.garad AND @boldtruelife, Facebook , and her website



My First Time Falling in Love

I love my husband dearly, but he’s not my first epic love story. I had one shortly before meeting him. And if it hadn't been for that experience, I don’t think I would’ve been ready for the one that unfolded with the man I ended up marrying.

Growing up, I was often weary of taking too many chances. It felt safer to stay in my bubble… to follow the rules and avoid potential pitfalls. And as a sensitive soul, external conflict was particularly scary. Because I was already working so hard just to wade through my struggles internally. But even back then, I had a curiosity and sense of passion that couldn't be quenched. It showed up in my love of reading and creative writing. 

It wasn't until my college years though, that the explorer in me really started to break out of her shell. The exposure to all the new experiences opened me up to so many possibilities. To dreams worth taking chances for. 

And college was only the beginning. It was during those first few years after graduation that I truly began to fall deeply in love… with myself. 

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I didn't fall all at once though. It was a long and complicated courtship. This was a love that developed slowly over the years. And it took a lot of work. 

That work began with one particular trait: courage.

The courage to listen to my heart and the willingness to explore things that called out to it. Giving the explorer in me permission to wander in territory outside of my comfort zone. 

These acts of courage started out small, but eventually got bolder. Trying something or going somewhere new with friends slowly led me to venturing out for new experiences on my own. And as I got more comfortable doing things alone, I began enjoying my own company. I even started looking forward to it!

I felt the sense of peace and clarity that can only be found in solitude. And it was through having this alone time that I really started getting to know myself… and feeling good about the woman I was growing into.

It was during this period that I began trusting my intuition and stopped worrying so much about always needing to make sense. Because I was discovering that my heart usually knows things before my brain does… and it always makes sense eventually. 

Practicing opening my heart up to myself for a few years is what made room for my husband to swoop in when he did. By the time he finally made it to the party, I was ready because I’d learned to how to recognize true love. 

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Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you Hanaa for your beautiful love story! It made both my heart and face smile :) My favorite line was when you started enjoying and looking forward to being with your own company… sounds so basic and simple but its shocking to see how few people actually enjoy their own company then they wonder why are they single?

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 308 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida


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Staying in An Unhappy Marriage: Day 56 of 365 Days of Love

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Staying in An Unhappy Marriage: Day 56 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: An anonymous woman

Story from: Amman, Jordan


Growing up around the world, with a loving family and all the money I needed, I never thought I would end up in an unhappy marriage broke. Today I am 55 years old and I sit back writing, wondering how did I end up here? What went wrong along the way?

Photo by  chuttersnap  on  Unsplash

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I know I have plenty to be grateful for, like my 3 sons who have each grown to be incredible human beings. I at 55 years old still have my mother living, which I am deeply grateful for. But I still walk everyday a shadow of myself and I don’t know how to break out of this. This story is not a happy love story rather it is just real one that I hope helps you to pick the right person to marry because I truly hope you don’t end up where I am today.



When I met him he was the player and the big shot man every woman wanted (or should I say a certain type of woman). I was not particularly interested in him because I saw how men like him carried big egos. I was raised by a father who carried himself like a saint, never harming people along his way and always asking how can he help.



My soon to be husband was persistent in getting to know me. I had everything, looks, big heart, great clothes, strong family reputation (which is important for Arabs), and was a good girl (something Arab men are known for doing to have fun with other girls but end up marrying the good girl).



Somehow during his persistence he felt right and we ended up getting married within 3 months. It all happened so quickly. Fast forward 30+ years of marriage this is the advice I have to give to young women and men around the world thinking to get married:



  1. Anger: My husband has anger issues and while I was getting to know him I chose to ignore the signs. His anger has led to physical abuse to myself and my children. I put this as #1 thing to look out for because an angry person makes like miserable and scary.

  2. Religion: To cope with his anger I turned deeper to religion but he did not approve. So I hid myself even more and slowly became more of a shadow of myself. So as you choose who you want to marry ask yourself honestly are you on the same page? and if you are not then will he support you and allow you to be?

  3. Money/Business: I grew up wealthy and thankfully comfortable. Having never lived without money I did not imagine I would but with my husband I did. Turns out he was a terrible business man and had an even worse handle on money. This brought pain not just to me, my parents (since we borrowed so much from them) but to my children who grew up without living comfortably as I have. So as you choose your partner, it is important to observe can they handle the real world and the real world involves money?

  4. Equality: Does he listen to your opinion and values your opinion equally to his. It is easy for the man to please you when he is courting you but when he has you will he continue to do so? Mine did not and now I have less of a voice in the family compared to him.

  5. Extended Family: Are his/her family a reflection of who you want to be associated with? There are true exceptions where the child is different from their parents but very often they are the same. So be aware and honest is this family the family you would love to see? If I was paying attention I would have seen all the red flags in his family and in him and probably would have lived a very different life.



I know that things happen for a reason and to be honest I do not think I have the courage to leave him but I hope that these words help you find a better husband and take a better decision than I did.



With Love and Appreciation,



Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you to the woman in Jordan. I am grateful for your courage for sharing your story and lessons learnt. I certainly learnt a lot and will use your points for my future love.

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 309 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida







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There is No Such Thing As Forever: Day 55 of 365 Days of Love

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There is No Such Thing As Forever: Day 55 of 365 Days of Love

“Is this love a forever kind of love?”


Whoever answers yes is bullshitting you (excuse my French). There is no such thing as a guaranteed forever. I do not say this out of bitterness of love, infact I am deeply a hopeless romantic that loves all things love (I founded 365 Days of Love to talk about love everyday so clearly I love love). I am also not saying that marriages and/or relationships cannot last forever.

But I am saying that we need to face that assumption of our romantic relationships lasting forever and realize that there is no such thing as forever. The answer to the why of my statement is simple, it is because we are constantly changing as individuals and change is the only constant in our lives.

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Change is in the details.

Are you paying attention to your changes and your partners?

Getting a relationship is hard,

Maintaining a healthy relationship is harder,

and having a healthy relationship for the long-term is even harder.

Healthy relationships requires tons of love, passion, patience and hard work but most importantly it requires awareness and presence to notice and be in tune with who are we today (not yesterday - the person who we were when we entered the relationship).

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So what’s my point here?

It is that we need to be focusing less on the forever part and focusing more on the present part (which makes for a high probability of a healthy forever).


In every second we as individually are changing, and due to the constant noise around us it’s hard to truly realize what parts of us are changing and what parts need further changing. That change leads us hopefully to grow and to becoming wiser. But whether it leads to growth and wisdom, change still means that you and I change with time. So how can you change with you partner? and is this changing leading you closer to each other or further away to your individual truths?



So as you go out and embark this beautiful rollercoaster called life go into it more present and with life in it, I mean life that you actually live and experience because you are no longer thinking of yesterday or tomorrow but only living in the moment. With that you may just actually have found the formula for being in a deep, healthy relationship because now with being present you get to actually experience and witness the changes in yourself and your partner.



It’s pretty exciting out there. Now lets both go live it.

Lots of Love,

Aida

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Do you know your roots vs your branches in love: Day 54 of 365 Days of Love

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Do you know your roots vs your branches in love: Day 54 of 365 Days of Love

For the past 55 days I have thought deeply and incessantly about love. How does one attract love? How does one build self-love? and when one finds love how does one keep it alive?


I thought about the men i’ve attracted in the past and the man that I hope to be with. Ofcourse my check-list of the things I want in the man had to pop out.

  1. Kind

  2. Spiritual

  3. Loyal

  4. Funny

  5. Successful

  6. Arab

  7. Muslim

  8. etc etc etc


I thought that I had questioned and studied my check-list and assumed I ended up with a pretty healthy one. But then a good friend named Joseph asked me to probe a bit deeper and gave me an INCREDIBLE exercise that I wanted to share with you today.

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Joseph told me to imagine two trees.

  1. The first tree is me (or you if you are doing this exercise), where I have both roots and branches.

  2. The second tree is the man of my dreams, where he has both roots and branches.

Joseph asked do you know what would be in the roots vs the branches? What would make them different and what is their composition?


I looked at him with a blank stare, I said if you are asking what I want sure yes and I carried to list my check-list. He replied no and explained.

  1. Know yourself: In order to know what tree you want next to you, you must first know yourself. Do you know what your roots are? Do you know what are just added things in your life that come and go with the seasons?

    Roots definitions: Your core deepest values. The values that you base your decisions on both consciously and subconsciously.

    Branches definition: The things that add to your life but do not make who you are at your core. They may amplify your values but they do not define you.

  2. Know the strength of the roots vs branches: He explained how we all have roots and branches but some are more fostered than others. He said the stronger the roots the stronger the overall tree, as with strong roots the tree can go through all seasons from intense winds to freezing snow to sunny days. Branches cannot and are meant to be seasonal. So he asked me again what are my roots, how strong are they and how am I fostering them?

  3. Test whether the qualities are truly roots or branches: He reminded me that we as individuals change constantly but there are certain things that define us so deeply they will remain there. So he poked on my list and questioned my Arab characteristic. I put that as something I wanted in a man since it is what I grew up identifying as but he without having to say much clearly saw it as a branch (not a root). He advised me to sit with myself and reflect, is being with an Arab really at the core of who I am? What if I met a German with all the core values (aka the roots) that I desired but clearly wasn’t Arab? What would I do then? He then picked another characteristic which was successful. He asked me to explain what do I define as successful and proceeded to describe what sounded like an alpha male business man. Then Joseph asked what if he was a scholar? what if he was a man who studied and lived a lifestyle in the library which was very different from what I imagined? Quickly I realized that even my definition of a characteristic needed to be question, not just the characteristic itself.

  4. Visualize your tree and your partners tree: Once your comfortable on what is a root vs branches, you want to start attracting the man (or woman). The first step Joseph advised me is to embody the characteristics and visualize your tree and your partners tree. Once you know what what you stand for you and what roots you are hoping to attract, visualize it

    With that, practice makes perfect they say. With practice however I would add knowing, feeling and believing. Take time to feel how incredible it would be to have found that magnificent companion.


This may sound simple but it was truly a transformative exercise and I hope it helps you as much as it has for me. I have expanded my heart, learnt about my deeper true self and go out into the dating world with more clarity on what roots I am seeking.


We would love to hear your experiences with this exercise, if you would like to share please submit your thoughts, comments below or send them to 36fivedaysoflove@gmail.com


Lots of Love,

Aida

Founder of 365 Days of Love

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Dec Love Playlist: Day 53 of 365 Days of Love

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Dec Love Playlist: Day 53 of 365 Days of Love

The 365 Days of Love team loves to dance and live. Part of that is awesome music. Check out our playlist for December on Spotify here

(and be sure to subscribe!)


The theme of this month is CELEBRATION and below are the top 3 songs (for full playlist go to our Spotify playlist here.)

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Curated by Aida

Chief Love Investor at 365 Days of Love


CELEBRATION SONG 1: I GOT IT FROM MY MAMA by will.i.am

CELEBRATION SONG 2: CORAZON SIN CARA by Prince Royce

CELEBRATION SONG 3: A GOOD NIGHT by John Legend


The playlist is collaborative and we would love to have your songs on self-love! Subscribe and put in your songs here <3


With Love and Some Dancing,

Aida



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Why Women Do Not Orgasm Enough?: Day 52 of 365 Days of Love

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Why Women Do Not Orgasm Enough?: Day 52 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: An anonymous woman

Story from: Montreal, Canada


Sex is a beautiful thing. It is especially beautiful, powerful and much more satisfying when it is with someone you love. But as I gained more experience in sex I still wondered why did I not orgasm every time I slept with my husband while he did EVERY SINGLE TIME? To confirm I was not crazy turns out my friends had the same outcome:

Men Orgasm > Women Orgasm

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There is a clear gender orgasm gap and I wanted to understand why because God damn it I want to start having an orgasm every time, if my husband does why can’t I?

I interviewed women but most importantly I interviewed myself and I found one key finding:

I was programmed growing up to please the man and along the way forgot to please myself.


I never realized that my husband would want to please me, he never ever said ok he is tired of going down on me, he infact always wanted to start with me, he never made me feel he was tired of making love to me (thankfully!).

I just felt shy and ashamed to have spend him a lot of time on me.

I found myself asking these questions to myself without even realizing - What if I take too long? What if he gets tired along the way? I don’t want this to be all about me etc. But this type of thinking has only left me unsatisfied and if you are in a true marriage of partnership having one unsatisfied partner makes for an unsatisfied marriage. So I realized by not allowing myself to take my time to orgasm and giving my husband the time to please me I was being selfish.

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After thinking deeply about this I shared it with my husband and immediately what happened he carried me and threw me to the bedroom. It was the best sex and most memorable orgasm I have ever had just because I had this simple shift in perspective and I communicated it with my lovely husband.



Now I am so happy to say orgasms are a norm in our relationship, I still need to remind myself its okay but thats where having picked a husband that desires and loves me comes in handy because the I forget he reminds me and helps me leave my body.




Ladies, point of this story is to allow yourselves to be satisfied. Orgasm, every single time. You deserve it.



With Love,



Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you to the woman in Canada for this beautiful story. I never thought of this type of gender gap. I would love to hear from more women and men on their thoughts of this!

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 313 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida





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Your Reaction to PDA: Day 51 of 365 Days of Love

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Your Reaction to PDA: Day 51 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: An anonymous woman

Story from: New Jersey, USA


When you walk on the street and see a couple kissing, hugging and holding hands what is your reaction?

Is it a feeling of happiness for them?

or

Is it a feeling of annoyance, telling yourself ugh they should keep this stuff at home?


Take a moment to think about it because your reaction to a couples PDA says a lot of where you are with love and your perspective to it.

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I personally used to see them and get extremely annoyed, and I mean extremely. I used to walk pass them and just make some sort of annoyed sound, I would go the opposite direction even if it meant a longer route for me and worst off when I left I would feel just angry.

But after seeing such odd and intense reactions I had to reflect to why was this the case.


It didn’t take long to realize that it was the feeling of lack that created those intense feelings. I lacked love and I wanted it. I didn't understand why I didn’t have someone holding my hand, kissing and hugging me in public and thus I backlashed at the people who did have it.

It is hard for me even to write this (hence going anonymous) but it is necessary. Because I know many women who are like me but don’t recognize it.

I’ve learnt that life is pretty simple - what is inside you is reflected outside of you. So if you are feeling a lack of love then you will only be with lack. If you are with love and are love then you will only be a love magnet.

Today after doing some inner work I can proudly say that I walk on the street, see people doing some PDA and I feel just happiness for them. I pray for a blessed love for them and thank God for the love that is in my life and the incredible man that is coming to me soon.

This simple shift in perspective has been instrumental. Life is much more enjoyable this way.

With Love,

A happy woman in New Jersey













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50 Love Lessons of 365 Days of Love

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50 Love Lessons of 365 Days of Love

50 stories. 50 lessons. 

 

365 Days of Love started because I met too many people who asked the question of

how will I meet my future partner? 

 

My reply was that this is the last question one should ask.

 

Rather,

 

We should be doing the inner work. 

 

Asking the real and sometimes difficult questions such as:

 

Do I believe in love? And I really mean do I believe I deserve love? Consciously and subconsciously.

 

Do I know what I want?

 

Do I have self-love? The foundation of all love. 

 

I personally after reading love stories and lessons have grown a lot in love. I have built my self-condifence and most importantly faith in love. I have faced my fears, questions assumptions that I grew up learning and picked up along the way and feel much fuller than I ever have. 

 

It’s the stories from you that helped me and others grow. We have over 300 stories to go and thousands, if not millions, of people to inspire so we can leave the world with more investors in love.

 

Share you story and love lesson here. FYI you can be annomyous. 

 

I truly am honored and grateful,

Aida

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Why Are We More Comfortable with Strangers: Day 49 of 365 Days of Love

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Why Are We More Comfortable with Strangers: Day 49 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: An anonymous woman

Story from: Washington DC, USA




Isn’t funny how easy it is to hold someone’s hand when there is lust? Isn’t funny how easy it is to take a stranger home but so difficult when emotions become involved?

 

Last week I met, what I think was, a special man at a café. We spent the day talking, laughing and slowly unfolding each other’s story.

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Fast forward 9 hours, I somehow ended with my hand intertwined with his as well as my lips on his lips. 

 

It was natural and easy. 

 

We were just two strangers 9 hours ago and at that very moment I saw him and he saw me. 

 

No thinking, just being.

 

Fast forward to our next meet-up, I was still the same woman. But he was not the same man. I saw his fences and guard come up. Holding hands was restricted from his end but the chemistry of body and personality still there. I was confused, what happened?

 

Granted we have not known each other for long at all but I found it just so interesting as a human behavior how it is easy to hold and kiss a “stranger” but how difficult it is to do the same acts with someone who starts seeing you and knowing you. 

 

I didn’t quite understand it and still do not. 

 

As I usually find it stranger to kiss a stranger than to kiss someone who knows me. and it was definitely not my norm to quickly kiss someone like this, someone who was a stranger 9 hours ago.

 

I have no wisdom to leave you but rather an observation, a question, a reflection of what would you do in this situation? Are you more comfortable with the familiar or unfamiliar? Are you comfortable being seen or do you prefer being hidden?

 

I personally am ready to be seen, heard, felt and celebrated.

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And I guess I will wait for the next man who is also at that state, ready to be completely seen and shared with another human being. 


I hope you are also ready to be seen, heard, felt and celebrated because my dear there is no one quite like you and you deserve it, wherever you are in life.


With Love,

A Stranger Who Believes in Love

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How Do you Keep A Bestfriend Forever? You Marry Them: Day 48 of 365 Days of Love

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How Do you Keep A Bestfriend Forever? You Marry Them: Day 48 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: An anonymous woman

Story from: Ontario, Canada


As complete strangers; our pheromones somehow managed to attract us to one another.

You stared and I noticed;

Something about my unique voice, echoed within your soul

Something about my walk; distracted you from the 30 other people in the classroom

Something about me; turned you into someone waiting anxiously to when I came with coffee and wedges; carelessly walking in late Or how i was chewing while the prof was lecturing. Still managing to be her favourite in the class.

You got to me, with your firm, manly presence, sitting in the back of the class, noticing you noticing me.

And I couldn’t figure out what the heck you wanted!

Was I annoying? Walking in late to class with two huge bags creating chaos?

Was I familiar?

Or was it just a normal crush from a stranger?

I did not know but I was curious.

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Library. Exams. Late night. 1030PM.

Approached by mysterious stranger.

Gently crawled into my life; saying hello to a couple of his friends; saying hello, we take a class together, no?

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Oh boy; what a cutie; we talked for a straight hour before my friend cut it off with “is this the part where you guys hug? Cause wth?” And we both laughed, very shy but also, almost agreeing to what she said. 

That match sparked, we had strong chemistry, I wanted to sit there and talk for hours and hours but the library turned its lights off and we went on with our lives.

I did not think we’ll talk again, but he stayed within reach, talking again randomly in the library or on social media; we became best friends. 






We both had our romantic complications; but we both knew we deserved nothing but the best. We deserved an unconditional love; undivided attention and constant support. We decided to let go of the toxicity of our past; I knew damn well we were made to be only best friends.


but he woke me up and asked, one night around an illegal bonfire we had set up: how do you keep a best friend forever?

I said: you never stop being in touch with them? You stay tight with one another? You promise to not forget them when you move on to the real world?

He said: why don’t you marry them?




I was left speechless, never thinking this would turn into something ever. 

But he touched my hand one day and

the other day he massaged my feet and gave me a hug once and



He. Made. Me. Unfold. 



I explained to him the complexity of a relationship to me; the idea of a shared life, expectations, trust issues, the past, the future, my ideas of men.

He embraced me, with my faults, my fights, my traumas, took me to his shed and whispered,

I promise to make you happy and content.

I promise to push you to further success.

I promise to not let things escalate.

Take your time loving me.

I will always be your best friend first.


I loved this man then. I love him now. I vow to love him forever. My bestfriend and my soulmate, my peace and my passion. All in one person.

Then he reminded me on our engagement and reminded the world under our public post;

“how do you keep a bestfriend forever? you marry them.”



To every man and woman in my life; I wish you never fail to find someone who loves you as a whole; finding perfection within your imperfections. Standing by you when you succeed and hugging you tight when you are breaking down. Someone who is able to fuel your self-love by the fire of their love. And warms your heart by a little smile.

A stranger, who changed my life.


With Love,

Anonymous Woman in Canada


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you to the woman in Canada for this beautiful story. Personally for me it was very timely. You reminded me of the importance of letting go of the toxicity of the past and the importance of stepping up and taking action when you find someone you may just love.

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 317 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida


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Love Story in a Coffee Shop: Day 47 of 365 Days of Love

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Love Story in a Coffee Shop: Day 47 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Sarah

Story from: San Francisco California, USA


I was single for years and I never understood why. I was beautiful, smart, successful, fit, kind and loving. Friends and ofcourse myself would wonder why have I not met Mr.Right yet?


That question haunted me for a while causing me to have a sense of lack rather than fullness. This lack killed my self-confidence, my self-love and eventually a big part of my personality. Then I don’t know how I just had a switch, an internal switch to be the best person I can be right now and to LOVE who I am today fully with or without Mr.Right.


I started glowing, smiling inside and out and feeling beautiful. I felt so full that I had so much to share with the world. I stopped looking for him, I stopped measuring myself based on my relationship status and funnily enough men starting coming at me left and right in the beautiful streets of San Francisco.

Picture from Business Insider

Picture from Business Insider

You may laugh but I think people are like dogs, they sniff energy. When it smells good aka meaning you are embodied inside with positive feelings they will be attracted to you because who doesn’t want to be around a positive and full person?

I enjoyed seeing the men come. I received text messages from ex’s, from people who met me a year ago and never called but somehow remembered me at this point. I started to be stopped by men while walking the street, in UberPools and my favorite in coffee shops.

Specifically this one day at my favorite cafe in San Francisco.

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I remember that day so clearly. I woke up with a heart filled with gratitude. A heart that already felt she had a successful and magnificent day.


A heart that was overflowing with love she had enough to share with the world.

Then I set an intention that I would love to meet the sweet man. The man who embodied my values. I envisioned it and felt it as if he was already with me. Then I let it go.

I dressed up as if I was going to go on a date with life, myself and him. I felt beautiful.

I walked to my favorite cafe and followed my gut on which table to pick. I sat down and carried on with my work. I wondered to myself why my gut told me to pick this table as opposed to the much more beautiful table that was right by the window.

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As soon as I asked that question, this handsome man sat on the table right beside me. I kept my cool and didn’t assume it was because of him but I didn’t close the idea of it. I started writing in my notebook and felt him looking my way curious about what I was writing. Then all of a sudden I get a

“Hi, I don’t mean to look at your notebook but I love your handwriting.”

I look up and it was my first time making eye contact with him and I just knew. This is my man. It was a feeling I never experienced before, something I thought were only made for movies.

I smile feeling so full as I am and continue the conversation. Fast forward 5 hours we are still at the coffee shop until they kick us out (how did it become 6 pm already?). I guess time flies when things are just right.

Long story short, today is our 2nd anniversary and I thought it timely to share my love story on 365 Days of Love because I want to tell you that Love exists. Mr.Right or Ms. Right exists. I just learnt you have to be your own Love first. Only then will you be able to make space for the ideal person you are looking for.

He or she can be at the next street corner, at the coffee shop, laundry mat or even in an UberPool. There are really limitless ways you can meet but there is only one true inner love and that is you. So love yourself deeply, celebrate yourself and make space for him/her and he/she will come at the perfect time for you. Trust and have faith.


I wish I had more it and worried less in my single days. I love you whoever you are and I know you are incredibly special. I pray you find a way to celebrate you today.

With Love,

Sarah


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

Thank you Sarah for this beautiful story. It made me smile inside and out.

If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 318 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

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365 Days of Love First In-Person Gathering in DC!

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365 Days of Love First In-Person Gathering in DC!

365 Days of Love is a platform that aims to invest in love one story and gathering at a time. We curate love stories and lessons from around the world and are bringing people together so we can become better investors in the most powerful resource in the world - Love.

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Join us for our first in-person gathering on December 29th to dive into all things Love right before the new year starts! By joining us you will:

  • Be served with a 3 course dinner cooked by the Founder of 365 Days of Love - Aida Murad. She's supposed to be a good cook (one of her jobs is reviewing restaurants). Let us know if you have any allergies and/or food restrictions.

  • Build relationships with 5 other amazing people, who are also investors in love.

  • Dive in deep into a specific topic on Love (the topic will be a surprise and announced at the gathering).

We hope you will leave with a deeper clarity on where you are with love and most importantly leave with being a better investor in love. Have questions? Email 36fivedaysoflove@gmail.com

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I Fear Loving Again: Day 46 of 365 Days of Love

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I Fear Loving Again: Day 46 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Dan (I’ll leave my last name out)

Story from: New York, USA

Men have hearts too.

I start with this statement because most of the stories I have read here are about women’s hearts being broken by men. I feel saddened when I read such stories and wish there were more men who took care of the most powerful organ in our bodies - our hearts.


But today I chose to write because I, a 35 year old man, have had my heart broken by a woman I gave everything to. I will spare you the sad story today and tell you what I recognized recently after reading these stories.


I fear loving someone again.


I have been single for 8 years now and have had women come and go but no one has stuck. I did not understand why. Why could I not commit to any of these women? But today I realize its because I fear opening my heart again just to potentially get it stepped on again.

If you see me in life, I look like this incredibly confident and successful man (I can say this because I am being semi-anonymous) but deep down I am scared and feel a lack.


But life is short and I have today right before writing this, decided to open my heart again because true I could have my heart broken but what is also equally true is that I may fall in love happily.

I’m starting to see New York with a bit more green. Pic from TripSavy

I’m starting to see New York with a bit more green. Pic from TripSavy


And even if the latter is a 1% chance, it is a risk I am willing to take because after living life with a blocked and protected heart I know thats living a shadow of a heart. I am ready to live deeper and I hope you do too.

-Dan

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