Viewing entries tagged
365 days of love

Nov Playlist of Self-Love #1: Day 37 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Nov Playlist of Self-Love #1: Day 37 of 365 Days of Love

The 365 Days of Love team (aka Victoria and Aida) has decided to launch a playlist related to love every 15th of the month! Full playlist on Spotify here

(and be sure to subscribe!)


The theme of this month is Self-Love

IMG_7203.jpg

Love Investor at 365 Days of Love


Self-Love Song 1: Kali Uchis - After The Storm

Self-Love Song 2: India.Arie - Video

Self-Love Song 3: Solange - Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)

Self-Love Song 4: Thundercat - Them Changes

Self-Love Song 5: ICY GRL - Saweetie

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 & Victoria

Comment

The Most Complicated Relationship You’ll Ever Be In: Day 36 of 365 Days of Love

2 Comments

The Most Complicated Relationship You’ll Ever Be In: Day 36 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Hager Eldaas, Multimedia Journalist

Get to know her on Instagram

Story from: Queens New York, USA



I can’t place my finger on the exact day that I started hating my body, but I remember vividly all the moments that may have led up to it.

The first time I experienced a deep awareness of its existence, my body’s existence, was when I got my period. My mom had done her motherly duty of telling me that it was coming and what to expect when it did. But I was a late bloomer compared to my friends and I got mine at 13. I wasn’t excited or scared, nor was I confused about the changes ahead of me. I was not ashamed like I had heard many girls were when they spotted that first red stain. I was annoyed. I didn’t tell my mother and just kept changing my clothes and hoping that it would permanently go away. I wanted to wish it into disappearance. And it worked. I didn’t get my period the following month or the four after that. But after five months, it came back and had apparently grown more resilient. It’s been a regular visitor ever since.

I now know that there are other women who can claim the same feelings, but at 13, my epiphanies only lasted as long as my longest teenage crush, and so, aside from when I received my bi-weekly migraines, I went back to forgetting that I had a body.

IMG_1729.jpg

At 15, I was interrupted. I had fractured the same toe twice in one month. Afterwards, I was taken to a podiatrist who revealed to me that I was walking all wrong, but I knew for a fact that this was no fault of my own. I had my father’s walk—barely lifting our feet off the ground, exerting minimal effort to drag our bodies along and hoping they’d learn to cooperate. But it was understood that I’d have to develop a new walk because my toes could no longer afford to go on tripping over and bumping into chairs and doorways and whatever else came in their way.

I could imagine that somewhere in between the time that I was practicing my new walk and the time I did away with the idea that I’d ever perfect the new walk is when I started noticing that I didn’t like my body very much. I was probably around 17. I don’t remember the specific instance when I acknowledged that feeling, but I do recall staring at the mirror often during this time. Puberty had hit me hard and I was putting on the weight. It might’ve been one of those days when I was feeling particularly metaphysical and had caught my reflection in the mirror and thought to myself, “That’s me. I am that. That girl, the one that I’m looking at right now, is the same girl who’s thinking these exact thoughts.” I probably didn’t like what I saw.

IMG_1731.JPG

At 20, I started to feel sharp pains at the top of my stomach and down to the right side of my abdomen. Anything I ate made me sick, especially if it was spicy or oily, which was all I consumed when I was in college. At 21, they told me I had to get my gallbladder removed. It made sense. I hadn’t been very kind to it.

I spent the next few years trying to fixate some of the fascination I had for my mind onto my body. “No, I don’t have a body. I am a body, just as much as I am a mind and I am thoughts.” But at 27, I was in a hospital room as my father’s soul was exiting his body and the idea that the two were one was no longer sitting well with me.

Shortly after my father’s death, my ears started ringing (that’s what they call it, but it’s more of a whooshing— tinnitus is it’s official name). My neck pain was unbearable. My hands randomly numbed and tingled. My doctor ran tests and then recommended a psychologist and maybe some yoga. My symptoms were likely caused by trauma.

At 28, I tried yoga for the first time. It was nothing too serious, just me following along to a Youtube video. The instructor often repeated the same sentence, urging us to focus on our breathing, which proved to be an impossible task for me. My breaths just aren’t the most cooperative. But the exercises did make my neck feel better, so I kept up with them.

And now, at 29, I wish that I could end this by saying that through yoga and meditation, I have finally found a way to love my body or even that I’ve been tapped in to it’s flow, but no. Most days I forget that I have a body, that I am a body— I haven’t decided which one it is yet. But I can tell you this: I take it out for a daily stroll and I think it’s grown accustomed to it’s strange little walk because it rarely trips over it’s own feet anymore.

IMG_1732.jpg

Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Hager for sharing her story. I battled for years on my body image and developing love for my body. It is indeed one of the biggest battle I have tackled and still find ways to improve it. I have finally found love for my body and where I am today. I learnt how to stop looking up and feeling inadequate when I looked at magazines with super model. I hope you have been working on your body image and body love because it is a key to self-love.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 329 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

2 Comments

Saying No To Less: Day 34 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Saying No To Less: Day 34 of 365 Days of Love

Networking is always an interesting setting. It could be either extreme of completely authentic or completely fake.

This past weekend I attended the Harvard Arab Conference and in these two days I learnt a lot about entrepreneurship, investing and technology in the Arab region and met incredibly inspiring Arabs. But I also left much more empowered as a woman because I realized I can say what I used to find to be the hardest word:


N O



My dad growing up told me over and over again that the hardest word I would learn to say is no and I never quite understood that until I had to learn how to protect my heart because not everyone out there has the best intentions for me (basic thinking but I guess I was a bit naive and a super optimist).


At the conference I said many yes’s and many no’s including:

No to BS conversations.

No to bad energy.

No to people who (whether explicitly said or not) want short term things.

No to people who refuse to respect me.

No to people who refuse to hear my story and only want to share theirs.

No to people who didn’t see my worth, whether said through their words and the more telling body language.

Saying yes to the right kinds of people and no to the things that were not aligned with my values, situations and people was so empowering and freeing. Kind of got that same feeling that I had when I was on the Bali swing overlooking the thousands of trees, feeling so free, centered, in-tune with life and empowered by the things I chose.

36188207_10160595163110002_4299496502222389248_o.jpg

But a part of me still fidgets and feels slightly uncomfortable as I write this and saying out loud that I am valuable. I hope to one day reach the level of not having a single fidget and saying that I am valuable out proudly and with a humble exclamation point.

Why?

Because we must.

Not just for love

but for gender equality in the workforce.

for more seats to be available for us at the table.

for us women to able to support one another because when we each see our values then we will create the space to support each other, and remind each other never to forget what gems we are.

Not to be too dramatic or anything but our future generation depends on us. We are the ones who are setting through our every word and action we take be it an consciously or subconsciously.

IMG_6653.JPG

When we see our individual value and collective value as a community magic happens.

This magic needs to be continuously fostered by selecting the right partner in business, friendship and love. Getting to that right selection would inevitability mean that you (and I) will need to get used to saying no many times until we meet and are surrounded with people who amplify our value and celebrate it with us. So for Day 34 of 365 Days of Love I propose you take a few minutes to reflect today:

Where are you with your self-worth?

How many times have you said no or yes to something or someone?

and why?

Who are the people around you who amplify your self-worth and celebrate it?

And once you identify them send them a thank you message and amplify their amazingness, remind them because God knows in this crazy rollercoaster ride of life we need an awesome tribe who will cheer us on. Life is meant to be lived in amazing, powerful and meaningful communities.

With that, I wanted to thank Nora Yousif, Mona Mofawi, Asma Jaber and Dalia Tarabay for the panel discussion yesterday talking about Arab Women in the MENA region. You were all inspirations to me. Thank you for being models of incredible Arab women doing powerful things unapologetically.

IMG_7072.jpg


Comment

Why I Can't Say I Love You: Day 33 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

Why I Can't Say I Love You: Day 33 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Dania Shafei, a student of the world

Get to know her on Instagram

Story from: Maryland, USA


I’m 25 and it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I finally uttered the words “I love you” to my own family. Three words I gave up 10 years ago. It’s only been recently that I started to question why.


Why was I incapable of uttering 3 simple words?


It drove my little cousin insane. To understand why I had to back track to the time i swore it off and what my fallible understanding of love was.

20181110_011816.jpg

It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t suffer a teenage heartbreak nor lose someone I loved to some tragic accident. I didn’t think much about love in high school because it was a turbulent moment in my life. My mother passed away when I was almost 2 years old and my father was never really in the picture. I was raised by my mother’s parents in my uncle’s home in deep Maryland. At the end of middle school, one of my father figures (my grandfather) had passed away. And in the beginning of high school my grandmother (who has been a mother to me and raised me since birth) had decided to move back abroad, and I moved from one uncle’s house to another in the suburbs of DC. I lived with a semi ‘new’ family. I didn’t have a cell-phone and so I called my grandmother once a week or so. I was on my own. Living with a new family (even though they were my relatives) and being away from my grandmother for up to even a year at one point created a strain on that aspect of my life. 

They say it takes 30 days to build a habit...and soon enough I built the habit of not saying “I love you”. I valued those words so much that I didn’t throw them around. At the same time while living with my uncle’s family I was strengthening a new form of love - Love through service.

I didn’t feel comfortable with saying “I love you” to the family I started lived with and so I started to show it through action. Soon enough I found my tongue freezing to the words of “I love you” but my heart extending it’s hand to those it cared about most. My idea of love became warped. Why warped?


I started to strongly view acts of service as the strongest form of love and started to not trust the linguistics of love. This all came to hurt me when I started to devalue one form of love over another.

I started to question my friend’s and family’s love towards me when I didn’t see them reciprocating love in the way I thought was right.

And that’s when I realized with the help of my best friend that everyone shows love differently in different degrees.


Some people value showing love through words so much more than acts of service. And some people put so much value in showing love through physical touch than anything else. And yes by now you are thinking about my references to the 5 love languages but it’s more than just the languages… 

20181001_090735.jpg

I’m sure most of you have taken the love languages quiz where at the end of a 5 minute survey you’re told which form of love you value the most and which not so much. It’s a helpful test in understanding your love values but what I found was missing from these results was a big sign that says "no one love language is better than another".

Just because “acts of service” was highest on my list, it does not mean that someone not showing it to me means they love me any less. For them they might highly value words of affirmation more so than acts of service and them telling me they love me has just the same force of love as my service to them. And that’s when I had the self-epiphany and lesson.

I had to be considerate of what other’s valued as love if there was going to be an equal reciprocation and understanding of it.

Just because I found little value in saying 'I love you', does not mean that is the same to another person. For someone else, saying those words could provide them with so much comfort and could mean the world to them. 

FB_IMG_1541831084351.jpg

Understanding this has only gotten me to understand a small % of what love actually is.

Love is a pretty difficult topic for me to grasp. It’s been something i’ve been working on for most of 2018 and will continue to work on each month in 2019. Although it’s still not the new year, I wanted to take the two months prior to train myself to reflect on love each month with the hopes that every month in 2019 I learn something new or reassess my own understanding of it.

To capture and share my love lessons I’ll be publishing a new article on every 10th day of the month. Join me on Dania's Love-ology Journey with Aida’s 365 days of love!  Subscribe here :)

-Dania Shafei 


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Dania for sharing her story. I never actually never realized how for me saying I love you was so central to my expression of love and I thought that if I didn’t hear it back that meant the person didn’t love me as much. Thank you Dania for reminding me that love comes is communicated in different ways and we should find more ways to meet each other with understanding and love.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 332 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

1 Comment

Smile Because It Happened: Day 31 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

Smile Because It Happened: Day 31 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Anonymous woman (We will name her Leila for this article)

Story from: Canada

This began as a story about love. About the amazing experience that was my first time falling in love. But we ended before I had the chance to say I love you, and I agonized over the question: how can the story just end?

Eventually, I remembered the lesson that I have forgotten time and time again:

everything happens for a reason.


God has a plan, and something else is out there. Not someone, per se; rather there are life experiences and opportunities waiting for me to open the door and breathe in deeply. I will realize, in those moments, “this is what I was waiting for!” although I didn’t know I was waiting for anything.

At this point, I can’t imagine something else, but that’s why we have faith. To give us comfort in knowing that

“what was meant for me will never miss me, and what misses me was never meant for me.” To reassure us that things will always work out for the best.



Maybe, this is as much a story of faith as love.

 

*          *          *

 

I decided years ago that I would rather never marry than marry someone I didn’t love. My friend disagreed: “I would marry someone I didn’t love, if he was a good person and we were compatible. You can learn to care for someone.”

Partly, I was naïvely hopeful. I had set the bar high, and I would wait for my Prince Charming.

Partly, I was driven and independent. I had so many career interests that I knew I would be both happy and fulfilled pursuing my passions.

Partly, I was cynical about dating, relationships, love, etc. I told my parents: “I’m never getting married. Don’t ask me about boys.”

That changed one semester, when I learned to believe in love.

 

*          *          *

 

I first met him in the library at 3 AM. When he asked if I write for the school newspaper, I smiled, always pleased to be recognized from my byline. “Yes! You read the newspaper?”

My sleep-deprived brain later made the connection. The previous summer, I had written the front-page story on Mohammed Ali’s life, legacy, and passing, which was accompanied by a full-sized picture. My classmate reached out to me with this message: “My roommate has your article on his wall. He said to give you a shout-out for writing about Mohammed Ali.”

This was the roommate! My article was hanging on his wall. If that doesn’t say soul mates, I don’t know what does.

The following semester, we began seeing each other around campus. Something clicked – I can’t explain it, but we just had this amazing connection. He knew all the right things to say. He read my articles and quoted them to me. He talked about International Women’s Day.

I wanted to know him.

I am a strong independent woman, I tried to convince myself, and this is the 21stcentury. I know what I want, and I should do something about it. So I summoned all my courage and asked him out.

We went for coffee, our first date, on my birthday weekend. I was so nervous. But he made me feel comfortable. He was romantic, insisting on buying cake to celebrate my birthday. We talked like we had been waiting forever to know each other.

We entered a long-distance relationship almost immediately, as his internship took him to California when I returned to school the following month. Even so, the semester that followed was the happiest of my life. My stress levels decreased drastically. I was confident. My average improved. And I landed my dream internship.

To quote Cher from Clueless, I was “sublimely happy”. There was no space left for stress or anxiety. My heart was full.

I know that happiness comes from within, and that another person can’t give it to you. But he made me happier than I had ever imagined was possible. He made problems disappear. I felt like the world was draped in a new colour, and I basked in the glow of my emotions. It was magical, falling in love.

Still, distance took its toll.

I broke up with him. The short version of the story: I felt he could not make time for me; if this was a problem already, it would only be exacerbated with time. When we met for the first time after months, I was already upset, thinking about the possible outcome of this conversation.

We talked for a long time, and he was so good about it. He told me, “do what makes you happy.” Maybe I should have taken that as a sign – he would do anything to make me happy, including letting me go.

He let me go.

For days, I cried and watched Mamma Mia! on a loop. I didn’t eat or sleep. I remember thinking, I’ll never be able to listen to ABBA again.

By the time I stopped crying, I knew I had made the wrong decision. I knew it was my fault. I tried to talk to him, but he told me that I was right. That he can’t prioritize me. That he isn’t at a point in his life to be able to maintain a relationship.

Although I was the one to initiate the breakup, I couldn’t come to terms with it.

 

*          *          * 

It’s been two and a half months.

I considered praying istikhara, asking God to give me guidance. But istikhara should be prayed with an open mind, willing to accept any guidance. And I wasn’t ready to hear that we have no future.

Until a couple weeks ago, when I had an epiphany.



I think God gave him to me at a time in my life when I needed someone.



Last semester, I spent a lot of time by myself. I lived alone, I studied alone, and I spent Ramadan breaking my fast alone. I remember my mom saying tearfully when she dropped me off at the airport, “Call me often. I know that your friends won’t be on campus with you this term.” It was true – most of my friends were interning that summer.

But I was okay, because I had him. He was a blessing, and I was so grateful.

People come in and out of your life for a reason. I don’t need to understand why he’s gone now, because I know why he came. Although we had a short amount of time together, those months made a world of difference to me. For my school, career, mental health, self-esteem, and general happiness.

I am reminded of a Dr. Seuss quote that I have always loved:

Friends to-74.png


Now that I have gotten past the hurt, I am smiling.

With Lots of Love,

Leila*


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Leila for sharing her story. My favorite message was how powerfully intertwined are faith and love. Thank you Leila, you are a beautiful soul and you deserve so much love in this world and I have full faith that you will get it starting with yourself.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 334 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

1 Comment

Love is Between You and You: Day 30 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Love is Between You and You: Day 30 of 365 Days of Love

“I’ll go to Paris, a city i’ve dreamt about for months when I meet my future husband.”

 

“I’ll go to this 3 Michelin starred restaurant that i’ve been wanting to try for years, with my future date.”

 

“I’ll wear a Tiffany & CO ring only when my guy proposes”

 

How many of you have said things like this? How many of you have put things on hold and waited to live a few of life’s experiences till you meet that special guy (or girl)?

 

I certainly have. And that is certainly about to change.

45708503_10161114974895002_908186330981203968_n.jpg

 

Today as I entered the HQ office of Tiffany & CO, I did not know that I would leave a changed woman.

I entered and felt my inner romantic come out with butterflies surrounding her. I remembered all of the different day dreams I had as a little girl imagining my future husband proposing with a Tiffany ring, or surprising me with the signature heart shaped Tiffany necklace. 

Then it hit me that I’m 29 years old today. Granted I am still young in many ways, I am no longer that baby Aida who can put things on hold, day dream, and simply be waiting for that special guy to fulfill her. 

I looked around at the Tiffany boxes and felt a shift in my heart and mind.

I realized that I no longer need to wait for my future man (whoever he may be) to experience many things that life has to offer.

 

I no longer should put certain experiences on hold as I wait for him to come along because of the single question many of us fear to ask,

what if he never shows up?

 

I know some of you reading this, your heart just beat a bit faster. Mine certainly did. But this is the reality and a true possibility that I (and you) may never meet the guy who proposes with that dream Tiffany ring I always thought of. 

 

I may never meet the guy who I will get to tour the most romantic cities in the world with such as Paris.

I may never be dined out at that long list of restaurants I have with the romantic lighting and delicious truffle risotto.

 

I sure hope I am (and you) one day blessed with love that reaches to that Tiffany ring moment but the mindset of putting these experiences on hold for him is done and it’s honestly about time that it’s done.

 

So what am I waiting for? .. Nothing, I am going for all the things I want today. Not tomorrow. It’s now a matter of prioritizing what it is that I want to experience and live.

 

Today after leaving Tiffany & CO, I said goodbye to old Aida who waited for things to happen to her and welcomed the Aida who celebrates life for what it is today and not what it could be tomorrow. 

 

I celebrate my new self who will always (I hope) keep an open heart for that beautiful possibility of love and I welcome the Aida who invests in love in everything. 

I left Tiffany & CO and entered one of the restaurants on my list and treated myself to the most delicious truffle pasta. It was definitely an over the top mid-day break that I certainly deserved.

 

Right now, I am the new Aida who is learning how to celebrate herself, from giving herself a Tiffany ring to dining at that 3 star Michlen restaurant to touring Paris with her lovely self - happily alone.

 

And those two words combined “Happily” + “Alone” are the magic words because

the second you are happy with yourself, when you are so full that you emanate happiness, love and magic, is the second you will create the space for a man worthy of you to enter. 

 

With that, I’m excited to dive into the chapter of ticking off that check-list, one romantic adventure at a time. I hope you do too as well.

Life is short and don’t live it while waiting on the side lines for someone who may or may not show up. Go for it and don’t look back.

 

With Love,

Aida 

Comment

Home Is and Love Is Too: Day 29 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Home Is and Love Is Too: Day 29 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Razan Abu Sharia

Get to know her on Instagram

Story from: Washington DC, USA/ Amman, Jordan

Traveling from Jordan to DC for my very first time, I have met a lot of new people from diverse backgrounds that own unique mindsets. Two months passed and I don’t know how this happened, but I love has seemed to be the center of many conversations i’ve had. We all seem to have been confronting the thought of love together, ultimately searching for the meaning of it. 

unnamed-13.jpg

 

And I thought of it, once, twice, and more, trying to understand and question my ideology of Love. 


One thing I always knew is that love has no rules, nor time. 

 

Love for me has always meant waiting. Waiting and not settling for anything less. I’ve known that I will never be able to control love, but that it will always come on its own without having me put in the effort. It just will be.

 

Over time the questions i’ve asked was is love a matter of effort? A matter of fate? Or a matter of self-love before anything else?


These conversations have passed with the days, until I oddly remembered them again in a museum that had nothing to do with love. Visiting the National Museum of American Indians, and reading the word “home” over and over again, I have been questioning how fascinating the idea of our longing for home is. It made me see how “home” is interconnected with “love”, and how we grow up searching for both equally. 

 

The struggle to find that home seemed very similar to the struggle to find the love we long for. 

 

Love is the house, home, or place we are always in search for. It is that picture in our head of a perfect rigid juxtaposition of two souls. Home comes in different sizes when love does too. Home is there to accommodate more than one soul when love does too. Home is the escape when nothing is okay when love is too. Home is what keeps our secrets when love does too. Home is the stability that reflects its shine during the day when love does too. Home is where our personal language and state of mind is made when love is too. 

A glimpse of lands from my home, Jordan

A glimpse of lands from my home, Jordan

Love is what you look for when you are away from home, when home is also what you look for when you are away from home. Love is the meaning you give to any home, when home is also the meaning you give to love. Love is what you escape when you do not feel like home, and when your heart is flipping from left to right, when home is also what you escape when you do not feel like love. Love is what creates us, when home is what brings us to life before love. Love is not concrete, but abstract, when home is not concrete but abstract too. Love is a feeling when home is too. Home is not a place, it is a feeling.  

Me during a hike in my home country

Me during a hike in my home country

 An inspiring saying by Yasmin Mogahed is how the word “qalb” in Arabic meaning “heart” in English literally means something of that which turns or flips. It is very similar to how the concept of “home” is. Humans are always in search for that “home”, even when they’re in a home, they are in search of another home. We are never stable, and so is love. 

 

To understand such dilemma, we have to accept the power of “change” and how it is not always linked to a negative transformation in our lives.

Temporariness is the reality of things.

Hence, this is how our heart works. It flips and turns around every now and then, and this is why we as humans are always struggling in finding that “balance” in life. Love comes from here. It is the school of patience, compromise, and acceptance. But, before starting to search for these three in the other person, we’ll have to find it in ourselves. 

 

What we invest in ourselves brings home back to its place, just like it brings back love too.


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Razan for sharing her story.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 336more 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

Comment

Poem On Connecting Parallel Universes: Day 27 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Poem On Connecting Parallel Universes: Day 27 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Alec Hansen

Story from: Tunisia

Poem On Connecting Parallel Universes

 

Their hearts beat more slowly

he folds his limbs into hers, collapsing. 

His warm belly fits snugly into 

the small of her back.

 

The space opens to them.

They run, skitter, and throw themselves in to each rounded curve, exploring every sunny nook, seeking the warmest, coziest places for their games.

 

Stroking, caressing, his palm comes to rest 

on the curve of her calf. A forearm 

becomes a corset

enveloping her breasts. 

 

Elven children or fairies – who can say?  In twos, threes and more they mingle and jostle one another, elated in the pure bright energy around them. 

 

Fingertips brush her damp lips, feather-light; gently 

smushing them askew as movement 

gives way to languor.

                                                                                             

Look!  There’s a perfect spot!  their gay mirth spills through the rounded contours of the new space. 

 

His warmth suffuses her. She feels 

safe, met and honored.

Her wanton thrusts of moments before

now rewarded by sweet, tender embrace from behind. 

 

Finding warm glow in a cranny, or draped along smooth ledges, they flow into pools of innocent touch. 

 

Impossible to resist sleep, her every limb and cell

finds deep repose. Trussed in a cocoon of warm love, 

only the blush of her skin reveals the fresh life

in the still form.

 

Seeking touch, and touch and touch. Shaping love’s tangled embrace in free form. Coming to rest in the sweaty eddies of pure love, innocent mirth and solemn soulful purpose are entwined like characters in the Creator’s flowing script.

alec.png

 A few months ago, I had a dream in that sweet swoon state after making love. In the dream, these elven characters, living in a parallel universe created by our lovemaking, sought out the warm spaces where my knee was tucked behind her knee, where my arm lay on her ribs, etc…each place where we were touching, with its special character in our world, had special qualities that these innocent young ones were looking for in their world. Our coming together was more purely sexual, whereas they operated on a different plane, with a pure, beautiful, light, fun sensuality – the higher vibration of our mortal, middle-earth ecstasies. This juxtaposition fascinated me and haunted me until I took the opportunity to write it down.

– Alec Hansen, 


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the Alec for sharing his poem. It was beautiful to see the power of creating such safe spaces in deep intimate relationships with our special partner.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 338 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

Comment

Who Does the Cooking: Day 25 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Who Does the Cooking: Day 25 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram

Story from: Washington DC, USA





Who does the cooking?




I really couldn’t tell you why, but the past couple of weeks I’ve only been able to watch documentaries.

I recently watched one called “RBG” on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female supreme court justice and the litigator who truly broke through sex discrimination in the United States.

Her work cannot be diminished in this day and age.

Being a journalist in Washington DC and an avid scholar of the women’s rights movement in the United States, I was very familiar with her work in the courtroom.

Photo from  Kevin Drum

Photo from Kevin Drum

What came as a total surprise to me was the more personal aspect of Justice Ginsberg’s life. Her relationship with her home, her husband and her children.

Ruth Bader met Marty Ginsburg when she was seventeen. She said of her then eighteen year old husband, “he was the first boy I had ever met who cared I had a brain.”  Ruth would marry Marty while they were both pursuing undergraduate degrees at Cornell University and when she started studying law at Harvard, she had a fourteen month old baby and Marty was diagnosed with cancer.

She found a way to:

study law and

be at the top of her class while also

raising her daughter and

caring for her husband.

And when Marty thankfully recovered and was hired at a New York firm, she completed her degree at Columbia University.

In the documentary, Ruth speaks at length about how her home life offered a kind of sanctuary from her hectic life in law school and how it was a natural decision to follow her husband to New York. Later, when she would be offered a job as a judge in the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia. Marty made it clear that Ruth had carried the brunt of the house work while he was sick, and now it was his turn to be supportive of his wife’s career.

And even though this happened in 1993, it struck me how progressive this was, and how naturally Marty Ginsburg came to that conclusion.

Even though I’m a millennial and I was raised by an incredibly empowered mother and empowering father, I still felt the pressure to succumb to certain gender norms when I got married. When I announced my engagement, everyone assumed I would be moving up to Canada, where my husband was working at the time. And when it became clear he would be making the move down to Washington DC, I had girls who I had never traded two words with message me for my secret: how did you get your husband to move down for you?

unnamed-11.jpg

And while I knew these type of comments didn’t have an impact on my then fiance, after the sixth or seventh conversation, I started to wonder, was I doing marriage wrong?

It became clear incredibly fast that gender norms had no place in the home we created together.

My husband was practically raised in a restaurant and has been around food all his life. He loves it, nothing makes him happier. On top of that, he has an iron-clad relationship with his grandmother, who’s instagram would make Gordon Ramsay froth at the mouth. Her food has a reputation for being the best without fail. So when we got married and it became clear I didn’t know my pizza from my manousheh, it became just another way we differed from a typical relationship. And it took me a long time to be comfortable with that. There are still days I watch my husband work away in the kitchen and I wonder, am I a bad wife?

image1.jpeg

So when I was watching the documentary on Justice Ginsburg over the weekend, a particular sound bite really hit home.

Marty Ginsburg and Justice Ginsburg were sitting together at a panel event, being peppered with questions from fans and someone asked, “how much advice do you give each other?”

The couple looked at each other, holding in laughter and Marty said, “as a general rule, my wife does not give me any advice on cooking, and I do not give her any advice about the law. This seems to work quite well on both sides.” The audience bursts with laughter. And in that moment, I saw something from my relationship reflected not only in another marriage, but in one of the most celebrated relationships in American political history.


It made my heart full in a way I can’t begin to describe.

There is no one way to have a marriage.


My husband did not follow me. He’s not a puppy. I did not have to negotiate our living situation. Marriage is a give and take and at this moment, my career required that I stay in DC. My husband supported me and was open to the challenge of living in a new city. He supports me, and in the future, should he need my support, he would have it without asking.

I have heard practically from the day we got engaged how unusual and atypical my relationship is. It used to chip away at the security I once felt but now, I understand a simple truth. There is no one way to have a successful marriage. There is no one way to have a successful relationship. If your relationship is accepting, and loving and safe, why should it matter who does the cooking?

image2.jpeg

Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Sumayya for sharing her story. It was such a beautiful reminder of the need to take a step back to assess the gender norms and pressures we put on our relationships.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 341 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

Comment

Why is it so hard to write about Love? Day 24 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Why is it so hard to write about Love? Day 24 of 365 Days of Love

For the past 24 days since I launched 365 Days of Love, I received 40+ messages from people in the USA, Jordan, Indonesia, UAE, India etc and more countries saying they are unable to write about love. They sit in front of the computer with every intention to write but they get writers block and nothing comes out.

Isn’t this odd for many individuals to encounter when love is probably one of the most used words and one of the top things we search for (in whatever form that may be). After diving in deeper with the people who were unable to write it, we uncovered it was because of the deep vulnerabilities and insecurities they have buried deep, deep, deep down. Facing that blank page to fill it with something that has much meaning to a person can be difficult especially if it has not turned the way you want it today.

Sourced from  The New York Times

Sourced from The New York Times

As I began writing this article I typed in google “how to write about love” and the first article that came up was How We Write About Love by Daniel Jones published in 2015. His words reminded me of the deep differences between men and women showing both the faults and strengths in both (of course generalizing here). He also shares how people who have completely embraced themselves have found it easy to write about love.

So before I leave you with my favorite gems from his article, I conclude with saying that it is your inner state that dictates the outer state in all aspects including writing.

Friends to-60.png
Love stories are full of romantic delusion, idealizing love to an unhealthy degree. But in the accounts I see, men and women delude themselves in opposite directions.

A woman is more likely to believe her romantic ideal awaits somewhere in the future, where her long-held fantasy becomes a flesh-and-blood reality.

A man’s romantic ideal typically exists somewhere in the past in the form of an actual person he loved but let go of, or who got away. And he keeps going back to her in his mind, and probably also on Facebook and Instagram, thinking, “What if?”



Women and men may feel love similarly, but they write about it differently.

A lot of men’s stories seem tinged by regret and nostalgia. They wish previous relationships hadn’t ended or romantic opportunities hadn’t slipped away. They lament not having been more emotionally open with lovers, wives, parents and children.

Women are more inclined to write with restlessness. They want to figure love out. Many keep mental lists of their expectations, detailing the characteristics of their hoped-for partner with alarming specificity and then evaluating how a new romantic interest does or doesn’t match that type.



It seems the harder we work at finding love, the more prone we are to second-guessing the results. High-volume online daters worry about this, along with those who routinely attend singles events.

The fear is we may force things or compromise after pushing so hard for so long. We may admire hard work in most endeavors, but we admire laziness when it comes to finding love. (If you manage to stay together over the long haul, however, it will be because of effort, not chance.)
— Daniel Jones

If you find yourself unable to write about love then dig deeper and get to know yourself more because something inside is lurking that you haven’t recognized or dealt with. Deal with it today, not tomorrow as life is too short living uncomfortable with your skin and not being able to love is the same as being uncomfortable in your own skin.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

Comment

Curious Love: Day 23 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Curious Love: Day 23 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Victoria Tarantino

Get to know Victoria here

Story From: New York



Curious Love



I grabbed my pink journal and scribbled the word “LOVE” in big black cursive letters encircled by doodled hearts <3 <3 <3

Right below I questioned “how do you define love?” I stared at the inked question blankly. I read it over and over as I patiently waited for the answer to pop into my head and flow onto the paper but instead my brain flooded with more questions over analyzing and overthinking this definition.

710dad26-36e3-4cdb-b45f-92a2996ee587.JPG

As I struggled, I grew increasingly more frustrated with my case of writer’s block around a topic I thoroughly enjoy exploring. The little voice in my head coached, come on Victoria you love talking about love. My instinct was to shoo away the little voice but then I realized she has a point. I spend so much time talking about love and relationships with my friends but as soon as I was faced with sharing my vulnerabilities I desired to retreat.

I felt the silver cage around my heart swing closed and lock with a twist of the key.  

I sighed and I flipped through my copy Pablo Neruda’s “Love Poems” for inspiration, that I purchased for myself as a Valentine’s Day gift. I focused my energy on immersing myself in the poems and painting lavish love scenes in my head. After realizing that it wasn’t working I tossed the the pink and gold pocket sized book aside and paused. I returned to my journal and decided to pour out all of my love related issues that were preventing me from opening up.

7ede910b-03cf-498e-b0ea-c94393a05b55.JPG

As I put my pen to paper, I found it much easier for me to write about the hurt, pain, suffering, and hardship that love has caused me rather than reflect on the beautiful positive moments and experiences it has awarded me.

I was looking externally to place the blame on love when I really needed to look internally and reflect on the quality of love I have been giving myself and the framework that I have created for love. Instead of continuing on this downward spiral of negativity, I shimmied myself towards a place of curiosity around what I could do to improve this narrative for love I had been crafting and disrupt the comfort I’ve felt in maintaining it.


The little voice in my head came back, but this time I listened and wrote out everything she was asking: How can I cultivate a healthier relationship with love? How can I continue to improve self-love? What would it look like if everyone went through their days from a place of love? How can I return to falling in love with fleeting moments and experiences? How can I approach love from a fresh perspective? How can I change the narrative I’ve crafted? How can I let go of past assumptions of love?  How can I open my eyes up to finding the beauty and love in the monotonous routine of the day to day? What might I fall in love with every day? The voice continued to question on and on.

I thanked her for reminding me that I don’t have all of the answers. I have to advise myself to pause and not take everything so seriously. I encourage myself to approach love from a place of curiosity and excitement for what is to come.

ddaf1ac6-bc00-4741-8962-172eb59feb49.JPG

It is okay to allow myself to let go and receive what is around me rather than worry about what’s coming next or what has happened in the past. I am working towards constantly approaching love from a place of curiosity and am on the path towards a healthier relationship with love. It’s nowhere near perfect, but is definitely a work in progress towards bringing in a new perspective. When I am present in the moment, I can feel the love for myself and the gratitude for what I have even if it is fleeting. I aspire to embody an open heart through curiosity for love.

So, how do you define love?

-Victoria


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Victoria for sharing her story and reminding me to take a step back to reflect on how do I define love, what are the questions that come up and am I running from something (escaping from some personal vulnerabilities)?

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 342 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




Comment

While I Was Waiting For You, I Took the Time to Love Myself: Day 22 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

While I Was Waiting For You, I Took the Time to Love Myself: Day 22 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Salma Elbarmawi

Get to know Salma who is a: writer, activist and aspiring social entrepreneur. She has a special love for culture, meaningful conversations, politics and dance.

Story From: Egyptian based in London


While I Was Waiting For You, I Took the Time to Love Myself



I used to ask myself all kinds of questions about you. I wondered what you’d look like, if you’d have dark hair and gorgeous dark features. I wondered if you’d be tall, although you wouldn’t even have to hit 6 feet to tower above me.

I often asked myself if you’d be funny. If you’d make me laugh in a kind of burn in my belly sort of way, or if I’d laugh along just because I’d like you so much.

I’ve thought about conversations we’d have… and secretly I’ve had the entire back and forth dialogue between us in my own head, as I’m standing in the shower simultaneously contemplating my life choices.

I’ve thought about television shows we’d watch together, and books you’d tell me to read. I thought about the way you’d say I love you, before we go to sleep at night, or how you’ll get along with my parents and I’ll adore yours.


Photo by  Ryan Holloway  on  Unsplash

I’ve probably had thoughts about every conceivable aspect of what you’ll be like, and somehow I found it impossible to wrap my head around ever meeting you.

Recently I’ve overcome the fear. The fear of accidentally meeting you while I’m away from home, far off in a land I only planned to stay for a short while. Fear of falling in love with you while I’m still on my way to figuring out who I am.

There was a point in time when I feared I’d have to tell you I’m still unsure of what I want out of life. That I’m capable of giving love and receiving it, but incapable of committing to a single continent or career path.

Lately, the thoughts of you have shown up less in my mind, if at all. And I’ve often wondered if that’s my subconscious way of letting the idea of you go, or if that’s the universe’s subtle signal that you’re on your way to finding me.

Either way, I’m glad you haven’t shown up just yet. I needed this time.

I’ve learned to love myself in ways I didn’t think I needed to. I’ve learned to call myself beautiful with no makeup on, and wear my hair naturally curly when I’m out on the town. I’ve learned to be forgiving of my body and patient with my wants.

I’ve mastered the art of walking in heels and discovered the comforts of hiking in Nikes’. I’ve tested various shades of red on my lips, to which I can proudly proclaim I’ve mastered the science.

“black metal grill with be love ed text” by  Elijah Macleod  on  Unsplash

“black metal grill with be love ed text” by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

I’ve discovered how much I value alone time, as much as I live and breathe a social life. I’ve even taken the time to try new foods — just to be certain that I am actually a happily self-classified picky eater.

I’ve added creative to the labels I give myself. Along with determined, relentless, loving and curious. I’ve crossed experiences off my list just to make room for new ones.

And I’ve been brave.

Not just brave in the way of independence, but brave in the form of vulnerability. I’ve started walking towards the things I thought would never be for me. The opportunities I thought I couldn’t land. The places I thought I’d have to wait a lifetime to see. I started working on my dreams rather than being mesmerized by them.

And I’m not finished.

In fact, I have to tell you — I’m just getting started.

In the way I once dreamed of you, I’m dreaming of the future I’ll create for myself. So when we finally do meet, just know, I won’t ask you what took you so long.


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Salma for sharing her story. It was such a beautiful reminder of the need and power found in loving ourselves and building our lives not waiting for things to happen to us.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 343 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

1 Comment

Your Inner Bully: Day 21 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Your Inner Bully: Day 21 of 365 Days of Love

Bullies are everywhere, found in all ages and shades. No one enjoys being bullied which brings me to the increasingly shocking trend of us being our biggest bullies in our lives.

We allow for our internal bully to say all kinds of negative talk from "You are so fat", "Who are you to be loved?", "You are nothing", "You will forever be alone", "You are a failure" and the list goes on. But I take it as a fact that this kind of thinking does no benefit to any one in this world. So on day 21 we dived in a bit deeper on facing your inner bully. 


Since I launched 365 Days of Love 20 days ago I have received many messages from men and women saying they don't believe they deserve love, why would love find them and who are they to find an amazing love. I was saddened by this and shocked from the beautiful people who told me but also related to it deeply because I had those thoughts myself and not so long ago. 

But this internal revolution has made me realize that this negative talk is not conducive to anyone - not yourself, your family, your loved ones and even strangers.

We are all different yet individually special.

We are all different yet individually special.

Every one of us is special and embodies a unique kind of love that cannot be replicated by any one else. Do you believe it? Do you feel it? and do you share that special love that is only found in you with the world? 

These questions remind me of my favorite quote in the world that says there is nothing great created by diminishing how great you are: 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Today wherever you are, whatever you may be doing, whatever state you may be in take a moment to reflect on what you inner bully is saying and get to know why is he/she saying that then finally guide it to love. Guiding it to love makes space for:

self-love first

ability to better absorb love from everyone around you and

most importantly for you to share your special love with the world.

Finally I leave you with a piece from one of the Muslim American Faces interviews with Tarek who talks about his inner bully and how he has tackled it. I hope he inspires you as he has inspired me to take a closer look inside and get things straight with my inner bully.

“I used to be an extremely shy person. I wouldn't even maintain eye contact. If I was at work and had to make a phone call, I'd be nervous. It took me being cognizant of the fact that if I wanted to achieve my goals and live up to the idea of who I wanted to be, my shyness was holding me back in life.    I realized the reason why I was shy was a lack of self-confidence. Then I realized that – and I'm not trying to toot my own horn here – I'm smart. I can carry conversations and get along very nicely with people. I think people can enjoy my company. There was no reason why I didn’t have that self-confidence. So it started with believing in myself.    The biggest thing I did was a ‘face-your-fear’ type of thing with public speaking and having proper conversations with people where I respected them by maintaining eye contact. Now, public speaking is not an issue. I've emceed events, and I recently emceed a fundraising event where we raised about $60,000. I've become so comfortable in these things that I don't even give them a second thought anymore.    It took me about five to six years to get to this point. It took some time, practice, and self-awareness. It didn't happen overnight. Every time I noticed myself not maintaining eye contact or being shy, I would remember why I had decided to face these fears. I was the one holding myself back, nobody else was. It was just a matter of shutting up that inner bully.    Have I reached the point where that inner bully is gone? No, I don't think so. He's still there. I still have those moments of thinking maybe I'm not good enough, but they are far and few in between. And my goal this year is to get rid of that inner bully.” - Tarek

“I used to be an extremely shy person. I wouldn't even maintain eye contact. If I was at work and had to make a phone call, I'd be nervous. It took me being cognizant of the fact that if I wanted to achieve my goals and live up to the idea of who I wanted to be, my shyness was holding me back in life.

I realized the reason why I was shy was a lack of self-confidence. Then I realized that – and I'm not trying to toot my own horn here – I'm smart. I can carry conversations and get along very nicely with people. I think people can enjoy my company. There was no reason why I didn’t have that self-confidence. So it started with believing in myself.

The biggest thing I did was a ‘face-your-fear’ type of thing with public speaking and having proper conversations with people where I respected them by maintaining eye contact. Now, public speaking is not an issue. I've emceed events, and I recently emceed a fundraising event where we raised about $60,000. I've become so comfortable in these things that I don't even give them a second thought anymore.

It took me about five to six years to get to this point. It took some time, practice, and self-awareness. It didn't happen overnight. Every time I noticed myself not maintaining eye contact or being shy, I would remember why I had decided to face these fears. I was the one holding myself back, nobody else was. It was just a matter of shutting up that inner bully.

Have I reached the point where that inner bully is gone? No, I don't think so. He's still there. I still have those moments of thinking maybe I'm not good enough, but they are far and few in between. And my goal this year is to get rid of that inner bully.” - Tarek


Thank you to Muslim American Faces for documenting an important story on inner bullies and to Tarek for his vulnerability and strength. We need more men and frankly women who recognize their inner bullies and have the courage to face them and say no - I am special.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

Comment

Kahlil Gibran on Marriage: Day 17 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Kahlil Gibran on Marriage: Day 17 of 365 Days of Love

On Day 13 we shared Kahlil Gibran’s poem on Love. On Day 16 (yesterday) we received a story from India that quoted Kahlil Gibran’s poem on Marriage which only made it appropriate to share the full poem for today that discusses the difficult balance of intimacy and independence which he views as the secret to a loving and lasting relationship. Kahlil’s words are truly timeless and I hope they move you as they have moved me, Suvarchala (day 16 writer) and millions around the word.

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.


Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.


Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
— Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Kahil’s drawing on Marriage

Kahil’s drawing on Marriage

With Love,

Aida

P.S If you have a story to share please get in touch. We are looking for writers, thinkers, people who love love from around the world! Send me a note here.

Comment

Grandmother, The Center of Love: Day 15 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Grandmother, The Center of Love: Day 15 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Heather Lane Chauny

Get to know Heather: who is an connector, cheer leader and coach

Story from: Michigan, USA



In Africa, people continuously pay homage and respect to those that came before them. Worship of the ancestors, is more than a ceremony, it is a way of life. This spirit of Ubuntu "I am because you are" reverberates throughout daily life. Even the formal greeting in isi-zulu, "Sanibonani",which literally translates to "we see you," is meant as "my ancestors and I acknowledge you and your ancestors."

I was fortunate enough to live and grow up with three generations of ancestors. Through the first 25 years of my life, my Great-Nonna played a formative role, which is very unique to most families. This gave me and my cousins a very strong sense of who we are and from where we came.

Amidst a culture of self-centered independence and greed, we were raised with the distinct understanding that each and every opportunity in our lives is the result of the decisions and actions of our ancestors, even those we never had the chance to know in our lifetimes, thanks to the stories of my Great-Nonna who filled our lives with never dying stories of love.
Me and my family that fuels me with love every day (in the one in the light blue shirt)

Me and my family that fuels me with love every day (in the one in the light blue shirt)

It was with great courage and hope that our Great-Nonna, at the age of 19 boarded a ship in Italy for the United States of America to join her new husband in the land of opportunity. This young woman, who had never seen Rome, never touched the sea, said good-bye to her village of Supino and everything she knew to make a better life for herself and her family. I like to imagine the look on her face as the ship approached New York Harbor. Seeing the people gathered, more people than she had probably collectively seen in her life until then, overshadowed by immense sky scrapers rising from the horizon along with the clangs and whistles of the bustling city.

 

The excitement and relief as she disembarked from the ship, where she spent three weeks in third class quarters, green with sea-sickness since day one of the journey. The elation as she ran into my Great-Nonno's arms with their one-year old son, who he had not yet met, joyfully crying:

Rocco, il bambino tuo!

I loved it when she told me the story of great disappointment, when after spending a day in New York City with her cousin Rita, who took her to the many shops to buy a new dress (it had red polka-dots), she boarded a carriage for Burgettstown, PA, where my Great-Nonno was a coal miner. She said that when the carriage pulled into town on the dirt road, covered in horse manure, she yelled at my Great-Nonno,

Rocco, there’s-a shit onna the road-a! I’m-a goin-a back -a to Italy, there’s-a shit onna the road-a there TOO!

Her musical Italian accent, made the story even more humorous. I pictured the sight of this poor young lady, who had just spent three weeks vomiting over the side of a ship, leaving her family and friends in Supino for "the land of opportunity," only to end up right back where she started: a small farming town in the middle of nowhere.

But it was in that small farming town, where my family was born. It was at that moment that one of the two main lines of my existence took form. My cousins and I are very aware of the fact that every opportunity in our lives stems from those moments. My sense of adventure and desire to know the world came from that desire in my ancestors to take a chance at a life in a completely foreign land, so that they could do more with their lives

My sister and I visiting Great Nonna’s hometown

My sister and I visiting Great Nonna’s hometown

My thirst for knowledge was born in my Great-Nonna's desire to go beyond a third grade education that she completed at top of her class. She would re-tell the story with great pride of “the big-a shot-a from Fresinone" who came to Supino to pin her with a gold star for academic excellence. It was the last time she would step foot in a classroom as a student, because her mother didn't believe in educating girls and she had work to do on the farm.

Because of that, with every advancement in our schooling levels, she would send a card with a $5 check to go and buy a pizza. Now her great-great grandson (whom she knew and watched grow until he was five is graduating from high school as the valedictorian of his class. I bet if she were still alive she'd think of that gold star she received as a young girl and know that this moment for Justin had much to do with her intellectual curiosity and encouragement.

She had the fortune of watching her family flourish throughout her life. Knowing that the sacrifices she made and the risks she took led to more than her wildest dreams could have imagined for her family and the opportunities we have all enjoyed.

One of many beautiful memories

One of many beautiful memories

It was a rainy day in the autumn of 2002 when I got the call from my Nonna. The assertive and self-confident (and often self-righteous) voice that never waivered, was filled with tears and cracking as she said,

 

"Heather, Nonna isn't going to make it. My mama is dying." 

 

"I'm coming, Nonna."

 

I got into my car and drove the 60 minutes from Ann Arbor, where I was living at the time, to Mt. Clemens. I remember wishing that my windshield wipers worked on more than the windshield as I drove with tear-filled eyes through a tear-filled sky. "Please, let me say good-bye," I thought. I couldn't drive fast enough.

 

When I arrived to my Nonna and Nonno's house, the family had already begun to gather. All my cousins were seated in the kitchen...eating of course. My Aunt Mary Lou, Uncle Dennis, Auntie Dee-Dee and Uncle Bob were comforting my Nonna as she said her good-byes to her mother laying in the bed in the next room. My Great-Nonna was very much alert and aware and frightened by the fact that her breathing was becoming heavier and harder. Her lungs were giving out from 97 years of use.

 

My mom and Ray were on the way, as was my sister. The great-great grandchildren, the youngest was six-months old at the time, were unsure of what to feel or do, as they watched with frightened curiosity, the older generations' group despair. We took turns going in her room to say good-bye. I went in with my cousins Laura and Gina. We held her hands as she looked at us, we told her we loved her and thanked her for everything she had done for us...that we would never forget her. She blinked a smile and nodded, as if to say “Nonna, loves you too." Then we left the room to go back into the kitchen, finish our biscotti and coffee and wait.

 

My mom and Ray finally arrived, as did my sister. Everyone was now together hugging and comforting each other. Knowing that we were experiencing the end of an era. Not five minutes later, my Nonna cried in anguish from the next room, "Mama! Oh, Mama!" Like a whispering wind gently blowing out a candle, she took her last breath and...poof, she was gone.

 

All four remaining generations of the Zuccaro clan piled into the room to pay our final respects and say our prayers of thanks and gratitude to our matriarch.

 

My cousins and I bowed our heads holding each others' hands. Evan, the two year old great-great grandson was at the foot of her bed making the sign of the cross repeatedly while holding a rosary, mimicking the prayers of the adults, "A-men! A-men! A-men!" he repeated. We couldn't help but chuckle, as he tried to convey the sadness he saw around him, but not really understanding why. Parker the six-month old great-great grandson was laid resting peacefully on his Great-Great Nonna's chest, both their eyes closed. 

IMG_3993.jpg

 

From end to beginning, beginning to end, the family she made was there to thank her and say their good-byes. And while I had not yet travelled to South Africa to know what it was, I felt strongly the spirit of Ubuntu as I looked at my Great-Nonna lying in the bed so peacefully, her lips curled into a restful smile and I thought to myself;

 

We are, because you were...

 


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to Heather for sharing her story. It was such a beautiful reminder how love stems not only from your partners but from your family members and especially your grand mother. It was also a beautiful reminder of the sacrifice our family members have taken in order for us to just to be alive and to have the chance to love. This story inspired me to call my grandmother, something I definitely should do more often.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 350 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

Comment

Summers Red Light: Day 14 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

Summers Red Light: Day 14 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Angely Khan

Get to know Angely on Instagram, Wordpress

Story from: United Kingdom (UK), originally from Pakistan


A drug, so powerful that despite your hardest effort to stay away it will pull you in.

He asked, what this drug is?

She replied, it is embedded in all of us from a young age.

1.png
Do you have to experience love to understand love?

I don’t think you do; I may not know a lot about love. Or maybe I do, perhaps we all try to reach a level of love that only exists behind the little red camera light.

A concept lost by the mass, a concept that has lost its definition through the limbs of social media. We love only to compete. We love only to get likes. We love only to fulfill a social expectation.  

As if we can’t gain romantic success without social acceptance, as if love is bound by opinions what happened to the real kind of love, the love that consumes you–is it all fictional?

Let’s not crush teenage puppy love but seriously how many times have you sat and scrolled on your phone and seen a beautiful picture of a couple at a restaurant? But once the snap is taken the smile fades, two people supposedly in love not talking to each other. Eat. Snap. Post. Then comes the indirect status update #Hate it when people are rudeCry. Snap. Post. Craving attention from the one they love but refuse to talk, refuse to communicate the real issue, starving love–no, in fact, depriving love making it loves inaugural affair with the 21st century. 



I asked my mother to define love. She asked me,


“Define the ocean without water?” I said I couldn’t. “Exactly, people are like the ocean, deep and mysterious filled with monsters but the water, the clear sky-blue water is what makes it beautiful. The water is love.”



 Old but consistent like ancient wisdom, like the men in top-hats. 

2.png

But what happened to the men in top-hats?  (Let’s go back in time.)

The year of jazz, rich sounds of saxophones sprinkling the air and romantic gestures roaming the streets. You’re reading the morning news, sipping coffee in a café and he walks in and asks what you’re reading, how your morning is? The conversation is like a familiar rhythm he makes you smile; he’s there to win you not to borrow you already stamping an expiration date on you. He asks you out. You say yes. 

To experience the first date– the awkward beauty in it.

Experience the first butterfly.

The first kiss.

To experience love.

3.png

I once believed I was in love; my heart and my mind were in a compelling argument against each other. My mind convinced me that I was in love–based solely on the virtue of a checklist, ticking off: 

1.    Money

2.    House

3.    Car

4.    Looks

One by one– a checklist created by society, each of us adding to it:
                                                               5.    Height

6.    Abs

7.    Funny

8.    Smart

My heart at first whispered in opposition except I was subjugated by the list when I should have been enthralled by him. My heart eventually screamed with the opposition.  *Exhale* I finally let go.

With that said let us not allow social media the glory of imprisoning love.  Love is more than just monogamy, love is a birth-right, ‘encoded and tucked away in our DNA’.  My mother says, ‘everyone experiences love, but not everyone falls in love, love of that nature is rare.’  

A drug, so powerful that despite your hardest effort to stay away it will pull you in.

He asked, what this drug is?

She replied, it is embedded in all of us from a young age.

He asked, will you take the drug with me?

She replied, once it wears off will you still love me?

He replied, I would be a fool if I didn’t.

My parents, a love story that inspires me every day and keeps my DNA filled with love.

My parents, a love story that inspires me every day and keeps my DNA filled with love.

With Love,

Angely


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to Angely for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by depth, introspection and faith in love. I reread Angely’s mothers response on defining love probably 5 times - quite powerful.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 351 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

1 Comment

Being Honest With Yourself: Day 12 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Being Honest With Yourself: Day 12 of 365 Days of Love

How many times did you lie to people about your desire to get married?

Let me rephrase.

How many times did you life to yourself about your desire to get married?


Yesterday I went to the movies with a few friends and the first advertisement was for engagement and wedding rings. Here you had two immediate and opposite responses:

Me: Smiling and feeling so excited to get mine because I am ready for marriage. But I do that because I am now ready to meet the man who is serious and feel full while he finds his way to me (it took time and training to be able to do that).

Friend: Ugh, this is so cheesy. I don’t even want an engagement ring.

Picture from Tiffany &amp; Co

Picture from Tiffany & Co

I quickly turned to look at her surprised because I knew that we were both ready for a serious relationship. I inquired about her response and after a few sentences exchanged, she said she actually wanted an engagement ring (she even showed me the ring she wants and it is beautiful, unique and special just like her). So what did I take away from this?

It is that many of us lie to our friends and more importantly lie to ourselves about what we really desire. There is nothing wrong in wanting to get married. There is nothing wrong in enjoying the cheesy stuff. Being single does not make you any less worth having these things.

I have also seen many close friends who are in relationships deny that they want to get married because they are scared to scare away the man (or woman) they are with.

If you are in such a position, take a step back and understand why are you afraid of speaking the truth of your desires.

Why are you denying them?

By not sharing you desires does this take you closer or further away from what you want? How much time are you willing to wait and are you waiting because of your fear of rejection (to hear that your love never wants to get married) or because the timing simply does not make sense now (your love is in job changes and it’s just not suitable timing)

In keeping up with the theme of the two stories receives for Day 10 and 11, you have the power within you. Start believing and living it.


Lots of Love,

Aida


Hi Everyone!

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

A big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 353 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES or SHARE YOUR STORY HERE.

Comment

Putting Yourself Out There: Day 11 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Putting Yourself Out There: Day 11 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Anonymous (named Lara for this article)

Story from: Amman, Jordan





Putting Yourself Out There





After reading Sumayya’s story from Day 10 of 365 Days of Love, I remembered the first and only time I told a man how I felt. Being raised in an Arab country I was taught that women need to be more passive and have men take the lead in many aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to love.

There is great wisdom in this but I sometimes feel we have lost the right balance and are at a point where we need to take a step back and seriously take a deep look at how our society works. But this story is not about society’s functioning but about love.

On May 2018 I met the man who I thought I was going to marry. It was like out of the movies, where everything stopped, people around me disappeared and time itself seemed to have paused. This feeling alone was a miracle because I am one of those girls that takes a mountain to really move her (maybe a good thing or a bad thing today, not quite sure).

I knew he felt the same because some feelings just can’t be one way. We walked towards each other and even though the Prime Minister was standing to our left, an ex-President of a specific country was to the right (no joke), I could only see him. We talked for the rest of the evening and walked outside on the terrace overlooking Amman’s beautiful hills. I have never felt so safe and at home in my life.

Picture from Lonely Planet

Picture from Lonely Planet

A part of me was like, Lara*, you are stupid, you should go network and talk to the Prime Minister and the X number of Ministers in the room! Why are you wasting your time with a stranger that you could talk to later?

I know that networking, business and growth all matter but at the end of the day we all want to love and be loved so I risked not meeting those high officials for a chance at love. After all, Love is what really fuels us.

Fast forward 6 months we have talked and talked but things were not moving forward and I was facing big life changes. I got offered an incredible job outside of Jordan and there was no reason to decline it other than the potential of him.

I hinted to him to get him to be clear on his intentions with me. I slept frustrated on many nights just waiting for him to give me some clarity on where we are and if there was even a we.

Then one day I prayed deeply for God to guide me and give me the strength to take the right decision. I slept and woke up all of a sudden from a dream of me telling him how I felt. I took that as the sign to go do something i’ve never done before - tell a man how I feel about him.

My heart was beating so quickly and I thought to myself but isn’t that wrong for a woman to put herself out there? Aren’t I supposed to be the receptive person? Shouldn’t I especially as an Arab woman let the man take the lead?

An image that inspired me by @I4artiste in Morocco

An image that inspired me by @I4artiste in Morocco

But then I pictured myself 5 years from now without him and I couldn’t imagine it. So I said to myself similar to what Sumayya said yesterday, what is the worst that can happen if I just told him how I felt?

So I got the courage and did.

His response wasn’t similar to Sumayya’s husbands response. Basically it was a no. He told me how much he cared for me but was not in a position to get more serious (I wasn’t asking for marriage but I certainty didn’t want to waste my time and emotions).

It stung.

It hurt for many months knowing that it wasn’t moving forward, knowing that I put myself out there and was essentially rejected.

But what would have hurt more was never knowing and having a what if in my mind. The potential what if question would have haunted me for years. Putting myself out there stings but not close to what not having done so would have.

Today, I am writing to you from England where I have accepted my new job and am single, happy, empowered, full and hopeful. Today, I live knowing that I have the power within me. I hope you know that you do too.

With Love,

Lara*


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to Lara* for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. Thank you for reminding us to reduce the number of what if’s in our lives and to sometimes take that risk of putting ourselves out there.

Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 354 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

Comment

Finding the Power You've Always Had: Day 10 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Finding the Power You've Always Had: Day 10 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram

Story from: Washington DC, USA





Finding the Power You’ve Always Had




When I was six years old, I saw the fabulous 1939 masterpiece, The Wizard of Oz and heard something that would completely change my life.

Judy Garland’s unforgettable Dorothy had just learned that the titular Wizard had lied to her and she had no way of returning to her family in Kansas. The good witch Glinda (if you’re not familiar with these names, its okay, I’m getting to the point soon!) says to her, “You’ve had the power all along.”

“I have?” Dorothy exclaims. “Well, why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because you wouldn’t have believed it,” the Witch replied. “You needed to find out for yourself.”

At six years old, I wasn’t able to really able to apply this beyond the plot of the feature film. But as I grew up and was repeatedly faced with situations where I felt out of control or powerless, I learnt what I was capable of and how much power I really had.

unnamed-8.jpg

Every time I wanted something and felt like it was just out of reach, I reminded myself. I have the power. I’ve had it all along. My love life was no different.

I don’t know when we, as women, got conditioned to believe that we can’t make the first move. We are told to be shy but flirty, available but hard to get, tempting but chaste. Don’t be too much of any one thing. Not too colourful or too bland. Not too smart or too dumb. Be interesting but be one of the girls.  It took me a long time to understand that this mold of what an “attractive” woman looks like was designed to keep us in our place; this sketch of an “ideal” woman is so ridiculous, it’s meant to keep us down.

It took me a long time to release myself from this mold, not just forgive myself for the things I would never be but appreciate myself for the things I am.

It definitely didn’t happen overnight, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my own insecurities from time to time, but cultivating that self awareness and self confidence truly was the key to so many things in my life, including finding love.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with a friend who is wrapped up in playing games with a guy. She thinks he likes her, she scavenges his texts for hidden messages and she stresses out when she doesn’t hear from him for a couple days. She feels powerless.

I’m always that friend with the advice no one wants to hear. Tell him how you feel. What’s the worst that can happen?

unnamed-9.jpg

The idea of “the first move” is so antiquated, but is still seen as such a power play. I’ve seen women who are strong and independent crumble under the frustration of waiting for the man they’re interested to come through.

Women are afraid to come off as too forward, but what’s unattractive about a woman who knows what she wants?

The first move was created to take the power away from us. I know its nerve wracking. Nobody enjoys the freefall of putting themselves out there. But when you face that fear, or any fear you have really, and you still push forward despite it - that is powerful.

Acknowledge your fear, give it a moment, then push it aside; because the pros outweigh the cons and that one decision can change your life in ways you only dreamed of. I was terrified when I told the man who would become my husband how I felt. But if you had told me then that a single truthful conversation would lead to a life of happiness with my best friend, I wouldn’t have believed you. My life now is so blessed, I can’t remember life before we were us.

unnamed-7.jpg
I took this lesson and applied it to the rest of my life. I stopped being a “wait and you shall see” kind of girl, and became an “ask for what you want and work hard for it” kind of woman.

I got my first real journalism internship by emailing a senior producer, asking for an interview. And when she didn’t respond the next day, I emailed her every day for a week. I got the position a few days later. When I’m passionate about a story, I pitch it. When I’m having a problem with a person, I discuss it with them. And when I feel a situation is out of my control, I ask myself, “what needs to be done?”

After all, I have the power. I’ve had it all along.


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to Emily for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. I can’t wait till I celebrate the man you choose but until then I am honored to celebrate YOU today and every day.

Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 355 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

Comment

To Love Without Condition: Day 9 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

To Love Without Condition: Day 9 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Emily Langtiw, Seashorties Blogger and Social Entrepreneur

Get to know her on InstagramFacebookBlog

Story from: Chicago, USA





To Love Without Condition



 

The definition of unconditional love is intimacy with no constraints. It is the love that is shown when someone cares about you so deeply that, through their words and actions, regardless of the circumstances. The relationship that a mother has with her children is where this is most commonly depicted, but you can find this in all authentic connections, whether that be friendships or marriage. Conditional love, on the other hand, is situational. It may disappear over time due to geographical distance, change, or conflict.

Let’s face it, we all want to be unconditionally loved and romanced. You see it in all the rom-coms that women watch, and the princess books, and the happily ever after stories. Love transcends boundaries and limitations, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. It’s also the foundation of marriage, and no woman (or man) deserves less than this in their lives. However, not all women have experienced it, let alone believe they deserve it.

IMG_5789.jpg

I’m here to remind you (and myself) that we all deserve every ounce of authentic love, despite getting involved with the wrong man (or woman), or in spite of your lack of experience in the dating scene. 

Today is a chance to begin again and do romance the right way. 

After exploring my faith more deeply, I learned that love is firmly rooted in faith. If you understand that God is the sole source of love and life, you will have an infinite amount of love to give to others. It’s a gift He’s given you, and He wants you to love without limits. This has transformed my view on how love works.

For years prior, I used to think that if I was not okay, I could not love or be loved the way I desired to be. However, when God came into my story, I realized that unconditional love means that an individual will love me, no matter what kind of day I was having. Instead of keeping myself at the unrealistic standard of always being the best version of myself in order to wholeheartedly love another, I could finally rest in knowing that I am actually not the source of love, yet I can tap into it the endless river.

IMG_3514.JPG

I did not experience unconditional love prior to last year when I met my very best friend, Sarah. She was present for my most difficult times in college, sheltered me from every storm both literally and emotionally, listened to my thoughts when life was brutal, and if the situation called for it, spoke truth into my life. Day after day, with love and persistence, she molded my character into someone I did not think I could ever become, and I refuse to imagine what life would be like without her genuinely caring for me as a human being. I picture the scene from Hidden Figures when, in the beginning, the student was handed the chalk. The professor believed in the student’s potential when no one else did not, and even if the professor did not see how this would directly benefit herself.

Think about where or if you see this play out in your own life.

10DAA5E5-E214-413F-B039-2641B50C6EDA.JPG

After experiencing unconditional love I have learnt of the core characteristics to look for if I want to create more of it in my own life (and I hope they help you too):

-       It is rooted in high morals and values.  This is why it’s super significant to know what values you stand firm in because you will know what you deserve and be less likely to compromise for someone who does not share the same outlook on life as yourself. Your values dictate the big decisions you make, and you must be able to share them with your significant other, who you will spend the rest of your life with. 

-       It happens when you unconditionally love yourself. When you are full of love, it’s easier to give and receive it. You especially know this is true about you if it doesn’t bother you to be single. Think of it this way: singleness is a gift. It’s the time to explore what intimacy looks like with God, friends, family, and yourself especially. There is a reason for this season of life, so while you are waiting for the right one to come around, embrace yourself and your gifts. By doing this, you will lessen the likelihood that you’ll deal with a codependent or abusive man.

-       It grows over timeJust like an old friend, the more experiences and storms you face with your significant other, the more the authentic the love between the both of you becomes. Think of dating as a process, not a status you sit in. You are constantly testing the waters and getting to know the other person. Like a garden, authentic connections are fostered over time. 

-       It transcends physical, emotional, and circumstantial limits. You know that you are unconditionally loved if it does not matter the season you are in, the person loves you just the same. Think of the marriage vows “until death do us part”. Loving is a choice that the both of you must make every single day, even if you do not feel that love all 365 days of the year. 

-       It is surrounded by authentic community. Involving your closest friends and mentors in your relationship will give you clear set of eyes as to whether he is right for you. Because they know you well and want the best for you, they will be present to give you advice when you face conflict, and even judge the person’s character. We all have that friend, or been that friend, who was blindsided by infatuation to the point where they ignored the red flags, so do not be afraid to surround yourself with community when evaluating if someone is a good fit.


There are also places where I found that I should not search for intimacy, (and I know many of us agree but are guilty of it).

Clearing up this confusion is just as important to navigate the dating scene. First and foremost, making virtual connections in the technological age has its harmful consequences. Let’s take, for example, dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder. Charm and beauty are their basis: you merely judge an individual based off the wittiness of their bio and the attractiveness of their profile picture. These are, unfortunately, not stable foundations for authentic intimacy because nothing substantial can develop from them. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting” (Proverbs 31:10). While I know healthy couples who met on Tinder, and it is definitely possible to meet people online, I have found it personally better to meet someone in the communities that I involve myself in in-person.

IMG_5790.jpg

Finally i’ll say try to not forget that your own limitations will affect how you relate to others. If you think that all the good guys are taken, you will only attract taken guys. If you say out loud to the universe that no man is mature enough for you, you will only attract emotionally immature men. That is, until you think otherwise. For a long time, I only attracted unavailable men because I truly believed there was no one available for me. Instead, I replaced these thoughts with realistic ones, and I am no longer slave to my previous hurtful experiences, nor am I slave to the lies that kept me from intimacy with the best men and I hope you no longer are too.

E4D9FB99-214D-4618-9B63-B9ED2BB99332.JPG

Xoxo,

Seashorties 


Hi Everyone!

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

First, a big thank you to Emily for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. I can’t wait till I celebrate the man you choose but until then I am honored to celebrate YOU today and every day.

Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. 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 356 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

Comment