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love stories

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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… 

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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. 

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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

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

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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.

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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 

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

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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.

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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

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Curious Love: Day 23 of 365 Days of Love

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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




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Summers Red Light: Day 14 of 365 Days of Love

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Post-College Heartbreak: Day 8 of 365 Days of Love

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Post-College Heartbreak: Day 8 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Brenda Lozano, Program Analyst and Beauty Influencer

Get to know her on instagram: @BellaBeauty808

Story from: Hawaii


Post-College Heartbreak




I still remember the first time I saw him on my university campus. It was 2006, my freshman year. Shaun* (name has been changed) captured my attention with his stature and big muscles. He had a presence about him that you couldn’t miss him if you tried. As soon as I saw him in COM 101 I knew I had to introduce myself. 

After class ended, I speed walked to talk to him and within a week we were inseparable. My family had moved off of the island and he was a transfer from California. After a few short months, Shaun became my family. I shared my deepest secrets with him, we had inside jokes, sang to each other, complained about different classes, and just about everything else. Every guy on campus envied him and my friends wished they had a relationship like ours. 

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Of course, as mature as I like to think we were, we weren't. I craved attention and neglected friendships. And Shaun? He wasn’t perfect either. He had a temper at times and girls flirted with him left and right. But we were two young college kids in love. It was us against the world.

My birthday always fell during spring break in Hawai’i. During my birthday week, days shy of my 21st birthday I was upset with him. He had kept something from me and we got into an argument. I went to his place a day after our argument and had a bad attitude with him as I will still upset. In a split second, Shaun lunged at me and raised his hand, as if to hit me.

I will never forget the terror and adrenaline that ran through my veins.

My 5’4 160 lbs self versus his 6’6 225 lbs stature was quite the difference. He could have severely injured me. As soon as I could get out of his apartment, I did. I ran for about 2 blocks with tears streaming down my face and my hands balled up into fists. I had never felt so afraid. 

Eventually I made it back to my dorm room and he apologized shortly after. We stayed together for several more years after that. We met each others families, discussed marriage, broke up and got back together. I knew it was over long before it was over. There were so many times when it should have ended. 

During the last few weeks of my junior year, I had a mental breakdown and he abandoned me afterwards (a clear sign he was not the right man for me, as if the abuse was not enough of a sign). But for some young naive reason I stayed in a relationship with him and after graduation when I got a job in northern California it made sense for us to move together but he said it wasn’t the right time for us to do so.

So we had a long distance relationship and he never came to visit me (another clear sign I should have picked up on). I cried myself to sleep for many nights during that time thinking love shouldn’t hurt this way. But I held on to our relationship like a lifeline. Why?

I held on because it was routine.

It was comfortable despite all of the heartbreak.



It was February 2013 and I had just gotten back from visiting Shaun. A week or so after my visit he sent me a text message in the middle of my workday breaking up with me. I was devastated. My stomach churned and my heart shattered. I immediately texted him back and received no response. After work, I called and called to no avail. He shut me out. Threw me away like a piece of trash. 

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The year after the break-up was HARD. There were many nights where I called him and of course, he would not pick up.  I'd then leave tearful voicemail messages hoping he’d hear them and call me back. I lost myself in pain and wallowed in it. I became bitter and distrustful of men. I couldn’t express true happiness for my friends in happy healthy relationships. I did not recognize the person I had become. 

Eventually, I got to a point where I had to find healing and closure.

This journey to healing wasn’t easy and I still find myself on it. After Shaun completely shut me out, I wished so many bad things upon him. I knew I was on my way to true healing when I wished pure happiness for him.

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As for me, I am happy most days. Some days I think of him, if only briefly. Other days, my brain betrays me and I dream of him. When I am feeling a strong sense of pity for myself, I think that I had my chance at love and blew it. Most days though, I think about the future and envision a love so great that I couldn’t dream it if I tried.

So for now, I am trying to become the best version of myself. I fail myself often, but every day I work at it. I know I have to keep practicing true love towards myself.

I know that only when I can truly love myself is when I will attract the love I hope to find and deserve.

I also am practicing patience. Patience with myself and patience that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. It would be easy for me to regret all of those years with Shaun. To be completely honest I sometimes feel I wasted the best years of my youth with him but I know, without Shaun I wouldn’t have been able to dig myself out of that dark and painful place. So today, I thank him because I learned so much about myself and so much about I will not tolerate in a relationship. I learned that our relationship was far from healthy and there is a very big difference between love and lust. 

Taking a step back and reflecting I find myself asking the question: What is the definition of love? Does anyone know? After Shaun and after everything I went through, I think love is resilient, steadfast, truthful, respectful, comforting, tender, loyal…and that’s just the shorthand version. One day I hope and pray love finds me; And when that day comes, I hope I am ready to receive it whole-heartedly and I hope you do too.

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*Name has been changed


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love.

First, a big thank you to Brenda 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 357 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

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Friends to Partners: Day 7 of 365 Days of Love

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Friends to Partners: Day 7 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief introduction to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year (365 to be exact) to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories)

  3. Insights/thoughts about love


LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 7 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!

-Aida


Earlier this year in Lebanon I attended an inspiring event that brought youth together to inspire them to create social impact. There had to be over 300 people each buzzing with excitement from a combination of their natural youth, the fancy pink lights and the $250k ticket prize about to be awarded.

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Being a person who is sensitive to energy I quickly gravitated to two individuals who were glowing (for this article I will call them Hiba and Khalid as they asked to be anonymous). In this event filled with brilliant people I spent a significant amount of time with them and found myself not wanting to leave their company. I could not tell at the time whether it was their energetic young energy, their love for social impact or love for each other but I knew there was something special about them two. Today I finally know why.

This week during my call for stories for 365 Days of Love, I heard from Hiba*. She shared her story with me about how that night when we met in the hills of beautiful Lebanon, Khalid* confessed his love for her.

They have been friends for years and on that buzzing night he took the plunge and leaped to risk their friendship to tell her how he felt.

He has loved her secretly for two years and she had no idea. She did too.

It’s all in his eyes. Where I find the hue of the most magical things in life and all my reasons why. They are kind you could lost in …and I guess I did.
— Anonymous woman (Hiba*)

In looking back I could see the mutual respect and love they had for each other. The details in how attentive he was to her, not being afraid to have her lead a conversation, making sure she had something to drink and just seeming in awe when she spoke. She very much mirrored that exact love, respect and attentiveness.

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Hiba* in her story to me says in poetic speech:

It’s the way he carries his heart in his eyes and I swear I saw my name there more than once. Like a deep ocean they immerse my soul entirely and I am not afraid of drowning.

In his eyes, I knew I might burn but I just had to inch a little closer. I took the plunge.

In his eyes, my worlds have been stolen away making me happily lost inside his, my new world. My me home.

In his eyes, all time stops, mirrored by the clocks that stop ticking the moment I stared into them.

In his eyes, my soul pointed at him and whispered to my heart “him”.

My heart showed me in light form that “everything will be ok” in a sky with a million people that went unnoticed. 

With my eyes locked to his, I knew he is all I want.

With my eyes locked to his, time had a different and new profound meaning.

Today I ask for time to be kind to us, for me to fulfill my wish of graduating with him, growing with him, succeeding with him, and never loosing him.

With our eyes locked to each other, I ask God to keep him for me today and every day.


This beautiful and sweet story is just a reminder that love could be standing right next to you and you would never have guessed it. It reminds me how your longest friends can actually become the best partners, the partners you dreamt of who were standing right beside you all those years.

It also taught me that details matter. The way he introduces you, the way he looks at you, the small attentive things (or lack of) matter. So as you embark on your journey of love take a moment to be aware of those precious and very telling details.

Thank you to the beautiful couple (names anonymous) for sharing that special night with me and more importantly for sharing a glimpse of your love story to inspire more people to invest in love. I deeply look forward to celebrating love at your future wedding and every single day.

Thankful for knowing you both, may God bless every moment in your life.

With Lots of Love,

Aida


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 above). We have 358 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

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Trust: Day 6 of 365 Days of Love

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Trust: Day 6 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief introduction to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year (365 to be exact) to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories)

  3. Insights/thoughts about love


LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 6 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!

-Aida


Indecision

.

Self-Doubt

.

Poor Judgement

.

What do these three words have in common?

.

Iyanla Vanzant says it is trust. Or rather lack of it.

The problem with todays culture and lack of trust, is due to the fact that we do not know who we are. In continuation to Sumayya’s story yesterday (Day 5 of 365 Days of Love), I and many of us realized that we walk around the day carrying ourselves without really deeply knowing who we are.

The problem with not knowing who we are is that we do not trust ourselves,

we do not know where our internal compass is,

how to listen to our intuition and

how to differentiate between the right or poor choices for us.

What follows from lack of knowing and trusting ourselves is we lack the capacity to trust in others and unfortunately taking a series of bad decisions such as bad relationships that always lead to some degree of heart break.

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But when thinking of heart break and working on trust I ask, how do we not let our past experiences and heart breaks scar us? How do we let go of the resentment to the people who broke our hearts and the fear of being hurt again? Iyanala’s advice goes back to trust but working on trusting yourself first. She says how the issue is not in trusting people but in trusting yourself to find the right type of people, to hear that inner voice that is guiding us and trust yourself that when people leave you you will be ok.

We all know how to suffer. But when it comes to being open, vulnerable, following our intuition and facing the unknown, can we do that?
— Iyanla

She shares how after being heart broken from every possible person in her life from experiencing rape, being abused, burying her daughter, getting a divorce and sadly more, she concludes that the only way to heal and find contentment in this life is through love. The path to love is trust in the following order:

  1. Trust in yourself

  2. Trust in God

  3. Trust in others

  4. Trust in Life

Iyanla reminds us that an experience you had does not define who you are today and who you will be tomorrow. If you trusted yourself more, you would not have those feelings of indecision, self-doubt and poor judgement because you would know the common truth in our hearts, that all will be ok.

When you live with trust, everything else becomes irrelevant.

That means you should be willing to

stand alone sometimes,

to piss some people off,

to look different,

sound different,

be different.

and those are risks many of us are not willing to do.

Are you?


A big thank you for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed Iyanlas thoughts then listen to her full podcast interview with Oprah here.

If you have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch. We have 359 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

Share you story here.

Follow the stories here.

With lots of love,

Aida

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I met the man of my dreams. Twice: Day 5 of 365 Days of Love

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I met the man of my dreams. Twice: Day 5 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief introduction to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year(365 to be exact) to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories)

  3. Insights/thoughts about love

LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 5 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!

-Aida


Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram: @thisissumayya


I met my dream man. Twice.


The first time I met the man I would go on to marry, I was 22 years old, about to go on to a post-graduate degree and living a sham of a life. We met on a sunny October afternoon (4 years ago to be exact), and I think I knew right away that he was the man I wanted to marry, but our engagement would last only a few months before ending the following summer.  

We didn’t know it at the time, but two years later, we would be officially celebrating our engagement.

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This story is not about my engagement per se. It’s about what happened after that failed first attempt, and what I had to go through before we found our way back to each other again. Because while it may sound incredibly dramatic, during the two years we were apart, my life literally flipped upside down. The life of Sumayya Tobah was altered or reversed in every aspect, in one way or another.  

You see, when we called off our engagement the first time, I was incredibly unhappy. I knew, I knew in my heart that this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And yet, due to so many factors beyond my control, we fell apart. But as time ticked on -- one day later, one week later, one month later -- and I was still unhappy, I decided I needed a change.

Not a change. I needed a revolution.


First thing I did, I changed my setting. Literally.

I left the small Canadian town that had been my home for about eight years, and moved to Washington D.C. to work full time as a journalist covering the 2016 election. I left with two suitcases of sweaters, a couple of hijabs and a serious chip on my shoulder. I was fully prepared to embrace this new chapter of my life and become the person I had been dreaming of. And in doing that, I was trying to accept that my future might not include a significant other.

Journalists are notorious for having no personal lives. Going into my career I was so sure I would be in it alone. I was working 14 hour days, obsessed with the DC scene and desperately trying to break into the world here. But I was ecstatic. For the first time in my life, I had chosen my own home.

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The next thing I did was clear my life of any and all toxic relationships.

Some of this happened naturally but most was completely conscious. As soon as I moved out to DC on my own, I stopped having a lot in common with my friends back in Canada. Why would I care about small town gossip? I didn’t want to hear about so-and-so engagement or whats-her-name’s breakdown. I was worried about paying rent. I was overwhelmed with the news cycle. I did not fit into the mold that these girls were used to. And I was sick of the bullshit.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with cutting out people in your life who are fake, who do not understand your purpose, who make you unhappy. While my friendships lasted since high school, they were empty. For years I had been feeling restless and unsatisfied by empty conversations and shallow people. But looking around at fifteen, at nineteen, at twenty-one, I remember asking myself, who do I have to turn to? what choice to I have?

Well, I had a choice now.

I truly believe a person’s friends is a representation of who they are. I was looking at the girls who were in my life at the time and I thought, is that how I want to speak? How I want to represent myself? How I want to be thought of?

Which is probably how I came to the realization that I didn’t really know myself.

So I re-centered myself.

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In a new city, without any of my former friends, I found myself facing silence. Literal silence. It was the uninvited guest waiting in my apartment every night when I returned from the bustling Newsroom. Growing up in a big family, I had never experienced silence like this. And with the exception of my family and a select few friendships, I was completely on my own. It was at this time, I began to rediscover who I was. In some ways, this was a spiritual experience; I found myself attending more faith-based events, taking more care during prayers, making sure my spiritual and mental health was taken care of.

In other ways, it was totally practical. I didn’t have anyone to go to movies with, go to dinner with, attending work functions with, so I had to learn to stand on my own. Believe me when I say this was the most terrifying and most cherished time in my life. I needed that time to travel, to work, to just breathe on my own before I was able to commit to someone else in my life.

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Looking back at that time on my own, not only did I learn who I was, I learned to diminish others’ opinions of me. Whether that was the town that never felt like home, the frienemies who were leaching off of me, or the passersby who judged as I enjoyed a meal alone. Every morning I wake up in this skin, with its scars, blemishes and imperfections. I wake up with this impossible mind and this resilient heart. I had to know it and love it inside and out before I could surrender it to another.

And so, when I met my dream man for the second time, a year later, he was exactly the same. But I was a completely changed woman.

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A big thank you to the beautiful human being, Sumayya for sharing her story and a few of the many lessons she has learnt. If you have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch. We have 300 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

Share you story here.

Follow the stories here.

With lots of love,

Aida

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Letting Go: Day 3 of 365 Days of Love

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Letting Go: Day 3 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief intro to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories

  3. Insights/thoughts about love

LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 3 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!


Every one of has felt some degree of romantic love to someone (whether you called it a crush or deep love). This love has either led you to be single or in a relationship right now. If you are in the relationship club that’s awesome but this article is tailored to more for the singles (please do share your love story here for the next article).

For the ones who are single right now that obviously means that the romantic love with that person you are thinking of right now didn’t work out. The normal person would take some time to get over it and move on to be open to other potential loves, but unfortunately there are many, many and I mean many women (including myself) and men who get so hung up on their past that they can’t seem to live their present nor see their future.

I have done this to myself, where I made every excuse possible to why the man has disappeared (as if I was his lawyer or some sort). “He is going through stressful times at work, he needs some space”, “He just went through surgery, he is feeling vulnerable and needs to be alone”, “He has commitment issues so i’m sure he will take a break then realize I am the right person for him”.. and the list of excuses goes on and on and on.

But the reality is quite simple. If a man wants you, YOU will know. He’s just not that into you
(I know it sucks to hear that but it really is that simple). Men aren’t very complex people, in fact I sometimes find them simpler than women (even though these days I question their ethics sometimes, an article on ghosting is coming soon).

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Have you ever watched the movie he is just not that into you? If not then i’ve found your plans for the night. Get some popcorn, a cozy blanket and watch it. Then come back here and share your thoughts!


So why am I talking about the past? Because if you are hung up on the past then you are blinded from the present. Imagine that for today you have decided to go sit at a cafe to sip on your delicious latte right before you head off to work. We are creatures of habit so we go back to our habit of thinking of him, remembering that time he made us laugh, thinking if he is ok, then without meaning to you look at your phone hoping he will text you all of a sudden (maybe he felt you thinking of him?).

But while you were in your own world thinking of someone who is obviously not thinking of you (remember if a man is into you, you will be the first to know), there was a cute guy sitting across from you. He has been trying to find a way to catch your attention but you were so into your thoughts of the nonexistent man and the man who frankly doesn’t deserve your thoughts.

He may even say hi, but you couldn’t hear or notice him because you were so deep into your thoughts that you somehow drowned out all external noise. Stop to think about it, how many moments have you wasted thinking about a man (or woman) who hasn’t deserved it? how many imaginary situations have you created of hearing from him (or her)? then think about the many potentials of men (or women) that you have blocked from entering your life because your mind and heart was so obviously taken (to someone’s mind and heart was clearly single)?

For today lets take a moment to let go and make room for the future potentials who will clearly show us that they are into us and who will never leave us sitting at a cafe sipping latte wondering if they are into us. Here are a few things I would recommend you do (and I did myself):

  1. Give yourself one night to feel the emotions you need to feel. Remember every detail about him, your time together, all the dreams and hopes you had for both of you, reread messages etc. Do whatever you need to do get it out of your system and look at all this knowing this is your LAST time.

  2. Write a letter to him, write down everything you would have wanted to say then throw or burn it. You don’t want it around you since you are moving on but it feels amazing writing it all out.

  3. The day you do this, before you sleep thank God and thank the guy for having been in your life, the lessons you learnt and say you let him go.

  4. Imagine now that you have let him go there is a vacant space within you, imagine this space is now filled with new and better love. Love first for yourself (the most important love) then space for a new love.

  5. In this new healthy space of love, concentrate on the emotions you want to feel. Is it respect, silliness, happiness, fullness, warmth etc? Focus on it, feel it then become it.

  6. Then let it all go again. Give it to the universe to sent you what is meant to be knowing that you are doing your part of (1) Making space for new things by letting go of the past (2) Loving yourself (3) Knowing what you want to feel (4) Having faith the right kind of love with come.

And with that I thank you for taking the time to first take care of yourself in the love department because at the end of the day it is the most important one. Thank you for reading this and for your time.

If you have a story or thoughts to share please get in touch. Also if you know someone who would like to sponsor these posts let me know here! We all would love to hear from you. Until then have a beautiful day filled with love!

Lots of Love,

Aida

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365 Days of Love &amp; YOU

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365 Days of Love & YOU

It’s been 5 hours since my launch of requesting contributors to join in the 365 Days of Love initiative and the number of people interested in sharing their stories and insights in love has been incredible!!!

SO happy to hear in this great interest to help people (and ourselves) celebrate, learn and grow in love. To help ease the process of becoming a contributor i’m sharing the steps below:

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There are three categories to write an article under 365 Days of L o v e:

  1. Fictional stories (day to day possibilities of meeting the person you love)

  2. Factual stories of love you have experienced or have heard of

  3. Your personal insights and thoughts about love 


Please send the below information to my email aidamurad@gmail.com or through the contact page here:

  1. Your full name (as you would like it to appear on the guest blog post)

  2. Your title (job title or whatever it is you want (such as thinker, creative etc)!)

  3. The category you selected (categories listed above - either 1, 2 or 3)

  4. Your blog post title

  5. Your article 

  6. Your social media links if you want people to follow you or reach out directly to you :) 

  7. If you have a preference for a date to release your article


Can’t wait to read your beautiful stories and insights. Excited to have you be part of this. 



Lots of love,

Aida 

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A Neighbor: Day 1 of 365 Days of Love

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A Neighbor: Day 1 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief intro to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing 1 story a day for the next year to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities.

Lets see where we could meet our partner today - Day 1 of 365 days. Lets kick this off!

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It’s Monday morning, the start of an incredible week. Before I dive into work, emails, messages (any external facing things) I take a moment and close my eyes seeing, feeling and believing what a beautiful week this will be.

I select a word or two that I hope symbolizes what the day would look like. Today I have selected flow, openness and productivity. I sit on the floor to meditate on these three words and feel the feelings I would have if my day just flowed, my heart was open and my work so incredibly productive. I automatically start smiling and feel what I want to happen.

And that’s when the magic happens, when you start feeling what you want that eventually you become it.

Now lets move on to the love part. Every day you will notice we will take some time to focus on something about our day (because love is only one part of our day) then we will focus on love.


To start off, we have one exercise to do. Love is a word full of so many meanings and associations. This is exactly why we will have a daily exercise to get a bit more clarity on where we stand with it:

  • Put pause and become aware of what word(s) do you associate Love with? Are they negative or positive associations?

  • When you get the clarity on what association you have with it start understanding the Why behind it.

  • If its negative then work on mentally and emotionally releasing it and replacing it with a new positive awesome association. People like to either visualize releasing it or actually releasing something physical. Up to you just as long as you release it and replace it with something positive.

  • Meditate on this positive association with the word Love and feel it. Believe that You (yes YOU) embody it and are it.

  • Push your meditation further after feeling it completely and envision attracting the same level of frequency (association and feeling) of people and events around you.

  • Let go and give it all to God. Put your faith in life and surrender. Breathe in and breathe out with complete freedom knowing that there is something greater than you that will take care of you.


Ok now lets put out a possibility out to the universe on how we could meet our Mr. (or Miss) Love. I’ll start with the basics. We all live somewhere, whether its in an apartment, a dorm room or a farm. We all have people around us whether they are wall to wall or farm to farm. We all pass by people whether its every hour or every few days. So lets open up ourselves to the possibility of meeting Mr. (or Miss) Love without going anywhere, by simply being home.

Today I have decided to take a small walk around my neighborhood area. I feel incredible after doing this meditation on Love and I feel full. I’m walking just smiling by myself. I haven’t changed anything in my routine and go out walking with my huge beats headphones (which I often wonder if it scares people off but I really do enjoy the beats that come out of it so i’ve stuck with it).

I start walking then I see the most beautiful husky infront of me. I don’t pay attention to the man walking the husky and just go straight to the husky. The husky seems happy to see me too (even though we just met) he licks my face and knocks off my beats headphones from my head.

This is perfect. It makes me realize I haven’t said hi to the person holding the husky (aka husky owner) and it made me realize the guy has been trying to say hi but I wasn’t hearing him.

With a bit of shyness, I stand up and introduce myself and complement his beautiful dog. He introduces himself and says he is new to the neighborhood and moved in yesterday. I’m the first person he has met and he says he is glad to have met someone from the neighborhood (aka me).

I smile with blushed cheeks and say i’m glad too (mostly because of his adorable husky). We exchange stories about huskies (I had two in Jordan) and we decide to walk around the neighborhood together with invisible tails that are both wagging (an inspired scene from Dalmatians, I think yes). Its not even 9 am and I have met someone new on my morning walk right next to my home.

The End.

So what’s happened here is that I just made space for the possibility of meeting someone who lives in my neighborhood. It could be a new neighbor, an old neighbor (not in age but time of living there), a friend visiting your neighbor, a stranger who just got lost there by mistake etc etc etc. Think about it have you been open to the possibility of meeting someone who lives around you?

Take a moment today to imagine the possibilities of how you could meet someone without having to leave your area. Just make space for that possibility. Don’t obsess or think every person who walks you by could be that but just make room for the amazing possibility and if its meant to be it will show itself.

End of Day 1 from 365 days of Love.

(If you have a story to share please do share here!!)

With Lots of Love,

Aida

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