• Jeanette Miura

The 3 Most Important Messages for Long Lasting Love

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” – Fred Rogers



I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. My dislike started when I learned about its dark Roman origins. According to historian Noel Lenski, Romans would celebrate the feast of Lupercalia February 13th through 15th by sacrificing goats and dogs and then using the hides of these slain animals to whip women. “Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them,” Lenski says. “They believed this would make them fertile.” And once the whipping was over women would participate in a “matchmaking lottery” where they would spend the rest of the festival with the man that drew their ticket. As charming as this seems, I have to give honoring this Roman ritual a “hard pass”.


And then we have the irascible tentacles of capitalism suffocating this day to death. According to Business Insider Americans spent 20.7 billion dollars on Valentine’s gifts in 2019 and a whopping 27.4 billion in 2020. I love chocolates and flowers as much as the next person, but as the Beatles so eloquently put it, “Can’t Buy Me Love”. And nowadays flowers and chocolates won’t suffice in the “bigger is better” American standard. This emphasis on spending instead of loving perverts all fantasies of cupid and his eternal love arrow.


Despite this, I must admit that at my core I am a hopeless romantic. I love being in love. I love romantic comedies and love songs. I love the scent of rose petals delicately placed on my bed. I have had the great fortune of being in love with an incredible man for 30 years. And all these years despite my rebukes, my husband has faithfully bought me roses and chocolates every Valentine’s day.


We’ve grown up together. We’ve had children together. We’ve built a home together. We’ve seen the best and worst parts of each other and after all these years I’m still “All in”. The truth is you need so much more than love to make a relationship work over time. Love is the easy part of the equation. It’s the commitment to stay in love that requires effort and support. To this end, I am sharing the three quotes I have relied on for inspiration these past many years. They remind us to keep on loving especially on days when loving is hard.


“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” – Fred Rogers


And strive we must. The most challenging aspect of any relationship is accepting the “ugly” in our partner, and everyone has an ugly side. The key is asking, “Can I demand perfection as an imperfect creature myself?” At some point in the relationship the love goggles come off. For some this happens in a matter of weeks and for others it may take years. Whatever the time frame, when this happens we quickly lose compassion for our partners. We come face to face with the “ugly” bits and pieces they had successfully kept hidden. The truth of who they are at their core confronts your truth. You then learn how badly their parents screwed them up, how much trauma they experienced, and how many of their wounds are still fresh. And this is when the real work begins. This is when you must decide if you are “All in” and can accept them exactly as they are and love them anyway.


If after looking at all the “ugly” you decide you can still love this person, then it’s time to begin growing together. Its time to understand you are a perfect creation and so is your partner. It’s time to have abundant compassion for your partner and commit to building them up, not tearing them down. It’s time to accept them exactly as they are here and now and love them anyway.


Even

After

All this time

The sun never says to the earth,


“You owe

Me.”


Look

What happens

With a love like that

It lights the

Whole

Sky


- Hafiz


One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is to never keep score. The scales will never be perfectly balanced and all you will gain is resentment for your partner if you do. Once you surrender keeping score you will begin to experience a love greater than you ever imagined.


Learning to keep score started for most of us as children vying for our parent’s attention. We made decisions about our value in relation to how much our parents gave us compared to our siblings. And then we take this childhood scorecard, cross out the word “Parents” at the top and fill in, “Husband” or “Wife”. Love is a constant give and take, and sometimes you may give more than you take and vice versa. Like the yin and yang, we are constantly flowing into each other waxing and waning as we move together. Embrace this. Accept this.


“People will rise and fall to the level of your expectations.” – Esther Hicks


Building on compassionate acceptance you always have the choice to decide which lens you view your partner through. You have the, “I only see your “ugly” lens, and then you have the, “You are so wonderful and perfect lens.” It’s so easy to get stuck on the “ugly” lens because the “ugly” is that tacky neon sign at the No-Tell Motel you can’t help but look at. The lens you wear will define your expectations of your partner at that moment. Simply put, if you choose the “ugly” lens there is no doubt your partner will meet your expectations by showing you their “ugly” side. Deliberately choose to view your partner through the “wonderful” lens and your partner will rise to meet your expectations every single time.


Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’ll add these inspirational quotes to your love toolbox as we have. And, when you need support, I hope you open that toolbox and use these inspirational messages to remind you to keep on loving.



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