Couple under covers with feet poking out

A love story

In Community and Relationship, Love, Sex and Sexuality by Living Now0 Comments

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We discovered through the years that bringing our committed love to every action and moment of our shared life was the secret that maintains a relationship through the thick and thin of life.

Walking across campus, he turned to his friend and said, referring to me in the distance, “I am going to marry her!” His bold declaration came prior to even having met me.

There was something exquisite about Richard. He stood out, self confident and smart, an old wise soul filled with knowledge and a great sense of humour. He was a bit younger than I, but it didn’t matter, we matched, our hearts connected strongly! And, how we laughed, we loved, and had so much fun. His amazing self confidence overshadowed everything, and opened many doors. His deep resonant voice commanded immediate attention and respect. Yet, he was also down to earth, warm, and real, filled with vision, a strong spirit, and strength of purpose. Richard had an open generous heart for everyone, as well as an extremely sensitive nature deep inside revealed to very, very few, probably just to myself and our children. He astounded me with his gift of remembering names of people he met including names of their family members. There was also an underlying wildness about him, a bit of a rebel fighting for a cause or to do his own thing that I found a bit exciting. Regardless, he was persistent that I was the one, and he was unrelenting about it. As for me, my heart fluttered and my face blushed with a thrill every time he came into my presence. Even years later, his glance alone ignited the fires of my heart.

Richard radiated charisma. I didn’t know why, but we attracted many people to us. We both began to grow after we declared our “I do’s”. Not only were we magnets for each other but our union was a catalyst for growth. Separately we grew in our own endeavours and together, in our shared everyday life. New experiences and people continued to come to us rapidly, one after the other. Our home was grand central station. Our children grew and we grew in leadership, family, with our individual work and with many new friends and community, all embraced with love.

My husband Richard showered me with love, commitment and partnership. Young as we were, we opened our hearts to the adventure of life together. He was a romantic and so was I. He loved surprising me with dozens of yellow roses and gifts at times and places I least expected. And I loved empowering him in his career and in his journey. In our shared life, I grew a million ways and so did he. It brought me closer to God. Our gifts were revealed in abundance in an amazing spiritual and fulfilled life. I discovered myself as a teacher, a mother, a wife, workshop leader and most importantly in Spirit on a journey of service to others through spiritual experiences and expansion from the heart. Richard grew in popularity as a television anchor man, in his community service and in politics. He was going to transform the world through politics and community service. I was going to transform people from the inside out, from their spirit and hearts into life. Our common factor was our love for our children and each other. In retrospect, we learned so much through our individual experiences that at times we missed special moments with each other, with our children, and with our family experiences. Most importantly, we learned a lot about our relationship, realising what worked and what didn’t work in the process. We talked about it, took courses together, and sometimes we talked to counsellors. Some areas were corrected and others seemed to slip into routine in the course of life. Regardless of our many big successes as well as our huge mistakes in our relationship, there was one thing that never faltered, and it was our deep love and dedication for each other no matter the difficult situations that life sometimes dealt us.

We would laugh and say that our marriage, our love, was a model for others. Our lives together served other relationships. I held this context, even though we would say this in jest, proud of our lives together as it unfolded. Frankly, our relationship sometimes felt like it was crippled, running on two wheels rather than four and sometimes lacked a unity of purpose and direction, yet underneath the flow of everything, the love remained strong and constant. Funny but it was our off times that provided a learning curve highlighting behaviour, beliefs, communications, or actions that were separating us from a sense of wholeness and deep connection in our relationship.

We discovered through the years that bringing our committed love to every action and moment of our shared life was the secret that maintains a relationship through the thick and thin of life.

It seems so simple a solution to make a promise with yourself and your partner to have the deep love shared be the primary foundation of your lives together. It simply says you are identifying and choosing love, the love you share, as the primary source, the most important out of which you make all choices, decisions, and resolutions in life. Oh, how enriching and profound a life can be if love is allowed to lead the way. Yet, how many times do we find ourselves in the midst of a power struggle or disagreement where love gets lost as resentments and hurt feelings begin to build. Unfortunately, the resentments, hurt feelings, or anger then tend to take the place of love as the source out of which the relationship lives.

Oh how we love romantic love and oh how we want to love and be loved deeply by another. Oh how we want to be held precious as the most special person in the heart of another. And, oh how we yearn for a best friend and fun playmate to be the love of our heart. It takes that certain quality of ‘being’ that most people experience when first they fall in love that is vitally important to maintain throughout the life of the relationship. This love is what must be nurtured and protected for it is this empowered context that has the relationship grow and richly deepen through time. This is what will have the sun shine in both hearts and the possibility to have happiness abound. The secret is simple: unconditional love in every moment allows the spirit of pure love to lead the way in actions, choices, conversations, listening, speaking and experiencing.

There are times when disagreements, circumstances of life, power struggles, feeling of being stifled with loss of self-expression and freedom of spirit, will thwart the love. There are times when family or friends’ interference or judgments permeate the relationship creating a gradual separation of the union of love and trust. In time, there can be many incidents of life that can begin to weaken this strong bond of love. It takes tenacity, a very strong commitment and dedication between the partners to never, never have any circumstance in life separate them, or destroy the solid foundation of their love.

How could you ever dishonour the one you love? How could you ever demean or hurt the one you love so deeply? When this begins to take place, love truly begins to crumble. Again, it is resentments, anger, disappointments, ego, power play, control, and hurt feelings that are generating the horror of these actions and not love.

Bring yourselves together, not only in the love of two people, but bring your love together as two souls traversing through life with a promise of love that goes beyond this world. This is a love from the heart and soul that not only withstands the throes of time and life, but strengthens, deepens, and enriches.

Te amo, I love you, ‘je t’aime’. How is it to live true to these words in action every single day and moment in life? What does this commitment call in you to develop and strengthen? What bad habits of behaviour does it call for you to let go of that would violate this sacred love? These are vital questions to contemplate. For if a relationship fails and we are being honest with ourselves, we will see that we played a major part. How brilliant of you to always have these questions in mind in the midst of a major breakdown with your love. How brilliant to note the part you played in dishonouring, breaking down the context of love you promised to live by. For instance, the moment we take stock of how we reacted to real or perceive hurtful situations, made reactive decisions, then took actions based on these reactions, it can be guaranteed you will see how this behaviour diminished the love. If it continues and is not addressed, the love will begin to dwindle and the relationship will continue on a downward trajectory. When we hold still and return to our foundation of love, and we listen, we will discover that love naturally leads the way to resolution. You will then begin to observe circumstances from a different perspective, notice how reactive, defensive positions can escalate a situation and increase the breach of love.

Oh how we love to be right and make the other wrong and how it destroys the union of love. We become two blind lovers in a ring fighting with each other in the contest of who will be right. At the end of the match, separation begins to take place. The foundation of love has shifted, with power and control becoming the most important aspect, and love secondary.

All of this is avoidable. The strong spirit of love between two souls who both are committed to have their love be the foundation of their relationship, can maintain this state throughout their time together. It is vital you realise that definitely, yes, there will be many circumstances or life situations that could diminish or destroy that foundation and therefore the relationship. Together, the strength of your joined spirits, holding true to your love, will be stronger than the forces of a rising ego, or all the different circumstance of life. Together you can grow and flourish in every element, individually and as a couple, always holding firm and true the precious, holy love you share.

From the spirit of my husband Richard who passed away in 2005 and from the spirit of my heart, we bring you these gifts. Our wish is for every person reading this article, whether presently in relationship or not, be inspired with renewed commitment toward magnificent relationships of love. We wish that now or in future years, your relationship – and the beautiful love you felt for each other as you took your vows – grows, enriches, and flourishes through the years, remaining pure and sacred for always.

From our heart to yours, Richard and Diana.

Diana Vela is founder and director of Programs of the Heart in the United States bringing the heart and love to people’s lives for 25 years.

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