The Woman You’re Meant to Be

I consider myself a strong woman, but that has not always been the case. As a child, my father was the unquestionable leader of the family. My mother was very loving, kind and funny. She stayed at home with her girls (my sister and me), and for the majority of my youth she didn’t drive or work outside the home.

From my perspective as a child, most, if not all important decisions were made by my father. Those times when I became uncooperative or unruly, threatening to tell my father was Momma’s greatest weapon to get my behavior back in line. Sadly, my mother was only forty-years-old, and I was only eleven when she left this plane of existence. Perhaps if she had been stronger …?

It is probably not surprising that when I started dating, the boy I chose was very controlling. The relationship that started when I was fifteen was filled with what I thought was love along with drama and strife. The years together included a wedding, the birth of three children, the loss of a child, and divorce.

There is no doubt I went through some major changes during those years and the ones following. I went from being a girl to becoming a woman … a strong woman. The challenges faced along the way forced me to look deep within … to learn about myself … to grow … to become the woman I am today.

Jim Rohn is quoted as saying, “Don’t wish it was easier … wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems … wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge … wish for more wisdom.”

I can’t say that I agree with Mr. Rohn 100%. I do wish those years had been easier. However, because they weren’t, I became better. Because of the challenges I faced and overcame along the way, my skills increased, and, as a result, I gained more wisdom.

Perhaps the fact that I did not get my wish for an easier, less challenging life is exactly why and how I became the strong woman I was meant to be.

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



Passion, Compassion and Love

We often associate passion with love. However, in many ways the lasting love most humans seek is more closely related to compassion than passion.

Even though “passion” is contained in the word compassion, the two are quite different. Passion as an emotion is an intense feeling or desire. Although frequently associated with love, intense passion is often closely interwoven with sex. When a man and woman meet and there is a sexual chemistry between them, passion may result in the couple ending up naked under a blanket. In this case there may be little or no real love involved.

Compassion, on the other hand, is defined as a feeling of sympathy or concern for others. Those who are compassionate tend to have a sense of connection to other people. That connection results in genuine concern. Compassionate concern is often more apparent when someone is going through a difficult period or challenge.

We can compare being compassionate to putting ourselves in another person’s shoes. We cannot necessarily fix whatever the problem is they’re having. However, simply being their … letting them know there is someone who cares … someone they can lean on … someone who will listen can make a real difference.

In a long-term relationship, compassion is an important component to the strength and duration of the happiness of the couple. Compassion, therefore, may be even more vital for love to last than passion.

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



Happy Anniversary!

What a blessing! Years of happiness have passed by in a blink. Years shared with my lover, my friend … my husband. Mike was not only one of the best looking guys in high school, he was also one of the nicest. I liked him … a lot. There was only one problem … well, maybe two. Mike was a good friend of the guy I was dating, and one of my closest girlfriends was going out with Mike. Consequently, I kept my secret crush carefully hidden.

Then … miracle of miracles! Both Mike and I were broken up from our “steadies” at the same time. He asked me out and I gladly said, “Yes!” One wonderful night. One sweet kiss that lived in my memory.

Marriage … children … divorce … years of each of us living our separate lives until… They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but in this case, they were wrong. The oh-so-good-looking boy had grown up, but he was still the kind and wonderful person I’d known. Our paths had remained entwined through the years.

Finally, a dream came true. On November 7th , it will be twenty-five years since I married the most amazing man I’ve ever known. I am so very grateful to have spent these years as half of the union of two people who deeply love, understand and respect one another. I’ve been so blessed to share this time with a man who shows his love and support every day. We’ve been through phenomenal good and also bouts of the less than ideal … lots of laughter, and a few tears. We’ve met and overcome a number of challenges along the way—each of them bringing us closer and stronger.

If I could do it all over again, I don’t think I’d change a thing. My only wish is that we may have another twenty-five years to share.

I love you, Michael Koch, and I always will.

Happy Anniversary!

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



It is Time to Hold on or Let Go?

How do you know if you should hold on to the person … the relationship you’ve been in or decide it might be time to let it go? We certainly don’t want to give up on something worth saving. There’s lots of great advice out there about how to save a faltering relationship, but how long should you keep trying.

I’m one of those people who never likes to give up. Once I make a decision, I’ll stick with it until … Until when? That’s a good question. I was only nineteen-years-old when I walked down the aisle for the first time. My father did his best to convince me I was making a mistake. But I was marrying my high school sweetheart … the boy to whom I’d given my virginity. Surely, it was the right thing to do. Wasn’t it?

So we became man and wife and I stayed. We fought … made up … fought more bitterly … made up. I left … came back … left … came back. It went on for years. There are times when it makes sense to hold on and hang in there. It proves how strong you are … how brave. Or perhaps, it simply reveals how stubborn.
The truth is, there are instances when it takes a great deal more strength to recognize that it’s time to let go and then do it, than it does to keep trying. It can be extremely difficult to release something you committed to, but it also doesn’t make sense to attempt to hold on to something that just isn’t there anymore.

My first marriage was over long before the time when we finally split apart for good. It’s painful to say goodbye to someone that you’ve been with for a long time. But it’s even worse to hold on to them if what you had is gone, or maybe what you thought you had was never really there in the first place.

If you find yourself in a relationship where you’re not receiving the kindness, consideration, respect … the love that you so readily give, that’s a huge clue. We all deserve to be with someone who behaves toward us in a way that makes us feel good. Then why is it we keep hanging on to a long-term, dysfunctional relationship that probably isn’t going to get any better? In fact, it will likely only go further downhill.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things just don’t work out. If you’ve done all you can, your partner doesn’t seem to be willing to make any effort to improve the situation, and you’re tired of trying, then it just might be time to let go.

You have to have courage to love someone. And you also have to be strong enough to know when it’s time to let go. According to the ancient philosopher, Aristotle, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” If the time has come for you to walk away … release and let go of someone you’ve been holding onto for too long perhaps this quote from Paulo Coehlo, author of The Alchemist, will help.

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.”

The Power of Love

It’s my guess that many people might not equate love with power. Yet, I believe love is the most powerful force in the universe. Whatever comes from a place of love tends to cause a ripple effect. One kindness generates another, which in turn creates another.

I love this quote from Maya Angelou. “Love is a condition so powerful; it may be that which pulls the stars in the firmament. It may be that which pushes and urges the blood in the veins. Courage: you have to have courage to love somebody because you risk everything – everything.”

Love is an extremely powerful emotion. When we love someone, we will often put their needs above our own. We find our own happiness is increased by doing things we know will please our loved one. What is it about this person? What was it that made you choose this specific individual as the one you want to spend your time … perhaps your life with? Whether we understand it or not, it is love that will cause us to surrender our own comfort for the one we love. One of my favorite stories is The Gift of the Magi. A young couple who have little, choose to sacrifice what they each value the most for the one they love.

The power of love can manifest itself in super-human strength. Tony Cavallo was underneath his 1964 Chevy Impala doing some repairs when the jack slipped. His mother, Angela Cavallo, managed to lift the 3,400 pound car off her son long enough for two neighbors to replace the jacks and rescue her child. [1] Jeff Smith was pinned under a 3,000 pound tractor. When his fourteen and sixteen-year-old daughters heard his cries for help, they called 9-1-1. However, when help didn’t arrive soon enough, the girls went into action and were able to raise the tractor enough for their father to get out from under it. [2]

Yes, these types of incidences are accompanied by increased adrenaline. However, I believe the power of LOVE is an equally important factor.

There is a power in love akin to magnetism. Its powerful attraction draws people together. It is the unseen ‘glue’ that holds couples, friends, and families together. And one of the unique qualities of love is the more you give, the more you have. What you give out comes back. If you want more love … give more love.

Each of us has the ability to give love. We have within ourselves an unending source of love. I truly believe that love can conquer all because love and life are really one in the same.

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



What is Love Without Respect?

I’ve heard it said that “Without respect, love is lost.” Can a relationship last if one or even both halves of the couple do not show respect for one another? I don’t think so. Over a period of time, I believe, it is inevitable that they would split apart.

Respect is the solid foundation upon which a lasting relationship is built. And unlike Aretha Franklin’s iconic song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, I think we should expect not just a little, but a LOT of respect from our significant other and/or spouse. In addition, we need to show and receive respect not only at home, but no matter where we might be and if not all the time, as much of the time as possible.

Of course, no one is perfect. There will be times when we are short tempered and out-of-sorts. When that happens, we may find ourselves being less than kind—speaking “down” to those we love or treating them as if they were an errant child. However, as soon as we recognize our inappropriate behavior, it is our responsibility to apologize and make amends.

How do we show respect to our loved ones? As just mentioned, when we know we’ve made a mistake or been unkind, we say, “I’m sorry,” and mean it. We give our full attention to and listen when our partner is speaking. We try not to give unsolicited advice, and when we are asked for our opinion, we take the question or request into serious consideration before answering.

When we respect our loved ones, we understand that they are unique individuals. It’s not our job to try and change or control anyone but ourselves. Their wants, needs and desires may not be the same as ours, but we can learn to work together. We can support each other in the achievement of their hopes and dreams as well as ours.

Love. Respect. Trust. Honesty. Compassion. All go hand-in-hand to make a relationship that lasts.

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



Love and Promises

The recent wedding anniversary of close family prompted this post. What were the words used during your marriage ceremony that bound the two of you together as husband and wife?

Traditional wedding vows often contain these words repeated by both bride and groom:

“I, ______, take you, ______, to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

It is likely that these promises, or slight variations, have been repeated millions of times. Perhaps these conventional declarations have been spoken so often that the words no longer hold real meaning.

Today, many couples are choosing to write their own vows. If I were to marry my husband all over again (which I would absolutely do), there are a few key words I’d want to say and hear during the ceremony. The words respect …trust … support … honesty … compassion, along with many others might be included in those very important vows. Perhaps these might be the questions I would ask my love to consider as we tied the knot.

“Do you, ________, promise to be my loving friend and partner in marriage? Do you promise to be open and honest with me? Will you agree to talk to me and to truly listen when I speak to you? Do you vow to trust and appreciate me? May I have your pledge to respect and even take pleasure in my uniqueness?

We know that our lives will be filled with joys and sorrows … ups and downs … highs and lows. Will you promise to share your hopes and dreams with me as we build our lives together? As we grow, do you pledge to keep me and our relationship in mind as you develop new interests and expand your circle of friends and colleagues?

When we experience challenges, will you commit to putting us first? If I’m struggling, going through a hard time, or simply having a bad day, will you support me, comfort me, and do your best to share your strength with me to help me get through those difficult times?

Will you strive to create a home together that abounds with compassion for all who dwell there? Do you promise to always do your best to fill our dwelling and our lives with respect and honor … happiness, peace and love?

Do you, ________, promise to love and cherish me for as long as we both shall live?”

Perhaps these words would then be repeated by my dear one, or maybe he would have his own thoughts to share.

Or perhaps these are words that should be spoken regularly? What do you think?

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



 

Love is the Key

What is the key to success? To happiness? I believe it all comes down to love. When love is present, magical things happen. Love brings people together and, if nurtured sufficiently, will hold those same people together through the ups and downs that life unerringly brings.

People of all ages have goals and desires. It starts when we’re small. We see and reach for a tempting treat – gurgling and smiling when it is received or crying when denied. Then off we go to school, and perhaps it is our goal to attain a certain grade point average or win a spot on a particular sports team. Some objectives are easily achieved … others seem too difficult, or we decide the price of achievement is too high to pay. In today’s world many students go on to a higher education. Often there’s a certain school with the perfect curriculum to lead us to the career of our dreams. Once the necessary degree is under our belt, we seek the ideal job and work to further our career.

Throughout life there are always new mountains to climb—new goals to set and achieve. However, one thing remains constant. Regardless of our age, or what it is we wish and work for and toward, it is love that underlies it all. The small child, the student, the adult … if we look closely, we can see that the need for love is the underpinning of—the very foundation of all human existence.

No matter how many goals we achieve or material things we acquire, without love none are truly satisfying. However beautiful or valuable our possessions may be, they cannot give us the love that we desire most. Many a story has been told of men and women who spent their lives seeking fame and fortune only to find at the end of their days that it was love – the closeness and caring of family and friends that matters the most.

Yes, set your goals and set them high. Work hard to achieve them. But always remember it is love that makes it all worthwhile.

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita



All Kinds of Love

There’s more to love than romance. According to Psychology Today, there are seven types of love: Eros, Phila, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia. Quite honestly, I had never heard of many of them. However, after reading the article, These Are the 7 Types of Love, I came to a conclusion.

I’ve decided that all seven types of love are wrapped together in the most perfect love. Eros is the passionate, sexual experience of lovers. It is fiery–inflaming the hearts and minds of those involved.  Often the initial attraction we have to someone comes from eros. However, that initial passion often does not and, perhaps, should not last forever. Yes, that flame will burn throughout the years. However, it would be naive to think that it could continue perpetually unabated.

 

Phila, or friendship, in large part is what holds a loving relationship together. Friends share their joys and sorrows. They’re able to talk for hours on end or sit in comfortable silence. If you can honestly say that you’re married to your best friend, you’re one lucky gal.

The familial, dependent love of storge might seem inappropriate for a loving couple. However, if you had seen the way my mother-in-law cared for her husband of over fifty years when he was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, you would likely change your mind.

To me, universal, agape, love is akin to unconditional love. It’s a love that understands that sometimes we need to put our self-interest on hold. Altruism is associated with agape love. And although we may think that coming to the aid of someone we might not even know as being altruistic, I believe this is a love needed at the center of every happy home.

Ludus is a playful love. Maybe we forget how much fun it is to flirt with and subsequently seduce the man you’ve been married to for many years. Perhaps it is the teasing fun of young love that so many miss as the months become years. Somehow, it makes me smile to just think about how much fun this type of love can be.

Arranged marriages still happen, though not as often as in the past. And this is the love referred to as pragma. Yet even those couples that start out as strangers often grow to love one another in many other ways. In fact, these types of love stories have been some of my favorites throughout the years.

Of course, without self-love, or philautia, there is no love. I still agree with the old Whitney Houston song … “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” We can only give out what we have inside.

Young Love

Hoping it wouldn’t be noticed, he looked again and again at the arm of the teenage girl walking by his side. Finally, he got the nerve to hold her hand for the first time. It was a first for both of them.

Ahhhh, young love … perhaps the beginning of a first love. Although it may not be a lasting love, it is real love. Regardless of your age–love is love, and first love is often an experience neither will ever forget.

I’ll bet most of you remember your first kiss–especially if it was a kiss you had been hoping for with anticipation. Odds are, the boy who was the first to kiss you, is not the man you are with today. While it is true that our first, second, or even third love and beyond may not be the lasting love most of us seek, it is often the one we can never forget.

I know a couple who will soon be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary. Yes, they were very young when they married … not far out of their teens. And, yes, they are the exception. However, they are also proof of what’s possible.

Congratulations, Judie & Jeff!

It is, of course, more common to see relationships that don’t last. There’s even a name – starter marriage – for a first marriage that ends in divorce. Statistics tell us that over half of the couples that split up do so within the first ten years of marriage. Why is it that some relationships last, and so many don’t?

Perhaps we can acquire some wisdom from those young people who are learning about love for the first time. Let’s go back to being friends first. Then maybe we should remember the importance of touch—how special it feels to simply hold hands. Let’s keep a sense of humor, laugh, do fun things together, and treat each other with respect. If and when a disagreement occurs, let’s sit down, talk, and then find a compromise we can both live with.

No matter your age, you can keep love alive. How? By remembering what I believe is one of the greatest pieces of advice left to us by Dr. Wayne Dyer. “When given the choice between being right and being kind … choose kind,” and keep on loving!

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Would you like to be a part of Anita Louise’s Reader Team? Just enter your email and click “Submit” below, and when you do, you’ll be added to my mailing list and will receive a FREE starter library of the first three novels in The Adler Series. All I ask is that once you finish reading each of the books, you leave your honest review on Amazon and perhaps Goodreads. Once I see that you are reading and reviewing your Starter Library, you may be invited to become a part of my elite Advance Reader Team. This will entitle you to receive the most current books and other cool things from Anita Louise before or not available to the general public.

Even if you’re not interested in joining Anita Louise’s Reader Team , please go ahead and get your FREE copy of the first romance novel by Anita Louise, “Just the Way You Are” on Amazon. Then, after you’ve read it, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your Review of “Just the Way You Are”. Your review is important – even a few words to encourage other readers is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you Love & Romance,

Anita