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Elevating Love :: Why it Matters

celebrating love
{image 2013 copyright Catherine Abegg of Calima Portraits – yes, that’s me and my sweet hubby!}

There are a couple of reasons that I am going to start my first real post of the New Year by talking about love. {I mean, really, can we talk too much about love?!}

First of all, have you read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl? It will break your heart and make you cry and inspire you to ELEVATE YOUR LOVE all at the same time. I understand that reading about life in a Nazi death camp may not be the favorite way to start off the new year, but bear with me for a second here – it truly is worth the heartbreak and tears to receive the gift of {many} gems so plainly tucked into the pages of this small, powerful book: gems about LOVE. There is a love story in the midst of this madness that is so simple and so beautiful it will make you wonder why-oh-why aren’t you celebrating your love (for whomever!) every minute of each of our ordinary bless-ed days!

The author speaks of being forced to march in the middle of winter, in the dark early mornings, under the gaze of searchlights and guards and butts of rifles, on extraordinarily sore feet and swollen legs, stumbling on ice and through ruts and puddles, while being shouted at like animals. Conditions that are horrifying to anyone who would read this passage. Yet he and his neighbor manage to find comfort – reprieve of the most beautiful kind, in exchanging a comment about thinking upon their wives {wherever they be, the author knowing not whether his was dead or alive.}

And he states:
“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”

Wow. I read this last night and wept.

And I had to reflect on whether my love, my beloved had received the proper placement (emphasis/attention/appreciation) in my life — and my heart broke a little more. Isn’t it a little too easy to lose sight sometimes of this known truth — deep, deep down underneath all the layers of life, we do know this to be true – and yet, what do we do about it? What do you do about it?

How do we feel when we contemplate our love and our beloved? True that we may never know anything near the horror or heartache experienced by so many in this world, but need we experience that to reach the highest heights of celebrating our love, our beloveds? Why can’t we elevate our love, celebrate it every day, reach the highest heights of appreciation and acknowledgement of the beloveds in our life? Can we not decide to sweep petty issues aside, minor complaints, daily grievances – all the little ways we attempt to {falsely} protect ourselves by asking for more, creating a little distance instead of drawing each other near? Can you relate to this? {Insert big breath here}.

The second reason I am going to write about love, love, love is that in three days, my hubby and I will be celebrating our third wedding anniversary.

The average person may not think much of a third wedding anniversary – after all, it’s no 50th, right?! To me, wrong! The peaks and valleys that I have been through with my beloved, my hubby Phil, in three years match and sometimes exceed those in my previous 34 years of life. We have packed a lot in to our three years together, which makes the celebration of our love, of our strengths, our weaknesses, our endurance, our achievements, our heartaches, all of our time together and the distance that we have traveled that much sweeter.

We have been through some major life events together in three short years – enduring two miscarriages, the death of my baby sister in a tragic car accident, the pregnancy and birth of our beautiful baby boy, the continued illness (stage 4 breast cancer) of Phil’s mom, some major work-life transitions, as well as a handful of other very difficult challenges within our own lives and the lives of our families. Our own relationship reached the depths of despair around 9 months post-partum, where we both had some dark and lonely days. And we’ve been digging our way out since, and I am so happy to report that we have made major strides forward and are clearly in view of another peak (instead of valley). Of course spotted throughout all of this has been endless opportunity for joy and beauty as well – including starting our journey together as parents, taking some fabulous road trips to astonishingly beautiful places in nature which brings peace to both of our souls, reaching new heights and success in our careers, experiencing the receipt of so much love and joy and support from family and friends, developing new friendships with really fabulous people and deepening other friendships … the list goes on.

And so, when I pause to think upon all we have to celebrate ….. our journey has been so rich and so full, providing overflowing joys, lots of tears, but many many moments of wonder and reminders of the amazing fact that our love continues: that is has grown and has even more opportunity for growth is reason alone to celebrate in a big, big way! {Even if that big, big way involves getting a baby to bed early, sitting on a sofa side by side and simply being together in the quiet! That is no small feat on some days!}

How do you celebrate your love, your beloved? How might you elevate your love, so that is holds the proper {highest} place in your day to day lives? xoxoxo

{Go here to read about why I think learning to be vulnerable is important, including my thoughts on portraits and my own journey to try to be more vulnerable — eeeek!}

Laurie Jones - January 9, 2014 - 10:22 am

Heather – Your story is both touching and inspiring and you have such a gift…you are an amazing writer. Happy New Year to you and Phil!

admin - January 9, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Thank you, Laurie – I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! Happy New Year to you and your darling family as well! xoxo

Lisa Taylor - January 9, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Your struggles and revelations resonate with me, Heather. As a mother and an independent person it is often far too easy to overlook the importance of a loving, fabulous partner and to remember to express that gratitude. You are creatively gifted with both words and photography and I wish you the best on this journey. And I thank you for sharing your insights for my own person journey.

Bonnie Smith - January 9, 2014 - 2:08 pm

I, too, think you have a wonderful gift of words. It has been a joy getting to know you.

Brenda Gordon - January 10, 2014 - 11:28 pm

Listening with my heart to your thoughtful, loving, caring words of vulnerability and gratitude…I am touched, anew, by your depth of caring, your strength and inspiring spirit of life~ Love & best to you & Phil as you celebrate your 3rd Anniversary…and much, much more!

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Celebrating a Whole Year of Life! :: Addy Turns One

For anybody who has spent time on my blog, you will recognize this sweet little one-year old. This is her fourth session this year! {And Addy’s One-Year Album recently became a feature album on the Queensberry website – go take a peek here – I don’t care if you know Addy or not, you are going to love her First Year Collection!}

I could lead the Addy fan club, as I just adore her and her intense little eyes and the way she watches everything – nothing slips past Addy! She doesn’t just give you all smiles and hugs and openness – instead she takes her time to decide who she lets in to her “inner circle” and it is as if there is a whole, very smart little person in there. {Because there is!} I love that about her.

Addy had quite a few little friends show up to help her celebrate last weekend – and all of her new toys got put to good use right away! What a sweet little, intense peanut.

Happy, Happy First Birthday, beautiful girl!!

First Year Birthday Party in Seattle WA

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