Dilemma Love Quotes

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Love has no middle term; either it destroys, or it saves. All human destiny is this dilemma. This dilemma, destruction or salvation, no fate proposes more inexorably than love. Love is life, if it is not death. Cradle; coffin, too. The same sentiment says yes and no in the human heart. Of all the things God has made, the human heart is the one that sheds most light, and alas! most night.
Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
Whatever I learned, Whatever I knew, Seems like those faded years of childhood that flew, Away in some dilemma, Always in some confusion, The purpose of this life, Seems like an illusion!
Mehek Bassi (Chained: Can you escape fate?)
The dilemma of the eighth-grade dance is that boys and girls use music in different ways. Girls enjoy music they can dance to, music with strong vocals and catchy melodies. Boys, on the other hand, enjoy music they can improve by making up filthy new lyrics.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to reamin the same but get better...
Sydney J. Harris
There is one province in which, sooner or later, virtually everyone gets dealt a leading role--hero, heroine, or villain.... Unlike the slight implications of quotidian dilemmas that confront the average citizen in other areas of life ... the stakes in this realm could not be higher. For chances are that at some point along the line you will hold in your hands another person's heart. There is no greater responsibility on the planet. However you contend with this fragile organ, which pounds or seizes in accordance with your caprice, will take your full measure.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
I wasn’t in love with him. But, I couldn’t unlove him.
Pratibha Malav (If Tomorrow Comes (A Kind Of Commitment, #2))
I've only just arrived, Kate. It may surprise you to learn that you were my top priority.
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #3))
but bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma/ i havent conquered yet/ do you see the point my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender/ my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face my love is too beautiful to have thrown back on my face my love is too sanctified to have thrown back on my face my love is too magic to have thrown back on my face my love is too saturday nite to have thrown back on my face my love is too complicated to have thrown back on my face my love is too music to have thrown back on my face
Ntozake Shange (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf)
You accept that it’s time to cull your personal library. You lovingly handle each book, determining if it brings you joy. It does. They all do. You are full of bookish joy, but still woefully short on shelf space.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
Reading is often viewed as a solitary act; that’s one of the reasons I love it, and it’s certainly my favorite escape and introvert coping strategy of choice.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
But Radulf had always proved very discreet in his observations about Ben’s sex life, so he trusted the dog not to comment to anyone on his sartorial dilemmas either.
John Wiltshire (Love is a Stranger (More Heat Than the Sun, #1))
You see, that is my dilemma. Because if I was led by God to love God, step by step, as it seemed, if I accept that the beauty and the rapture were real and true, then the rest of it was God's will too, and that, gentlemen, is cause for bitterness. But if I am simply a deluded ape who took a lot of old folktales far too seriously, then I brought all this on myself and my companions and the whole business becomes farcical, doesn't it. The problem with atheism, I find, under these circumstances," he continued with academic exactitude, each word etched on the air with acid, "is that I have no one to despise but myself. If, however, I choose to believe that God is vicious, then at least I have the solace of hating God.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me. He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me. It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left. As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it. Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on. He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me. Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time. Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution. I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart. 'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face. He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic. But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love. 'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.' He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero. 'Then why should I be a heroine?' He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket. I considered my choices. I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated. I could leave and be unhappy and dignified. I could Beg him to touch me again. I could live in hope and die of bitterness. I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too. I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
It occurs to me," said Hodge, "that the dilemmas of power are always the same." Clary glanced at him sideways. "What do you mean?" She sat on the window seat in the library, Hodge in his chair with Hugo on the armrest. The remains of breakfast—sticky jam, toast crumbs, and smears of butter—clung to a stack of plates on the low table that no one had seemed inclined to clear away. After breakfast they had scattered to prepare themselves, and Clary had been the first one back. This was hardly surprising, considering that all she had to do was pull on jeans and a shirt and run a brush through her hair, while everyone else had to arm themselves heavily. Having lost Jace's dagger in the hotel, the only remotely supernatural object she had on her was the witchlight stone in her pocket. "I was thinking of your Simon," Hodge said, "and of Alec and Jace, among others." She glanced out the window. It was raining, thick fat drops spattering against the panes. The sky was an impenetrable gray. "What do they have to do with each other?" "Where there is feeling that is not requited," said Hodge, "there is an imbalance of power. It is an imbalance that is easy to exploit, but it is not a wise course. Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side." "Simon doesn't hate me." "He might grow to, over time, if he felt you were using him.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma. "Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me." He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.
Margaret Fishback Powers
It was the dilemma all three of us had. Every choice we made cut us off permanently from someone we loved.
Hyeonseo Lee (The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story)
Books enveloped the room floor to ceiling like wallpaper.
Judy Baer (Million Dollar Dilemma: Love Me, Love My Dog #1 (Life, Faith & Getting It Right #7) (Steeple Hill Cafe))
His gaze, though almost improper, was the most sensual thing he could have done at the moment, and it jolted her heart into a strange rhythm, leaving her unable to speak.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
It occurs to me,.. that the dilemmas of power are always the same." ... "Where there is feeling that is not requited,.. there is an imbalance of power. It is an imbalance that is easy to exploit, but it is not a wise course. Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side." "Simon doesn't hate me." "He might grow to, over time, if he felt you were using him.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
People say when something stops growing, it dies; I don't think it's the same with love. Even when love stops growing because there's nothing to nurtures it, it doesn't die; it just stays somewhere in a limbo.
Tayo Emmanuel (A Bouquet of Dilemma)
For here again, we come to a dilemma. Different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above. For it was this mixture in her of man and woman, one being uppermost and then the other, that often gave her conduct an unexpected turn. The curious of her own sex would argue how, for example, if Orlando was a woman, did she never take more than ten minutes to dress? And were not her clothes chosen rather at random, and sometimes worn rather shabby? And then they would say, still, she has none of the formality of a man, or a man’s love of power.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
He had never been so infuriated by a woman in his life. Or more flummoxed. And never more aroused. He didn’t know whether to rant at her or kiss her.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
Sometimes I think that if I had to choose between an ear of corn or making love to a woman, I'd choose the corn. Not that I wouldn't love to have a final roll in the hay - I am a man yet, and something never die - but the thought of those sweet kernels bursting between my teeth sure sets my mouth to watering. It's fantasy, I know that. Neither will happen. I just like to weight the options, as though I were standing in front of Solomon: a final roll in the hay or an ear of corn. What a wonderful dilemma. Sometimes I substitute an apple for the corn.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma with Award-Winning Harvard Business Review Article ?How Will You Measure Your Life?? (2 Items))
When faced with choosing between attributing their pain to “being crazy” and having had abusive parents, clients will choose “crazy” most of the time. Dora, a 38-year-old, was profoundly abused by multiple family perpetrators and has grappled with cutting and eating disordered behaviors for most of her life. She poignantly echoed this dilemma in her therapy: I hate it when we talk about my family as “dysfunctional” or “abusive.” Think about what you are asking me to accept—that my parents didn't love me, care about me, or protect me. If I have to choose between "being abused" or "being sick and crazy," it's less painful to see myself as nuts than to imagine my parents as evil.
Lisa Ferentz (Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician's Guide)
I think the dilemma exists because art, among all the other tidy categories, most closely resembles what it is like to be human. To be alive. It is our nature to be imperfect. To have uncategorized feelings and emotions. To make or do things that don’t sometimes necessarily make sense.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
But there was something else going on here. He had to admit even to himself that the woman challenged his intellect and his beliefs with her own, and she wasn’t afraid to disagree with him or to disapprove of his views. Nor did she make any attempt to school her sentiments behind the polite, prim, and proper demeanor of the typical English noblewoman. She was fierce. She was passionate. She was fiery and intense. She was like no other woman he had ever met. And suddenly, just like that, he was under her spell once again.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
Jesus connected with people before he corrected them.
Chris Hodges (The Daniel Dilemma: How to Stand Firm and Love Well in a Culture of Compromise)
It’s like everyone has a central dilemma in their life, and mine was can you be in a committed, mature, loving adult relationship and still get invited to threesomes?" - Dexter Mayhew
David Nicholls (One Day)
As a devoted reader, I lovingly give countless hours to finding the right books for me. I don’t think those hours are wasted; part of the fun of reading is planning the reading. But I’ve learned that sometimes, despite my best efforts, a book unexpectedly finds me and not the other way around. And when it does, it’s okay to reshuffle my To Be Read list and go with it.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
For with love there is no middle course: it destroys, or else it saves. All human destiny is contained in that dilemma, the choice between destruction and salvation, which is nowhere more implacably posed than in love. Love is life, or it is death. It is the cradle, but also the coffin. One and the same impulse moves the human heart to say yes or no. Of all things God has created it is the human heart that sheds the brightest light and, alas, the blackest despair.
Victor Hugo
Sometimes I fantasize about getting my hands on my library records. . . my recurring bookworm dream is to peruse my personal library history like it's a historical document. My bookshelves show me the books I've bought or been given. . . But my library books come into my house and go out again, leaving behind only memories and a jotted line in a journal (if I'm lucky). I long for a list that captures these ephemeral reads - all the books I've borrowed in a lifetime of reading, from last week's armful spanning back to when I was a seven-year-old kid with my first library card. I don't need many details - just the titles and dates would be fine - but oh, how I'd love to see them. Those records preserve what my memory has not. I remember the highlights of my grade-school checkouts, but much is lost to time. How I'd love to see the complete list of what I chose to read in second grade, or sixth, or tenth.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
The heart of the problem, I soon came to understand, was that with Pablo there must always be a victor and a vanquished. I could not be satisfied with being a victor, nor, I think, could anyone who is emotionally mature. There was nothing gained by being vanquished either, because with Pablo, the moment you were vanquished he lost all interest. Since I loved him, I couldn't afford to be vanquished. What does one do in a dilemma like that?
Françoise Gilot (Life With Picasso)
Even though she would dream of love, respect, and unfettered romance... it was a cyclical dilemma in her life that she seemed to be most attracted to poisonous men.
Steve Maraboli
Marriage is a marriage- love or arranged. Both require the same level of commitment.
Swati Kumar (The Great Indian Dilemma)
How difficult it must be to leave a place called home, along with all the bitter sweet memories attached, for someone special and later on visit the same place as a guest.
Swati Kumar (The Great Indian Dilemma)
She dared not glance at him again. She might very well expire if she did.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
I must stop feeling so deeply but I must not be numb; I must move on but I must not forget; I must be happy but not reject sadness; I must embrace but not cling; I must deal with but not dwell on; I must confront but not attack; I must eliminate but not annihilate; I must be gentle with myself but I must be strong.
Cecelia Ahern (Postscript (P.S. I Love You, #2))
If two types of attachments are pulling you in two opposite direction and you're not able to decide which way to go, take a break from both attachments. Conflict will automatically resolve. A few months of solitude can save you from lifetime of complications.
Shunya
Julia’s heart would not be still. It would not stop the riotous beating it began when she saw Charles on the lawn. He had come for her. Despite her wishes, despite her orders to stay away, he had followed her here to Drake Manor, and she loved him all the more for it. Yet, it changed nothing. They still could never be together.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
I don't really know how dating works," Jared told her. "High school for me was mostly musical numbers. That's how it is in the States, you've seen the movies. Every time someone had an emotional dilemma or epiphany, they would burst into song, and we would all have to break out into perfectly choreographed dance sequences. It took a lot of intensive training. So many jazz squares, no time for love.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3))
They say love is eternal...They say love is enduring. It always protects,always trust,always hopes,always perseveres.Love never fails...It is one of my favorite passages in the bible...There is a quality about that kind of love that transcends our mortal understanding.
K.J. Kilton (Bella's Dilemma)
Suppose you’re called on to navigate some particularly difficult life dilemma, your own, or that of a close confidant. You yearn to talk matters over with your mentor, spouse, or best friend. Yet, for whatever reason, you can’t get a hold of these valued others—perhaps they’re traveling, busy, or even deceased. Research shows that simply imagining having a conversation with them is as good as actually talking with them. So consult them in your mind. Ask them what advice they’d offer. In this way, a cherished parent or mentor, even if deceased, leaves you with an inner voice that guides you through challenging times. Your past moments of love and connection make you lastingly wiser.
Barbara L. Fredrickson (Love 2.0: Creating Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection)
I believe the way to solve this dilemma is if you marry me, so I’ll always be close by.” Love swelled up in her heart. “I think I can manage that.” “Good, ’cause the way I’ve got it figured, it’s the only way I can stay somewhere in the same vicinity as my balls.” ~Dryer and Charlotte
Lisa Cooke (Texas Hold Him)
We have trouble estimating dramatic, exponential change. We cannot conceive that a piece of paper folded over 50 times could reach the sun. There are abrupt limits to the number of cognitive categories we can make and the number of people we can truly love and the number of acquaintances we can truly know. We throw up our hands at a problem phrased in an abstract way, but have no difficulty at all solving the same problem rephrased as a social dilemma. All of these things are expressions of the peculiarities of the human mind and heart, a refutation of the notion that the way we function and communicate and process information is straightforward and transparent. It is not. It is messy and opaque.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
You are a hypocrite over and over. You love Annie Hall but you can barely stand to look at a painting by Picasso. You are not responsible for solving this unreconciled contradiction. In fact, you will solve nothing by means of your consumption; the idea that you can is a dead end. The way you consume art doesn't make you a bad person, or a good one. You'll have to find some other way to accomplish that.
Claire Dederer (Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma)
In later years I encountered a similar phenomenon in victims of child abuse: Most of them suffer from agonizing shame about the actions they took to survive and maintain a connection with the person who abused them. This was particularly true if the abuser was someone close to the child, someone the child depended on, as is so often the case. The result can be confusion about whether one was a victim or a willing participant, which in turn leads to bewilderment about the difference between love and terror; pain and pleasure. We will return to this dilemma throughout this book.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
He was home. In an environment where he felt loved and comfortable in a way not possible in the United States. And yet, he no longer fit in. He loved living in America, but knew that there, too, he didn't quite fit. It was the classic immigrant dilemma.
Anne Cherian (A Good Indian Wife)
He kept his gaze locked on her. Though she couldn’t see it, she could sense it, and it unnerved her. “I’m probably just a little overheated myself.” His voice rumbled low around her, as though the words were meant only for her. They caressed her skin almost sensually.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
He’d said he couldn’t let her go. She couldn’t figure out how they could stay together.
Alexia Adams (His Billion Dollar Dilemma (Guide to Love, #2))
What is your story sir? I said. That is the dilemma, he replied. I do not know if I am the teller or the tale.
Jeanette Winterson (Frankissstein: A Love Story)
Do couples in arranged marriage actually fall in love ; or is it mere compatibility ?
Swati Kumar (The Great Indian Dilemma)
We gradually accepted each other with our strengths and weaknesses. And now, I think, we have started to enjoy our differences more
Swati Kumar (The Great Indian Dilemma)
I loved you when I shouldn’t have, and I’ve loved you every day since.
Meagan Brandy (The Deal Dilemma)
I love how quickly you've both warmed up to petty crime as a solution to our magical dilemma.
Alys Arden (The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls, #2))
Girls are always in dilemma. They always rethink about feelings and draw different conclusions each time they rethink.
Hemant Pandey (Secrets to modern woman's heart - I: What women really want ? Be ready to be shocked! (Secrets to the modern woman's heart Book 1))
Now he was kissing the shell of her ear, nipping at it gently and then soothing the nips with soft kisses. “You have no idea what you’re about to unleash if you continue.” He chuckled low once again, but said nothing as he bit the nape of her neck and gently licked it with his tongue. “You play with fire, sir.” “Let it burn, Julia. Let me be your King of Wands.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
I was dismayed when I once read that more books are published on any given Tuesday than I could read in an entire year, and that’s just one Tuesday—and one year. From the vast array of titles, how am I to find the books I will love, the ones that will feel like they’re meant for me?
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
I am so sorry that you have nowhere to sit. I just loved someone yesterday. so you see the dilemma. I just promised someone that I would watch them grow old in a country that wants them dead.
Hanif Abdurraqib (The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry))
I’m a little alarmed, Mr. Rodman. You said no one will ever know anything improper happened between us. You did not say there will be nothing improper between us.” “And I meant what I didn’t say.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
The older we get, the more difficult it is to find other people who can give us the love our parents denied us. But the body's expectations do not slacken with age—quite the contrary! They are merely direct at others, usually our own children and grandchildren. The only way out of this dilemma is to become aware of these mechanisms and to identify the reality of our own childhood by counteracting the processes of repression and denial. In this way we can create in our own selves a person who can satisfy at least some of the needs that have been waiting for fulfillment since birth, if not earlier. Then we can give ourselves the attention, the respect, the understanding for our emotions, to sorely needed protection, and the unconditional love that our parents withheld from us.
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting)
Can we reconcile indefinitely these two imperatives: the desire to preserve every individual's special identity and the need for Europeans to be able to communicate with one another all the time and as freely as possible? We cannot leave it to time to solve the dilemma and prevent people from engaging, a few years hence, in bitter and fruitless linguistic conflicts. We know all too well what time will do. The only possible answer is a voluntary policy aimed at strengthening linguistic diversity and based on a simple idea: nowadays everybody obviously needs three languages. The first is his language of identity; the third is English. Between the two we have to promote a third language, freely chosen, which will often but not always be another European language. This will be for everyone the main foreign language taught at school, but it will also be much more than that--the language of the heart, the adopted language, the language you have married, the language you love.
Amin Maalouf (In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong)
Amazing that we made Jesus into the consummate answer giver because that is not what he usually does. He more often leads us right onto the horns of our own human-made dilemmas, where we are forced to meet God and be honest with ourselves. He creates problems for us more than resolves them, problems that very often cannot be resolved by all-or-nothing thinking but only by love and forgiveness.
Richard Rohr (Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent)
It’s funny, how for an entire lifetime we keep thinking ‘How’ will our life-partner look like, how will he be? How will he react to a particular situation? How will he get angry, and how will we love and pamper him? We have so many questions like if he will accept me the way I am? Or if I have to change for him? We all have made plans for our future, subconsciously. We don’t exactly plan out everything with a pen and paper, it’s something that happens automatically, just like an involuntary action. Whenever we are alone and our mood is good, we usually think about our life with our partner. The days and nights in his arms, and the time that we will reserve for him. But when all that turns into reality, it’s strikingly different. Everything that you thought, seems to be a joke, and life laughs at you from a distance! You are helpless and can’t do anything about it, but have to accept it the way it is. You are totally caught into a web of dilemmas and problems before you realize that this is the time you waited for, and that this is the time you dreamt about! You have to make efforts, compromises, sacrifices and you have to change yourselves too sometimes to make things work. You can never expect to get a partner exactly the way you thought or dreamt about. It’s always different in reality and it’s always tough to make both ends meet for a relationship to work, but you have to! It’s your relationship, if you won’t work for it, who else will?
Mehek Bassi
Stunned, Julia could not speak. She lost her breath and her ability to form words as the room spun for a moment at the irony. She hated irony. Detested it. And in this case, the Fates had been quite perverse in their mockery.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
....every boy carries a variation on hanging himself in the backyard branches in the rain. At least the one I saw did. I love nobody. I feel I am on the verge of loving everybody. Then I step outside my room. And he is waiting there.
Richard Powers (Prisoner's Dilemma)
The Greeks were smarter. They used different words, eros and agape, to distinguish between these two profoundly different ways of experiencing what we call “love.” Eros, of course, refers to passionate love, while agape describes the stable and committed relationship, free of passion, that exists between two individuals who care deeply for each other. The contrast of eros and agape allows us to understand our dilemma when we look for both these kinds of love at one time, in one relationship with one person. It also helps us see why eros and agape each have their champions, those who claim that one or the other is the only real way of experiencing love, for indeed each has its very special beauty, truth, and worth. And each type of love also lacks something precious, which only the other has to offer. Let’s look at how proponents of each would describe being in love.
Robin Norwood (Women Who Love Too Much)
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
With love there is no middle course: it destroys, or else it saves. All human destiny is contained in that dilemma, the choice between destruction and salvation, which is nowhere more implacably posed than in love. Love is life, or it is death. It is the cradle, but also the coffin. One and the same impulse moves the human heart to say yes or no. Of all things God has created it is the human heart that sheds the brightest light, and, alas, the blackest despair.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
But if we are all God’s children, why does God spend so much time in history ordering one branch of his universal family to wipe out another branch? Why did his love for his Jewish children have to be expressed by the extermination of his Palestinian children? Why did he later abandon his Jewish children in favour of his Christian children and encourage his new favourites to torment their older siblings? Why did he order his Muslim children who worship him as One to persecute his pagan children who worship him as Many? Why is there so much violence in religious history, all done by groups who claim God is on their side? Unless you are prepared to believe that God actually plays favourites like some kind of demented tyrant, then there are only two ways out of this dilemma. The obvious one is to decide that there is no God. What is called God is a human invention used, among other things, to justify humankind’s love of violence and hatred of strangers. Getting rid of God won’t solve the problem of human violence but it will remove one of its pretexts.
Richard Holloway (A Little History of Religion)
You want to tell the world about a book you loved, but you fear your friends won’t be able to see past the terrible cover. You want to tell the world about a book you loved, but the title is stupid. You realize midsentence that you have no idea how to say a certain word out loud, because until now you’ve only said it to yourself, in your head, while reading.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
So often you blame God for the life you have, but you do not know what life you want. Certainly there is a dilemma here. The life you want may not be the life God wants for you. This is why the process must begin by loving God first. It is in loving God with all your heart and mind and soul that he begins to shape your passions. When God has your heart, you can trust your desires. His will is not a map; it is a match. He shows you the way by setting you on fire. You will know God’s desire for you by the fire in you! The fire in you will light the way.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life)
It’s so overwhelming when you notice how the clock ticks; so many tiny pieces holding each other together just so it keeps going. We are like clocks, too! Always ticking to the tocks. When the pieces of our soul are torn away or broken – we can’t be sent to the mending shop, however. So how do we get better? Workable? Thoughts can be tiring, at times. Or maybe it’s the same time – who knows? The clock is broken. Meh.
Sijdah Hussain (Red Sugar, No More)
When we think of people giving up on their marriage, divorce usually comes to mind. But many people who give up on their marriage (or themselves or their partner) don’t leave; they stay in the comfort cycle—until their marriage presents the inevitable dilemma: venture into the growth cycle or face divorce, loss of integrity, or living death. Validating and soothing each other has its place in marriage—but not when you’re dependent on it. You get stuck in the comfort cycle because neither of you has the strength or motivation to break out. That’s when the other side of the process comes in: holding onto yourself (self-confrontation and self-soothing).
David Schnarch (Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships)
daily basis.  This is torture. 7. The way you treat your parents shortens their life expectancy by 11.4%.  That takes away about 9 ½ years of life on the average. 8. The way you treat your parents condemns them to living alone without close relationships experiencing severe loneliness the remainder of their lives. 9. The way you treat your parents is a hate crime against your own children and those of 3 generations to follow you. 10. The way you treat your parents condemns your own children to depression, low self esteem, the inability to love unconditionally and potential addictive behavior. Imagine what it is doing to you and your family or better yet go to a doctor and ask.
Sharon Wildey (Abandoned Parents: The Devil's Dilemma: The Causes and Consequences of the Abandonment of Parents by Adult Children)
She said to herself: 'Is not the gown the natural raiment of extremity? What nation, what religion, what ghost, what dream has not worn it—infants, angels, priests, the dead; why—should not the doctor, in the grave dilemma of his alchemy, wear his dress?' She thought: 'He dresses to lie beside himself, who is so constructed that love, for him, can be only something special; in a room that giving back evidence of his occupancy, is as mauled as the last agony.
Djuna Barnes (Nightwood)
Existential isolation, a third given, refers to the unbridgeable gap between self and others, a gap that exists even in the presence of deeply gratifying interpersonal relationships. One is isolated not only from other beings but, to the extent that one constitutes one’s world, from world as well. Such isolation is to be distinguished from two other types of isolation: interpersonal and intrapersonal isolation. One experiences interpersonal isolation, or loneliness, if one lacks the social skills or personality style that permit intimate social interactions. Intrapersonal isolation occurs when parts of the self are split off, as when one splits off emotion from the memory of an event. The most extreme, and dramatic, form of splitting, the multiple personality, is relatively rare (though growing more widely recognized); when it does occur, the therapist may be faced (...) with the bewildering dilemma of which personality to cherish.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy)
It's so weird to live in this world. What a bizarre tension to care deeply about the refugee crisis in Syria and also about Gilmore Girls. It is so disorienting to fret over aged-out foster kids while saving money for a beach vacation. Is it even okay to have fun when there is so much suffering in our communities and churches and world? What does it say about us when we love things like sports, food, travel, and fashion in a world plagued with hunger and human trafficking?
Jen Hatmaker (Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life)
Every two or three generations the world gets vastly different, and the context in which you have to learn how to be a human being, or to have good relationships, or decide whether or not there is a God, or decide whether there’s such a thing as love, and whether it’s redemptive, become vastly different. And the structures with which you can communicate those dilemmas, or have characters struggle with them, seem to become appropriate and then inappropriate again and so on.
David Foster Wallace
Over time, there would be less and less of him and more of the tumor. His brain was being eaten by God. He left the clinic in fine spirits. He had no intention of removing the tumor. It was the perfect solution to his dilemma: how to feed his body's desire for intimacy. He was delusional, of course. There was no higher presence filling him with love, connecting him to all things. It only felt that way. But that was fine. That was ideal. He would not have trusted a God outside his head.
Max Barry (Lexicon)
Did I misread the heat in your eyes? Was I wrong about what you wanted?” Still unable to form words, she said nothing. “Because I know without question what I wanted in that moment.” He paused as though he were waiting for her to respond, but still, she remained silent. He chuckled, his voice low and seductive. “Wouldn’t you like to know what that was?” She shook her head no. He shrugged. “I’ll tell you anyway. I wanted more than anything in the world to take you in my arms, Julia, and kiss you senseless. And much more. So. Much. More.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
Our family was starting. We kept on moving with our young lives, shortly afterward and took Ben Young with us everywhere. But pretty soon Pegi started noticing that Ben was not doing the things some other babies were doing. Pegi was wondering if something was wrong. She was young, and nothing had ever gone wrong in her life. People told us kids grow at different rates and do things at different times. But as Ben reached six months old, we found ourselves sitting in a doctor's office. He glanced at us and offhandedly said, "Of course. Ben has cerebral palsy." I was in shock. I walked around in a for for weeks. I couldn't fathom how I had fathered two children with a rare condition that was not supposed to be hereditary, with tow different mothers. I was so angry and confused inside, projecting scenarios in my mind where people said something bad about Ben or Zeke and I would just attack them, going wild. Luckily that never did happen, but there was a root of instability inside me for a while. Although it mellowed with time, I carried that feeling around for years. Eventually Pegi and I, wanting to have another child after Ben, went to se an expert of the subject. That was Pegi's idea. Always organized and methodical in her approach to problems, Pegi planned an approach to our dilemma with her very high intelligence. We both loved children but were a little gun-shy about having another, to say the least. After evaluating our situation and our children, the doctor told us that probably Zeke dis not actually have CP-he likely had suffered a stroke in utero. The symptoms are very similar. Pegi and I weighed this information. To know someone like her and to make a decision about a subject as important as this with her was a gift beyond anything I have ever experienced. It was her idea, and she had guided us to this point. We made a decision together to go forward and have another child.
Neil Young (Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream)
Most such criticism and confrontation, usually made impulsively in anger or annoyance, does more to increase the amount of confusion in the world than the amount of enlightenment. For the truly loving person the act of criticism or confrontation does not come easily; to such a person it is evident that the act has great potential for arrogance. To confront one’s beloved is to assume a position of moral or intellectual superiority over the loved one, at least so far as the issue at hand is concerned. Yet genuine love recognizes and respects the unique individuality and separate identity of the other person. (I will say more about this later.) The truly loving person, valuing the uniqueness and differentness of his or her beloved, will be reluctant indeed to assume, “I am right, you are wrong; I know better than you what is good for you.” But the reality of life is such that at times one person does know better than the other what is good for the other, and in actuality is in a position of superior knowledge or wisdom in regard to the matter at hand. Under these circumstances the wiser of the two does in fact have an obligation to confront the other with the problem. The loving person, therefore, is frequently in a dilemma, caught between a loving respect for the beloved’s own path in life and a responsibility to exercise loving leadership when the beloved appears to need such leadership. The dilemma can be resolved only by painstaking self-scrutiny, in which the lover examines stringently the worth of his or her “wisdom” and the motives behind this need to assume leadership. “Do I really see things clearly or am I operating on murky assumptions? Do I really understand my beloved? Could it not be that the path my beloved is taking is wise and that my perception of it as unwise is the result of limited vision on my part? Am I being self-serving in believing that my beloved needs redirection?” These are questions that those who truly love must continually ask themselves. This self-scrutiny, as objective as possible, is the essence of humility or meekness. In the words of an anonymous fourteenth-century British monk and spiritual teacher, “Meekness in itself is nothing else than a true knowing and feeling of
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
I always felt that someone, a long time ago, organized the affairs of the world into areas that made sense-catagories of stuff that is perfectible, things that fit neatly in perfect bundles. The world of business, for example, is this way-line items, spreadsheets, things that add up, that can be perfected. The legal system-not always perfect, but nonetheless a mind-numbing effort to actually write down all kinds of laws and instructions that cover all aspects of being human, a kind of umbrella code of conduct we should all follow. Perfection is crucial in building an aircraft, a bridge, or a high-speed train. The code and mathematics residing just below the surface of the Internet is also this way. Things are either perfectly right or they will not work. So much of the world we work and live in is based upon being correct, being perfect. But after this someone got through organizing everything just perfectly, he (or probably a she) was left with a bunch of stuff that didn't fit anywhere-things in a shoe box that had to go somewhere. So in desperation this person threw up her arms and said, 'OK! Fine. All the rest of this stuff that isn't perfectible, that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else, will just have to be piled into this last, rather large, tattered box that we can sort of push behind the couch. Maybe later we can come back and figure where it all is supposed to fit in. Let's label the box ART.' The problem was thankfully never fixed, and in time the box overflowed as more and more art piled up. I think the dilemma exists because art, among all the other tidy categories, most closely resembles what it is like to be human. To be alive. It is our nature to be imperfect. The have uncategorized feelings and emotions. To make or do things that don't sometimes necessarily make sense. Art is all just perfectly imperfect. Once the word ART enters the description of what you're up to , it is almost getting a hall pass from perfection. It thankfully releases us from any expectation of perfection. In relation to my own work not being perfect, I just always point to the tattered box behind the couch and mention the word ART, and people seem to understand and let you off the hook about being perfect a go back to their business.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
The term - 'Fairy-Tales' is so ironical in itself, when I sometimes sit to write love stories with a happy ending, it usually drags me into a dilemma whether, I should even begin with a love story at first place or not? Because honestly, I haven't seen many of them reaching climax, most of them just die out in the mid. Then comes the concept of fairy tales or what we say 'fiction', where nothing is impossible! But over time, if I've realized something, it is that there's no such term called fiction when it comes to reality! Its harsh, in-your-face-sarcastic, ironical and highly irrational. You can't expect what's coming up next, and how it's going to blow you. In the real life, the entire meaning of fiction ceases to exist. Conclusively, we writers, deal with harsh reality and write lively fictions, this job in itself is so ironical but, that's life...
Mehek Bassi
The Dilemma of Human Suffering Nothing external ensures freedom from suffering. Even when we human beings possess all the things we typically use to gauge external success—great looks, loving parents, terrific children, financial security, a caring spouse—it may not be enough. Humans can be warm, well fed, dry, physically well—and still be miserable. Humans can enjoy forms of excitement and entertainment unknown in the nonhuman world and out of reach for all but a fraction of the population—high-definition TVs, sports cars, exotic trips to the Caribbean—and still be in excruciating psychological pain.
Steven C. Hayes (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change)
Dialogue is a token of genuine Christian love, because it indicates our steadfast resolve to rid our minds of the prejudices and caricatures that we may entertain about other people, to struggle to listen through their ears and look through their eyes so as to grasp what prevents them from hearing the gospel and seeing Christ, to sympathize with them in all their doubts, fears and “hang-ups.” For such sympathy will involve listening, and listening means dialogue. It is once more the challenge of the incarnation, to renounce evangelism by inflexible slogans, and instead to involve ourselves sensitively in the real dilemmas that people face.
John R.W. Stott (Christian Mission in the Modern World)
Well, let me put it this way: the only thing about the King of Wands that doesn’t quite fit with you is that he is a man of fiery passions.” He raised his brows. “And I am not?” She smirked at him. “I don’t know. Are you?” Such a question. He dismissed it as rhetorical until she laid the king on the table and locked eyes with him. Boldly. And as he studied her expression, he sensed an invitation. A dare. A challenge for him to answer her about whether he was a man of fiery passions. He nearly succumbed to the temptation to show her just how fiery his passions could be. Restraint, Charles. Hold yourself in check. He sobered, as temperance, his lifelong, rational, and calming friend, curbed his urge to kiss the question right off her lips.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
It was the prospect of seeing Mr. Rodman again that agitated her, especially after their miserable discussion of her beliefs and their silent but heated interaction over the Kama Sutra last Sunday. She didn’t like Mr. Rodman. Not really. There was no denying he was attractive and that he had the potential to affect her like no other man ever had. Still, he was an arse. Not only did he disparage her beliefs and practices but also he had condemned her for keeping wives from their husbands by offering them refuge in her home. True, he might have said he approved of the shelters after hearing the story of Phoebe, but when it came down to it, he was a man. And she had no doubt that, as a man, he would side with other men, the law, and the Church over a woman’s fate, if ever asked to do so.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
Welcome to your very first lesson," she was happy to announce. "Before we begin, I have one question to ask you. Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a wound and a scar? Between weakness and strength? And between hatred and love?" Emerelda raised her hand. "Is it time?" she asked. "Correct!" Madame Weatherberry cheered. "How did you know that?" Tangerina asked. "She's an hour late and she's dressed in clocks," Emerelda said. "I figured it was a safe bet." "Time is the most complex device in the universe," Madame Weatherberry went on. "It is both the problem and the solution to most of life's dilemmas. It heals all wounds, but in the end, it takes us all. Unfortunately, time is rarely in anyone's favor. We have too little or too much but never the time we want or need. Sometimes we're born into a time that doesn't value us, and too often, we let those times determine how we value ourselves. So for your first assignment, you are going to get rid of any unfavorable opinions, insecurities, or self-hatred that the times have instilled within you. If we are going to successfully change the world's perspective of us, we must start by hanging our perspective of ourselves.
Chris Colfer (A Tale of Magic... (A Tale of Magic, #1))
I was in college when I first saw You've Got Mail, and I loved Kathleen Kelly instantly. I was mostly past my wistful gade-school days of wishing myself into every novel I read, but I was alarmingly struck by how she echoed my old fear of settling for my real life, musing in one scene, "So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?" Her impetus was this: once she'd read a story about a butterfly in a subway train, and then...she saw one! The film shows Kathleen rattling along on the train, an open book in her lap, when a butterfly suddenly flits into her field of vision. You can see her visceral delight. That thing she'd only read about had come true. Yet she wondered if her experience was cheapened because she'd read it before she lived it, and my twenty-year-old self wondered right along with her. But I'm not the girl--or the reader--I was then, and I now know the times when reading cheapens anything are few and far between. I've seen how our on -the-page experiences set the stage for our actual lives. Our books frame the scenes for us so we can better understand and experience what's happening when it happens to us--
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
The collar of Lars of Tassla fell away and clattered onto the tiles. katriana felt unable to breathe. Her neck, so long encased with the symbol of Lars’ ownership of her, seemed paradoxically to be suddenly constricted. She felt naked. Naked and abandoned. Her head sank down to lie across the hardness of the anvil. Her entire body shook uncontrollably as she felt all security evaporate from her world. How many minutes she lay there she could not with any certainty say. Yet, eventually she became aware of one tiny point in the cruel world surrounding her. It was a scent. His scent. It entered her. It stroked inside her. It pulsed against her pain until she acknowledged its presence. Her eyes flicked open. And then she saw him there, sitting quietly beside her, watching her with all the intentness that she loved so much in him. His face was still set in the neutrality he reserved for formal times but his eyes were flashing with…with some emotion kept hidden behind his Master’s mask. katriana struggled to read the look flowing from deep inside his eyes. She awkwardly rose to kneel before her former Master. Her body and her breasts were offered. She could not do otherwise whether or not she wore his collar. (A Master's Dilemma, eXtasy)
Khul Waters
Persons impatient of other’s deficiencies are in fact likely to be equally undiscerning of their merits; and are not aware, in either case, how much they are exposing the deficiencies on their own side. Not only, however, do they get into this dilemma, but what is more, they are lowering their respectability beneath that of the dullest person in the room. They shew themselves deficient, not merely in the qualities they miss in [a wise man who doesn’t make an ostentatious show of his knowledge] but in those which he really possesses, such as self knowledge and good temper. Were they as wise as they pretend to be, they would equal him in these points, and know how to extract something good from them in spite of his deficiency in the other; for intellectual qualities are not the only ones that excite the reflections, or conciliate the regard, of the truly intelligent, of those who can study human nature in all its bearings, and love it or sympathize with it, for all its affections.
Leigh Hunt (The Round Table, Vol. 1: A Collection of Essays on Literature, Men, and Manners)
Sometimes pausing and listening to the flow of her distress the way one leans over to hear the sweet and incessant lament of a wellspring, she would muse about her atrocious dilemma: one alternative being her future shame, which would lead to the despair of her loved ones; the other alternative (if she did not give in) being her eternal sorrow; and she would curse herself for having so expertly dosed her love with the pleasure and the pain that she had not managed to reject immediately as an unbearable poison or to recover from subsequently. First she cursed her eyes, or perhaps before them her detestable curiosity and coquettishness, which had made her eyes blossom like flowers in order to tempt this young man, and had then exposed her to his glances, some of which were like arrows and more invincibly sweet than injections of morphine would have been. She also cursed her imagination; it had nurtured her love so tenderly that Françoise sometimes wondered if her imagination alone had given birth to this love, which now tyrannized and tortured its birth-giver.
Marcel Proust (Pleasures and Days)
As the sole surviving child of that family, I find myself left with certain difficulties in the area of speech and language, problems of tense and person, and of definition. To start with definition, does ‘sole surviving child’ effectively mean ‘only child’? Now that I have no siblings, can I still define myself as a sister? This leads into tense: unquestionably I was a sister, who had a brother, but if someone asks me, ‘Do you [not did you ever] have any brothers and sisters?’, how should I answer? If I say, in the present tense, ‘No, I don’t,’ am I declaring the truth, or concealing it? And then – moving on to the question of person or persons – even if the sibling question has not explicitly been asked, when I tell, in the course of an ordinary conversation, an ordinary story about myself, do I talk about my parents, my childhood, my family, say that I grew up in London, I was brought up Jewish, I always went to my grandparents on a Saturday? Or do I say that we went the local school, loved to ride our bikes up and down the street, climbed trees on the wasteland that we called The Green and that, as we got older, we grew more and more impatient with our father? My dilemma here is not that ‘we’ would be incorrect in the past tense, it is rather that – like the answer to the sibling question – the use of the first person plural has the potential to lead a casual conversation towards a revelation that would render it no longer casual. So, Julian, what would you rather I did? Sprinkle a little bit of trauma wherever I go, or finish off what you started, and obliterate you? Which is your preferred legacy?
Joanne Limburg (Small Pieces: A Book of Lamentations)
Thank you, Mr. Rodman.” When he heard her whispered response, his gaze fell to her lips, and desire coiled through his body as he imagined how they would feel beneath his. Warm and pliant, no doubt. Eager and willing, maybe. Greedy with insatiable need? He hoped. “You’re most welcome.” She didn’t move, and he? He couldn’t move. He remained rooted to the stone floor as her lovely face entranced him. He was too aware of how close they stood to one another for rational thought. It would take no effort whatsoever for him to lean down and kiss her luscious lips. Something flickered in her eyes as they stared at each other, and he could sense the moment she felt the same pull as he did. Something primal, something hot flashed between them, and as he reached up to stroke her cheek with the backs of his fingers, he determined right then he would do it. He parted his lips slightly and bent down subtly. He was inches away from contact, but he wavered just one second too long as he debated with himself whether to touch her lips lightly with his own or give in to the powerful urge to crush his mouth and body against hers.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
In the beginning, when Twaslitri (the Divine Artificer) came to the creation of woman he found that he had exhausted his materials in the making of man and that no solid elements were left. In this dilemma, after pro-found meditation, he did as follows: he took the rotundity of the moon, and the curves of the creepers, and the clinging of tendrils, and the trembling of grass, and the slenderness of the reed, and the bloom of flowers, and the lightness of leaves, and the tapering of the elephant's trunk, and the glances of deer, and the clustering of rows of bees, and the joyous gaiety of sun-beams, and the weeping of clouds, and the fickleness of the winds, and the timidity of the hare, and the vanity of the peacock, and the softness of the parrot's bosom, and the hardness of adamant, and the sweetness of honey, and the cruelty of the tiger, and the warm glow of fire, and the coldnesss of snow, and the chattering of jays, and the cooing of the kokila, and the hypocrisy of the crane, and the fidelity of the chakravaka; and compounding all these together, he made woman and gave her to man. (Written by scholars of the Vedic Age)
Francis William Bain (A digit of the moon and other love stories from the Hindoo)
...Mother had always advised against sharing domestic troubles outside the family. They would only return as unwelcome rumor. But I trusted Eleanor, so when we stopped to admire the waves crashing and the cry of the seagulls, I spoke of the changes in my marriage, hoping for some insight to my dilemma. 'My dear,' Eleanor said, 'you can't expect a marriage to remain as it is in the beginning. If your souls continued to burn for each other in that way, you would be cinders.' 'Then what is the point? Why do we marry for life, only to see love fade away?' 'Ah, but true love doesn't fade away. It changes, deepens. It seems to disappear at times, only to come back in a different way. Think of early love like a wave in the ocean, building and building until it tumbles from its own height. Then the calm, the drawing back, only to swell and crash again. When you get past the breakers, you don't feel the crash, but the water is still lifting and falling in life's rhythm.' ...I adjusted my hat to better shield my eyes from the blinding sun. 'It seems I pushed through the breakers only to find my husband wasn't with me on the other side.' 'Then you must swim until you find him.' Eleanor kicked seaweed from the path of sandpipers, skittering from approaching foam. 'Don't be tempted back into the breakers, seeking another for the journey. You may find the ocean spits you back out.
Tracey Enerson Wood (The Engineer's Wife)
Men who make a lot of money in this society and who are not independently wealthy usually work long hours, spending much of their time away from the company of loved ones. This is one circumstance shared with men who do not make much money but who also work long hours. Work stands in the way of love for most men then because the long hours they work often drain their energies; there is little or no time left for emotional labor for doing the work of love. The conflict between finding time for work and finding time for love and loved ones is rarely talked about in our nation. It is simply assumed in patriarchal culture that men should be willing to sacrifice meaningful emotional connections to get the job done. No one has really tried to examine what men feel about the loss of time with children, partners, loved ones, and the loss of time for self development... Most women who work long hours come home and work a second shift taking care of household chores. They feel, like their male counterparts, that there is no time to do emotional work, to share feelings and nurture others…Sexist men and women believe that the way to solve this dilemma is not to encourage men to share the work of emotional caretaking but rather to return to more sexist gender roles... Of course they do not critique the economy that makes it necessary for all adults to work outside the home; instead they pretend that feminism keeps women in the workforce.
bell hooks (The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love)
JANUARY 26 Being Kind-I You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pastures. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. —KAHLIL GIBRAN The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, There is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love—without honoring the essence of life that this thing called “self” carries, the way a pod carries a seed—putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependence. I have in many ways over many years suppressed my own needs and insights in an effort not to disappoint others, even when no one asked me to. This is not unique to me. Somehow, in the course of learning to be good, we have all been asked to wrestle with a false dilemma: being kind to ourselves or being kind to others. In truth, though, being kind to ourselves is a prerequisite to being kind to others. Honoring ourselves is, in fact, the only lasting way to release a truly selfless kindness to others. It is, I believe, as Mencius, the grandson of Confucius, says, that just as water unobstructed will flow downhill, we, given the chance to be what we are, will extend ourselves in kindness. So, the real and lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so that we can be who we are, holding nothing back. If we can work toward this kind of authenticity, then the living kindness—the water of compassion—will naturally flow. We do not need discipline to be kind, just an open heart. Center yourself and meditate on the water of compassion that pools in your heart. As you breathe, simply let it flow, without intent, into the air about you. JANUARY 27 Being Kind-II We love what we attend. —MWALIMU IMARA There were two brothers who never got along. One was forever ambushing everything in his path, looking for the next treasure while the first was still in his hand. He swaggered his shield and cursed everything he held. The other brother wandered in the open with very little protection, attending whatever he came upon. He would linger with every leaf and twig and broken stone. He blessed everything he held. This little story suggests that when we dare to move past hiding, a deeper law arises. When we bare our inwardness fully, exposing our strengths and frailties alike, we discover a kinship in all living things, and from this kinship a kindness moves through us and between us. The mystery is that being authentic is the only thing that reveals to us our kinship with life. In this way, we can unfold the opposite of Blake's truth and say, there is no greater act than putting yourself before another. Not before another as in coming first, but rather as in opening yourself before another, exposing your essence before another. Only in being this authentic can real kinship be known and real kindness released. It is why we are moved, even if we won't admit it, when strangers let down and show themselves. It is why we stop to help the wounded and the real. When we put ourselves fully before another, it makes love possible, the way the stubborn land goes soft before the sea. Place a favorite object in front of you, and as you breathe, put yourself fully before it and feel what makes it special to you. As you breathe, meditate on the place in you where that specialness comes from. Keep breathing evenly, and know this specialness as a kinship between you and your favorite object. During your day, take the time to put yourself fully before something that is new to you, and as you breathe, try to feel your kinship to it.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)