But also, and this is something that I think about that isn’t specifically outlined in Scripture but (this part is) when a person is under the water, there is a picture of washing and cleansing. But I love to think of that water as expressing, picturing the tears of God. The One who is acquainted with our grief, carried our sorrows is washing away, not just our sin, but is moving toward our sorrow, is bearing our burdens. You can’t love someone sacrificially without, in a sense, absorbing upon yourself their grief, their sadness, their sorrow. And God, the Creator of all things, has moved toward us in that way, not only in a way that pays for our sin, that sets us free from the bondage to the devil, but also because Jesus has a Father who dearly loves his people.
When I meet Vuong for lunch at a hip LA diner near Beverly Hills, it's clear he's not kidding. As soon as we sit down, he whips out his laptop to show off its 12-hour battery. He tells me about the Grid. "It's just like bioinformatics, where you're searching for a sequence of code in a pool of DNA," he explains. "But the DNA is all the Web pages in the world."
If you are a person who likes everything neat, let junk pile up for six weeks as a surprising way to feel happy and good. But if you are a person who hates order and loves chaos, put things away as soon as you use them for six weeks. Color outside the lines if that’s new for you, but if you already pride yourself on that, courageously stay inside the lines. It might feel awful on Day One, but forty-four days later it will feel curiously safe.
Stretching is not just about arms and legs. Sample classes that introduce deeper stretches without hurting yourself. The point is not to push harder on the usual spots but to stretch spots you didn’t know you had, such as the muscles between your ribs. Don’t forget to stretch your toes, fingers, and even ears—you’ll be surprised by the ways this can feel good.
12 In her 1984 study on the popular romance genre, Margaret Ann Jensen suggests that the category romance cover is composed according to a very strict code in order to indicate the narrative’s level of sensuality: “The position of the hero and heroine on the books’ cover is a good indication of how much sex there is in the romance. If they are not touching at all, the story does not have any sex scenes. If they are touching, the degree of sexuality escalates, with different touching positions symbolizing the amount of sexual involvement: “hands above waist=innocent frolic; hand below the waist or on the breast = sexual; prone positions=keep this in a locked drawer” (Kolb, “Checking Out The Categories” 41). The pictures also tell the readers how sexually responsive and aggressive the heroine is, as there are two types of embrace – the “hesitant heroine’s” and the “cognizant heroine’s”: “The first kind is the more traditional portrayal of female sexuality and indicates that the hero pursues the heroine, who resists and perhaps capitulates, against her better judgment. The second kind of embrace is a departure from traditional sexual encounters and indicates that the heroine is responsive and probably even active in the pursuit of romantic-sexual gratification” (Kolb, “The Books You Judge By Their Covers” 62-63). Although Jensen’s and Kolb’s observations might have been accurate in the late 1970s and early 1980s, category romance novel covers are no longer composed according to such strict rules. Still, the observation is indicative of the highly coded nature of the romance novel cover.
Romantic love vs. committed love, so what’s the difference? Definitely sharing some things, romantic love and committed love differ in a lot of places as well. Romantic love is more of being in lust, but not in love, you’re merely in love with the idea of being in love, it’s not real, it’s really just an illusion. When they’re first in love they are blinded by everything else. They only focus on the one person that matters. But really this is just an illusion, they meet this person for the first time and they have an open canvas to place their imagination on who they think that person should be. So they fall in love with the thought of the person. When romantically in love they change your priorities, they are only focused on their partner, they also start to get new characteristics. They start to mood swings, their energy increases and also their sympathetic nervous system starts to kick in. The sympathetic system causes their heart pounds, their hands get sweaty, they have an increased sexual desire to be with that person. start to change in many different ways.
It’s no secret that stress can get you down. Luckily there’s a pretty sweet solution: some between-the-sheets action—and that totally includes solo sessions. Those mind-blowing romps can not only boost your mood, but also slash stress and beat anxiety. Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile-vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity. Brody S. Biological Psychology, 2005, Jun.;71(2):0301-0511. Can’t argue with that, right? And in case you need an excuse to get it on more often, consider this: Research suggests that the more sex people have, the happier they tend to be. One study even suggests that having sex once a week may make you feel as stoked as scoring an additional $50,000 in income. Getting lucky even more frequently—four or more times per week—has been linked to making more money—and while extra dough certainly can’t buy happiness, it definitely plays a part in it.
So, no, I’m not willing—or probably even able—to relinquish my life of individualistic yearnings, all of which are the birthright of my modernity. Like most human beings, once I’ve been shown the options, I will always opt for more choices for my life: expressive choices, individualistic choices, inscrutable and indefensible and sometimes risky choices, perhaps . . . but they will all be mine. In fact, the sheer number of choices that I’d already been offered in my life—an almost embarrassing cavalcade of options—would have made the eyes pop out of the head of my friend the Hmong grandmother. As a result of such personal freedoms, my life belongs to me and resembles me to an extent that would be unthinkable in the hills of northern Vietnam, even today. It’s almost as if I’m from an entirely new strain of woman (Homo limitlessness, you might call us). And while we of this brave new species do have possibilities that are vast and magnificent and almost infinate in scope, it’s important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble. We are susceptible to emotional uncertainties and neuroses that are probably not very common among the Hmong, but that run rampant these days among my contemporaries in, say, Baltimore.
Again, the very shape of my curiosity seemed a mystery to the grandmother. Politely, though, she gave it a try. She had never particularly met her husband before she married him, she tried to explain. She’d seen him around, of course. There are always a lot of people around, you know. She couldn’t really remember. Anyway, she said, it is not an important question as to whether or not she knew him when she was a young girl. After all, as she concluded to the delight of the other women in the room, she certainly knows him now.
To be in a sustainable relationship, you need other things too, and many of them are outside of your control. Love is something you own within, along with your decision to commit to your partner. Other parts of the partnership, however, are very much independent of you. External forces, such as careers, sickness, money, family issues. Your partner’s commitment to you. Your partner’s ability to deal with stress. You can’t control that.
Ditto if someone says, “I want to make a baby with you,” with no other evidence of commitment like, say, marriage. An even worse indicator of commitment is if someone says to you, “I’d like you to have my baby.” Context matters a lot here. It may sound silly, but this is, in fact, a relatively common behavior in some teenage groups, in which males say some version of this to females they are interested in. Some may be flattered and impressed, but even in these examples, it would be a lot more impressive if someone said, “I want to raise a child with you.” That statement contains a greater amount of information, especially if it’s accurate, but that’s the essence of commitment, which is about wanting and planning a future.
Even as children, we’re taught to recognize and celebrate feelings of happiness—and it’s no wonder. Not only is happiness one of the most positive emotions we can experience, but being happy is also the key to a fulfilled, healthy life. Plus, cheeriness is linked to living longer, how hard we work, physical function as we age, and an improved immune system, among other health benefits.