While we laugh at this story, it is a great illustration of what we are focused on this month – committed love. The difference here between the pig and the chicken, as illustrated, is that for one the donation was a contribution and for the other it was a commitment. This story aids our understanding of the difference between committed love and a love “contribution.” We are not called to contribute love to others, we are called to be committed to loving others.
Sounds silly? It’s not. Consider creating them with friends or family members to see if their perception of you holds any weight in your plans for the future. Friends and family members can act as a mirror for ourselves at times. Seeing them surprised by your interest in different things may cause you to either think twice about that decision or pursue it with more vigor.
1For the last few decades romance has been the popular genre par excellence in the English-speaking world. With sales figures that average around $ 1.36 billion a year, a readership of nearly 75 million people in the U.S. alone and a 13.4 % share of the American consumer book market in 2011, the popular romance novel is by far the best-selling genre in America (“About the Romance Genre”). In 2010 a staggering 8,240 new romance titles were released in the U.S., and 469 of these novels became national or international bestsellers. Harlequin, the most important romance publisher in the world, “publishes over 110 titles a month in 31 languages in 111 international markets on six continents” (“About Harlequin”). On average, the company sells about 130 million books a year (“Over Ons”) ; since its inception in the mid-twentieth century an astounding total of over 6 billion popular romance novels have been sold by this publisher alone (“About Harlequin”).
Falling in love with another person is a wonderful feeling, but it is not a permanent emotion. Love can be permanent, but it is different from falling in love because it is a mature aspect of the feeling. Love contains many different emotions that are expressed as ideals, and a few of these are caring, duty and compassion. Even if the love fades, aspects of these emotions may remain between the couple. Love might be ignited again as life continues to change, but it might also disappear completely.
In the past (i.e. in your grandmother's day) things were a bit more cut and dry – a commitment meant an engagement to be married, along with a ring on the left hand and a date set for the wedding. Many women would not even consider a partner to be exclusive unless they were officially engaged. Until that point, they were just "courting" and she (as well as he) could date/court as many others as they chose.
Enjoying time al fresco is a great way to put some pep back in your step. Living near green spaces is associated with better mental health, and even just looking at images of nature scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity, and emotional stability. Plus, spending time in the great outdoors exposes us to sunlight, which can help our bodies produce vitamin D. Vitamin D, sun, sunbeds and health. Moan J, Baturaite Z, Juzeniene A. Public Health Nutrition, 2011, Oct.;15(4):1475-2727." data-widget="linkref Since low levels of the nutrient have been linked to depression, soaking up a little bit of sun (we’re talking just 15 minutes per day) may lift your spirits both in the present and over the long term. Just make sure to slather on some sunscreen!