elements of true love

The Four Elements of True Love

‘According to Buddhism, there are four elements of true love. The first is maitri, which can be translated as loving-kindness or benevolence. Loving-kindness is not only the desire to make someone happy, to bring joy to a beloved person; it is the ability to bring joy and happiness to the person you love, because even if your intention is to love this person, your love might make him or her suffer.

Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed towards the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha. If a husband, for example, does not understand his wife’s deepest troubles, her deepest aspirations, if he does not understand her suffering, he will not be able to love her in the right way. Without understanding, love is an impossible thing.

What must we do in order to understand a person? We must have time; we must practice looking deeply into this person. We must be there, attentive; we must observe, we must look deeply. And the fruit of this looking deeply is called understanding. Love is a true thing if it is made of a substance called understanding.

The second element of true love is compassion, karuna. This is not only the desire to ease the pain of another person, but the ability to do so. You must practice deep looking in order to gain a good understanding of the nature of the suffering of this person, in order to be able to help him or her to change. Knowledge and understanding are always at the root of practice. The practice of understanding is the practice of meditation. To meditate is to look deeply into the heart of things.

The third element of true love is joy, mudita. If there is no joy in love it is not true love. If you are suffering all the time, if you cry all the time, and if you make the person you love cry, this is not really love, it may even be the opposite. If there is no joy in your love, you can be sure that it is not true love.

The fourth element is upeksha, equanimity or freedom. In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. If the opposite is true, it is not true love. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside but also inside. “Dear one, do you have enough space in your heart and all around you?” This is an intelligent question for testing out whether your love is something real.’

- Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love.

The first element of true love is loving kindness. The essence of loving kindness is being able to offer happiness. You can be the sunshine for another person. You can’t offer happiness until you have it for yourself. So build a home inside by accepting yourself and learning to love and heal yourself. Learn how to practice mindfulness in such a way that you can create moments of happiness and joy for your own nourishment. Then you have something to offer the other person.
—  Thich Nhat Hanh, in “How to Love”.

anonymous asked:

Are Wands a witchcraft thing or a Wicca thing? Or does it not really matter? What are the uses of a wand? How would I make one? Sorry for bombarding with questions. I really do appreciate this blog and how you guys run it 💕 thank you in advance!

Hi, I’m super sorry for the delay in replies, we’ve been pretty busy. 

Wands are both a witchcraft and wiccan thing, it depends on if you’d like to use them or not. They aren’t necessary. ‘The wand was and is used for healing as well as spells and magic, it can be used to charge a plant or herb with special powers of healing, it works especially well with Bach flower remedies. The wand is used by the witch pointing the wand and directing the energy, often using silent word spells to empower the wand.’

How To Make a Wand: 

‘It is always better to make your own wand as when you are touching it during the crafting it is absorbing your energy, the wand is a very personal item. Make sure you use wood that is sturdy so that is doesn’t fragment as you are working with it, most wands are approximately twelve to sixteen inches long, you can often find branches already broken off trees and lying on the ground, these are quite suitable to be used for your wand, do not be concerned if the branch is bent or crooked it won’t affect the energy in any way. Sandpaper can be used to make your wand smooth, feel and charge your wand with love and light to help your wand wield its most powerful magic, and as you are charging you wand transmit the energy of love beauty and kindness.’ 

Decorating Your Wand: 

‘Work on your wand with the premise it is unique to you, therefore any choice of wood is acceptable, you can wrap it in cord or ribbon I suggest using the colors red, purple or black, you may use any crystals you desire, you will find that if using crystals the crystal always chooses you, when you feel the energy of the crystal drawing you, that is the one for you. You might wish to tie talismans to your wand, anything is suitable and each wand is made with feeling and takes on the energy of the individual and unique witch. You might also choose to attach feathers to your wand. One of the most important features of the wand is to carve or write your name on the wand, this seals the power completely and makes the wand utterly yours.’ You also don’t even have to decorate! I use just a plain birch stick that I claimed and made into a wand. 

Different Types of Wood for Basic Wands: 

OAK – A favorite of the great Merlin.
Magical Strengths: Protection, Fertility, Strength, endurance, extra power, male energy

ALDER –  Alder represents the elements Earth, Water and fire.
Magical Strengths:  Weather magic, controlling the elements, protecting the dead

BIRCH –  Perfect wood for yin energy.
Magical Strengths:  intuition, creativity, love, healing, protection

ROWAN – The Tree of Life
Magical Strengths: Healing, extra power, protection, enhanced psychic powers.

HAZEL – The Tree of Wisdom and Wishes. Hazel has always been a popular choice amongst witches for wand making.
Magical Strengths: Wisdom, Truth, enlightment, wishes

YEW – The Tree of Death. A tree sacred to the druids.
Magical Strengths: Inner strength, see into other worlds, immortality, change

WILLOW – The Tree of the Moon Goddess. The berries on this tree are quite tasty, but the rest of the tree is poisonous.
Magical Strengths: Healing, Protection, summoning spirits

HOLLY–  The holy tree. Tree of the Sun God.
Magical Strengths: luck, strength, protection, luck

ALMOND –   Hazel & Almond was once thought to be the ideal wood for wands and staffs.
Magical Strengths: Wisdom, Prosperity, Healing and true love magic

MANZANITA –   The element of fire.
Magical Strengths:  Seduction, enticing, nurturing, force against enemies, guiding light, protection

GRAPE VINE –  The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignty.
Magical Strengths:  unlocking the underworld, summoning, assistance from the
Morrighan Goddess

SEQUOIA [Redwood] – The king of trees.
Wisdom, strength, protection, creativity, enlightment

- Kiaya


The Story of Jon Snow as Told In One of Culture’s Most Popular Tales

As I think about the narrative arc of Jon Snow, one thing became clear: I’ve seen this before! Jon Snow’s literary reflection might be America’s most popular tale. What his arc says about the main themes of Game of Thrones tells me a few things:

1.) The Hero will be faced with a choice between Home and Heritage

2.) The Hero will be confronted face to face with the Ghosts of the Old World

3.) The Hero will not turn their back on Home

4.) The Antagonist to the Hero could very easily be seen as having noble intentions

To really illustrate this, I used non-specific terms to describe both story arcs. The first is filled in with images from Game of Thrones for the reader to easily identify how the story thread is present in Jon Snow. I then used the same exact language but images from this second story to show these parallel journeys.


A boy (”Hero”), born from an ancient line from a man believed to be the best hope before his life was ultimately cut shorter than expected (“Father”)

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My alchemy series is now on view at True Love Art Gallery in Seattle through May 10th.

The fire element is associated with the sun which, in alchemy, influences the heart. Adorning the heart are orange blossoms, a flower governed by the sun.

'Once Upon a Time': Everything You Need to Know About the Musical Episode
We know Emma and Hook are getting married in the upcoming musical episode, but what we don’t know quite yet is why — and EW hunted down Once Upon a Time executive producers Adam Horowitz and …

We know Emma and Hook are getting married in the upcoming musical episode, but what we don’t know quite yet is why — and EW hunted down Once Upon a Time executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis to get some answers.

But first, here’s what we know so far: The musical hour, which will air Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, is titled “The Song in Your Heart.” As we previously revealed, the hour will feature seven original songs from Alan Zachary, Michael Weiner, and OUAT composer Mark Isham.

Among those singing during the episode are Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Regina (Lana Parrilla), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Charming (Josh Dallas), Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Zelena (Rebecca Mader), Henry (Jared Gilmore), Granny (Beverley Elliott), Grumpy (Lee Arenberg), Geppetto (Tony Amendola), and more. Here’s what else you need to know:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why is everyone breaking into song?
ADAM HOROWITZ: What we can say is that we want to keep the machinations a little bit of a surprise, but that it’s key to Emma’s journey — the journey that began in the pilot and that we’ve seen throughout the whole series. The singing and the musical is tied directly to Emma.

Why did you decide to do a musical for Emma’s wedding?
EDWARD KITSIS: At the beginning of the year, we met with these composers, Alan and Michael, who we love. When we started talking about the musical, we wanted it to be a special episode. We thought Emma’s wedding felt like the natural milestone for us.
HOROWITZ: It felt like the right place. Hopefully, when you see how the device works within the episode and how it relates to Emma and her character journey, it all seems to make sense that it would lead up to this. It worked on both a plot and character level, and it allowed us the fun of actually doing a musical episode.
KITSIS: One of the fun things about a musical is you emotionally say what you’re thinking in song. For Emma, who has been a very guarded and walled-up person, the wedding signifies the growth of her being able to trust someone again and letting her walls down, so we felt like the musical was perfectly a match with that.
HOROWITZ: All the songs in the musical are designed — and we hope this audience feels this way when they watch it — to not be to just stop and have a song; they’re designed to actually reveal character and move the story forward. Each song is constructed in a way that’s dealing with what’s going on with the characters and what’s going on with the story. We’re trying to move toward something. It builds to that wedding, which — like everything in the episode — we hope is filled with a few other surprises.

What can you tease for some of the songs we’ll be hearing?
KITSIS: The songs are all original. They’re specific to each character. Hook’s song, and the Evil Queen, Snow and Charming, it’s like their episodes all individually have their own tone to them, I think the songs are as well.
HOROWITZ: Stylistically, each song is suited to the character’s journey, so that when we see Hook singing, we can say that song does take place in a flashback, and it fits tonally in what a pirate would be thinking and what Hook would be thinking and therefore singing at the time we see him, which is kind of a pirate with a dark streak. In the same respect, when we see Snow and Charming’s song, there’s a duet and a true love element to it. Through all of them, we try to have the songs and the style of the songs tie into who the characters are and what they’re going through. The composers did an incredible job. These songs surpassed our expectations when we heard them, and then when we heard our cast and what they could do with them, it surpassed even further. So we’re really excited about it.
KITSIS: And they’re catchy.
HOROWITZ: Yeah, these are really fun, catchy, cool songs, and different styles from a ballad to real rock & roll to all sorts of stuff.

Are the characters aware that it’s odd that they’re singing? Do you go meta in that sense?
KITSIS: I would say yes.
HOROWITZ: Yup, it’s not just like singing and nobody acknowledges that songs are happening. They definitely acknowledge that there is singing going on and that it’s an unusual development, because through the previous 130 episodes, there hasn’t been singing.

When it came to singing and dancing, was there anyone in the cast who surprised you?
KITSIS: That is a really tough question because we knew the ones that were singing all had musical theater backgrounds.
KITSIS: Yes, Pongo really good. [Laughs.] No, we kind of went in knowing, but I’ll be honest, about a month before, Ginny [Goodwin] kept saying, “Oh, I can’t sing, I can’t sing,” and then when we heard her voice, we were like, “Why did you lie to us?” So I went in thinking, “Well, every time she sings happy birthday, it sounds great,” but she kept saying she couldn’t sing, and then when we heard her, it was phenomenal. I was only surprised in the sense that she told us she couldn’t and she could, so we have to call her out as a liar here at EW. She can sing!

One question that’s come up a lot: Is Rumple going to sing?
KITSIS: For that, we’ll have to wait until the musical airs!

Read our postmortem with Rebecca Mader on Zelena’s sacrifice here. Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

The 4 Elements of True Love

The 1st is maitri, loving-kindness or benevolence. 

Loving-kindness is not only the desire to make someone happy, to bring joy to a beloved person; it is the ability to bring joy and happiness to the person you love, because even if your intention is to love this person, your love might make him or her suffer.

Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed towards the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. 

That is the message of the Buddha. 

If a husband, for example, does not understand his wife’s deepest troubles, her deepest aspirations, if he does not understand her suffering, he will not be able to love her in the right way. 

Without understanding, love is an impossible thing.

What must we do in order to understand a person? We must have time; we must practice looking deeply into this person. 

We must be there, attentive; we must observe, we must look deeply. And the fruit of this looking deeply is called understanding. 

Love is a true thing if it is made of a substance called understanding.

The 2nd is compassion, karuna

This is not only the desire to ease the pain of another person, but the ability to do so. You must practice deep looking in order to gain a good understanding of the nature of the suffering of this person, in order to be able to help him or her to change. 

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anonymous asked:

LOVED your fic recs! You mentioned that you had runner-ups, what are they? I'm curious because we have similar fic tastes and I've read most on your list.

Thanks mate! I’m glad you appreciated that and yes, I was originally going to post 15 fics, but I cut it down to 10 because I’m a lazy bastard. The following are honorable mentions to my treasure trove (or part two, view it anyway you want.)

  • Make a Wish by AcrobatElle
    • Rated: E
    • Noted Features: Wish Realm!AU, Canon Divergence (Season 6), Wish Realm Fix It, Older!Killian, Porn with Feelings
    • Author’s Description: Stuck in the Enchanted Forest after her wish was granted, Emma seeks out Killian. She doesn’t expect what she finds. 
    • Rose’s Review: If I were a bigger cunt than I already am, I would just download this fic and sent it to A&E and be like “See this? This is what you should have done you bloody fucking wankers instead of going for the laugh!” (I’m not bitter I promise.) This isn’t just amazingly crafted Captain Swan smut, it’s amazingly crafted Captain Swan smut that rips out your heart and makes you weep for Wish!Hook because he’s just so unhappy but so gracious and in love with Emma (all Killians are in love with all Emma’s, let’s just face it). He really could have been bitter but he’s just so accepting and encouraging of Emma and his main verse self that it makes you want to curl in a corner with a bottle of rosé and weep to “White Flag” by Dido. It doesn’t make you cry because it’s angsty, it makes you cry because they just fucking love each other so much and Wish!Hook kinda gets the raw deal because he has no Emma of his own. He arguably doesn’t really exist but you still feel bad because despite the fact he was unhappy that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a good heart. Ugh. Just read it and have feels. 

Keep reading

Snowing in the musical episode

HOROWITZ: Stylistically, each song is suited to the character’s journey (…) when we see Snow and Charming’s song, there’s a duet and a true love element to it.
KITSIS: (…) I’ll be honest, about a month before, Ginny [Goodwin] kept saying, “Oh, I can’t sing, I can’t sing,” and then when we heard her voice, we were like, “Why did you lie to us?” So I went in thinking, “Well, every time she sings happy birthday, it sounds great,” but she kept saying she couldn’t sing, and then when we heard her, it was phenomenal. I was only surprised in the sense that she told us she couldn’t and she could, so we have to call her out as a liar here at EW. She can sing! (x)

The Beauty of a Beast - Chapter 12 - starofjems - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Chapters: 12/15
Fandom: 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Bakugou Katsuki/Kirishima Eijirou
Characters: Bakugou Katsuki, Kirishima Eijirou, Add others as they appear, Iida Tenya, Midoriya Izuku, Uraraka Ochako
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Fairy Tale, Alternate Universe - Still Have Powers, Powers Slightly Different, Curses, True Love, Developing Relationship, Beauty and the Beast Elements, Altered Appearance

Word reaches the village of a monster terrorizing towns in the north.
Top 10 Best Fictional Couples

A follow up to our ever-so popular post, ‘Top 10 Worst Fictional Couples!’ Here at The Paperbacks have decided to honour our favourite fictional couples. Who will be number one?


10. Khal Drogo andDaenerys Targaryen (A Game of Thrones, a Song of Ice and Fire)

 Okay, beforeyou take to your keyboards and comment how basically Khal Drogo rapes Daenerysin the first episode of Game of Thrones and continues to do so until she says enough is enough; we are looking at this couple through the BOOKS not the adaptations. We are aware that this happens in the show, but we are looking at this couple through the books. To be honest, this was my favourite, non-incestuous couple throughout the series. They are arguably the only couple that genuinely love each other (Don’t get me started on the Stark family, and again, non-incestuous couple. Like we’ve said before, loving your sibling is a big no-no). Whilst reading about the first encounter and the wedding with Khal Drogo and Daenerys, you get a sense that Khal Drogo is actually fond of the young girl. Take the scene where Khal Drogo presents a silver horse to Daenerys as a wedding present. “Tell Khal Drogo that he has given me the wind”….He repeated her words in Dothraki, and Dany saw her new husband smile for the first time. Even though this may be a small gesture of affection, it gives the readers an indication that the Khal does have feelings for Daenerys. With the couples on our worst list, they are so serious and over-dramatic. Never once are they gentle or even playful. Khal Drogo is one of the most feared and dangerous men in the realm. To actually see him smiling over a small comment his wife made makes the readers believe that there is something between them.

Now to address the elephant in the room, the wedding night. I have already addressed that in the show Khal Drogo forces himself on her, but in the book it’s a completely different story. Khal Drogo essentially gives her time, choice, and treats her like the princess she is. He keeps repeating the word, ‘No,’ meaning that he understands the English word. No is such a powerful word. This shows the audience that Khal Drogo is allowing Dany to have a choice. Edward Cullen essentially forces Bella to be his girlfriend, hardly ever giving her a choice throughout the series. Even though things go sour after their wedding, with the Khal being more forceful and demanding of Dany, and they both don’t really show that much affection to one another. Whenever Daenerys is seen in any kind of danger, who is the first one on the scene? Khal Drogo. What makes their relationship unusual is that they aren’t lovey-dovey, swooning over each other at every possible moment, but you get a sense that they actually care about each other. That Khal Drogo isn’t taking advantage of her, but grows to care about her and defend her honour. They are a strange pick, but dammit, it’s better than Twilight.

9. Lissa and Christian (Vampire Academy)

Sure, Rose and Dimitri are The Hot Couple. But Lissa and Christian arguably have the healthier, more functional relationship (even with the teen angst). Despite high school social-hierarchy differences, Lissa and Christian form a secret, loving relationship together. They bond as outcasts - Lissa, feeling alone with the burdens of being the last of her royal bloodline, and Christian ostracized because of his Strigoi parents.

While their relationship may be a bit tumultuous, we know that deep down these two truly love and care for each other. They offer moral and emotional support in dire times, have each other’s best interests at heart, and are able to maturely put their problems behind them. The best thing about Lissa and Christian’s love, is that they’re motivated to develop and grow into mature adults for the benefit of their relationship.

8. Finnikin of the Rock and Isaboe (The Lumatere Chronicles)

Where do I begin with these two? There is so much I could say about Finnikin and Isaboe. Let’s start from the very beginning. What I adore about these two as a couple is that they never started out like your other YA couples (you know I’m talking about the Bella and Edward’s of the writing world). Their relationship isn’t Insta-Love; in fact, in the start they don’t even like each other. Finnikin does not trust Isaboe (who in the first novel, goes by the name of Evanjalin) and Isaboe hardly says a word to him. They start off more like co-workers, simply working together to find their home and freedom. They don’t instantly fall in love with one another; in fact, they don’t even flirt or comment each other. This leads readers to believe that there is nothing between Finnikin and Isaboe, that we should abandon hope of there being a couple to cheer and faun over. When Finnikin and Isaboe actually get together, it takes you by surprise. I remember re-reading the part where Finnikin places flowers in her hair. The fact that Finnikin does something so sweet, even romantic towards a girl he did not trust makes their relationship something deeper and profounder. It shows that their relationship isn’t just built up on good looks, strong muscles and sex-appeal. Their relationship is built up on trust, intelligence and genuine friendship which grows into something more.

Take the character Isaboe. She isn’t a dependant girl who needs a man to constantly come and rescue her. Though, Finnikin does occasionally come to her rescue, but it is rare when it happens. Isaboe is recognised for her courage, how cunning she is, and how much of a loving and caring person she is. She has a huge heart and is willing to forgive. No way is she like most of the girl’s on our worst couple list who aren’t capable of loving anyone who isn’t dripping in sex-appeal (and money in some cases) and suck the life out of everything. What is refreshing about Finnikin and Isaboe is that they see each other for so much more than physical attraction. They love each other for their bravery and intelligences. They admire one another on a deeper level that only they as a couple understand. Finnikin isn’t like Edward Cullen, who everyone fawns over because everyone can see how good looking and stylish he is. With Isaboe and Finnikin, they don’t see each other for what is on the outside, but what truly matters in the situation they are in. Melina Marchetta has a way with all her novels about writing real teenagers. Teenagers who have flaws, aren’t materialistic and blind sighted. To put it short, they aren’t like the teenagers of Forks, Washington.  Even though Finnikin and Isaboe are two people who live in a fantasy world, they are still believable and real, and also, incredible cute.

7.Katniss and Gale (The Hunger Games)

Now I know for a FACT that here at The Paperbacks we weren’t the only one’s wishing that Katniss would end up with Gale. Sure, he may or may not have blown up her sister to smithereens, but all this aside, Katniss and Gale were meant for each other. Let’s go back to the very start, when we were introduced to them. Katniss and Gale are established as best friends, we’re not thrown into a world where we are meant to believe that they are star crossed lovers. We watch them grow as friends and see them realise that there are feelings between them. The problem with some literary couples is that we are forced to believe that they are in love, when really we can’t. With creating a good romantic couple for a novel is that you’ve got to allow time for that romantic chemistry to grow between the characters. What most young adult novels fail in is that the author rushes through everything that you as the audience want to see in a growing relationship.  

With writing a relationship that is believable and strong, you have to allow the audience to get a sense that there is chemistry and growth between the two characters. Suzanne Collins did achieve this with Gale and Katniss, but failed with Peeta and Katniss. The difference with Peeta and Gale is that with Peeta, straight from the start, we were told that his ‘star-crossed lovers’ confession was a lie. The relationship between him and Katniss was a lie, well, to the public at least. How can we believe Katniss and Peeta as a couple if their relationship was built as a lie from the straight? Sure, at the end it is revealed that Peeta and Katniss do love each other, but weren’t you just rooting for Katniss to be with Gale? At least with Katniss and Gale, you know their relationship did not start off with a lie. Their relationship began with trust and friendship, which eventually grew into something more.

The Hunger Games was one of those young adult series that did not need the awkward love triangle that felt like it was thrown into the book at the last minute. With the relationship between Gale and Katniss, it felt like Collins had already set it up to become something more as the series progressed. It was a romance that would have perfectly fitted the books and pleased audiences. Honestly, I would have preferred the series more if they paired Katniss with Gale. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the series as it is now, but I can’t deny that I would have like to have seen an ending where Katniss falls for Gale.

6. Westley and Princess Buttercup (The Princess Bride)

One thing you have to know about me, I am a secret Princess Bride fan. So when decided who to pick for this list, I wanted to add a classic fairy tale couple, but couldn’t think of any. That’s when I thought of William Goldman’s classic The Princess Bride. Princess Buttercup and Westley have a relationship built on adventure, comedy, classic fairy tale elements, and of course, true love! That’s right people, TRUE LOVE! Something most of the couples on our Worst Literacy Couple list all fail at.

I believe this is why so many people adore Westley and Princess Buttercup. Their love is true and when you read it, it feels 100% real. This is what fairy-tale love is made of. I remember reading an article many years ago, when Twilight was released and how many readers compared the love of Bella and Edward to a fairy-tale romance.  I’m sorry but they are nowhere near fairy-tale status. What Westley and Princess Buttercup have is what we want to read in a modern day fairy tale. They do not brood and desire over one another. Westley and Buttercup are playful, full of pure love and happiness for one another. Buttercup cannot live without Westley and we as the audience truly believe it.

Another thing I have to bring up with The Princess Bride is the most famous line out of the book: As you wish. Now, if you aren’t aware of what ‘As you wish,’ means, well here’s a quick explanation. At the start of the novel, when Westley is just a simple farm boy and Buttercup isn’t a princess, whenever she would order Westley or give him a job to do, Westley would simply reply: ‘As you wish.’ Really, what Westley is saying is, ‘I love you.’ My heart swoons and I just fall in love with this concept over and over again. Screw poems, composing songs or whatever, give me Westley and a ‘As you wish,’ and I will be one happy book nerd.

5. Sora Takenouchi and Yamato Ishida (Digimon Adventure)

Okay, yes, I’m sorta cheating here. Yes, Digimon is an anime, but it was also a manga and comic series, and in Japan the series creator wrote a novelized adaptation, too. Soooo … loophole (that, and because I am so particularly fussy with book couples, Steph has allowed me to include these two Digidestined-lovebirds).

Even though Yamato (Matt in the English dub) and Sora’s relationship has earned a fair amount of controversy from fans – still, 12 years later – it had been planned right from the beginning that they would end up getting married (sorry Taiora fans – but the series creator has made it clear Taichi and Sora were never meant to be a thing). The pair began dating, seemingly out of nowhere, in episode 38 of Digimon Adventure 02. Baring in mind that the original characters were not the main focus of the sequel series, it can be assumed that a lot of the development to their relationship occurred off-screen. Having said that, there were hints to their ultimate relationship as early as the first arc in the original series.

Given Yamato and Sora are eleven-years-old in the original series, it’s understandable that relationships aren’t at the forefront of their minds. But, the emotional foundation of their relationship was established (and thus foreshadowing what was to come in the epilogue, originally planned for series one). Out of all the Digidestined, Yamato and Sora share a mutual emotional understanding. When Sora is upset about having the crest of love (something she feels undeserving of), Yamato respectfully lets her cry out her frustrations. When Yamato decides he wants to travel alone, Sora says she is worried for his safety but ultimately trusts him to make the decisions he feels are best.

One of Yamato’s biggest values is whether people are able to understand him. Perhaps the first character to really get Yamato is Gabumon, his digimon partner. The pair are able to share comfortable silences and know exactly what the other is thinking and feeling. The only other person to have this level of empathy towards Yamato is Sora. As seen in the Dark Masters arc, Sora supports Yamato during his outburst at the gravesite for the fallen digimon. This compassion and empathy is reciprocated by Yamato, as he is the one able to pull Sora out of her all-consuming depression in the Dark Cave.

Yamato and Sora also shared similar storylines – both came from a single-parent household, both had issues with their crests, and most importantly their experiences with the Dark Cave). It may not have seemed like much at the time, but given Digimon Adventure was aimed towards 8 – 12 year-olds, it’s understandable that there wasn’t an overall emphasis on romance. Having said that, the signs of a potential relationship between Sora and Yamato are there, albeit subtly. That, and their crests are Love and Friendship. Enough said.

4. Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson and the Olympians; Heroes of Olympus)

Percy and Annabeth are probably how Ron and Hermione should have happened. Long-time friends, with a pugnacious streak, and too shy to admit they have feelings for each other. Percy and Annabeth met at Camp Half-Blood when they were both twelve, and despite mutual feelings, didn’t start dating until they were sixteen (see, a slow burn relationship). Among the many, many… many ships in Rick Riodan’s books, Percabeth are arguably the most functional, healthy and realistic.

Ever since their first quest together, Percy and Annabeth have been there to protect, support and save one another. There isn’t an imbalance of power – they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and know how to best help the other person when in need. Despite whatever personality clashes they initially have, they above all else treat each other as equals.

Throughout the first series of books, Percy shows an interest in Annabeth, but out of nerves never really acts on anything. Annabeth, however, is more open with showing physical affection towards Percy (even when she refers to him as Seaweed Brain). In The Sea of Monsters, she is shown to both hug and kiss Percy on the cheek. But their feelings for each other weren’t totally obvious until The Battle of the Labyrinth, when:

She glared at me like she was about to punch me. Then she did something that surprised me more. She kissed me. 'Be careful, Seaweed Brain.’ Then she put on her hat and vanished. I probably would’ve sat there for the rest of the day staring at the lava and trying to remember what my name was, but the sea demons jarred me back to reality.

From the last book onward, they are in a relationship, and that is when Rick Riodan started to play with his readers feels. First, Percy goes missing, leaving Annabeth hellbent on trying to find him. But even with his erased memories, Percy is still able to recall one person: Annabeth. In Son of Neptune, Percy’s greatest fear isn’t failure of his quest, or even the loss of his life, but whether he will soon forget Annabeth’s face. Percy even constantly refers to Annabeth as his girlfriend, even though he has no memories to prove otherwise; his love for her is just that powerful.

Furthermore, even though Annabeth shows serious signs of anger, hurt and pain over Percy’s six-month long disappearance/kidnapping, their love and positive feelings make them able to overcome any negativity or hurdles that come their way. That right there, a true sign of a serious and healthy relationship. Percy and Annabeth show that a relationship doesn’t have to be easy 100% of the time – as long as you are able to keep negativity in the past, and move forward with positivity (again, one of the first things Percy mentions to Annabeth when they’re reunited is the possibility of them have a future together in New Rome, and they could grow up and have a family together).

Perhaps the only real downside to Percabeth’s relationship, is they have (understandably) developed separation anxiety. This ultimately leads to them falling into the depths of Tartarus (aka Hell). But it’s okay – because at least they’re together (I still have 2 more books to read, so I assume it all works out for them eventually).

3. Liesel and Rudy (The Book Thief)

Ah, to be young again. The Book Thief is an amazing book for so many reasons, but one of the reasons why people love it is the innocent love between Rudy and Liesel. Sure, they are children, so what they have is innocent. It reminds you of your childhood, how kids thought love could just happen in one day without actually comprehending what love actually was.

This is what is beautiful about Rudy and Liesel, they are so innocence and sweet that it makes your heart swell with so much emotion. Rudy announces to Liesel early off in the novel that he loves her and is always wanting a kiss from her. Liesel finds this absolutely disgusting. This takes many readers back to when they were young and when love was still a fairy-tale thing. This is one of the many aspects that make The Book Thief perfect. I know what many editors would have done if Liesel and Rudy were much older. They would have edited them into lustful teenagers full of emotions and drama. Liesel and Rudy ain’t got time for that. They are children, who learn and have fun every day. Sometimes, it’s best to read about a love that is so simple that you forget that it’s there ─ in a good way, not in the way Fallen did that bored us to death. In a literature world that has been bombarded with love triangles, forbidden love and brooding teenagers, it’s actually refreshing to read about Liesel and Rudy.

What is enjoyable about them is that they never allow their playful love get in the way of what is important to them. So many times we’ve seen star-crossed lovers allow their affection get in the way of the important things in life. Liesel doesn’t let Rudy distract her from what she loves the most, which is her new family, reading, and Max who is hiding in their house. For once, it is lovely and delightful to read about two acquitted people who just enjoy life. They are not in a rush to grow up. They are being who they are: children, innocent ones who are just taking life one step at a line. “The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.”

2. Eleanor and Park (Eleanor & Park)

If you’ve read Eleanor & Park, unlike Stephanie, then you know without a doubt why these two are on this list.

One thing that sets this book apart from all the other YA-romance garbage, is its lack of insta-love. Insta-Love is Bella becoming obsessed with Edward on her first day. It is Hazel going home with Gus the day they meet. It is Luce and… whatever the hell Fallen was about. Another thing that makes Eleanor and Park unique: the dual point-of-view. Without it, without seeing these two shy outcasts slowly falling in love with each other, this novel simply wouldn’t have been the same.

Park is a romantic soul, consumed by love. Eleanor is a victim of circumstance, in constant fear of rejection or punishment. Without being inside both of these people’s heads, we simply wouldn’t have understood their story. Because that’s the thing about relationships or love stories: it’s a story about two people.

Eleanor and Park are two young outcasts, stuck together on a school bus with creatures from hell/their classmates. The first words Park says to Eleanor: “Sit down. Jesus-Fuck, sit down.” The first few weeks of Eleanor and Park’s relationship is silence and begrudgingly accepting they are stuck together as bus-mates. They don’t hate each other, or even dislike each other. They are outcasts.

What brings them together (besides being trapped on the bus) is comic books. After a while, Park notices Eleanor reading over his shoulder. And after a week:

“Park didn’t say anything. He just held his comics open wider and turned the pages more slowly.”

From there, Park starts lending Eleanor comics. First just the issue they were reading, then stacks at a time. All of this, without a word. He just gives them to her, and she wordlessly returns them the next day. Soon, Park is making her mix tapes of her music wish list. Remember the simpler times when you made mix tapes or CDs for your crush? Oh, I miss those days…

After a few seconds, he reached over and pulled at the old silk scarf she’d tied around her wrist. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. […] He pulled on the scarf again, so she looked at him. She tried not to look mad – but she’d rather look mad than look like she’d spent all night thinking about how beautiful his lips were. […]He was still holding the end of the scarf, rubbing the silk idly between his thumb and fingers. She watched his hand. […] If Park were to look up now, he’d know everything. He didn’t look up. He wound the scarf around his fingers until her hand was hanging in the space between them. Then he slid the silk and fingers into her open palm. And Eleanor disintegrated.”

That was pages 70-71. That was the point my heart melted and screamed at the perfection and beauty.

Truthfully, I could go on pulling excerpts from this beautiful book, and rambling on and on about the kindred-spirit union shared between Eleanor and Park. But, at the same time, I find the best way to experience this book is to go in blind and feel yourself being swept away in an overwhelming cloud of nostalgia and past loves. The important thing about Eleanor and Park’s relationship isn’t that it is first love. It’s not the fact that these are two young kids discovering themselves, discovering love. Their relationship was written in the stars. If not for them to be together forever, then for Park to save Eleanor.

1. Harry and Hermione (Harry Potter)

Aright, you caught me. Technically Harry/Hermione (or Harmony) isn’t canon. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments between them in the books. Not to mention that statement JK Rowling made back in 2013 about how she regrets putting Hermione with Ron, and that she’d be better suited with Harry instead (more on that will come in a later blog post). Ever since I saw the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I have been an avid Harmony fan. Upon re-reading the Harry Potter books at an older age, when my levels of comprehension had grown and matured since my childhood, I saw that there were actually quite a few close moments between Harry and Hermione. To this day, I refuse to accept that Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron would have continued happy and healthy relationships into their adult lives (even JK Rowling said Ron and Hermione would have had couple’s counselling at some point).

But why would Harry and Hermione be better suited you ask? Well, first of all Hermione was without a doubt a much better best friend to Harry than Ron ever was. Harry and Hermione were always there for each other. Not once did they have feelings of spite or jealousy towards each other (*cough* Ron *cough*). The few times they were mad at each other, was when they had a clash of opinions – but, at the end of the day, they always had each other’s best interest at heart. Think of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Hermione told McGonagall about the new broomstick Harry had received anonymously. At the time, everyone believed Sirius Black was out to murder Harry. So, obviously, Hermione was concerned for Harry’s safety and (rightly) assumed the broom was sent from Sirius. Harry and Ron were furious at Hermione for inadvertently getting the broomstick confiscated, but in time they accept her heart was in the right place.

Harry and Hermione have always had a mutual respect for one another, and never succumbed to petty fights. Their friendship is more important than being right, which sets them both apart from Ron. And when push came to shove, their friendship withstood all the obstacles that came their way. Which can’t be said for Ron, who ended up leaving them during their arduous search for Horcruxes. What’s also important is that Hermione also had a choice – she could either leave with Ron or stay with Harry, and she chose Harry. Why? Because the level of trust and faith she had in Harry, outweighed how much she cared for Ron (even if him leaving broke her heart).

Harry and Hermione spend months travelling alone together. They shared something that Ron was not there for, and had to rely solely on each other for comfort and support. Furthermore, JK Rowling acknowledged that during the writing process for these chapters, the story “very well could have gone that way.” There are charged moments between the two, such as Hermione stroking Harry’s hair, him leaning into her touch. They even contemplate just staying hidden and growing old together – but their mission outweighed all feelings of fear and doubt.

The first sign of the pair showing physical affection towards each other (other than a hug), comes at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When saying goodbye at King’s Cross Station, Hermione kisses Harry on the cheek, “something she had never done before.” Goblet of Fire is also when Harry realises how pretty Hermione is. And again, in Order of the Phoenix they have this exchange:

And it might have been a good idea to mention [to Cho] how ugly you think I am too,’ Hermione added as an afterthought.
'But I don’t think you’re ugly,’ said Harry, bemused.
Hermione laughed.

Just because the two were not constantly lusting after each other, doesn’t mean they couldn’t view each other as attractive. In fact, it’s this level of hormonal restraint that proves a relationship between the two would not be based on shallow bullshit. The seven years of friendship and love between them is the ideal foundation for a healthy and long-lasting relationship, free of jealously, egotism and emotional turmoil.


Never Let Me Go

She remembers a thousand stories, lives lived and unlived. He goes through life feeling like he is missing a part of himself. In a world where they have been torn away from one another, Killian and Emma discover that some things cannot be broken.

Rated: T | Words: 2506 | FF.NET

Some days she is Emma Swan.

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Five Mindfulness Trainings

by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

1. Reverence For Life

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

2. True Happiness

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

3. True Love

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

4. Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

5. Nourishment and Healing

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

sweet-bun-love  asked:

Ahhh Hello Charlotte was amazing! I can't wait to know more about the world you've created! Question, Are the Aliens truly "imaginary" or is Charlotte somehow able to reach though dimensions to see them? At first I thought so but then after talking with a friend I'm not so sure? The umbrella man is obviously real from what I can tell, but the stories behind everyone else make them feel too fleshed out and personal to be a child's fantasy.

Thanks a bunch!!
It’s one of the things left up to your interpretation, so both you and your friend aren’t on the wrong track ;D what’s fun to me about HC is that there are endless possibilities and I often find myself discovering new scenarios and realities in it.
I strongly believe in that even the real world itself is a hell of a weird place to live in, and in HC universe the problems with Charlotte’s mind aren’t the only thing off with it.
Yep, Umbrella Man is one of the supernatural elements embedded into the story, that’s true!