In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the Grant Study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.”
"The most significant finding of all is that “Alcoholism is a disorder of great destructive power.” In fact, alcoholism is the single strongest cause of divorce between the Grant Study men and their wives. Alcoholism was also found to be strongly coupled with neurosis and depression (which most often follows alcohol abuse, rather than preceding it).
With regards to sex lives, one of the most fascinating discoveries is that aging liberals have way more sex. Political ideology had no bearing on overall life satisfaction, but the most conservative men on average shut down their sex lives around age 68, while the most liberal men had healthy sex lives well into their 80s. Vaillant writes, “I have consulted urologists about this, they have no idea why it might be so.”
Yet, you have to include the reality that many people simply have bad communication skills and habits and it seems like husbands and wives spend an exceedingly large amount of time and energy on "What's Not Working."
I love my husband but...
I love my wife but....
Round and round people go...tormenting each other. Perhaps thats their foreplay and what they need to feel alive. I don't know but it feels like the status quo these days as people share with me... and all I can do is send them back into their own lives.....
MOVIES AS LESSONS>>>>>>>
I now recommend to all "half in and half out,"of marriage humans: Please watch this movie
"The Sea of Trees"
I feel like no one knows, time is moving, life is now... and I think I feel that way only because...now that I'm on the other side...it feels like people have to move at their own pace in life and sometimes they act like happiness is something to put off for....when exactly-I do not know.
It's like put both of your feet in or get the hell out and let that person find their best life and go find yours.
Because regret does burn and you're gonna burn either way....it's just a decision on what kind of burn you have the capacity to endure....
The pros and cons to all things... This movie I believe has "movement" power. Get in, be in, or get out and find out how HAPPINESS IS LOVE. FULL STOP. It's FULL STOP. There is NO "BUT"
As I was watching this scene and his crying, I was brought back to the moment I told my husband it was time for a divorce and how he was instantly brought to a full out release of what felt like, sorrow, relief, regret and indeed GUILT. I remember thinking in this moment "This is good, feel everything- let it out, this is how you heal, this is how we all heal"
I think this movie has a lot of power for married people and I think in terms of my marriage, this wouldn't have changed a thing because it was over before it was over...and that's okay.
Another movie I watched recently: The Accountant. I was so surprised that I actually ended up liking this movie...
My favorite recent movie though....Bridget Jones's Baby.
And as far as men go....
And I'm still experimenting.
It seems to me....There is just way too much unfinished business, lots of guilt and shame in the male psyche.
While this helps me become aware of how much guilt consciousness and shame consciousness gets in the way of connection. I'm also present to how afraid everyone is of the possibility that they could actually be....Happy.
The unknown...such a scary thing...
for me, staying in something unfulfilling and not listening to my own souls longing would scare me so much more than the unknown. You have to wonder what it is people think they can't have or don't have a right to or don't deserve? Or do they, like me just have unhealed grief to work out.
Who knows...all I know is....
Every day, I hear from somewhere out there.... "If there is anyone who deserves true love, it is you Christina!" Which is such a sweet and caring way to say....I just think you're swell....
however, I can't help but think.... doesn't everyone deserve to be loved truly and deeply?
To be seen, known and valued?
I don't feel like I'm any more or any less deserving than any other human being just because my life has changed so much.
I think if anything, those changes have been gifts for me and have taught me that we get to decide and define what true love is and often, it's all around us.
I become curious too - What is true love for people?
What does it look like, taste like, feel like? Is it a concept? Is it something that just is and you just know it is or is it something that needs to be carefully calculated?
Do people find love and spend their time cultivating and co-creating to keep themselves in the sweet spot or did they ever even "really" have it to begin with anyway?
I do not have the answers, I do not know anything, it seems
love is all around us and when we can enjoy all the love in all of it's forms....Happiness is still.....LOVE.
I'm starting to get an inkling here that I am an odd duck. haha. I mean this in the nicest way to myself.
On the personal level there are two things that I am currently looking at because I am noticing.
The first thing is my endurance. Recently a fella said "Jesus, I'm going to have to do more cardio just to keep up with you!" This comment washed over me and I thought-and there it is. The competitive consciousness where the natural conclusion is-in order to keep up with this woman I will need to do more. At our age and beyond I think we are often at our max and over doing it as it is.
In this moment I felt the answer was the exact opposite of more and the answer to him feeling like things were working well between us lived inside of the concept of "Less is more" Meaning: going deeper into connection while in it with me rather than add on another thing to do cardio wise. This man is such a giver it is all about pleasing the woman he is with at a level far beyond the norm. I don't even know what I said or if I said anything because these connections are fleeting right now...and if a person is in it for the sport of it-or the answer in their lives has always been do more, be more and try harder.... the idea that a possible solution is to do less, lean in and just go deeper into it- can be a little weird, go against conditioning and there are moments with men now where I just give them my undivided attention and something stops me from inviting them into a new possibility because I don't know how deeply they want to go with me anyway and before I can think-there is a new topic on the table.
However; let's just say in our last encounter that is exactly what happened. There was a slowing down, leaning in and going deeper. A moment where our breathing moved to being in sync with each other, the need to keep up with me dropped and together we experienced that moment of rising in satisfaction at the same time. It was beautiful.
I think some of these super generous giving men in their love of wanting a woman to be fully satisfied they sometimes forget, a part of the pleasure a woman has - sometimes lives in the simple things like in sync breathing and rising together.
In this way, when trying to keep up is replaced with being in sync...no one has to do anything extra or more. Nothing is left as "needing to be different."
In this way too, I am not left feeling like I am once again being told I am "too much," in some way, form or fashion.
The answer isn't more cardio for him and it isn't me being less than I am. The answer that I can tell:
lean in, go deeper, be in it, don't be afraid of connecting from the heart space. Who cares if it's going to last a day, a week, a month or years...learning to lean in and to go deeper is something that can be cultivated, should one desire to cultivate it.
The second thing I'm noticing is how comments like: "You're like a little girl" land on me and this isn't about these men as much as it's about how that makes me feel on my insides. It does not feel like a compliment. My way of being is enjoyable and fun loving... I sense something intuitively from a societal expectation standpoint that I am, at my age- supposed to or expected to be a mature woman who acts her age unless I'm drunk or something.
In connections at times - I have somehow managed to cultivate feeling free, blissful and having the capacity to be and show up in happiness and enthusiasm-I think those attributes are legitimate ones to have in adulthood all the way up to senior living.
Could it be and is it possible that we have somehow managed to think and believe those attributes are reserved exclusively for "little girls," because we have become a society that has conditioned us all to believe it's normal to be a just a little bit miserable and we call that "maturity."
As if things like internal freedom, joy and bliss has an age limit.
These men aren't complaining as much as they are sharing an observation and how I am showing up to them. Things like "You are so adorable"
so there isn't any intention or negativity in them. This lives in me somehow. So I'm just going to put the question out there "Why do I feel this way?"
And see what answers come in.....Can't wait to find out....
as a side note:
LOVE THESE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK THE WAY OF THE SUPERIOR MAN:
"Closing down in the midst of pain is a denial of a man's true nature. A superior man is free in feeling and action, even amidst great pain and hurt. If necessary, a man should live with a hurting heart rather than a closed one. He should learn to stay in the wound of pain and act with spontaneous skill and love even from that place."
"If a woman suggests something that changes a man's perspective, then he should make a new decision based on his new perspective. But he should never betray his own deepest knowledge and intuition in order to please his woman or "go along" with her. Both she and he will be weakened by such an action. They will grow to resent each other, and the crust of accumulated inauthenticity will burden their love, as well as their capacity for free action."
In other news:
tomorrow I am heading to the beautiful Island of Kauai and I'm trying to put together a play list for the adventure I am going to have there. I will be there at 6 am and until 9 pm....It's an adventure and an opportunity to expand my love affair with myself on another island. So I've been to Maui and now I'm going to Kauai. Maybe by the end of the year I will have visited all the islands..who knows...anything is possible....