Love Story: Will There Be Magic?

After a weekend away with my Brooklyn Young Women (some girls I teach/mentor in Brooklyn), Danny got this….

To the COOLEST guy in my life…………

Here I am.  I am yours for the next hour while I write you this mother load email.  I am ditching a ward party at Prospect Park (which I actually really want to go to).  And I am ditching some important errands.  And I am ditching literally the most beautiful day EVER.  And I am ditching a load of work that I should be doing.   And I am ditching a lesson for the Young Women which I should be planning for tmw.  But I don’t want to do any of it at this moment.  Because I just have to sit and write YOU!!!!!   I can’t see you.  And I am scared / shy to talk to you!  hahahha.   So I will just sit and write away to my heart’s content.

By the way, I have literally LOOOVED every drop of your emails.  Thank you so very much for writing me and indulging me.  I see in you SUCH a good man!!!!  So many good intentions.  Just a heart of gold.  I see in you someone who truly wants to live a good life and be a good person.  Not just average.  But more of a rock star.  You seem SO strong, stable, happy, at peace, patient, faithful, giving, energetic about life and sharing all that you know with others, excited to have a family, full of charity and love for everyone.  Honestly, what more could a woman like me want or need.  I really don’t need anything but all these things.  There is nothing more attractive to me than a man that has these qualities.

I guess the only mystery component is love… magic….all that…. obviously we know now that those things are not everything.  In our twenties that’s mostly all we looked for.  But now, there’s so much more to desire.  We know too much.  Already I can see in you soooooo many things that I admire.  And now I am just about to die thinking about meeting you and wondering if we can have something great in person!!!!!!!!  hahhaha.   It would be so wonderful.    (OK – – SORRY to talk this way!!!  I can’t help it!!!  And please know that if we don’t end up a couple – someday – that we MUST be friends.  ok??? We just have too much in common.   I will want you in my life no matter what happens.)

Btw, i seriously LOVE it that you said you were happy before all this happened, despite everything.  I was, too.  Someone told me that their friend heard of my story and was intrigued and had been thinking of leaving her husband and was inspired to do it because she wanted the freedom, happiness and peace that I had.  hahhahaha.  Well, um, let me tell you….I had to set that girl straight.  You see, I was happy not because my husband left me.  Not one bit.  I have been happy because I have CHOSEN to be.

It has been SUCH a conscious choice.  And I actually was making that choice to be happy BEFORE he left me, during the last year of my marriage and even during some of the worst times.  It really scares me to hear people say… I will be happy IF I end my marriage, IF I land the job I want, IF I get the home I want, IF I get married, IF I get pregnant and have a family.   I feel SOOOO blessed that I learned that that is not how REAL happiness works.  It is not something you find from anything going on in your life or any circumstance you might find yourself in.  The only way to be truly happy….. rock solid happy…..the kind that runs through your veins….is to find peace and happiness with yourself, as a child of God, just as you are……no matter what.   Of course this is such a hard thing to do.  Cause it requires rising above the natural man at every turn & feeling real love & compassion for others.  But it is SO possible.  Even though I know all this and have been able to pull it off time and time again, I still have to catch myself whenever I just long so much for a husband and a family.  I want it all SO much.  But I also know that I have to embrace this moment.  I have to embrace this wonderful phase of my life and all the lessons and opportunities for growth that I have as a single woman.  Cause if I couldn’t figure out how to be happy now, in this state,…. what on earth would I be able to offer my future husband and family?…..and let me tell you, I want nothing more than to be the best I can be for them.  And the greatest gift I could offer them is my happiness.

If you have gotten this far (ha!)…. thank you, dear Danny, for even reading this!  Thank you for being so happy and excited and hopeful, just as I am.  Thank you for appreciating who I am.  Thank you for not thinking I am a spiritual nutcase for spilling my heart and soul out to you.  Thank you for doing the same for me.  Thank you for all of your attention and time.   Thank you for being such an awesome example to me.  I hope I can do the same for you, as friends or LOVERS (please!! 🙂 🙂  Thank you for being so full of goodness.  I love it that we see so much of ourselves, in each other.  It is SO refreshing, isn’t it??

I am all too anxious to meet you!!!!!!

OK, I will say goodbye for now.


Good-bye my compote-making guy in Boston.


Oh Mara,

I am simply beaming, an unimaginable and impossibly large smile has etched itself onto not only my face but my very soul.  Could it possibly be that in my emails you could read me so well and know my deepest desires and convictions?  If I am not already the man you described, you’ve at least painted in words the man I aspire to be some day, a man I am fully aware I cannot become without a good woman and partner at my side.  Oh, what a dream.  Could it be that those paths have now crossed, I mean….WOW!  And isn’t it interesting your mention of the mystery component “love”.

I thought I knew what love was before, the excitement, the rush of the first touch of the hand or kiss, the longing, etc.  Yes, I have grown up now though, and know that that part of love doesn’t always remain as powerful.  If I thought about it longer I could put into words what is written in my heart, but i will try anyway.  Isn’t the love that really matters the kind we’ve been describing we hope to feel?  It isn’t something created by hormones and day dreams – it is founded on respect, shared commitment to higher ideals, absolute trust, service, partnership, faith, hope, patience, living to bring joy to the other.  That is where my heart has told me I need to go.

It’s like Christ’s parable of living water, drink the water I shall give you and you shall never thirst….becoming a partner with these attributes, and finding that strength within first, is what I believe will help create a well from which you can always draw on. Finding a partner who’s trying to do the same means no matter the circumstances of life that you will face together or whether those initial attractions you feel fade, the presence of that shared respect and commitment and core belief, I have to believe, is what is the difference between a good marriage and a truly great one.

I will probably want to reword the above a million times before I have arrived at something representing what I feel is right…but since you’ve been on the same page as me from the beginning, maybe further elaboration isn’t necessary.

Moving on….CHOOSING happiness….did you just rip the words straight from my heart and mind? You wonderful woman!  Ah, you brought tears to my eyes.  Why does no one else seem to understand what I mean when I say what you’ve just said to me?

They never disagree with me, they think my conclusions are correct, but they don’t seem to grasp it on the same level you so beautifully expressed.  They just say, yeah…that makes sense.  NO man, it doesn’t just make sense, you have to feel it coursing through your veins for it to make a difference in your life.

Hopefully God/life will find a way to reveal the same lessons to them through less painful experiences than what you and I have had.  It is for this very knowledge that I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences.  I know you feel the same.  How great is it that we both get to live the rest of our lives with this knowledge.  How wonderful will it be to share that knowledge with as many people as I possibly can, most importantly some day my own children.  How great would it be if my wife shared that knowledge with the same level of conviction.  Oh man!  Every day it seems all the more possible that I may have already met her!  I know…I shouldn’t think or say such things either, but I too can’t help it.  Yes, I have a feeling that we would be friends no matter what.  And if we become something more, all the better that it is built on this shared foundation.

Good night, my dear Mara,


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  1. Kathryn October 30, 2011 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Just checking in for my "it's midnight and I'm heading off to bed, but I bet Mara updated her blog" daily ritual. Oh, and you say that my blog sends traffic your way. Yay. But really, my blog is a portal for my family. My mom and sisters use my blog roll to check all the blogs. Everyone says hi! Everyone loves the updates.

    (Sometimes I wonder if grandma Papa were alive if she would have a blog too.)

  2. Kari October 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Did you post this briefly yesterday? I thought I was delusional. I knew there was a post I hadn't read, but when I came back it was gone! (That is what I get for reading blogs past midnight.) Yes, I'm one of the ones that checks your blog through Kathryn. It is fun to hear your love story. 🙂

  3. Amanda Greer October 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Oh yes, happiness is a choice. One of my favourite quotes is this:

    "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." -Carlos Castaneda

    I have this hanging up in my room as a reminder to choose to be happy.

  4. N. Campbell October 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I just started reading your blog a week ago and it's so beautiful, you're a very beautiful person inside and out and you're such a blessing.

  5. Anonymous November 1, 2011 at 12:15 am - Reply

    Your posts are just inspiring. Choosing to be happy, what an amazing concept. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God bless!


  6. nicole November 2, 2011 at 4:35 am - Reply

    I'm bawling. This post was beautiful.

  7. Jennifer November 18, 2011 at 1:36 am - Reply

    Awwwww I'm bawling too. Gosh this is so sweet its like I'm reading a Nicholas Sparks book!

  8. Emily September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    This was exactly what I needed to read today! I've been struggling to believe that true love exists, that two people can be committed to the same goals and to each other. Thank you so much.

  9. Jessica Helen January 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I have to ask…I can't help but cringe a little whenever I hear about how happiness is a choice. I LOVE the idea that I am the master of my destiny. I want to believe that I can be happy no matter what happens, or how my life turns out…

    BUT how do you reconcile these ideals with what sounds like resignation? I believe that I AM the master of my fate, of my happiness…but I really struggle to just "let it all go" because I am the only one fighting for my dreams, my joy.

    How can I balance accepting the cards I've been dealt with fighting for the life I want to have? I really love everything written here because my life shouldn't be controlled by circumstances, and yet I struggle with feeling like what is being suggested is that I should just accept the life I have and stop advocating for myself and for the life I want to strive for.

    I don't know. What do you think?

    • Jessica Helen January 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      I'm nervous that the underlying implication here is that choosing happiness is synonymous with settling for mediocrity. I'm scared…and upset…because when people tell me to "choose happiness" it feels like they are telling me to stop fighting for the life I should have, and to simply resign myself to whatever circumstances "fate" has brought me…which feels paradoxical, because it makes me feel like I am NOT the master of myself or my outcomes, but rather a passive bystander. Does that make sense?

    • danny January 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      This is a really good question, and is certainly something we've thought about often. One post comes to mind where I attempted to address that is linked here –

      It is very paradoxical, and there is a very fine line between accepting things as they are and unnecessarily embracing mediocrity. I think one of the things that comes to mind, is when it comes to happiness, it is usually more important to focus on *how* you do something, then on determining *what* you do. For more on that, click to this post here –

      I wouldn't ever want to suggest that someone should be a passive bystander to their life. In my view, it is actively choosing "how" you internally respond to things that places a bigger role in how you experience something than whatever the experience is itself.

      Sure – fight for the life that you want to have, push yourself and challenge yourself. But one teaching at the heart of every single religion, on the core of most philosophical pursuits, and at the basis of psychological well being….is realizing that happiness is NOT dependent on circumstances. I think that is at the basis of happiness…once understood, that doesn't stop you from pushing forward to accomplish your dreams, and finding joy in all the success AND the failures that you encounter as you pursue them.

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