What is Love?

August 21, 2016

August 22, 2016

I write while standing at a life crossroad.

I never knew I’d be standing here, re-planning my world and wondering which road would be the wisest to take. I’ve thought about every event that led up to this moment in time – from my own appraisal and past selfishness, to resentments, frustrations, withdrawals and betrayals. I’ve cried nearly each day for a month and have gone through each stage of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and now acceptance.

I accept I have no control over this situation and have detached myself from the outcome.

I’m focused on letting go, whatever that means, in whichever form that takes.

I struggled writing about this pain because it’s not something I’m proud of. It’s not something I have answers to. Right now is not somewhere I’ve ever been before…

Yet I thought of the last ten years blogging online as followers read my fears, from struggling with Bulimia, quitting my job, praying for my future husband, starting a nonprofit, having an unexpected pregnancy, dealing with online backlash and participating in a critically edited TV show. In each of those stages, I was scared of the unknown and wasn’t sure if I could see past that present moment, and yet I lived, I overcame and I later understood the purpose behind each pain.

I can’t wait to get there.

I can’t wait to look back and read this reflection with a peaceful heart, a forgiving soul and an open mind. After months avoiding the keyboard, I decided to sit down and finally write this, after all, I’m no stranger to fear, criticism or conflict.

I’m not perfect.

My marriage isn’t perfect…and it never will be.

Onlookers have told me that if you love someone, you wouldn’t hurt them. Love is a feeling, where they bring joy, happiness, love and respect. Love makes you a better person and brings out the best in you. Love is passion, desire and excitement – a positive emotion that many declare is what being ‘in love’ is.

I’ve always believed that love is a commitment. Love is self-sacrificing, unselfish, and ever-changing, always growing and never-ending. I believe that love is a discipline, a minute-by-minute choice to act with kindness, speak with understanding and love without conditions. I believe that feelings constantly change, people constantly change, but our belief set and who we intrinsically are, do not change.

I’m struggling today.

I struggle with the idea of choosing to be in an environment that could potentially hurt me. I struggle with partnering with someone who may not share the same belief set. I struggle with my own deficiencies, my wrongdoings and internal pride. I am struggling.

So here I stand and here I go –

I’ve detached myself from this situation and have decided to let go, listen to my heart, live with awareness and land wherever my soul settles in the next several months.

Throughout my life I’ve always chosen routes dependent on the difficulty, for whatever is hardest, is what makes you grow the most. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable has been my life’s philosophy.

So in true Maria style, I’m choosing the harder route.

Wish me Luck.

 

Related Reflections

63 Comments

  • Reply Marisha August 23, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Good luck, Maria

    • Reply Maria Kang August 22, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks Marisha

  • Reply Angie Kilar August 23, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Wow…that was powerful! I honestly needed this message today. You saying you are going to let go has motivated me. I’ve been seeing the get comfortable with being uncomfortable everywhere. I have been stressed out about a situation in my life…wondering the what-if’s, etc. But as of today I am going to stop worrying and just live. Get uncomfortable and accept the challenges. I did it 20 years ago when up and left my life to join the military now here I am again as I set to retire and get back into the civilian world.
    Prayers and hugs to you on your journey!!!

    • Reply Maria Kang August 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Angie. God Bless you in your new journey! The hardest route reaps the most reward.

  • Reply Heather Kelnhofer August 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I too have been struggling with finding who I am in my marriage and deciding what kind of marriage I want to be a part of. It is not easy or pretty all the time, but ultimately I believe it is all worth it, no matter what the outcome. Good luck to you. You are strong and brave for sharing.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Heather, I believe all things begin with an intense desire and unwavering decision to make things so…

  • Reply Irma Gonzalez-Blanco August 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    It’s so hard because we want to be super woman. But I believe that can only be achieved with complete balance and support from our spouse and family (kids). Because in the end without balance & support someone or something suffers or gets lost through the cracks.
    I wish you the best and will be praying for you. Just take it one day at a time. Hang in there & God Bless

    • Reply Maria Kang August 22, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you Irma, I am taking it one day at a time. Your prayers mean a lot.

  • Reply Elle August 22, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I too was at a crossroad at one point in my life where I had to look back at all the good and the bad to realize I needed to make one decision and move forward. The only thing I knew was that however I do it I just needed to let go, whether it be the issue at hand or everything I had put 7 years into. Best wishes to you as it is never easy to encounter this road with two paths. May God give you the strength to make the best decision for you.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 22, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you Elle, all our small and big decisions lead up to huge life shifts.

  • Reply Scott Jochum August 22, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I don’t understand, are you leaving your marriage? Too cryptic for me.

  • Reply Ashley August 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Whatever path you choose, always make sure it takes you to happiness. While marriage isn’t always easy, it’s also not supposed to be a downhill process either. I fought, I cried, and I ultimately walked away from what I thought was the only man who would ever love me. I was wrong. Five years later, I am stronger, wiser, and I know what I deserve. Never doubt your instincts and don’t let anyone try to make your decisions for you.

  • Reply Olivia Garcia Salguero August 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Good luck Maria. You are a warrior. You will get through this. (I needed to read this today) I am cheering for you. (And for myself too) we’ll be just fine. #Namasté

  • Reply Heather August 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Sending Prayers for peace, comfort and joy….things we all deserve…

  • Reply Fi August 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Dear Maria,

    What you said today truly resonated with me. I found out last night my husband has not been faithful for the past 3 months and it’s his second inferdility. I’m struggling through all the stages in you’ve mentioned in your post. I’m still struggling. I don’t know what to do as we also have 2 very young children together.

    I want to know what did you consider the harder path? To stay in and work hard for the children? Or to leave and start all over?

    As I walk the valley of shadows, God shall carry me through 🙏🏼

    Fi

    • Reply Fox August 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      I can relate. I’m struggling with the exact same situation and two small ones also. I have been told that he made the choice to destroy his family not me. I understand his choice was not my fault but my struggle is will I have to go through this again with the next guy? It seems to me that most men don’t have respect or the drive to be faithful.

      • Reply Fi August 23, 2016 at 6:32 am

        Did you choose to leave? My husband begged to come home for the kids’ sake but I don’t know if I can and I’m scared what If he do it again?

      • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 3:09 pm

        I refuse to allow negativity skew my belief that there are truly good people in this world. Have faith.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      I believe it takes two if you choose to stay within a partnership. Everyone’s journey is unique and I can’t tell you what would be easiest for you. I suggest you strongly pray on this and choose the route that requires the most risk…of heart, body and spirit…and see where that leads you.

    • Reply Argelia Carrillo September 21, 2016 at 10:07 am

      I too have just learned that my husband of 10 years has been unfaithful. We have 4 kids and I honestly don’t know how I am holding together. I’ve cried everyday and even though time has been passing by it doesn’t seem to get easier at the moment. This was also his second infidelity, and I fought hard the first time. We reconciled but this time I don’t think that is happening. He won’t even speak to me and is hardly speaking to the kids as well. That is what crushes me as he was always very loving and attentive and for him to completely ghost us out is just painful. He spoke to me today to tell me to get over it and stop calling him. The dagger to the heart was when he informed me that he is now living with this woman and her children. I can’t help but to feel completely broken, yet everyday I try. I pray for strength and answers. I hope you get the answers you need. Whatever your choice maybe I’ll pray for you <3

  • Reply Jerijehs August 22, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Let it go, but in His hands. Find, but in His arms. That’s the beginning and end of everything, Maria. You may struggle but it gives you peace when you trust Him. God bless! 😉

  • Reply Nic August 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Funny you say the harder route…..I believe I took the harder route but I’m not sure it’s the same one you have chosen. No matter what you choose nothing is guaranteed. Things can and will change. I am wishing you all the luck, love hope and the unbelievable amount of strength you need right now! ❤

  • Reply BJB August 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you. I’ve needed to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s hard, and it’s a choice I make everyday, or at least have made for while now, and sometimes I feel that I’m not so sure but I don’t want to be to hasty in my actions. There is no right answer other than that which is revealed in time. I wish you the best.

  • Reply Martha August 22, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    “If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow, we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives. Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in our life.” – from the book In the field of Grace by Tessa Afshar – based on the story of Naomi and Ruth who suffered incredible losses but were made whole by the unconditional love we find in God alone. There are many nuggets I found in this book, if you can find the time, it might be worth the read to provide some encouragement during your journey…

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      wow I love that. I always loved the story of Naomi and Ruth and will need to revisit it. Thank you

  • Reply Kang August 22, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Maria I have followed you for the past two years. Again, you continued to inspire me to become a better woman, mother, and daughter. You have shown so much strength and resilience. No matter what life throws in your way, many of continue to support you and we truly love you for being who you are.

  • Reply Liza August 22, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I want to share this with you…. Prayers and well wishes for you as you move forward in life. God will always meet you where you are. Peace and blessings!

    https://youtu.be/N2fcNFHDzAE

  • Reply Jan Jones August 22, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I have wondered and worried about you these past months. I hope that whatever happens makes you happy and gives your boys a happy home. I’ve been married 34 years and there have been many times where I questioned that. But I remember life is full of ups and downs and during the ups, I have very grateful. During the downs, I remember the ups. So it’s all about what means the most to you. If the downs aren’t forgivable or forgettable, then it’s time to move on. If they are, then do so. LIfe isn’t a straight path.

  • Reply Carolina "Kat" Villalon August 23, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Good luck my friend, sending you strength and clarity, love and understanding. In the end you will do what is best for you and when you look back you will know you made the right choice cause your heart and mind will lead you in the right direction. Love you girl!!!

  • Reply Lily Marrero August 23, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Thank you for those words… I think you articulated how I felt for a long time in a 29 year marriage, tried to hang in there, be selfless, put everyone else first but then lost my joy, myself along the way and it took all those stages of grief and jumping into the unknown, scared out of my wits to make it on my own and start again.. I can now say I found myself, my motivation, my drive, and true love that supports it and reminds me to be me! I can look back now and know it was the correct decision.. Best of luck to you and thank you!

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Thank you Lily for your testimony. I resonate with your sacrifices.

  • Reply Lily Marrero August 23, 2016 at 5:24 am

    It was 20 years marriage.. Typo:)

  • Reply Angela August 23, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Hi Maria,
    Thinking of you. Thank you for sharing this. I know how you feel.

  • Reply Mavic Licaros August 23, 2016 at 5:36 am

    I will include you in my prayers. God bless

  • Reply AAM August 23, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I was meant to come across this today. Going through the same struggles. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      God Bless you on your journey.

  • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Good for you. I always loved the quote, “There is nothing constant but change”

  • Reply Andrea Cruz August 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I sincerely hope you get get back to being happy and doing well. One thing to learn is the one shall not be solely be motivated by the all mighty dollar or with the intention of gaining a bunch of followers for fame and eventually leaning to fortune. I think you have to self reflect a bit..

    • Reply Adnana August 23, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Lolz one shall not judge his brother, for who are you? A worthless speck of dust on which God had mercy? Do you sincerely think that if you tell her to self reflect,( along with a small bashing of morals and character) she will self reflect and thanks to your sincere advice, from a fortune seeking and money hungry person she will become a maria teresa? Really? Christ showed so.much love and respect for people, for sinners, for you and me,and he gave his life for us so we know what love is, but hold on, you have to really tell her how it is. Good job, her life has changed for the better thanks to your candid message.

    • Reply Adnana August 23, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      No wonder people are so fake in churches, trying to put a saint lifestyle, because at the slightest show of weakness people like you and 10 times worse come and spit venom, making this life hell, as if life is not hard enough, there needs to be some salt on the wound, maybe maybe the sinner will repent. Yeah right. Do you really wish her well? How about you say something nice, if you have it in you. If you dont, go make yourself good and then come tell her some nice sincere loving words.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Andrea, I’m a little confused by your comment as I am not motivated by followers, fame or fortune? Perhaps you should consider less judgement and more self reflection on your part.

  • Reply Mp August 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Reading what you wrote sent me back a year ago to when I decided to take the hard road as well. My marriage was toxic and literally making me sick. A year later I can say I don’t cry as much and I am finally at peace. It’s a difficult road when you no longer know what lies ahead. My future used to consist of someone I would share the rest of my life with. Now I don’t know and I am ok with it. Thank you thank you for sharing your feelings with us.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Happy to hear you are in a better space, thank you for sharing your testimony.

  • Reply Sarah August 23, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Such a raw post. Thank u for letting yourself be vulnerable and showing others that you. Your life. Is not perfect as no ones is. Good luck with whatever trials you are going through and I pray that u come out of this tribulation stronger than ever Maria.

    • Reply Maria Kang August 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Thank you Sarah.

  • Reply Phill August 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Wow. I’ve followed along on Facebook for sometime now and I’ve always been encouraged and inspired by your posts and photos. My wife and I are also at a crossroads after 16 years and 3 children. It’s a dark place at times and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’m truly sorry to hear that you are going through similar struggles. It must be even more difficult having to endure this while being a public figure. Please know that I will be keeping you and your family in prayer. Don’t give up. 1 Cor 13:7

  • Reply Deanna August 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I can relate. I’m sorry you are in the situation you are in. It’s not one you would have ever thought you’d be in.

  • Reply Denelle Rose August 23, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Life is too short to be unhappy. I believe there is a season for everything and that your new chapter (whatever the outcome) will be happier . Listen to your heart and trust in you.

  • Reply Sara C. August 24, 2016 at 3:43 am

    I feel like you wrote this specifically for me. So many are struggling with difficult life changing decisions, your words empower us to listen to our hearts. Thank you!

  • Reply MT August 24, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Been silently following you and reading. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is so inspiring. You are one strong woman! Will be keeping you in my prayers.

  • Reply Maya Mathews August 24, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    …so….leaving? Not leaving? I think not….I’m so confused.

  • Reply Elda August 24, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Maria
    I met you briefly at the soccer Jamboree And I want you to know I will pray for you and your handsome boys! May our LORD guide you thru these decisions I’ve been there and thank God for the strength He gave me! Please know there is light at the tunnel..you are a blessing to many of us.

  • Reply Grace August 25, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Oh my wowed you took the words out of my mouth ! I feel what your going through I keep reading and thinking that’s me !
    Thanks for your honesty it’s comforting I’m not alone!!😢😢

  • Reply Paul August 26, 2016 at 5:36 am

    This Monday we will be married 29 years. It has been a far from perfect marriage, even to this day, but not once did we consider calling it quits. People ask us,” what’s your secret?”. Like my mom (who was married almost 55 years before my dad passed) said when asked the same question,”The secret is, no secrets”. I pray for you and your family. In this age of disposable marriages, I hope you folks fight the good fight. Persevere, as you always do.

  • Reply Nancy September 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Maria, you probably been married longer than me and much more mature! I got married at the age of 21 pssss didn’t live my life at all. Have 3 kids all under the age of 5 well my oldest is 5 maya the next one is 4 (son) and galilea is about to be 3 this September (1 week). Well sometimes i say to myself man i could of been out with my girls partying…having an new adventure!! But no im here with the kids maya just started Kindergarten. But see its all ok!! I’m very happy with my life even thou my husband did live his life sometimes i get jealous he is 35 years old and I’m 25 now..but my point is never give up on something u had and still love for your pride or something very little…marriage is hard man! no one tells u about marriage foreal u hear about pregnancy is crazy and hard kids but staying married no!! my parents are separate already for 3 years and it hurts me till this day!! If your love of your life don’t share the same religious or faith its ok don’t let the little things separate you guys….yes if you guys don’t feel the love anymore and its been weak try the best to get help or talk about it….i wish this world can be in peace no hatred just peace and love!! Remember that whatever years we been married no one is perfect u know that you have that in your book…but we have to maintain our lives together not let it go to waste for something that doesn’t matter that can be avoid or because of my big pride we have to be in love in this world its the key to life!

    Love,
    Nancy

  • Reply Shelly September 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Good luck Maria. I’ll be praying for you and your kids.

  • Reply Lynn September 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I’ve been down this long, dark, lonely road before… having 3 kids, I struggled with making the right decision for my kids and I… everything looks cloudy and foggy when it comes to making life long decisions for not only yourself, but for your kids— your family. After 10years, I finally mustered up the courage to leave and cut off what I called my 225lb cancer off my back (my exhusband) who had been weighting me down (with constant drug abuse, infidelity, lies, mental abuse and more). Initially, I got off to a slow start, dragging my feet through life, and barley functioning well enough to take care of myself because I had to put on a brave face for my kids and act like nothing was wrong. But I was broken and sad beyond words, not only for myself, but for my kids– the guilt of breaking up my family and taking their dad out of their daily life consumed me. I felt paralyzed with guilt and sadness. My happily ever after was not supposed to end like this, and that thought nearly put me in a permanent state of depression. Having to fake it for my kids, and shield them from the truth of what their dad had done and who he had become…and the feeling that I felt, like I had been in love with someone I thought existed… I questioned if whether or not i had ever loved my husband or not because I felt like our marriage had been a fraud. Like you, I went through all the emotions. Anger, sadness, denial… and those emotions were on repeat over and over again. But God never fails us. And he will carry you through the most difficult times in your life. You may not see a footprint walking next to you, but that is because he will be carrying you! When 1 door closes, many other doors will open! Keep your eyes wide open so you are not blinded. Keep doing what your doing, and you will end up at the place you were always suppose to be. Every situation you go through in life is a chapter in your life book, and without the chapter before the next, your book will not be complete. You need each chapter in order to bring you to the next. Last week, I married the most humble, loving man (you met him and I last year at the orange county fit expo–you were on a lunch break and I ran up to you asking if you would take a picture with me 😉😘). And from the beginning, I told him how I believe everything does happen for a reason, because if I had met him 10years ago, we never would have dated lol. As we go through tough times in life (and age) we grow wiser. You will have a check list of things that are absolutely non negotiable. Time heals all wounds, and will make you even stronger than you are today. God Bless you and your family… you are all in my prayers! Xoxo

  • Reply Christina Martinez September 19, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Leaving my 14 year relationship/marriage was the beginning of an incredible growth period for me. The negativity that was coming as a result of our union was harmful to me, the children, and him. The first year was so hard…and then beautiful transformation occurred. For all of us. There is now forgiveness and understanding, and the overall feeling that I made the right choice. I wish you peace on the coming days.

  • Reply Argelia Carrillo September 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Maira when I read your blog I myself cried. Like you I have cried pretty much everyday for the past month. My emotions come in waves of depression, anger, grief and empowerment. I’ve felt so broken lately and defeated. I myself was/am married for the past 10 years with 4 beautiful children. My husband works out of town and everything seemed seemingly perfect. I found out that he had committed the ultimate betrayal. We had been down this road before and I chose to fight at the time and we resolved our issues. I even blogged about the whole thing. I did not hold back as it helped me cope, but once we decided to reconcile I knew in order to move forward I had to leave that in the past and deleted my blogs.
    This time I was fighting for my marriage alone. To top it off he’s acting like a stranger. In his own words told me to leave him alone and deal with it. Get over it. Not even a month has gone by and he is living with this woman leaving me and my children. What I struggle with the most is that there was never abuse. He was always doting to both the kids and I. Now he is a ghost to us. He will not speak to me and hardly anything to the kids, more less see them. It kills me hearing my boys ask if daddy coming home, is daddy coming to see us. The wound is fresh and hurts so bad. I know that only time can heal and that what is meant to happen will happen. I just can’t see that at the moment. I wish you the best in your new journey. I’ll pray for you and the boys.

  • Reply Simon October 17, 2016 at 4:18 am

    “Onlookers have told me that if you love someone, you wouldn’t hurt them. Love is a feeling…”
    Well there’s your problem right there – love is NOT a feeling – it is a verb.

  • Reply Rick lopez November 4, 2016 at 6:35 am

    I’m a 62 year old man I was divorced over 12 years ago I had always been a good provider and a good father during my marriage my wife was unfaithful more than one time I stayed because I felt it was best for my children but I was miserable after one more time of her unfaithfulness I had to leave I was granted custody of both my children which in California is very hard to do they were both 6and 7 years old they are both in college now and have no contact with their mom I dont know what happened in your marriage but based on what I have read I can’t believe that could happen to some one so nice and beutifiul as you believe me I would have cherished the opportunity ! Find strength in God it has always worked for me find strength in your children and most of all don’t give up on your dreams and goals you are truly an amazing person ! Good luck and you and your children will be in my prayers

  • Reply Rick Lopez November 4, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I have a story to tell you about my marriage that will surely show you what I have endured and I pray things will get better you are truly an amazing and beautify young lady I’m a 63 year old man so you don’t have to worry about me but if you would like to hear my story I’ve kept in for years I have been divorced for over 12 years so it’s in the past I have never told the story to anyone but reading your articles if you would do me the honor I would like to speak to you about it I don’t want to say in front of everyone so if you would consider it you can email me at rlopez1227@sbcglobal.net or call at 6612015022 thank you and God bless

  • Reply Mike Kom January 1, 2017 at 10:05 am

    You don’t do something simply because it’s hard……Geez. That is some dumb logic there.

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