The colors of love

“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.”

~Jane Austen


Today is my birthday (and I have a special gift for you at the end of this post).

Rather than evaluating where I am heading at this expansive stage of life, or what trials I have overcome to get here, I decided to use this day to embrace love.

Love rarely shows up as we expect, and it sometimes leaves in ways we cannot easily accept when people exit our lives.

Yet, we get to choose how to honor love in our hearts–with gratitude for the times that it brings joy, to forgiveness for the moments that it hurts.

Here are some of my favorite “’love” surprises (and I hope you will share some of yours at the end of this blog):

  • The first day I showed up at my job as a cub reporter fresh out of college the city editor called me over to his desk and handed me an envelope. It was a note from my dad that read: “The Gazette is lucky to have you.” I sat at my desk in the newsroom trying not to cry. My father had been an Archie Bunker-type of man, who didn’t think girls should go to college because they’re “just” going to get married and be home with babies. He later read every one of my news stories, even the technical ones when I covered the computer industry in New England, in a past career.
  • A man I had just started dated several years back drove through torrential rain, midday leaving work, and unexpectedly showed up with lunch.   Moments earlier I had been sitting at my kitchen table crying. It was my first vacation without my kids post-divorce, and my heart felt ripped to shreds. I missed our “family times” so much. No one tells you that part of the divorce agony upfront.   Vacations without my children still hurt years later, although I learned to make the best of them with my extended family of deep friendships.
  • I received flowers from my uncle and his family just before heading to a Cape Cod vacation, two weeks after my dad died. My uncle’s knowing, that grief extends far beyond the day of the funeral, touched me deeply. When those flowers arrived, I was desperately trying to “be there” for my kids and play although my heart wanted to stay in bed and cry.   My dad’s last words to me were: “Go to the sand and play with your kids.” He knew he wouldn’t be there on that vacation as he was years past. I took his precious words as my mantra going forward, to be sure to make time to play with my children.
  • One day I opened my mailbox, at a particularly trying time in my life during the recession of 2008. There was an envelope in there, with $250 cash in it. The note on top read: “Good things happen to good people.” That angel friend still won’t disclose her identity, although I have a pretty good idea of who she is.
  • At a part-time, fun holiday job, I met another “angel” who splurged on me with many acts of generosity–from healthy home-cooked meals and great organization skills to gifting me with other forms of abundance, including prescription sunglasses so I could see better on my daily walks that she knew I loved.
  • I physically bumped into a man while on one of those walks, along an oceanside path In Newburyport, Mass., one morning in preparation to begin working on my most recent book. (I often create many of my blogs and book chapters in my head while walking.)   This man turned to me and said, “Be careful, it’s a dangerous curve.” I responded: “It’s worth it to be along the water.” We then stood at that curve for 45 minutes talking, and he later became my chariot to a new life (and healing journey) in Arizona.
  • A friend showed up to pack my car when I was in overwhelm mode getting ready a few years later to move from Arizona to North Carolina. By the way, she is the one who took the photo for this blog (and she didn’t know she would be mentioned in it). Another precious, thoughtful friend, who drove me to the airport, also loaned me her son so he and his friend could drive my car cross-country.
  • Then, there is the dear friend who has stood by me through thick and thin for decades, and drove for hours solo to attend my daughter’s wedding. She took time off from work unpaid, and stayed in a room that challenged her budget, so she could “be there” on that special day.

I could list thousands of other examples of the ways love showed up in my life through friends, business acquaintances and family—as I’ve detailed in the acknowledgment sections of my books and through some of my other blogs and social media postings.

Right now, in these sometimes intense times of isolation, I am especially grateful for three other kind people I met here in North Carolina, who are going out of their way to make sure my birthday is special, feeling pampered today and tomorrow “socially distanced.”  The thought and care they are putting into their planning has deeply touched me.

The point in highlighting these above examples is to show that love arrives in a variety of ways, with many different colors of expression.   I am learning to accept them all, for receiving is as important as giving, as wisely noted in the book I often recommend to clients:  Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationships By Letting Yourself Be Loved.

In next week’s blog post, I will be sharing one of the major shifts I help clients maneuver to open their lives to more love.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I have one birthday request for you, my readers. I would love it if you would take a moment to share, in my comments section below, one way in which you were surprisingly touched by a new expression of love that you did not anticipate.

And, I am offering the first three people who email me today a free, 50-minute coaching session as my birthday gift to you.  Please put the word “gift” in the subject line of your email to:


With love and gratitude,


Grateful that my talented photographer friend, Sharon Spector, provided this gorgeous photo of the different color roses for this special message in today’s blog. To see more of her work, email



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  • Bev Wax says:

    This was beautiful!

    As you requested, I was very surprised when a friend I met at work came over to clean my cat’s litter box when I broke my right shoulder last year. Not a pleasant job! I couldn’t use my right arm at all and this simple act of kindness touched me.

    Gail, add my birthday wishes to the many you receive. For you are a wonderful person and an excellent coach!


    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Bev: It’s been an honor to be your coach. Thanks for the lovely birthday wishes, and sharing the way love showed up in your life. Blessings, Gail

  • Your blog has got me reflecting on how love has shown up in my life. Love the synchronicity. The pix of the roses is one I took when I gave myself a bouquet of roses for MY birthday! Enjoy.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Sharon: Don’t you just love synchronicities…God winks for sure:) Thanks again for the gorgeous photo of those roses! Love, Gail

  • Thomas Ogren says:

    Happy Birthday, Gail & keep up the good work!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, Tom–As one writer to another, you know what creative flow is all about. The next few blog posts will much shorter, though, as I know our attention spans are shorter these days. Appreciate the birthday wishes…off to celebrate:) Blessings, Gail

  • Brenda Fernandes says:

    Very touching… always I love reading your posts. I must say it was synchronicity that got me to get in touch with you.You taught me new ways to Love myself and how to teach others to Love me and especially being receptive.My journey with you was the best thing that has happened to me in my whole life. Happy birthday Gail x

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      What a sweet birthday present, Brenda, hearing your kind words. It was such pure joy coaching you on a journey of self-love and worthiness, and so very grateful that as a frontline nurse in the UK, you of all people were given a chance to receive…so divine. Much love, Gail

  • BRENDAN Jones says:

    Happy birthday! Loved reading the acts of love that have happened to you. My surprise of love was when my roommates surprised me with dinner + gelato after I had returned home from a long day at work. They knew I was working hard to finish a project and barely had time to eat, and made the effort to get me food and it was just an awesome surprise.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      It was a great birthday, Brendan–and thanks so much for taking the time to write a comment and sharing that story of your roommates feeding you after working so hard on a project. Those random acts of kindness can really touch the heart, and are even more fun when we get surprised by them. Love, Mom

  • Vivian says:

    Love reading anything and everything you write. You certainly have a wonderful way with words. I hope that you have a very blessed birthday. I have a dear friend in Atlanta, GA, who calls what you speak of as “Serendipity.” I personally call it, “Blessings,” but whatever you choose to call it, it’s fantastic!!!! Love, Vivian

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Vivian: Glad you enjoy my writing so much, and I appreciate your kind birthday wishes. I like your word “blessings” to describe the times we are touched by grace or unexpected gestures of love. oxo, Gail

  • James says:

    Have a great Birthday. I have forwarded your words to a friend who recently lost her husband and, as usual, they have helped greatly! Be well!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      James: Thanks for the birthday wishes. And I am grateful my words were able to help your friend through the loss of her husband. We are often opened more to love through our most vulnerable times, when we must learn to receive to get through moments. I’m glad she has you a friend, too. Blessings, Gail

  • Judy Miller says:

    Thanks Gail. It took me a day to settle down enough to reflect and put words to this experience of love. So easy to overlook the many special moments that are given. I am remembering the loving support I received when I had my lumpectomy – cards, flowers, gift cards, a coworker gifting me vacation time… all so overwhelming. Made me realize that when you have love in your life, you can get through anything. Am grateful for the love you share so freely. Happy belated…

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Judy: Thanks for sharing your “circle of love” that came through for you after your lumpectomy…and also appreciating the love I share. Belated birthday wishes are awesome…they extend the celebration. Blessings, Gail

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