Book Review: The Mastery of Love

“The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”

A friend of mine recommended this book by Don Miguel Ruiz, said it changed their relationship which was fascinating enough a statement for me to check it out. 

This book, also boasting as, “A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship,” was quite a read. I highlighted so many strong takaways and nuggets of wisdom. 

“The whole world can love you, but that love will not make you happy. What will make you happy is the love coming out of you.” 

Essentially Ruiz focuses on fear-based beliefs and assumptions that sabotage love and cause drama in out relationships.  He discusses control, accepting & loving ourselves to love others and how perfection leads to self-rejection. 

“Whoever wants to suffer is welcome to suffer, but we don’t have to suffer.”

There are three masteries that guide us towards happiness, freedom and love. The Mastery of Awareness, the Mastery of Transformation and the Mastery of Love which is the result of achieving the first two masteries. 

“If you go into a relationship with selfishness, expecting that your partner will make you happy, it will not happen. And it’s not that person’s fault; it’s your own.”

I will say some parts at the end gave me pause when Ruiz tries to solidify examples through character stories from ancient India and Toltec tradition but other than that, I was tracking along with a great deal of what he was saying. 

“In the end that is what we are looking for: to find ourselves, to be ourselves, to live our own life, instead of…the life we were programmed to live.” 

I can see how this book can positively impact a relationship. I have already used some of the key wisdom points in my own. 

“When you hear your heart guiding you to your happiness, then make a choice and stick to it.” 

Communication and the desire to understand our significant other can help us elevate one another in love. We practice love. We are able to be vulnerable, open and honest without fear. 

“The relationship you have with yourself is reflected in your relationships with others. If you reject yourself then you will make the assumption that the other person will reject you for the same thing you reject in yourself.” 

You are what you believe you are. Be love for it’s what we all need most. 

Something to Celebrate 

This will be a semi- short post because I need to get some rest before an early morning flight tomorrow. I also took Benadryl to calm my allergies down so no doubt I’ll be sleep in a matter of minutes.

I know Thanksgiving was last month but my list of things to be thankful for continues. Friends, family and my boyfriend who all care and love me is worth celebrating for sure.

In a couple days I leave my 20s behind forever and I’m not worried about it, scared for it or dreading it. My goal is to get even better with each year. I am excited for what the future has to offer and I know 30 will bring new ideas and goals and challenges to push past. It will have ups and downs as every year does. I look forward to laughing more, being more bold, traveling more, doing more of what I love personally and professionally, exploring new business ideas and living my best life.

I am grateful for the people who I am surrounded by. They help make my years on this earth amazing because they give a damn and I can feel that.

This past week, one of my best friends came from across the country for a visit. I spent time with my family. My incredible boyfriend threw a surprise birthday lunch for me at my job with the help of several of my good friends.

I believe that what you reap, you sow. I felt so much love this week in tiny and huge ways that I truly hope it’s because I give love. I want it in the air around me, in how I speak, think, live.

I will run past a new birthday knowing more of what I want in this life and going after it.

When I set intentions and goals, I take it seriously because I know I want to build a legacy and leave a positive impression every place I go, with everyone I meet along the journey.

Does your Destiny include Happiness?

I have strong and coherent beliefs about purpose and meaning of these lives we live. Your happiness in life & love matters and there is purpose in it all. 

I think everything happens for a reason. It may not always be clear but I believe our small day-to-day pieces fit into a larger picture, like a puzzle. My beliefs shape my actions and are a source of comfort to me. 

When I think about how special it is when destiny connects, examples like this come to my mind. Have you ever run into someone you know out of nowhere and it seems like the most random thing and thought, wow what a coincidence? I have moments like that occasionally. Then I think to myself of all the people and moments in time, how did it work out to be in this moment? The only thing I can think is it must not be that random. It totally makes me believe things are connected. 

Funny enough, watching Sleepless in Seattle made me think of writing this post. I love a good Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com. 

In the movie, Meg Ryan’s character is engaged to this plain, boring fellow that she is willing to stay with because they can make it work. They are too familiar and used to one another. He doesn’t excite her or make her feel in love. They happen to be so predictable it becomes clear to her that it isn’t enough. She is willing to settle instead of be truly happy. 

In the magic of Hollywood her search for love and happiness during this movie, things work out even though her path to get there was a little crazy.

Meanwhile, Tom Hanks’ character has just lost his wife to cancer. He has a small son and relocates his life to Seattle for a fresh start away from all the memories of his wife whom he loved madly. His son shares their story on a late night radio show, seeking the right new partner for his dad and ladies all over are smitten.

The movie tells the tale of these two particular strangers across the country eventually finding themselves in love through a series of events. Some random and some not so random. 

About my earlier point on seeing someone you know randomly there is a line from the movie that says, “Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.” I just can’t bring myself to believe that with no doubts. 

I do think we actively play a role. We have to or life just happens to us. I still have to believe things that seem unconnected might also have dotted lines behind the scenes that connect them and make them matter. It may not be clear in that moment but it all matters.

When it comes to your destiny, do you choose happiness?

I hope everyone would but I know some would think they don’t deserve it. I want you to know that you do.

If sacrificing your happiness can come so easily to you it may be just a matter of time before you sacrifice other things that matter to you…your comfort, your peace of mind, etc.

Another great quote from this film, “I love you. But let’s leave that out of this. I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?”

I am grateful to have a love that makes me feel safe and protected, happy and free. When I think of where my life is and where I want it to go, my happiness is sacred.
Life and love is not perfect nor always easy but it should be worth it. Your destiny depends on it.

Heart Untangled: Speaking My Love Language

This month I have been thinking quite a bit about love languages. 

I always thought I knew what mine was but decided to take the official online quiz for couples on Gary Chapman’s website. It was so insightful.

Knowing your own love language is a great way to understand what you look for in relationships and how you feel loved and appreciated. It is also good to know what your partner’s love language is so you can show them your love and appreciation for them in a manner that means the most to them.

I want to share mine because it includes descriptions and hopefully makes you think about what your own might be.

After the quiz, my results were scored. The highest score indicates your primary love language – how you really understand your partner’s expressions of love. It’s common to have two high scores, although one language tends to have a slight edge. The lower scores in your profile indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you on an emotional level in your relationship.

My top two were tied…Physical Touch & Words of Affirmation. My next highest was Quality Time followed by Acts of Service. My lowest was Receiving Gifts.

Here is a little more insight into what they mean straight from my personal love language profile:

Physical Touch

“This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.”

This is so true in my opinion but was a little surprising because I was in a long distance relationship for years. Being apart never bothered me too much. I missed my partner of course but we talked all the time and saw each other as often as we could. It worked for us. I am glad now we are no longer long distance. 

Words of Affirmation

“Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.”

As a lover of written and spoken word, words have special meaning for me. Actions are incredibly important but to me, so are the words you say. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and I want to hear what you have to say. Words really do matter in building relationship with someone.

Quality Time

“In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.”

Acts of Service

“Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.”

When I think about my love, I think one of his top love languages is Acts of Service. He gives love through Acts of Service. He feels appreciated through Acts of Service. He goes above and beyond when it comes to finding ways to serve. He is always willing to take the burden of something and make things easier on me. He wants to know I have his back too and I do. It feels good to have someone you believe in. 

Receiving Gifts

“Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.”

My boyfriend and I are just the right match here. This was the last one for both of us. Gifts are not our focus and I like that. We spend our time on the other areas above.

These descriptions just scratch the surface. To really understand the love languages of you and your partner, read Dr. Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages.

The biggest tip to walk away with is you should take time to understand your love language.

Knowing how you prefer to be loved is important for your relationship. It’s romantic to think your partner should just know how to love you—but it’s also a bit unrealistic, and can even be unfair to expect something from your partner if you’re not willing to tell him/her how you prefer to be loved and appreciated in your relationship.

Right to R.E.A.L Love: How to Make a Relationship Last, Episode 3

Here it is! The final episode of my series on the Right to R.E.A.L Love radio podcast.

In this episode, Jay and I wrap up our discussion to address the question: What can we do to ensure that our relationships last?

We leave you with these key takeaways:

1. Why our relationships can only be as healthy as we are

2. Ways to make a relationship last

In this episode and episode 2 we talk a little more about resources and books that can be helpful to couples.

Supporting your partner in the relationship you commit to is so important. You should do everything you can to learn about your significant other. You can lean on each other and learn from each other to make your relationship last. I am so happy to have the right kind of support in my relationship. Our great love and friendship for each other keeps our bond strong. It feels amazing to be so confident in what I have and who I share it with. 


Be sure to also look up these books we mentioned during the series that can help you.

1. A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex, and Conflict by Tiya Cunningham-Sumter

2. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

3. Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage by Dr. Myles Munroe

4. Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men by Dr. Myles Munroe. There is also a counterpart book for Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman.

What other relationship books would you recommend? Please leave a comment below and share with us what has helped you.

Whether married or not, there are key relationship lessons to learn and take with us in life. This podcast was aimed at singles but does not mean married couples cannot gain knowledge or insight. I have heard many times from married people that the best time to prepare for marriage is before you’re married. I’m certain life does not become easier just because you’re married. Same as it’s not necessarily a walk in the park if you are single and dating or in a long-term committed relationship. No matter the stage or time put into a relationship, it takes work.

What are you bringing to the table and what do you need your partner to bring to the table to make your relationship last and your love grow deep and wide?

Hopefully during this series, my first radio podcast, you learned something and gained some insight on how to make your current or future relationships last.

Remember to have fun with each other, show respect, have trust and give each other the space you need to make your love grow over time. May your relationships last for several seasons and develop in its purpose.

The more you communicate with one another about where you are and where you are going, the easier it is to know if the relationship is right for you. Remember everything has its own time.

Listen to episode 3 here:

Right to R.E.A.L. Love: How to Make a Relationship Last, Episode 1

A few weeks ago I shared that I did my first radio podcast on the Right to R.E.A.L Love show, one of the #1 Christian radio podcasts. My topic was to help singles on a big topic in navigating relationships.

My episodes were released this week and now are available online. I will be sharing an episode a week. I will include the links below for you to take a listen and share.

In the first episode, host Jay Mayo and I address the question: What things are required to make a relationship last?

We discussed:

1. Why most people lack what it takes to make a relationship last.

2. The importance of having examples of lasting relationships in our lives.

3. Three things we require in order to make our relationships last.

I explained how important having fun  with my boyfriend has been to making our relationship last. I also shared the lessons I have learned from past relationships that did not last.

When asked about relationships lasting a lifetime or a season, I talked about how to focus on making relationships last in their current season, rather than trying to make every relationship last for a lifetime.

That statement stuck with several people I talked with and at first I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone walking away with the wrong impression of what I was trying to say. Then I started to just own I said it and hopefully it strikes up more conversation so we can unpack it and dive in a little more. That part I love.

I absolutely believe in marriage and relationships lasting long periods of time but when speaking to an audience of unmarried singles, I felt it important to discuss what it takes to make a relationship last but be aware that not every one will end in marriage then last a lifetime. 

I believe when two people choose to enter into a marriage, that is a forever commitment that should not be taken lightly or shift and sway like the wind.

Timing in relationships is everything. In my own relationship, I am confident in our communication and love for each other that we continue to build up. But it takes work, commitment, effort, thoughtfulness, love. We look forward to long-lasting joy and happiness with each other because we are putting in that work and living that love out. I wish the same for you and your relationships.

Relationships don’t just happen because you want them to. They require an intentional decision to choose to share with each other and love each other over and over.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak” – Ecclesiastes 3:1,3,5-7

Next week I’ll tell you more about episode 2. For now a great action step is to make sure that you’re bringing your best to every relationship…especially if you are in a relationship right now.

What things are required to make a relationship last? Episode 1:

Listen Here!


All My Love

I am so proud to say this week I am celebrating 1 year of my blog being alive! Since Sunday April 26, 2015, I have managed to write a new post every Sunday and what a year it has been. It feels great to have arrived at this blogiversary.

Just this weekend I hit another milestone while achieving another goal on my 2016 vision board. I was interviewed for the Right to R.E.A.L. Love podcast. It was so fun and such a step in the right direction away from my comfort zone.

My podcast topic was “How to make a relationship last.” It was such a fun conversation and not an intimidating interview at all. Host, Jay Mayo really made me feel comfortable and we had such a great discussion on the topic. The episode will be aired in May so I’ll be sure to let you know when you can check it out.

I wanted to write about this topic today though because it is always relevant to discuss love and relationships. It is a topic that affects us all in one way or another.

All of this love stuff can get messy on occasion and might need some untangling.

If you spent anytime this weekend watching Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, you know what I mean.

People want love and relationship so bad but what does it take to make it work? To really make it last?

Jay asked me some brilliant questions during our dialogue together like, “How can couples survive the tough times and remain together?”

Well as I heard Queen Bey say she learned from her grandmother, “Nothing real can be threatened.”

Now even after the recording has been completed, there are more things I wish I would have said. Love is so deep and intricate and needs more time to unpack the layers of what it takes to develop in relationship with another person.

You’ll hear everything I shared when my podcast episode is released but today I wanted to drop a few nuggets we talked about. I would also love to chat further with anyone interested in this topic. We can connect on Skype, Twitter (@dilaunwhite), over a cup of tea or whatever works.

I hate small talk but I could chat for hours about meaningful topics like this. I also fall to pieces with delight at any chance to peek into someone else’s brain about things like this.

Anyhow, to get back to the meat of our discussion, we landed on 4 big things it takes to keep balance in a relationship and make sure it stays strong enough to last.

1. Foundation
2. Communication
3. Fun
4. Space

Many people lack these things and waste a lot of time with the wrong people or building relationships with the right people but in the wrong time.

When the podcast comes out, I will do a follow up post and share even more about the conversation I had with Jay as we took a deep dive into this topic.

I will also explain more about what I mean for each of the four requirements as well as add a few more to the list.

For now, Happy First Birthday Life Untangled! Thanks for transforming my Sundays and getting me energized for a new week, every week. It’s amazing what we can do when we stop saying ‘we can’t’ and actually start making moves.

To wrap up with a Beyoncé quote because I can, “Imma keep running cuz a winner don’t quit on themselves.” This year I am keeping my running shoes at the ready.

What goal are you determined to accomplish this year? I want to hear about it.


Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I went to the same junior high and high school with a small group of the same people. A few of us went to the same college together too.

We graduated, entered our career fields, lived our lives. Some got married. Some had kids. Some worked and traveled and played.

Nowadays unless you already do everything to keep in touch with old school friends, we tend to catch up for birthdays, funerals, babies being born and weddings.

The twins sharing their brother/sister dance

It is a personal shortcoming of mine to not keep in touch with people. With age, my circle keeps pretty small. I have good intentions and mean people well but without a whole lot of action to reach out regularly, I really do a poor job of staying up to date with old friends and loved ones. I am always constantly working on that one.

One of my dear friends got married this weekend and boy I got so many blasts from the past. It was so fun to see, laugh and catch up with old friends. It has honestly been several years since I have seen most of them.

Laura & Dilaun

We re-lived school memories, talked about all the pieces in our lives that are new and changed. A beautiful day full of flashbacks and yet celebrating my sister friend who looked stunning and blissful on her day of marriage. Another new beginning to keep in touch about.

With the Beautiful Bride


I was so glad to be in the same place with her family who I consider my family too. I spent so many nights in their house. We grew up learning from each other. There was a lot of fun and love there. I was overcome with such joy being close to them again, sharing hugs and stories, introducing them to my significant other. Everything felt familiar like the old days and with the exception of a little passed time, we fell back into the same routines.

Love them! Bride's family


Distance makes the heart grow fonder but if you can keep the distance from growing, you’ll be better off.


Congratulations to my loving friend, Diana, and her new husband Joel. I wish  you two all the love and happiness in the world. Enjoy Hawaii and let’s see each other before the next wedding, birthday or funeral to come.

The Happy Couple

Truly, Madly, Deeply

We have arrived to the end of February, for many it was the month of Love.

February is filled with lots of hearts and pinks and reds and cards and chocolates and flowers and special dates. So many people are looking for love or keeping the fire alive with the love they already have. So many others also running and hiding from the all the fuss, possibly stung by love in the past.

Love is such a powerful emotion. It is such a moving motivator. Love evokes all kinds of reactions.

My boyfriend and I actually choose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day. Our reasoning has always been keeping our love for each other genuine by celebrating outside of such “hallmark holidays”.

Love takes on different forms for everyone. I am fortunate to have someone in my life who I enjoy spending time with, someone I like, someone I love and someone I know is worth keeping company with.

I pay a lot of attention to relationships. I observe what works and does not work for others. I don’t model my relationship off anyone else’s but the insight into the challenges as well as opportunities to dive in further is so valuable.

A friend of mine just began a couples club with her husband. The idea is to get couples together on a regular basis, out of the house to have fun and enjoy the company of other great couples. It is such a brilliant idea to support each other and keep our own relationships strong.

With such high divorce rates, having strong examples of love and marriage has always been important to me. I like seeing it and believing it is possible. I get love in relationships or marriage is not always so easy but it can work if you work it.

Interestingly enough, earlier this week I started watching Married At First Sight on OnDemand. They are in the third season of this show and the concept is so fascinating.

The show site explains it like this:

“Married at First Sight” is an extreme social experiment that follows six brave singles yearning for a life-long partnership as they agree to a provocative proposal: getting legally married to a complete stranger the moment they first meet.

Four specialists – sexologist, Dr. Logan Levkoff; psychologist, Dr. Joseph Cilona; sociologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz; and spiritual advisor, Greg Epstein – create what they believe are three ideally matched couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle and see each other face-to-face, for the first time, at the altar.

Over the course of several weeks, episodes capture each couple’s journey as they go from wedding, to honeymoon, to early nesting, to the daily struggle of working on their marriage. After several weeks together, each couple must make a decision: do they remain together or decide to divorce?

This arranged marriage style is so untraditional to many cultures but watching the show unfold, it is so interesting. These couples are going through battles seasoned couples have further down the line in their relationships. They are getting to know each other personally on an intimate level with such a humongous leap into marriage.

Love and the pursuit thereof can do that to people. Of course this is an extreme example but people pursue and look for love on all kinds of levels, hoping to find  love that will last, be true and mad and deep.

I am steady learning and finding enlightenment on my own journey with love. I appreciate looking by my side to a partner that supports, motivates and challenges me. I appreciate having someone I can trust and share my strengths and weaknesses with who can do the same with me.

Relationships are not for everyone, neither is marriage and I respect that. I still am in no rush to marry. I am so blessed at my life and relationship stage right now. But should you choose to find someone and you see a potential for love, I hope it is true, mad and deep.


Wedding Week Countdown: Family is the Principal Thing

My family is 6 days from celebrating our first wedding. My older sister is getting married next weekend.

It is such a beautiful and exciting time. The planning is mostly complete and the final ticks are being marked on the checklist. I am getting more and more excited to party all weekend with some of my favorite people -my closest loved ones.

My family certainly can never be accused of perfection. We are VERY human. The last year of walking through the changes this engagement (and life) has brought though reminds me of how brilliant family teamwork really is.

We relocated one of my sisters to a new apartment out of state when she got a major promotion at work. We helped my future brother-in-law relocate to Chicago from Arizona. We spent some time over the last Thanksgiving holiday meeting future in-laws while on holiday in South Carolina. We gathered together in support over the past year at graduations and birthdays and funerals.

Family is a powerful thing. We spent time this year having our share of laughter and tears as a family. We get mad occasionally and can piss one another off. We champion each other. We hurt feelings and have to apologize just like when we were kids. We love hard and we crack each other up.

Family always sees the real you, for better or worse. Unlike other relationships with lovers and friends… with family people don’t hold back. It is actually really to easy to take family for granted but just like love, some of the same rules apply. Even love that can be expected should never be taken for granted.

I am fortunate to have family that has been such a blessing to me. They are good to me and will rally around me whenever I need it. When we stand as one next week, to extend generosity and acceptance adding more into la familia, I hope we all feel the same power in the vows. I hope we also remember to strive for our current family members and friends to feel the same love.

I, Dilaun, take thee, to be my newest family members, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part.

Seems heavy right? But that is the kind of commitment family has. Since you do not get to choose them, it is best to elect to be a blessing regardless. My family has shown me this level of commitment and I truly believe I am a better person because of it.

We are in this together. Love & Family are the principal things.