Welcome to Feels and Flowers, the podcast where your host ponders if being single is a curse or a blessing, has the audacity to offer some unsoliscited advice on love despite being perpetually single, and tells you why the idea that fate and destiny have anything to do with finding true love is a lie. And of course she also expounds at great length about flowers.
This week’s podcast is based on Genesis 2—which recounts the ideal marriage. Learn about the 3 characteristic traits of people who are happy and successful in their relationships. Also, homework. You want to find true love? You have to do the work. The flower of the week is the Jasmine, and I tell you why the essential oil is so expensive. Find semi-accurate show transcripts at https://feelsandflowers.com/
Send me flowers! Your comments and emails will make my day. Follow me on Instagram @feelsandflowerspodcast or email me at email@example.com. Finally, Don’t forget to subscribe to the show… We’re now on all the important places! Yay!!
Read the Transcript
Sometimes I think to myself: Am I cursed?
And if I am, is it my mom’s fault?
— [ INRO MUSIC ] —
Hi. Welcome to Feels and Flowers. A Christian podcast that celebrates the beautiful gospel truths that you are beautiful, you are loved, and you are made with a purpose. I am your host Paula Perez.
This week’s podcast is based on Genesis 2. But first, today’s flower. The Jasmine.
— [FLOWER THEME MUSIC] —
Jasmine is a popular garden plant from the olive family that has a distinct and powerful aroma and a white, star-shaped flower. A native to the Old World, it has been loved and beloved for thousands of years for its perfume and its beauty. Many varieties of Jasmine are climbers and the shrubs can reach a height of more than 15 feet. Jasmine shrubs can be trained to form graceful bowers and to decorate arbors and trellises in the most formal of gardens. But having originated in the rugged Himalayas, Jasmine is not a delicate bloom. It can be found in the wild, running amok in forests, along rivers, and pretty much anywhere that has favorable climate and soil.
Jasmine essential oil is derived from fresh flowers and buds, while the dried blooms are used for anything from herbal teas to potpourri.
To extract the essential oil, the flowers need to first be harvested when they are the most fragrant and they have just opened. The only problem is that Jasmine releases its fragrance only after the heat of the day is over and the sun has set. Additionally, it is also supposed by many that the fragrance is strongest when the moon reaches its full moon stage.
When the time is right, experienced flower pickers harvest thousands upon thousands of blooms, working with speed and care to preserve the delicious scent. Each fresh blossom must be carefully harvested by hand and placed in a special basket so as not to bruise the flower. In all, it takes 7.5 million flowers to produce 1 kg of essential oil, yet an experienced picker can harvest just over 10,000 blossoms in one night.
Learn my favorite way to use Jasmine essential oil. But that’s for a little later. But now, back to what we started.
— [ FADE OUT FLOWER MUSIC ] —
Picture this. You are 7 or 8 years old decked out for a wedding with an impeccable white fluffy dress, white mary janes, and a gigantic bow in your head. You are sitting at one of the round tables in a loud banquet hall. Your mom and dad are talking to other adults in the table and paying you no mind.
But you are bored out of your mind, wishing for something to do. You’re still living in Mexico City, so the party has gone pretty much as all mexican weddings should: There has been dancing of cumbias, there has been eating of mole, there has been mariachi. There has been drinking, too. And still the party continues and there seems to be no end in sight.
Welcome to my world.
So there I am, sighing and wondering when they are going to cut the cake. But I am also looking forward to the traditional spectacle of the Sea Snake Dance which we know as “La vivora de la mar” which precedes the bouquet and garter toss. And these are the only fun parts in the reception. At least to me.
After some time, the MC finally announces the Sea Snake Dance. The bride and groom stand on chairs and form an arch under which married and single women alike run through, as well as around and even into the hapless couple who struggle to hold on to each other as the aggressive participants of the game try to tear them apart.
I watch from the sidelines. I always watch from a safe distance when they play this game. Mom never lets me join in because it is too violent. Too messy. I think it looks fun. So I look on, fascinated at the horsing around. Then, at last, the Sea Snake Dance is done without any misshaps: The bride has not been knocked down from her chair. No participant has been trampled on. Now it is time for all the single women stand behind the bride to catch the bouquet.
Taking advantage of the fact that my mom is distracted , I join in as soon as I hear the MC calling out bouquet toss time.
But…Woah. These women are sweaty and panting from their exertions. Some are pulling up at the bodice of their dresses, others are fanning themselves with their hands. They push and shove each other in order to get a better view of the bride–and a better chance at catching the bouquet. They push me too.
Somehow with all the pushing and shoving I find myself in the front of the whole group with a direct view of the bride. And now that I am the closest I have ever been to the bride I manage to take a good look at her.
I am enchanted by the woman that stands in that spindly chair, with laughing dark eyes, yards and yards of veil that shroud her in diaphanous glory, and a cascade of curls down her back.
Then, I catch a glimpse of her bouquet. It is a nosegay made of white roses and white lilies and I want it. I want it So BAD. It’s like it beckons to me. And I know that I need to catch hold of my destiny. That way, one day I will also become a gorgeous and glowing bride–radiant and impeccable in a white party dress and white high heeled shoes. And when that day comes, I will no longer have to watch the party from the sidelines. I will be the center of the party, and everything will be perfect.
To this day I remember how it sailed through the air. How I felt the rush of women all around me as they raced for it. But all I had to do was jump up with arms raised and catch it in mid-air.
It was that simple.
It was that easy.
Isn’t that how fate works? What is meant to be yours WILL be yours, isn’t it? In that same way, the bouquet was meant to be mine, and I caught it, and with it all the good luck in love a girl could ever want.
But my elation is short lived. There is a very brief struggle to maintain my hold on it as a few frenzied women try to pry the bouquet from my hands. All is dark. Shrieks assail me on all sides. These women are all taller than me. Stronger than me.
But I hang on like my life depends on it, and in the end, I win.
So some women managed to tear sections of it as ribbon snapped and string came undone. There are now far fewer lilies than there were at first in the little nosegay. But nevertheless what remains of it is all mine.
I return triumphant to my table, walking with my head held high.
“Look, mami!” I smile as I hand it to her, “I caught it!”
Mom beams down at me and congratulates me with a kiss. She takes the bouquet from my hands with a smile. I always give her my trophies–why should this be different? And she seems very pleased. I bask in her approval.
But unlike the other times she returns it, and she tells me, “Don’t you want to give it to Sukey? Sukey would love to have the bouquet, wouldn’t you, Sukey?”
I am in shock by what mom has just said and look at Sukey.
Sukey is the beautiful family friend. She’s in her 20s, has an amazing career that lets her travel all over the world, is dating someone people consider quite a catch. In short–she’s already got it all. Now mom wants to give her my bouquet?
I won it fair and square! It’s not my fault she was not at the right place and at the right time to win it! It’s not my fault she didn’t jump for it!
Sukey looks down at the flowers with some amusement. What is she going to do with such a thing? –2/3s of a nosegay of white lilies and roses which will soon wilt if someone doesn’t put it on water. So okay, as far as trophies go it is not so impressive, But it’s still mine, and I don’t want to give it away–not to Sukey who is already perfect and who never even talks to me.
Still, Mom has spoken and I must obey. So I remain speechless as I watch Sukey–That Sukey–extend her manicured hand and take the bouquet from mine. Shen then turns away and continues her conversation.
I don’t think she even said ‘Thank you’.
Sometimes I wonder what was going on in her mind when she took that bouquet from my hands.
And now, I am single, in my 30s. My romantic life is nonexistent, and marriage is a now a pipedream. It must have been because I gave away the bouquet and with it my one chance at happily-ever-after. My good luck was reversed. And if that is true, then it is all my mom’s fault.
Mom, if you’re listening–please don’t cry, ok? It’s just a dumb story.
So let me be clear. I truly, truly, don’t think I am cursed. In fact, I feel that I am very blessed!
That was not always the case. In the interest of time, I will spare you the stories. Suffice it to say, in my twenties I thought something had to be wrong with me. Sadly, there are many out there that think that there is something wrong with themselves, and who believe that being single means something about themselves must be wrong and is a state that just needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Others simply feel tired of watching life from the sidelines as they look on in envy at the party going on in the dance floor.
It’s sad how we somehow think that because we are single we are somehow incomplete, when in reality, we have the opportunity to be well on our way to being complete… Do you see the subtle change in perspective?
Genesis 2 talks about this in some detail. God had just created man…
Then God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” So God formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn’t find a suitable companion.”
God put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. God then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man.
The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.”
Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh.
This is the ideal marriage: a marriage of equals, a union of two souls that matched each other perfectly in mind, body, and spirit.
This was the world before the fall. In this ideal, humans were wholly complete, in perfect harmony with God. Their nature and character were like God’s. There was no self-doubt, no low self-esteem problems, no painful past either, no trace of bitterness, no ounce of regret. Furthermore, humans were as complete as they could ever be–they had health, wealth, a beautiful home, and a meaningful occupation. They knew love because they had seen and communed with it face to face. Love–God– surrounded them everywhere they went and love motivated their actions.
I know what you’re going to say. “But Paula you’re single, what can you have to say about love worth listening?”
To that, I answer: Ok. Yes you are right. BUT while I am still FAR from being the wisest person in the world, or the most knowledgeable about love, I did go from being single and miserable to being single and happy. I will admit that during the times when I felt that desperate need to find someone, I read many many books on love, on relationships, on self help–basically anything to help me fix me.
When I compiled notes on the wisdom I gleaned from such books, it seemed to me that they concurred for the most part that happy people make for happy relationships. And characteristics of the people who have the happiest relationships and marriages are as follows:
- They know themselves
- The have a healthy view of themselves
- They know what they are looking for in life and in their romantic partners
[#1 – ] To know yourself, you have to dig deep. Emily Mcdowell, one of my favorite artists, writer, as well as the creator of Empathy Cards, said that your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. Knowing yourself is an unlearning, an excavation, a remembering of you were before the world got its hands on you.
[#2 – ] In the book Smart Love, Nancy van Pelt, a Christian family life educator, said that it is crucial that we rebuild our thought patterns. When we have negative thoughts about ourselves, we will look for proof for what we already think about ourselves. So if you think others don’t like you, you will actually look for, and probably find, things that seem to prove this.
[#3 – ] Finally, knowing what you want out of life, and what you are looking for in a romantic partner. If you really want to build a life with someone, you probably have to take both into account. What if, for example, you feel like your life’s calling is to be a medical missionary to the people in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the person you marry does not value missionary work–how will that work out?
And so, to get you started, I have a list of traits on the episode post on feelsandflowers.com that will help you start thinking about this and figure out what is truly important to you. I hope it helps. Go! I’ll be waiting here.
Doesn’t it seem like a bit of a chore? It is! But your life is something you have to take seriously! You really need to put some thought into it!
When I was 24, someone once asked me what my type was.
What was my type?
The most I could think of was: dark hair, dark eyes…the flash of a teasing smile… Basically the facial features and mannerisms of my current crush. More than that?…. Nothing. You see, I had spent years reading novels and fantasizing about being in love that I had not actually given much thought about the person I would be in love with. What was I really looking for? What kind of personality traits, character traits, and values did I want him to have? What things did I consider deal breakers?
I did not know what I wanted, in part because I did not know myself and in part because I believed that when love happens it comes like lightning. There will be a spark and you’ll just know. Fate and destiny take a hand and just puts you two together.
We don’t even really know what love is in some cases.
You want to know what love is? Read 1 Corinthians 13. What a list that is!
But we don’t really like that answer, do we? Because it takes work. Of course it does. We want the fun of dating and relationships, so we run down the primrose path, hand in hand with the person who tells us pretty things and makes our heart flutter. Then that fails and we have to swipe right again and try again and again and again–because our experience is colored by books and movies, and netflix, and it takes patience and it takes skill to disentangle fact from fiction.
You know there exists a true jasmin and a false jasmine. They both smell the same, and the shape of the flower is the same too. However, their colors are different, and while true jasmine is wonderful and the oils extracted from them are precious, false jasmine is toxic and can poison humans and insects alike if they happen to ingest their oils or any parts of the plants.
Don’t make the mistake of going after a false ideal of love and then end up sick. To “love” is not the same thing as “being in love” which is what most of us are after and which is NOT a sound basis for marriage. Love is more than a passing feeling, more than a dream of a perfect wedding and a happily ever after.
Knowing yourself, knowing what you want, and what you want to do with your life is crucial to your future and your happiness. If you–like me–are still single then count yourself blessed to still have the opportunity to still be able to invest in yourself, know yourself, love the person you are, grow to become the person you’d like to become, and make strides toward fulfilling your destiny… and getting closer to the real thing: True love.
And l ook, you don’t have to be married or paired off with someone to know what you want and don’t want. You’ve seen heartbreak all around you. Heartbreak is the worst. I’m sure you’ve even experienced it. But I also know and have seen love that is true and constant, kind, loving, patient, forgiving, humble and yet magnificent. Love that is Godly. That is what we need to look for and hold out for.
And when you do find it, hold on it with the fierce determination of that little girl who fought the grownups for what was hers and freaking won.
Just…. Unlike her, don’t be so quick to give it away.
— [ FINAL REMARKS MUSIC ] —
Ok, so this is kind of embarrassingly preachy… Sorry for that, and for rambling a bit. But part of this podcast is a sort of letter to twenty year old me who was still very young and very stupid and who could have benefitted from this.
Anyway, If you’ve reached this far, wow, thank you for sticking around, and thank you for listening. Please come back next week.
Now, as promised, my favorite way to use Jasmine essential oil is as a natural perfume. It is just so lovely.
Jasmine is one of the most expensive essential oils you can get. That is why the most expensive perfumes in the world are those that have the most essential oil. For example, more than 1,000 jasmine blossoms are required to produce an ounce of Channel No. 5 and that will set you back $260 for 1 ounce.
If, however, you don’t have the budget for such exorbitantly priced goods, then you can make your own perfume using jasmine absolute (though it is still pretty pricey).
If you are lucky enough to have jasmine absolute, then I have some blends you might enjoy at feelsandflowers.com. Including a natural perfume roll-on that incorporates jasmine, lavender, and vanilla. It is super simple.
I also have some other beauty DIYs that use Jasmine. Again that’s at feelsandflowers.com. On the post for this episode, you will find a starter list of traits to consider when you are thinking about what you are looking for in a potential mate.
Finally, if you have never seen the Sea Snake Dance, you can find YouTube links to hilarious mexican wedding antics so you can appreciate La Vivora De La Mar in all it’s unbridled glory. It’s crazy. You might laugh a little.
That’s all for now. Send me flowers! Your emails and comments will make my day! If you’d like to reach me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also follow me on Instagram: @feelsandflowerspodcast
See you next time. God bless~
— [THEME MUSIC] —
Vivora De La Mar
Vibora De La Mar “Sea Snake Dance” Here
Compilation of Vibora de la Mar fails Here
Figuring out “Your Type” OR Qualities and traits to look for
Rate each of the following traits from 1-5. 1 is I don’t need this trait in a potential partner, 5 is this is important for me to have in a partner.
_____ A happy disposition
_____ Not easily angered
_____ Willing to solve problems
_____ Good health and healthy habits
_____ Accepts responsibility
_____ Good sense of self-worth
_____ Likes children
_____ Wants children
_____ Has a personal relationship with God
_____ Willing to grow
_____ Same or higher educational level as you
Of all the ones you rated 5, are any of these deal-breakers (Which means they must have this trait or characteristic for you to consider them?)