A Tribute to Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel BrandenEver heard of The Psychology of Romantic Love?

It's one of many books by Nathaniel Branden, a great man who led a life of much love and accomplishment.

Another one of his books is The Psychology of Self-Esteem. His work, including his groundbreaking "sentence stems," has changed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

What some people don't know about Nathaniel Branden is that his life included the tragic loss of his second wife.

It won't surprise you that people walk around every day rarely or even never discussing their heartaches or things they've been through in the past.

But some people remember Nathaniel and Patrecia. I first read about Nathaniel and Patrecia in a book by the wonderful Ellen Peck. The book was about couples who chose not to have children, and Ellen interviewed several couples for this book. I remembered what Ellen wrote about how in love and happy Nathaniel and Patrecia were.

Tragically, Patrecia suddenly passed away a few years later in an accident. Later, Nathaniel wrote about the last day of her life:

"On the morning of that day, we lingered in bed, making love and talking about the excitement we felt in each other's presence, an excitement like no other in our lives."

Nathaniel was making the point that he often hears people say that romantic love fades after a few years.

He knew it didn't have to be that way, because his experience was different.

"When Patrecia entered the room, the lights of my world got brighter - for fifteen years."

Great love can happen and does happen.

Yet day after day I get emails from people who have given up on love.

If we give up then we don't have to try any more, do we? We don't have to reach for our goal. We don't have to put ourselves out there if we give up.

I say, be honest with yourself about what you really want. And if what you want is romantic love, don't give up.

Thank you, Nathaniel Branden. This brief tribute does not begin to reflect your vast contribution to the lives of others. For me, you were a great example of how to live. You took chances, broke rules, learned, and above all, loved.

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