Backward Thinking

In our precious family, the mom (me) was labeled “backward thinking” by the daughter of the family, and the dad (my true love) was labeled “ok thinking,” because of who he is, she said.
Backward thinking means I do not fully comprehend or acknowledge the hurt of others in the past or present she said.

I myself am from the older generation who happened to make amends and reparations for the unity and reconciliation and restored love between the European countries who were at war with each other. Dietrich, my husband, came from German Austrian parents, with ancestors from Hungary. I have French, Italians, and ancestors from the House of Savoy which was once a sovereignty in Savoy between Switzerland and Italy in the French Alps. Often, my husband talked about the Alps, as you find them in many countries. The mountains united us.

Because of the World Wars, reparations between the French, Germans and Austrians started right there the day of our holy wedding. That was day one of the 40 years of reparations, amends and true love, the time we were married together on this earth. Through loving me, my husband brought comfort and reparations to my ancestors.

I was representing all of them. through loving me unconditionally, he could reverse the pain, suffering, and abuse of the World Wars. Even some days I was not lovable, he loved me anyway. True love has no borders. By giving true love the wars were forgiven.

Myself too, I had to learn to forgive, even when it was Impossible. I did forgive. Our marriage blessing was for the sake of our nations.

So, I would say that the quickest way to offer reparations is to be more loving, more forgiving, more embracing, and as Jesus said, “Love your enemy.”

When we walked into this room to receive the holy wine ceremony at the Belvedere estate and three days later at the New Yorker Hotel to receive the holy water marriage blessing ceremony from the late Rev. Moon, who is well known for marrying former enemies to each other, we did not fully realize how much hard work it would be to love one’s enemy. It took 40 years.

My daughter, Diesa, who first said in one of our conversations that whatever I was saying was backward thinking, after hearing me talking about our love story she agreed that this was forward thinking, because of our determination and desperation to love each other despite our differences and our parents and grandparents and ancestors being former enemies.

I am eternally grateful to my late husband that we could do this to advance peace and love for all humankind.
Elisabeth Seidel

Love is the Most Powerful Force of All

There is no greater force agaist evil in the world than the love of a man and a woman in marriage.

Cardinal Raymond Burke

As I was browsing Facebook, I stopped at this sentence from Cardinal Burke. I savored it for a long time. It was illustrated with a most stunning painting of a man and a woman dancing tenderly together as their kids, 5 and 7 years old it seemed, sat and watched. What a beautiful sight! Love is the most powerful force of all.

On Tuesday August 13, 1963, I wrote in my journal: “It is wonderful to think that soon I will be 18, all of a life to fill, so many things to get to know, and not knowing yet who will be the man of my life.”

Fast forward to February 1977. Just a few days before our wedding day, February 21, I was in the library at Belvedere estate together with many single men and women, who had come there to hear a speech from Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

I had heard rumors that Father Moon, as we call him, was preparing to conduct a Holy Marriage Blessing soon. Instead of a speech, Father Moon asked if we wanted him to start matching us right away! I was taken by surprise, a little in shock, and suddenly overcome by anticipation.

Father Moon started on the spot. He would ask a participant to stand up, ask a few questions and then point at a woman in the crowd. The two would then proceed to another room to talk and decide if they would accept the match. They would then return to the library and bow to Father and Mother Moon if they accepted. That afternoon 12 couples were matched. The next day the matching would continue.

When we were matched, Dietrich and I talked shortly. He said, “I like you.” I said, “I like you too.” As he was holding my hands, I was looking into his romantic green eyes and transported into the heavenly realm where God was telling me “I will love you through him.”

A few days later, on the 21st of February 1977, the Holy Marriage Blessing ceremony was held with 74 couples.

So, I totally agree with Cardinal Burke: There is no greater force against evil in the world than the love of a man and woman in marriage. 

Elisabeth Seidel

Proclamations, Declarations, Pledges, Vows and Promises

When a president takes office, he put his hand on the Bible and pledges, “…. so help me God.” He is taking a stand. He is promising what he is going to do. He is involving our almighty. He is making a declaration, a commitment.
 
The Pilgrims took a stand to put God first. This guided their life. They affirmed it; they declared it; they pledged it. This was the resolution which brought good fortune to them and America. They kept their word; they were trustworthy.
 
The Declaration of Independence was such a pledge before God.
 
When our first president George Washington was at Valley Forge, he kneeled in prayer. The task and responsibility were too much to bear for one person alone. He had to make a decision which was unbearable by himself. He searched for answers coming from heaven.

This is why we are moved in our heart and mind, and in awe when we see this historical portrait of our famous and beloved president submitting to our Heavenly Parent. It stirs our original mind that we should always include God.

God is a dramatic God. He can change the course of history in an instant, at the last minute. On all our coins it is written “In God we trust.” We receive answers if we knock and ask.
 
We affirm there is a God. We pray, we greet God every morning. We pray again, and then some more. Then we start resembling God. We keep our Heavenly Parent in our life; we never let go.
 
When we marry, we also make a vow. We pledge fidelity and to be together for better and for worse. We keep our vows. They are sacred. We do not vacillate in between. We keep our pledge. The family is the cornerstone of society, so it starts from there.
 
At our wedding Dietrich and I made a vow that we would stay together even beyond this world, because true love can transcend also the spirit world, where we enter the world of the heart, the realm of liberation. We wanted to be the guardians of true love.
 
May all your affirmations and proclamations this year brings good fortune and blessings to you, your family: husband, wife, sons and daughters. Because truly the family is the starting point of experiencing true love.
 
Elisabeth Seidel

The Families who are Healing the Divide

My cousin Michele from Paris married a black American man after World War 2. Her beloved at that time was stationed in France as part of the American forces.

The photo below shows Michele at age 19 when she met her future husband, Belton, in Paris in 1955.

I remember her dad, Pierre my favorite uncle, was a bit shocked that his only and unique daughter was leaving her country and her family to go and have a new life in America with someone from another race.
 
True love is colorblind. I believe my cousin and all my friends who are from interracial marriages are healing the wounds created by centuries of pain, slavery, misfortune, injustice and the like. If love abides with these couples, truly their children are stunning. They are special in God’s sight. They are most beautiful, because it was the love of their parents that created them. Because they overcome it all. The pain became forgiveness. Love does not dwell in the weaknesses of the other, but covers the imperfections and the resentment.
 
Myself, I married a man of German descent, the enemy of France. The priest in my hometown, Father Durieux, said to me:
 
“I had 14 brothers and sisters and my grandparents were living with us up in the mountain. That was a huge table of 19 people over dinner. The Germans came and burned our house. This was the first time I saw my father cry. One German soldier said to him, witnessing the scene, ‘I am ashamed to be a German.’”
 
This soldier repented for his country. He was so sorry that this beautiful family of 15 kids were left with nothing. My husband also repented publicly in my hometown for the crimes of his ancestors.
 
I am also so sorry to see the anger and unrest everywhere in America today.
We also need to repent for things left unsolved. This is the time where we make the wrongs right. We say: “We are sorry, please forgive us, we love you.”
 
It is the same in the family, especially if our marriage is for healing our nations. We say to our partner: “I am sorry if I hurt you, please forgive me. I love you.”
Here are some photos of Michele and her family, and with me and my family. Michele received the Ambassador for Peace award. What a wonderful life!

Today all my love goes to these most special families who are healing the divide. World peace through ideal families. Is it not so?
 
Elisabeth Seidel

A Peaceful Marriage for a Peaceful World

Forty-three years ago, on the 21st of February 1977, in the Grand Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel in New York City, this very day became the best day of my life.

Dietrich and I made the most crazy, out of this world, commitment to love each other not just for better or for worse, in health and sickness, but to love each other not only during our lifetime but for all eternity; not just that, but also to bring harmony to our extended families. As it is not enough that the husband and wife love each other well, but all the relatives will finally love each other also. We made this commitment together with 74 other couples.

It was the best day of my life, where I could have a glimpse of God, Our Heavenly Parent’s love. I met my husband, the love of my life, for the first time only 3 days before we were blessed into the Holy Marriage Blessing ceremony.

Today as I look upon my journey through Heaven and Hell, trying to love my enemies in difficult scenarios, I am grateful. I am so deeply grateful.

Now, as I am flying to Seoul, South Korea to celebrate Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s 100th birthday and the 77th birthday of his wife, Dr Hal Ja Han Moon, the Mother of Peace, I am reminded of my meaningful life, of my commitment to my pledge 43 years ago, that a peaceful loving  marriage brings a peaceful world.

I am reminded of this unforgettable love, going all the way vertically to our 430 ancestors, and horizontally to our 430 couples and families who pledged to be faithful to each other and to God, and to attain during our lifetime this highest, most honorable blue print. I am grateful to all those with whom we could share our vision of hope, of love, of family and tribe.

To know more about the Holy Marriage Blessing go to the section “Holy Marriage Blessing” on this website where you can watch the documentary “Married to the Moonies.”

To buy my memoirs, “Stories of My Life: The Search for True Love,” click on “Publications” in the menu above.

Let’s make marriage great again! I want to invite you all to celebrate our anniversary of Holy Marriage Blessing this month.

With God’s blessings, your friend, Elisabeth Seidel

Mom! Be Nice to Dad

“Mom, be nice to Dad!” My daughter responded, one day after I was using a sharp tongue towards my husband. It came to me as a surprising shock, as I was not even aware of my attitude. Sometimes too critical, or impatiently babbling something too fast or inappropriate. It stopped me in my tracks and I could reflect on my attitude.

I was not nice. To my husband.

I had a lot of reasons why. I could enumerate all of them. In order of importance.
But in the end, it does not matter the reasons why.
What does matter in the end is if we could love anyway.

Being always nice and pleasant speaking, and reconciling and agreeable. This is an art. An art of living together.
Responding in kind when we know the other one is wrong, or we think he is. Forgiving and going over the hurt of squabbling.
In the end it does not matter.
What matter is if we could love, anyway.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, reviewing different situations in my life where I was not nice, and changing them in my mind to the right response.

It is said that when you go to the spirit world, you first review your life. You experience how the other person felt when you were not nice, by your actions and behavior, and also when you were nice, what pleasant emotions you have given to others. This will determine the region where you will be residing in your eternal home.

Other situations were not closed well the way I would have wanted, which means with ultimate true love. So, in my mind I process them, asking for forgiveness, and also asking my husband from the other side of the veil to work at it. We can continue our relationship between the two worlds to make it in the end the perfect love we always wanted. Let’s be nice to each other.

Elisabeth Seidel

Die Große Liebe

As I was visiting my 97 years young mother-in-law in Vienna, I was surprised that she was still reading books. I thought she was only looking through magazines or mainly watching tv as entertainment if she was not on an excursion, or playing dominos.

But to my surprise she was reading a book from the American author Pearl Buck, and the title was “Die Große Liebe,” means “Le Grand Amour” or “The Great Love.”

Wow! She is 97 and reading love stories! I realized this ideal of ours never dies. At 100 you can still dream about love, true love, the one and only. This quest never ever ends and reading about it becomes so exciting, interesting and fulfilling.

I told Oma, I know who is my great love for ever and ever. And she had me tell her again and again my encounter with Dietrich, her son, which was love at first sight. And how it stayed this way during our 40 years of married life and beyond.

We are born this way that love is part of our inner self, and the most interesting topic, even when you reach 97.

To keep a true love is great work. If you did not find it yet, do not despair. One day every one of us will find their true, unique and forever love. This I believe.

Let’s spread more love around us, more loving words, more smiles, more random acts of kindness, and specially if someone attacks you let’s give back in kindness. We are changing ourselves so that a world of heart and love will come about.

In the photo below, you can see me with my beloved Dietrich, Oma, and Dietrich’s sister Gisela at the famous Prater in Vienna.

Prater Vienna

Making a World of Peace One Family at a Time

In his article The Significance of the family for World Peace, my husband Dietrich quoted Mitch Albom saying “The family is the only secure foundation. You must have the support and love of a family or you don’t have much at all.”

Looking back at my relationship with my husband, I had many days when I was feeling in great agony. Those were the days when we had a fight. A volcano would erupt from time to time.

Dietrich’s Chinese Zodiac sign is the Ram (Lamb). He is extremely patient. My sign is the Rooster, and I am extremely impatient. When reading about compatibility between the Ram and the Rooster it says the relationship is most difficult but not impossible – the Ram does not know what to make of the Rooster.

So, we had to tackle so many impossible situations. My specialty was to erupt quickly; for him nothing would really trigger him. If I was hurt, unhappy, upset and the like I would not talk to him for hours. But I was in very deep agony. All my energy, zest for life, raison de vivre, joie de vivre, purpose and goals were gone. I was most miserable.

Then I noticed the same pattern always coming from him, “We need to talk.” To show my dissatisfaction I totally refused at first, letting out some more steam and eruptions. But truly I was not happy in this state. No matter what, we had to work it out. We needed to forgive each other and reconcile and start anew.

Then I realized we needed to talk. He always left me plenty of space and a listening ear to digest all my arguments, but he was always the first to say “I did not mean to hurt you. This was not my intention. Please forgive me.” Then I could open up to him again, letting go of my anger.

The point was that both of us we were absolutely anchored in God and in our belief that we must work out our differences to be a happy couple. And we would never let go of that.

To conclude, when there is a fight one of us has to say “We need to talk” and apologize, saying “It was not my intention to hurt you. Please forgive me.” Lend a listening ear and a forgiving heart and conclude it with a deep hug. Hugs are warm, cozy, bringing the affection needed for everyday life.

True love is not impossible. In fact, it is our raison de vivre, our joie de vivre.

Much love to all of you.
Your friend Elisabeth