More Than A Feeling, Love Is A Choice …

More than a feeling, love is a choice, demonstrated by actions as well as words. May your Christmas and New Year reflect your choice to love unconditionally.


Specialist Writer Speaker Social Entrepreneur Founder and President

of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

December 24, 2019


Many people who move in together and do not marry often have often said to me, “Who needs a piece of paper?”

After two failed marriages, I did not argue with them, maybe I sometimes agreed, but I sensed they were not getting something I really wanted to believe in … a marriage with no end.

To be fair, my first marriage failed because I was sixteen, running away from home with problems bigger than him and I, though three years my senior he wanted to be married because most of his siblings were married. It was what one did. Between both of us, our immaturity and the baggage our brief histories added to the combustible fire of our relationship was too much for both of us. Within a few years I was hitchhiking to my parents new home more broken and broke than when I had left.

My second marriage failing I now hold myself mostly accountable for because he really was/is a nice guy. I knew I was also a nice girl too underneath the brokenness resulting from my traumatic child and teen years, but the other big problem was the nice girl I became was what people wanted, not who I vaguely believed I could be … the person I now am … which complicated my problems and eventually also began affecting my professional performance.

And then the worst … best thing happened. Just as I knew my second marriage was ending because he wanted what I had become for him and everyone else, not who I was discovering I really was and wanted to live as, I met someone at a new place of employment. Smitten like a teenager, but a very confused and broken one, I made not just a personal mess, but a professional one too. And in the end, I either pushed away or left anyone who cared about me, including him, no longer trusting my sense of judgment regarding people and relationships.

A nomadic life of twenty-years filled with rooming houses, small apartments, and sharing space with strangers provided the freedom I needed to heal, to learn, and to change. Plus a place to hide in my shame, while I strove to understand. Self-directed studies of psychology, sociology, philosophy, pop culture, and spirituality flooded the open doors of my mind, slipping down into the crevices of my cracked, broken heart.

Discovering my personality type and its uniqueness, combined with my experiences, I was able to connect the dots to really see the big picture of what went so wrong and why.

Raised a Catholic, but broken by my experiences with broken Catholics, I had turned away from God and the Bible, but people like Joyce Meyer and her husband Dave, gently nudged me in the direction of God again. This time though I decided to read the Bible for myself, though I chose an amplified version that also included comments and teachings by Joyce.

Reading a few of Joyce’s other books and listening to her speak on television is where and how I discovered a role model for marriage.

Joyce and I have a lot in common. Strong personalities, hunger for knowledge, and a compelling need to help people. We also shared deep wounds from early to adulthood traumas, the resulting lack of trust in men, and therefore a once overwhelming need to be in control to feel safe. However, what we didn’t have in common for years was faith.

Unlike Joyce’s second marriage to Dave, a devoted Christian, my marriages and relationships pushed me further and further away from God for a number of reasons.

And speaking of her husband, Dave Meyer, Joyce often talks about how peaceful her husband is and as a result, over time how he helped her to become peaceful because of their faith in their marriage, each other, and God’s hand on their marriage.

Initially Dave thought he was going to be the speaker Joyce now is, but God showed him his job was to be behind the scenes supporting his wife in the spotlight because God wanted a woman to reach out to others, especially to the women.

Joyce readily admits Dave supports her professional goals behind the scenes, yet when it comes to their marriage decisions, Joyce yields to Dave because she knows he not only knows he is to lead, but that he is also to cherish his wife because she is also a reflection of him … of how her husband treats her. What an amazing thing for me do discover.

And this is what Joyce and I also have in common. Because of the many traumas I have gone through, my next and last husband needs to be a husband like Dave … someone who understands and appreciates his wife’s life purpose without feeling threatened or competitive, while also doing his part to support the important purpose of helping people and making the world a better place in the ways I have come to understand is mine to do. Like Joyce too, I also look forward to being able to lean on someone day to day, whose love is unconditional as mine is for him … to be able to believe with all my being that no matter what comes, he is there for me and I for him … for the sense of security with a person I have not yet experienced with anyone … and to give the same to him.

Years ago, I sensed the man I met at work as my second marriage was ending could be that man, but I was nowhere near ready to be the kind of person, let alone wife, I needed, wanted, and knew I could be. I have had to work hard to overcome the thinking and habits my experiences created in order to become the best version of myself, though of course, I am still a work in process.

So it is with much much gratitude I am thankful for my marriage role models Dave and Joyce Meyer. Their marriage keeps the hope that the type of marriage and husband I desire is possible … that one day I may marry someone and be the kind of wife I have learned to be, prepared to love unconditionally … my husband … and myself.

Of course, I thank God too for showing how he loves me unconditionally and for the empowerment his love has given me to love myself … and others unconditionally.

Kaitlin Ann Trepanier


Founder Entrepreneur Author Artist and Speaker  

© All Rights Reserved 2018 

September 8, 2018                                     

NOTE: Kaitlin’s Smashwords interview and Ebooks available at










Respect … The Way Back Into Love


When we fall in love, we think our love is unconditional, but most of us discover over time that our love is really more conditional. We have expectations. We have deal-breakers. We have limitations. We discover we are willing to not accept a person totally with all their flaws … which we all have.

Now, as someone who has not made wise choices in the past because of my low Respect Level for myself and for others manifested by  my own experiences, plus shaped and influenced by others experiences and subsequent beliefs,  I now know better. And as Maya Angelou and Oprah used to say, “When we know better, we do better.”

Well, sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t, but at least we become empowered to make different choices when we learn, though sometimes is just a matter of time.

Personally, making different choices that are respectful … demonstrating a higher level of respect and valuation of ourselves and others … has taught me that respect truly is the way back into love … though not just the conditional kind of love most people experience, but the rare gem of unconditional love. The kind of love that empowers us to accept someone completely by acts of love … peace, forgiveness, kindness, acceptance, tolerance, and so much more than most of us are used to experiencing in this world.

Unconditional love is not about us all having to be the same … is not about judging and condemning others … but is about learning to live and let live without malice and inflicting harm. It is about learning to live peacefully with each other, resolving conflicts, and not creating conflict for the sake of creating conflict.

As a result of the Berlin attack the other day, I heard someone say on the radio there is no honour in peace. Now I don’t know where such a belief came from or whom made the statement, but what I do know is making and keeping peace is far more difficult than stirring up prejudice, hate, and violence. As a matter of fact, as the news reveals every day, in this world, it is easy to be negative, selfish, and hateful … to seek to harm one’s self and others.

Of course, there are the majority who may not be inflicting horrors on others, yet their apathy is another form of disrespect … the devaluation of other people … which further supports the notion that conditional love is love.


Raising people’s Respect Levels for their and other people’s lives is key not just to peace, but also key to supporting humanity’s evolution and growth beyond what humanity has yet achieved  … a return to love … the unconditional kind of love that respect leads us all back to when we embrace love and instead of hate.

Some people will say such love is a goal, a vision, a dream, an ideal … even unrealistic … isn’t love worth striving towards every day of our lives … because without love what really would be the point of living? Not a world or life I want to live. You?

Respect … the way back into love.

December 21, 2016


Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, Founder/President of Connecting the Dots … with The Respect Principle … the for-profit social business venture raising Respect Levels with original entertaining, educational, and inspirational books, products, and services  ©All Rights Reserved 2016


Like respect, love can have many levels … from love that is not love at all, but is all about control, manipulation, and ownership to the other extreme of rarity … unconditional love.

Someone may care for someone, but not know what “to love” or “to respect” feels and looks like … depending on their experience of love … respect … that is until they discover whether through experience, time, therapy, and/or study what love … respect can be … not just between two people, but in also in families and communities.

I did not know for most of my life what love could really be. Experiences taught me love was conditional … as was being respected … valued … and that receiving love and respect was conditional upon choices, behavior, looks, and a list of other qualifiers other people decided were the qualifiers.

I did my best to love but, in retrospect, I loved and respected with the level of love and respect I observed and experienced until I knew better … from studying love stories, relationship guidance, and from examining my conditioned thoughts and feelings about love and respect.

A new understanding and“Respect Level” developed first in me, because like many of us who like to “reason” the concept was logical, practical, and even compassionate … something my mind could grasp while my heart and mind struggled to separate my previous experience of “love” in order to change my perspective on love, including how to be a better partner in a marriage … to truly love unconditionally till death does one part … such as in my favourite modern love story, The Notebook.

Once in my life I ran smack into love, yet it was so different from what I had experienced before that I didn’t really know it for what it truly was and it scared … no, terrified me. As a result, I screwed it up out of fear, ignorance, and a low “Respect Level” for myself, him, and everyone else involved.

Listening to and observing many people, it is evident many struggle the way I once did trying to love without examining their “models of love” they carry in their hearts and minds … which is why, I gather, I felt compelled to sit down and write this for those who are feeling there is not enough respect or love in their lives … especially on this eve and the day of the “most romantic” day of the year.

Unconditional love is the grandest gift … to give and receive … however, I suggest ramping up the odds by ramping up your “Respect Level” for yourself and therefore for others … and you will open the door to the kind of love you desire … and you will know it is unconditional love because for the first time you will be accepted completely for who you are … and you will accept someone else in the same way. Worked for me because one day I know I will experience the “Love Level” I have been preparing to give … and receive.

Will I ever experience that love I briefly glimpsed with the same person? My romantic heart hopes so, but I don’t know … it takes two … however I do know this … when unconditional love arrives this time I am prepared.

This is best Valentine’s gift I have to give … I hope it is yours too.

Love and best wishes for an unconditional love-filled day, year, and life!

February 14, 2015

The RESPECT SPECIALIST & PEACEMAKER … Freeing “Potential” with Education, Entertainment, and Inspiration!

Click on the link below starting Tuesday, January 27, 2015 to DISCOVER … and SUPPORT … the INDIEGOGO crowd funding campaign for the global initiative, Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLEbecause every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.

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