Friday, August 30, 2013

Real Love Rejoices With the Truth

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth:
When love is in our hearts we will seek the good, the truth, and live in righteousness. Instead of promoting wrong doing and injustice, love seeks to end it. It seeks the good for our fellow man. The mere nature of love is found in desiring the best for everyone. Hence, when a man has love in his heart he seeks the good and not any harm for those around him.
If love sees a wrong or injustice, it is grieved. Love will make you stand up for and do what is right. It'll make you despise evil. Actually it will make you hate it. It'll make you hate the mere thought of anyone being mistreated or abused. Love sees the injustices of the world and wants to end them. Love sees a child being abused and rescues it. It sees a woman being assaulted and comes to her aid. It sees someone hungry and feeds them. It sees someone hurting and comforts them. It sees someone being neglected and gives them what they need. Jesus Christ put it best when he said in Matthew 25:35-36 "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." When love is in our hearts, we will do these things and much more. Love looks for the good and if it finds none, it brings good to it. Evil always has a victim, but love always has a beneficiary. The nature of love is to make everybody beneficiaries, not victims.
Proverbs 6:16-19 states "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."
Love does not abuse, it does not manipulate, and it does exploit. It doesn't cause suffering. Men, when we have love in our hearts, we will not desire to do anyone any harm. Whether it's our wives, families, our friends, or complete strangers, we will not seek to cause anyone pain, harm, or misfortune. We will not exploit, for that is selfish. We will not lie for that is deception. We will not manipulate, for that is a form of control.
Another aspect of not rejoicing in evil is that if we do something wrong, we should seek to make it right. As much as we may try, we are not perfect. In anger or frustration, there are times when we may say something that is inappropriate or hurtful. We may do something that we know is not right and disrespectful. When we perceive or are notified that we have committed a wrong, we must apologize and seek to make it right. Remember, love is not proud. Sometimes it's very difficult to admit when we are wrong and then it may be even more difficult to ask for forgiveness. This is what love does. Real love seeks restoration and harmony. It seeks forgiveness and accountability. A real man is able to admit when he is wrong and ask for forgiveness. However seeking forgiveness is not enough. We must then repent. Repent means to turn away and not commit the same offense again. We must learn from our mistakes and become better men.
If we are to be the men God has destined us to be, we must have a heart that does not rejoice with evil, but rejoices with the truth.
Now here is a question for you, what is truth? Many people have sought to define truth throughout the years. In the book of John, chapter 6 verse 4, Jesus Christ makes this powerful statement. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." What does Jesus mean with this statement? Jesus is saying that he is the way, so that you will never be lost. He is the truth so that you will never be deceived, and he is the life so that you will have everlasting life. You see, with Jesus we have the fullness of love. "Do to others as you would have them do to you,"(Matthew 7:12), "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13), Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34) "... God is love." (1 John 4:8)
If we don't have God in our lives, then we are missing the full aspect of love. Oh, we may have some love, or a portion of love, but when we have God we then have the ability to have the fullness of love. Oh my fellow men, there is nothing to compare to the fullness of love. There is nothing to compare to God. I encourage you to seek "the way, the truth, and the life." Seek God, who is found in Jesus Christ. I encourage you to "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." (Psalms 34:8)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Secrecy in a Toxic Relationship

Have you noticed you stopped telling some of your closest friends or family members about your current relationship? Maybe on some gut level you know what they might say is true, about the one you're in relationship with. One of the most common things a person does when they are in a toxic relationship, is starting to keep secrets from other significant people in your life. Have you considered some of the other reasons why on a deeper level? I encourage you to really think it through with some of the following possibilities.
  1. What family and friend say is true, but the truth is you don't want to end it. I suggested that friends and family would try to get you to re-consider the toxic relationship. Why? Is it possible that your significant other is disrespectful of you? Doesn't consider your feelings? At worst, perhaps they are even abusive towards you. Maybe you don't want to have family members or friends tell you this because somehow you feel you don't have the strength to end the relationship. This is exactly why it's to your best interest to not keep everything so secret. (I'm not saying to announce it to the whole world either, be selective on who and what you share.) Maybe consider going to see a professional counselor or therapist. Perhaps it's a good friend you trust who would be supportive of you.

  2. It's too uncomfortable. Change is usually uncomfortable for all of us, even good changes. What about small steps at a time? One of the ways to help you lesson the discomfort of distancing or ending a toxic relationship is don't isolate yourself. One of the first things you can do is to surround yourself with very supportive people, such as suggested in 1, above.

  3. Do you have 'rescuer's mentality? One of the hardest things to face is the possibility that we struggle with codependent behaviors that allows abusers free access into our lives. 'Rescuing mentality' is a type of codependent behavior that does exactly that. That means, you allow abusive behavior into your life because you feel you can change or heal the other person. In essence, a rescuer enables an abuser's bad behavior and gives them permission to trample on you and everything related to you. It keeps them from facing the consequences of their bad behavior. No one can do that. You can only work on you. Abusers can only admit to themselves what they are doing, and most of the time they usually won't. It is a myth to believe if you love them enough or are tolerant enough of abusive behavior, the toxic person will change.

  4. Boundaries. If you allow abusive behavior and do not set appropriate boundaries with consequences, chances are you likely struggle with boundary issues. We all need healthy boundaries and limits to keep all of our relationships healthy. Appropriate and healthy boundaries takes time to learn, or even re-learn if you never had that opportunity or modeled in your family of origin. There is a lot of great resources such as articles or books on boundaries via the internet. If you've really had some struggles with boundaries, it might be in your best interest to find a therapist you feel comfortable to begin working on breaches with your boundaries. You might be able to find support groups as well.

  5. You're afraid you'll never find anyone else. Unfortunately, this is the common mindset of those who are trapped in a toxic relationship. The toxic person in your life might even try to prevent you from leaving them by plaguing on this fearful thought. The question is, if someone is disrespectful, abusive and using you, is that someone who really cares about you? No toxic relationship is worth being drained dry for. As long as you are in a toxic relationship, there is no room for you to heal or be prepare for a healthy relationship to come into your life with someone else.
If the person you are in a relationship with is actually pressuring you to keep aspects of the relationship a secret, such as abusive behavior, this is a significant red flag. (e.g. he/she manipulates you through guilt trips, borrows or steals money from you and never re-pays you, tries to control you) Secrecy, whether you are pressured into it, or you find yourself compelled to keep secrets is one of the signs of a toxic relationship. (I am not talking about healthy privacy here.) This article is designed to not only help you think about how it's a red flag, but also explore possibilities why you might be keeping unhealthy aspects of the relationship you are in, a secret.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Real Love Always Protects and Trusts

Love always protects:
Just as a mother will protect her baby from harm, love will also lead us to protecting others. When love is in our hearts protecting those who are close to us comes naturally. As husbands and fathers we are naturally very mindful of protecting our wives and children. The protection that love inspires does not merely end with our inner circle of family and close friends but also expands to anyone who might need our help. Like those subjected to or in danger of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment. It's the love inside of us that sees some one hungry and feeds them. That hears of a child being abused and wants to rescue them. That sees a woman being assaulted and protects her.
Love looks out for the other guy, for the little person. It does not bully, abuse, or assault. It does not manipulate, deceive, or belittle. Love desires for everyone to be treated fairly with dignity and respect. When this desire is in our hearts, it greatly affects our interactions with each other for the better.
Love is also perceptive. If you perceive that someone's actions will lead to them getting hurt, you should warn them of the danger ahead. Just as you would warn a child to look both ways when crossing the street, we should also warn those we know who may be engaged in something that could lead to them getting hurt. Love will always warn of danger. Even though we may not be able to stop someone from proceeding on their current course, we should always caution them hoping that they will see the truth and heed our warnings.
Love always trusts;
So much of our lives are built around trust. In fact, we cannot live in this world without it. It should be no wonder that trust is a large part of love. We cannot have meaningful marriages without trust. We also cannot have friendships of any kind without trust. Even when you place your money in a bank, you are trusting it will be safe. When you get a hair cut you are trusting the skills of the barber. When you get in a plane you are trusting the skills of the pilot. When you pray you are trusting God. We cannot live our lives without trust.
Trust is an interesting thing in that it can be broken. Even with all the love and goodwill we can manifest, our trust in another person can be shattered. As much as we may love someone they may prove themselves to be untrustworthy. Now I want to make it clear that God is not saying that we are to blindly trust people, or continually trust someone who has broken faith with us, especially if they continue to do so without repenting or turning away from their actions. With that being said, what does it mean when God says "love always trusts"? Well, it seems like love always trusts in itself. What I mean is that we are to always trust in love. No matter how we may have been treated or how much someone has proven themselves untrustworthy, we are to always trust in love. Never let someone's unfaithfulness, abuse, or deception stop you from believing in and living a life of love. Please do not get this confused with taking abuse or mistreatment. Some people you may have to love with an arrest warrant, love with a divorce, or love from a distance, but no one should ever make us stop believing and trusting in love itself. The truth is, God is love. 1 John 4:8 reads "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
Since God is love, we should always trust in love, hence we should always trust in God. Love is wonderful because it's who God is. It's a perfect description of his character. Therefore we should always trust in love and we should always trust in God. It's very unfortunate that people do not always live a life of love. This however should never make us give up on love to speak. You may have to give up on that person and let them go, but never give up on love. Men, if we are going to be better men, we should always trust in love. We should always trust in God.

Monday, August 12, 2013

All You Need Is Love, But Is Love Enough?

The Beatles said it when they sang "All you need is love", but really, is love enough? Many people do believe that love and the connection they share with the one they love, their relationship will succeed. Many people believe that love is all you need and that love which is meant to be will be will conquer all.
Those statements, although very romantic, are not realistic. Life happens, and even the best of couples can get torn apart. Love is not always enough and does not always survive unscathed. Many people in soulmate relationships live under that false assumption that nothing can destroy their relationship. This is simply not true. How we behave and the things we say and do have a direct affect on our love and relationships. If the connection between you and your soulmate was so strong then why are you apart? Why are you and your soulmate not communicating properly? Why are you and your soulmate growing further and further part?
People believe that soul mates and twinflames always work things out. They believe that every obstacle can be overcome, simply because they are deeply connected. When it comes to love, it does not always keep us together, get us back together, or keep us from breaking up. People can start a relationship, develop feelings for one another, but for one reason or another, the relationship ends. Life is not always easy, in fact life can be very hard, just like matters of the heart. All relationships will have their ups and downs, but if your relationships has extreme highs and extreme lows, you may need guidance to get it to the level place. The extreme highs do not, and should not make up for the extreme lows. Your soulmate relationship should not go to extreme lows in the first place. A soulmate reading can help you get to the root of the problems in your soulmate relationship so you can avoid those lows as best as possible. Some things are out of our control, but what IS in your control you CAN control.
Our desire and need for others is what sustains and supports us through our daily lives. We should not leave it to fate, chance, or destiny to decide if our love will grow, or survive. Don't keep yourself from doing what you can to successfully maintain a loving relationship with your soulmate. Take charge of the most important relationship in your life and do whatever you can to allow it to flourish.
Love may not be enough, but with some work, effort, and the guidance of soulmate psychics, Lady Sarah and Sophia Elise, you can discover all you need to keep your love alive. Lady Sarah and Sophia Elise have helped many couples keep their relationship on track, and kept the feelings between them growing and evolving.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Romance Re-Runs: Are You Sabotaging Your Love Life?

We are programmed from childhood how we want our relationships to be. Happily ever after, no doubt. Problem is, we wind up sabotaging ourselves and partners by comparing our present to the fantasy we created back then. By taking a good look at the movies of our minds, we can make our magical thinking history. Although men too have fantasy "women programming", that's another story. This article is written from a feminine perspective.
Remember reading Cinderella, and later on loving the TV series Sex in the City? These stories promised that one day the prince will come and save us from our mundane or lonely life. Then it happens! He appears. We gladly commit. We buy the dress and think we will live happily ever after... but as time and wishes pass, we find ourselves disappointed and downcast. You'd think we would give up our fairy-tales and chose a more realistic life story to live into. Yet so many of us still suffer over the soap opera we seem to be living. We keep our fantasy reruns playing to rival our reality. It's like having a split screen with two movies running at the same time. One is showing Prince Charming... the one he "should be". The other is The Disenchanting Frog... the one snoring on the sofa.
So Cinderella did NOT get to stay at the ball. And just like in Sex in the City, the pouting protagonist whines about the brevity of romance as she dreams of the "next one". We hardly realize our mind is stationed on an endless loop creating our dreary drama as our magical thinking drons on.
If we're depressed and disillusioned over our unrecognized dreams or romantic expectations, it helps to remember it's our own mind's movie. We're the protagonist, the storyteller and the script writer. We can even direct how to act and re-act in every scene. But it is easier to focus on the Frog. It seems everything we do has payoffs. Focusing on the relationship and our disappointment with the absent "Prince" is a distraction from us operating our own life. The attachment to old reruns keeps us irresponsible and dependent, just like when we were little and wishing for a magic wand or savior to change our life. When our magic wand fails to work, at least we have someone else to blame it on. Hardly a healthy payoff, as doing so prevents us from creating our happiness now.
When stuff happens and people don't behave, we need to write a new script for our mind's myths and stop the repeats of former fixed fantasies. If our Prince Charming is being a Total Toad, we can remember that everything has a shadow, and that it is our adherence to high hopes casting our darkness. We can feel pain or loss in the moment and still choose NOT TO SUFFER, remembering we make up the stories. Loss and pain are part of life, but suffering is optional.
Here are 3 ways to Refresh Romance:
1. Identify the emotions you have been experiencing regarding your relationship. Write them on the left side of the page. (Sad, Scared, Angry, Jealous, Happy, Joyful, etc.)
2. Our beliefs create our emotional states. Write the belief or expectation to the right of the feeling state. Then ask yourself does this belief serve me? If you cannot change your situation, change your mind.
3. We can choose a new story. Give a name/title to the story you are in now. Write it down. If it creates suffering, rewrite it! Make up a new, realistic and happier title.
It's easy to say that we need to change our thinking. It's the doing part that takes intentional effort and creates our experiential change. By becoming aware of our mind's make-beliefs, we can start to turn off the old re-runs, commit to becoming responsible for our mind-movies and become more accepting of what is. Our Prince-Frog might then awaken with us singing "Ding-Dong The Witch is Dead."