Monday, November 30, 2009

Love is...

Al Green sang of "Love and Happiness" in one of his most famous songs. Many of us remember the "Love Is..." comic strip that has been around for years. Almost every religion on the planet talks about how the creator (no matter what you call him/her) has an unconditional love for us. Newly weds and people that are in a new relationship have the warm and fuzzy feeling of love. There are so many things around us that give various examples of what we "think" love is.

The top 3 definitions of love as a noun are:
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. sexual passion or desire.

The top 3 definitions of love as a verb are:
1. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
2. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
3. to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.

If I had to tell you what I think love is, I would have to say that it is a decision to make a commitment, then being committed to that decision. Nothing more... nothing less.

From a spiritual standpoint, that's what I believe God has done with us. No matter what we do, God still loves us. No matter how bad we mess up, the divine creator still has this unconditional love for us. Scripture refers to it as agape love. I didn't really understand it until I had children of my own. I can't think of anything that they could do to make me stop loving them. Now that doesn't mean that I allow them to get away with stuff... or if one of them robbed a bank that I wouldn't be disappointed. But there is nothing in the world that can make me stop loving them. I decided to make a commitment, and I am committed to that decision.

So why is it that people fall "in and out" of love? In my limited experience, and I do not proclaim to be an expert by any means, many people confuse how they feel in a particular moment as love. In other words, they proclaim "love" based on how they feel at a particular moment. It's easy to love people during the good times, but what about the bad times?

There also needs to be a distinction between love and acceptance. For example, you may love somebody who has a drug addiction for example. You can still love them without accepting their behavior. There have been people in abusive relationships that loved their spouse, but had to remove themselves from unacceptable behavior.

1st Corinthians 13:4 reads:
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I think that love never changes, but our interpretation of it does... and with different people having different viewpoints, it's easily misconstrued. We were all fashioned in love. Created by the Most High as the ultimate symbol of what love is. And when we really get closer to our spiritual nature, we experience love on the highest level possible.

This is just my viewpoint though :-)

Suggested Readings:

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Friday, November 6, 2009

DON'T take it to the grave with you...

So I was thinking the other day about all the things that I have the ability to do, but don't do. Unfortunately, a good friend of mine and her mother lost their dad/husband to cancer in October. I went to the funeral services, and there literally were people from all over the world that flew in to pay their last respects to a gentle giant that is with us no more. He was a living example of making the best out of what you have, and touching the lives of the people that you come in contact with. Regret is something that he didn't take to the grave with him. I'm truly grateful for the limited time that I got to spend with Dr. Kakoma while he was here.

In the month of October, we also lost another giant in the business and personal development industry. Paul J. Meyer was one of the most positive people I have ever met in my life. He set records in the insurance industry at a very young age, and his books and audio series have helped countless thousands become successful. He too was another person that took advantage of every opportunity to be great. He made billions of dollars over the course of his life, and he gave a lot of it away to those who were less fortunate than he was.

My question to you is "What are you taking with you to the grave... and should you?" In other words, are there gifts that you have that should be shared with the world? I read an analogy once that said that the grave yard had more buried treasures than any other place on the planet because people died with their songs still in them... their books still in them... their plays still in them... their inventions still in them... their... you get the point. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! Everyday, we have the ability to do something with our lives. There are gifts in you that need to be shared with the world, and if you don't share them will end up as buried treasure in a cemetery.

Richard M. DeVos once said "The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible." Those words are so true. We don't always succeed the first time that we try something. Success takes effort. But a person can never be successful if he or she never tries. I was listening to a Jim Rohn audio (I listen to a lot of him and other positive speakers) and one of the things he was talking about was when your life has ended, let there be a tally of your successes and your failures, but NOT of the times that you didn't even try.

Les Brown said "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you get it right." I'm sure others have said something like that before... he may have even gotten that from somebody else. The point is that nothing beats a failure but a try! The fact that I still have breath in my body means that there is still a purpose for me here on earth. The same goes for you. Fall in love with whatever it is you are passionate about, and share it with the rest of the world. We never know how long we will be on this planet, buy while we are here let's live it up!

Suggested Readings:
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The Magic of Believing by Claud Bristol

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What you think about... you bring about

This is my very first blog... it's about 1 in the morning and I was thinking that this is worth talking about!

I can remember Kwanzaa celebrations with my family when I was a kid. The children would put on a show, gifts would be given, and explanations of the tradition were explained. The thing that I remember most is a saying that my aunt taught us at a very young age: "What you think about, you bring about. What you ask for, you get. If you act the way you want to be, soon you will be the way that you act."

That still sticks out in my mind this very day. What I think about, I bring about. In other words... thoughts are things. Everything that I see around me that is not the divine manifestation of something that God Himself did came about because of a person's thought process. We have the ability to think things into existence.

I was listening to a CD by Earl Nightingale called "The Strangest Secret" not too long ago. He brought up a very good point in that audio recording. His main point was that "We become what we think about." It doesn't matter if our thoughts are good or bad, because our minds have the ability to produce whatever we think about (good or bad). He said that our minds can be likened to a farm with fertile soil. A farmer can plan corn or nightshade (nightshade is a deadly poison) and the land will grow whatever is planted. It does not discriminate. The same goes for our minds... whatever we plant will grow.

What we think about most will begin to physically manifest in our daily lives. What we think about, we bring about! People that think about sickness often get sick. People that think about poverty suffer from a lack of money and resources. People that think about being healthy are often healthy. People that think about riches in abundance are often wealthy.

This is not a new way of thinking. Scholars and philosophers have talked about this for years. The Bible has passages that tell us "be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2). Buddha even said "Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form."

If you asked a person to draw a picture of their mind, many people would draw something that looks like a brain. The mind is not your brain. It is a sketchpad for life. It is the canvas for the creation of your world. It is a mound of clay that you can fashion into whatever you like. It is the launchpad for your success, or the storage room for your failure. What you think about, you bring about. What you ask for, you get. If you act the way you want to be, soon you will be the way that you act!

Here are some books that I know will help you on your quest to control your thinking and put you on a path of success:

The Magic of Thinking BIG by Dr. David Schwartz

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peel