Showing posts with label Help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Help. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Date, Dating, Breaking Up: Can you recognize yourself?







            We have all gone through some tough breakup or heartache. Actually, any time a relationship ends, it is very painful, no matter what type of relationship it might have been. A traumatic experience like this sometimes causes us to act differently, and maybe we will see a side of ourselves we did not even know we had. We might act in an irrational way or say mean things. We might cry or yell. We might break things or throw things. We might even think about taking our lives. When a situation of great stress arises, when we are faced with the fact that someone we greatly loved might not love us, it is a moment of great pain. We may be so distraught that we fall into a depression, lose our job or gain more weight than we ever thought could be possible.

Unfortunately, these situations do happen, at least once in our lives. When they do, what we need to do is to find a way to come out of them, instead of drowning in our own sadness and our own self-pity. We might feel the situation was unfair. Maybe someone lied to us or used us. Maybe we feel we wasted years of our lives or we were deceived into believing something that was not true. In any case, there is no safe way to avoid such things. All we can do is not let the horrible facts control us, not let ourselves be immobilized by a situation that has no solution, at least for the moment.

 We need to remind ourselves that sometimes it is necessary to let some time pass. We need time to collect our thoughts, analyze the facts and revise our feelings. We need time to heal and to get used to our new situation. We need to remind ourselves that we cannot let ourselves collapse. We need to love ourselves because if we don’t, we will be no good to anyone else. If we take our lives or if we fall into a deep depression, then who can we help? Who can we love? Who can we strengthen?

We need to stick around so that we can help others live through the same types of situations and so that we can encourage those who feel sad or weak. We can be a rock to others and let them lean on us in their tough days. Helping others is always a good way to help ourselves. We need to remember that most radical changes in our lives might not only have been necessary but might also have been for the best. Sometimes we get so attached to a person that we cannot let go. By not letting go, we close the doors to happiness, because we do not allow that person to grow and we do not allow new people to come into our lives.

So what do we do if our hearts have been broken? We seek help. We turn to God and ask for His love and mercy. We pour out our hearts to Him. We allow ourselves to be healed by His loving touch. He is always there to guide us and lift us up when we fall down. If we draw closer to God, He will draw closer to us! We need to focus on deepening our relationship with Him, and then everything will slowly start improving. Only then will we be able to turn to others. That is the second thing we need to do. We need to ask for the help of those who love us…maybe a family member or maybe a good friend. We need to open ourselves up to the help that comes from God through others.

At the same time, we need to remember that God gave us a brain to help ourselves, and we need to use it. We need to think of ways to cheer ourselves up. For example, we should turn off those sad love songs and instead listen to songs of praise and worship. When we praise God, we forget ourselves, and we open ourselves to His love. We need to get rid of everything that reminds us of the person who broke our heart, even if it’s just for a while. We need to box all that stuff up and put it into the closet or throw it away it makes no difference which, as long as we get it out of sight. When we feel we are starting to be overwhelmed by sad memories, we can turn on the TV, or we can call a friend to talk about anything other than the breakup, or, best of all, we can spend some time with Jesus.

If we feel as if all the couples in the world are being happy and loving just to make us miserable, we need to turn our heads there is always another direction to look at. Most importantly, we need to stay busy. We can motivate ourselves to look better than ever, pamper ourselves, maybe join a gym. We can focus on school or on work, be ambitious, think about getting a promotion or a new job, earn a Master’s degree or a PhD, or simply make it our goal to graduate with honours.

Do you see? It is up to us! We decide if we are going to collapse and let ourselves go, or if we are going to live through the disaster and succeed, no matter what. We are the ones who can consciously place ourselves in God’s hands and allow Him to redirect our lives and heal our hearts. For us, there should be no other option but that we will live through it, we will help ourselves and we will be happy again!









Wisdom to contemplate:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Mathew 5:13)


“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.”(Mathew 5:14)


“So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)


“Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)







Monday, September 29, 2014

Help or Be Helped: Would You Be My Angel?






            So many people nowadays believe in angels, in interacting with them, seeking their help, trying to talk to them, trying to see them. But today there is also much confusion about angels, because the secular view of angels has invaded the media. There are books, films, songs you name it about angels. A lot of people have become obsessed with angels and have become insensitive to their friends, coworkers, neighbors and even family members. In their pursuit of angels, they have forgotten the most important thing: giving praise and glory to God by loving one another. They are so busy trying to interact with an angel that they lose touch with their personal relationship with others and many times even with God. Now, I am going to propose another view on angels.

            I am not saying angels don’t exist or that they are not important¾please don’t get me wrong. What I have a problem with is when people’s obsession with angels makes them overlook the teachings of Jesus Christ and leads them to neglect their relationship with God. Once Jesus Christ is a priority in our lives, we can then learn to love and respect the angels.

             Why do we obsess about angels? I think because we crave a stronger, more solid relationship with God. We want to be more spiritual, but we approach it in a proud and even selfish way: “I and my angel”, “I have a unique relationship with angels”, “I am special because I communicate with angels”, “I am unique and good because I see my guardian angel.” In the end, we might end up forgetting others. We can become so focused on ourselves that we forget the main thing God wants us to do¾which is to love one another and take care of each other. Jesus Christ left us a message about loving one another. If we can focus on this, then we can be like living, breathing angels to each other. The message of Jesus was a powerful message of love in every sense of the word love in the sense of giving without expecting back, forgiving, not judging, treating others as we would like to be treated, helping those who are different, helping those who are in need, helping the sad, the lonely and the hungry.

            We can be angels to each other. We can give more time to others. We can listen to them, offer them our company, give them our support. We can be more patient with each other and more kind. We can change the world with our love, moving forward step by step, without having any grandiose expectations of “becoming enlightened” or “interacting with angels.” We can be content to just be ourselves, a simple person with many defects but capable of loving all the same.  Knowing deep in our hearts that we are a unique child of God made in His image to love and to be loved.

             Jesus came so that we would become children of God. Why do people get lost and start almost worshiping angels, obsessing about them…and all the while neglecting their relationship with God? All we need to say is: “God, Father, I need help,” and He will immediately send His angels so that we won’t even hit our foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:12) When we trust God and ask for His help, we know that His help will come through His angels in heaven or through those people who, out of love, become, even if for a moment, angels on earth.






Wisdom to contemplate:


“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ Rather, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.’ Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)










Sunday, August 10, 2014

Acquaintance, Date, Match: Lies or love?





So…let’s keep talking about love. How do we know when, and if, it is love that we are feeling? Many of us have thought that we were “in love” on more than a few occasions. We have been sure that “this time this is the one.” At least for us girls, it starts very early; we have strong feelings and can’t fight them. Like fools, all we do is think about the person who has stolen our hearts. And as soon as we are not around that person, we wonder when he will call. So we wait desperately next to the phone, dreaming of that last tender kiss. We go to bed dying of anticipation for the next school day, wondering if that special person will be there, hoping that at least we’ll get to say hi.

            In my opinion, “love” is no less “love” because it is in the heart of a young person; it can be as strong as, or even stronger than, the feelings we may experience when we grow older. We daydream in the same way while we listen to love songs or gaze into the sky on a starry night. We wish with the same intensity that it will last forever. We plan and dream about the same things, and then we suffer and hurt the same way when the relationship comes to an end.

             So how can we tell when love is for real? I think the answer to this question is not what is most important. Are you surprised? Maybe a bit confused? Let me explain. Love is real. Love is out there for every single one of us who believes in it. What will determine if we will find the love of our lives? What will determine if we will be happy and if one day we’ll be able to experience the great blessing of real love in our lives?

            When we feel in love, we should not be afraid; we should just let things flow. But there are a few rules we should follow if we want to have a better chance at finding true love. First, we must be real. No acting. No role playing. Do you know what I mean? Many times we try to give a certain impression, as if we are picking a character we are going to play in a movie. We decide what type of partner we want to be and what kind of relationship we want to have without being ourselves or allowing things to happen naturally.

            But if we force things in one way or another, if we pretend to be someone we are not, or if we act in some way that we normally wouldn’t, then we start out without truth. And when there is no truth, there is no chance for a good relationship. We have to start our relationships with as much honesty as we possibly can. We must be honest with our partner and with ourselves. In this way, we build the foundation of our relationship on rock.

            The second thing is to let things flow. Everything is perfect if we trust in God. Everything happens for the best when we allow things to develop naturally and we know in our hearts that we have been honest. So, if the relationship does not work out, even though we might be feeling immense pain, we can find the strength to let go. By trusting that things always happen for the best, we allow God to extend his loving hand to us. He wants us to find our soul mate. He wants us to find our calling in life. He wants us to be happy.

            So why don’t we all do this? There are many wrong reasons for why we may pick and/or hold on to the wrong person. Here are some of them:

Ø  We are lonely: We want to feel loved, special and cared for. We see couples everywhere; love is in the songs on the radio, at the movies and on the TV. We rush into a relationship because we are so tired of being alone. It seems as if we are the only one who has not been able to have a steady relationship. All of our friends seem to be married or have boyfriends/girlfriends. We feel there must be something wrong with us! Are we not lovable? We think of how our family loves us, but we think they have to because they are stuck with us. Sometimes even our family members don’t love us as they should. And so we want that special someone to come along. Someone who will sweep us off our feet. Someone who will love us because he thinks we are amazing. Someone who wants to spend every minute next to us. Someone who dreams with us. And we wonder if that is ever going to happen to us. Are we good enough, lucky enough? Millions of questions start to flood our minds, questions that cause fear and insecurity, questions that lead us to make wrong choices and big mistakes.

Ø  We feel that we are getting too old: We convince ourselves that time is running out. The funny thing about this is that it does not necessarily hit us at a particular age. We can get bitten by the “age bug lie” at any age. Once our brain believes it, that is enough. We easily fall for it and end up obsessed with the idea that by a particular age we should have found true love. If we fall for this lie, we run a very big risk of one of two things. The first one is that we can end up rushing things and settling for someone, without giving it too much thought. We are driven by the idea that we do not want to be single after a particular age, and we are terrified by the thought that we might end up alone. The second one is that we may end up in a depression because we have reached the deadline we set for ourselves and we are still alone. Last time I checked, there was no “Secret Book of Life” that tells us by what age we must be married or at what age we will find our soul mate. It is different for everyone. For each of us, it may happen at a completely different time in our lives. For some of us, it will happen in our teens, and we will marry our high school sweetheart. Others of us will experience it in our twenties, still others in our thirties, forties, fifties and so on. The important thing is not to rush and to enjoy our life as it is. Every day we live is a gift, and many things are one-time blessings, which means they will not happen twice in a lifetime. That is why, if we end up not enjoying a particular stage in our life, one day we will regret it when we realize how foolish we were and how little faith we had in ourselves and in love itself.

Ø  We want to get away from home: Depending on our cultural background, this may be a big incentive to rushing to find a partner. But this is not the right reason, and when we do something for the wrong reason, usually things end up going wrong. We might think that by getting out of our parents’ house we are going to be happy, but it might end up not being so. If our motivation for making a life with someone is to get out of the house, we will probably pick the wrong partner. And if we are with the wrong person, once we start sharing our life with that person, it will become clear that we have exchanged one bad situation for another, and at a big cost our happiness.

Ø  We lack self-confidence: It is very hard for our self-esteem not to be affected when everyone we know has a boyfriend or is married, everyone except us. This can be dangerous because it is in times like this that our minds can play tricks on us and convince us of many lies. We then start giving in and believing these lies, and in the end we might end up making a big mistake or becoming very unhappy. A partner does not make us a better, happier, prettier, wiser person. We make ourselves a better and happier person. Don’t count on anyone else to make you feel good about yourself. It is God who can change us and transform our lives from the inside out, through the power of prayer. A partner cannot do this for us, and in fact many times the wrong mate can greatly reduce our self-confidence. Let’s feel good about ourselves independent of other people. Let’s feel good about ourselves because we are God’s precious child, and because we are unique and God made only one of us. Only then will we feel good about ourselves next to someone else; otherwise, we set ourselves up for a miserable life.

Ø  We need some love and attention: We humans will do almost anything for attention and love. Actually, most of the things we do (good and bad) are in some way to get that love and attention we so much crave. But we need to focus on getting our love from the source of all love: God. God is love, and when we have invited God into our hearts, we have all the love we need. When our relationship with God is strong and it is His love that is feeding us, then we stop craving the attention of others. If we are not careful about this, we may end up accepting someone as a partner just to get love and attention. This can be a recipe for disaster. We might end up with a broken heart or end up breaking someone else’s heart. Neither option is good.

Ø  Our hormones are rushing us: Sometimes our hormones can really confuse us. We feel a rush of emotion and passion. We feel shaky and hot. We feel butterflies in our stomach. We feel so much emotion it shakes us from the inside out. But we need to be careful because we can feel these exact same feelings with a person who is completely wrong for us. Big passions do not equal big love. We have to try to sort things out with a cool head. Sometimes all we are feeling is a strong but temporary rush that will pass if we breathe deeply and give ourselves some time in order to think straight. Interpreting that rush as love can mean ending up with the wrong person. Be careful.

Ø   We feel pressure from our family: Sometimes, by trying to be a great help, our family members can end up becoming our worst problem. Consider and respect your family’s opinion and advice. But do not give in to pressure and do something that you will regret later on in your life.

Ø  We feel sorry for the other person: Sometimes someone can be very persistent. But we cannot accept someone as a partner only because we feel sorry for that person. How long do you think we can pretend? Such relationships don’t last, and it will be much worse when we can no longer keep pretending and things start falling apart. We should always be truthful with others and fair to ourselves. We must be kind, but we must be honest too. Love is an area where lies of any kind only bring heartache.

Ø  We get into a role, and we end up confused: Believing our own make-believe world, we might dive into a relationship that only exists in our imagination. We refuse to see the other person as he really is, and the situation as it really is. If we do this, one day we will wake up to a life that we do not want, with a person whom we do not love.

Ø  We are used to someone: Do you know what is worse than breaking off a long-term relationship and accepting that we have wasted many years of our life on the wrong person? What is worse is to not break up and waste our whole life. If we put off the inevitable, things will only get more and more complicated. Feelings will get stronger; marriage will happen; babies will come. We cannot allow “feeling comfortable” to steal our happiness. Love is the one area in life in which we must not settle for comfortable, for OK, for less risky, for less hassle. When it comes to love, we should not settle. We should seek true love with every bit of our soul.

Ø  We accept a partner for any other “wrong reason”: I could write a whole book about just this topic, but I think by now you should have gotten the point. In summary: If we believe in love, then love will be a reality for us. If we look for love, love will find us. If we are honest in regard to love, we will experience honesty in our relationships. Give love, and you will receive love! Trust in God and He will bless you with the love of your life.








Wisdom to contemplate:

“Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)


“He tells the truth who states what he is sure of, but a lying witness speaks deceitfully.” (Proverbs 12:17)



“ Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.” (Mathew 5:37)