Showing posts with label True love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label True love. Show all posts

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Expecting great from little humans

                                          


Can we expect "great" from a small kid?  Great character, great behaviour, great love? Should we teach what is right and what is wrong from a young age?  

Oh heavens yes!  

Do me a favour if you have a small sibling, don't enable them when they act badly.  They are capable of understanding, and they are capable of great things.  Why would we not help them be great?  

Truth be told,  I have seen plenty a kid maybe between 4-9 years old that are spoiled rotten by parents that seem to be under the impression, that these children are incapable of being:  kind, respectful, loving etc.  There parents allow these "little terrors" to rule their house.  These "little ones" run around terrorizing older siblings and friends of the family.  They are rude, harsh, aggressive and extremely disrespectful and annoying to all who are around them.  Do you know someone like this? Maybe even in your own house?

God made us with an incredible capacity to love.  Our spirits are made for greatness.  When parents and siblings don't correct "the little ones" in a family , they are robbing them from something precious; the ability to truly shine!  They are also smashing any opportunity to becoming well adjusted, well functioning humans.  What do you think , do you think that it is easier to learn obedience, respect and kindness from the time you are a little baby....or do you think that it will be easier to learn after years of getting away with a reign of terror?  Kind and loving do not happen by magic!

Honestly bad habits become part of who we are.  If a person acts the same terrible way over a period of time - it will become a bad habit.  Act that same terrible way over a prolonged period of time and it will become part of who you are. 

So if you have a small sibling at home that is out of control, well first of all pray about it.  Then address it with your mom and dad.  If all else fails, at least you can try to teach what is good and right to them.  Believe me you will be doing a labor of love.  True love teaches what is true and right and expects great things from people.  We need to love one another.  We need to believe that we can be great.  We need to teach holiness and hope for holiness, so that holiness can shine in a soul.  

If you know a small person who:

  • Disrespects those older than them
  • Are cruel and unkind with their siblings  and piers
  • Are harsh and threatening towards people
  • Manipulate their parents
  • Want to act as if they are way older than they truly are, etc
If you know kids like these, speak up.  Don't tolerate bad behaviour, you will be doing them a service.  Otherwise these "little tyrants" will grow up to be monsters....and it might be to late to fix things at this point.  

Don't be part of the problem....be bold, pray and act.  All things are possible for those who love God!  Believe and things will change.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

True love ?







            We all wonder…does true love really exist? Will it happen for me? When will it happen in my life? Some of us go through life trying to appear strong and independent. Many of us go through life alone, struggling with loneliness and convincing ourselves that love is not a reality but a myth. We think Hollywood has exaggerated things and that people are fooling themselves, and we tell ourselves that we are smarter than that. We see ourselves as realistic, mature, independent and self-reliant! Besides, we are too busy, too this or too that to believe in love. After all, there are so many fish in the sea. We convince ourselves that it is illogical to think that there is only one perfect match for us and that we have to go out into the world to find him or her. It is ludicrous to think we need to put up with one person and one person only for the rest of our lives; after all, we are sexual creatures, we need variety, and times have changed! Right?

            Wrong! I am sorry if I disappoint you, but I am of a very different point of view. I believe people tell themselves lies as a defense mechanism, to protect themselves. They often convince themselves of ideas that have been taught to them by their own brains, a bitter psychology professor or the media. Many times, we tell ourselves that love does not exist, so we can excuse the fact that we are incapable of commitment. Maybe we need to face the fact that we need to change a few things about ourselves. Maybe, of all the chapters in this book, this will be the one that you will really disagree with. But look at it from the bright side if you can discern what is good and valuable for you and ignore what is bad, then what you are reading is already worth it. If you don’t like what I say but you feel in the very depths of your soul that I am right, then maybe you should reorganize your priorities and your life. 

        Do not be afraid to change your mind! Love is a reality, not a myth. But someone who does not believe in love will never find it. Perfect people are a myth, not a reality, but a perfect match does exist for each one of us. The idea that we can only fall in love with a perfect person is nonsense; it is unreasonable and unrealistic. But loving someone as a package, with all of his or her good and bad characteristics, is a possibility. Hoping for things to run smoothly and without any obstacles from the very beginning is unrealistic, but working things out one problem at a time is a wise approach. If two people keep in mind their love for each other and focus on the goal of being happy together, then, no matter what disagreement or argument happens, they will be able to overcome it.

 This is what I want to say to you in a nutshell. Now let me be a bit more specific. The most important thing is to always be honest with ourselves. Yes, we need to examine ourselves and find out what kind of person we are, what our priorities in life are and what we want or don’t want. This is essential in order for us to steer our lives into the right direction.

            If, from the bottom of your heart, you know that you never want to marry and that you will be happier by yourself than with a partner, then you can skip this chapter. If you are called to live a single life, then you need to embrace that call. Those called to the single life can live very fulfilling joyful lives, lives that God uses to touch and bless others. But, if, in the depths of your heart, you know that you believe in love and you want to find your soul mate, if you feel you are called to marriage, or if you would like to understand people who do , and/or give advise to those who need it then this chapter might be a good read!

            I believe we all have a soul mate. I know this sounds corny, but it does not make it less real. Many people are bullied into giving up their desire for and belief in a soul mate. But, in my opinion, there is a person out there for each one of us who will not only complete us but will also bring out the best in us, a person with whom we will become one flesh. We will no longer feel as if we are two people, but one more complete person.

            Somewhere, there is a person who will force us to extend our limits and who will not allow us to ever be mediocre. Someone who, in one way or another, will propel us to continue to improve and grow spiritually. Someone who will inspire us to be more patient, kind, humble, forgiving, encouraging, giving, trusting, truthful, hopeful, enduring and balanced. The person we fall in love with will make us push ourselves to the limit. That person will help us to become a better listener, advisor and friend. Sometimes that person will lovingly correct us or remind us of what is important. At other times, that person’s behavior will demand that we put into practice concepts that we believe in but have never acted on.

Finding this very special someone is not an easy task. But the best things in life don’t come easy. Why are we willing to try hard, look hard and work hard when it comes to our career, making money or being beautiful but not when it comes to finding true love?

             Why? Maybe because the world often teaches us to be mediocre in our dealings with love and society pushes us to have meaningless relationships. We are told that we should “have a taste of each different ice cream.” Our society applauds “not being so serious” and “having fun” and in the end all that happens is that we end up empty, frustrated and alone.

            Why do we let the world tell us what to believe? Why do we get duped into pursuing a series of meaningless relationships? Maybe because deep inside we think it is better not to believe in a great love than it is to pursue true love and never find it or, even worse, find love and then lose it. So maybe, as usual, the culprit is fear. My guess is that it is a mixture of fear, ego and selfishness. Because in order to have a great love, you have to be willing to give it everything you have and to risk everything you have for it. For a great love, you need two people who are willing to sacrifice and to compromise. In such an endeavor, there is no room for ego. There is only room for two people who have opened themselves completely to each other in order to become one, one in mind and actions, two people trying their best to endure and to overcome whatever challenges come their way.  

             Some people know that they are in love right away; other people take a while to realize it or to have the courage to accept it. When we are in love, it is important to recognize it, acknowledge it and act on it. With love, taking a chance is always worth it. Rejection you can live with, but missing out on the love of your life is something that is tragic and, many times, unfixable. The hardships that may come as part of the journey we embark on when we meet that special someone are worth it because loving is a feeling, a place, a situation, an experience that cannot be matched by anything else.

             To love is to choose to love. Yes, loving is a choice, a choice to make ourselves vulnerable, to not pretend, to not use masks and to give our hearts completely. To love is to believe we can love and be loved. To love is to dive into something with our heart full of trust and our mind set on the idea that we will be committed to it in good times and in bad, come what may. Loving requires constant revision of our “self.” It requires second-guessing ourselves and being open to accept that there are many things we need to change and many areas in which we need to improve. This is why I say that for one who does not believe in love it will be hard or even impossible to ever experience it or even understand it.

            There are no guarantees just our faith in this love we have found and our faith in God, because God is the glue that holds the two together. He is the source of all hope, the source of all patience and the source of selfless love. God’s guidance is the only way to correctly discern if what we feel is love. It is an awesome truth that one thing always remains the same that we can always count on God for help in our every decision. When we invite God to help us decide and through prayer seek for answers, then answers will be given to us. God knows the plans that He has for us, and if we invite Him into our every situation, then each time we will be given the gift that we need in order to make the best decision. He will make sure we have all tools we need in order to make the right choice. God will help us open our eyes and open our hearts. It is His delight to help us find our way in life. If we open our hearts, we will be able to discern what is good and pleasing to Him.

  





Wisdom to contemplate:
    



“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)


“Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” 
(Romans 12:2)


“And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10)









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)





Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Is it about the Many Presents? Appreciating people for who they are.






            We must appreciate what we have for what it is and not for what we think it makes us look like. Things outside of us can never make up for defects in what we are inside.

If we are not satisfied with who we are, then we can make an effort to fix it¾to make ourselves a better person. If we can be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our defects, then we can start getting rid of them. The best way to get rid of a defect is to replace it with a virtue.

            Virtue means right conduct.[1] It comes through hard effort and, of course, through asking for God’s grace. A virtue becomes part of who we are as we develop good habits[2] such as thinking before we act, consciously trying to make the best choice in a particular situation, examining our motives/intentions and thinking about the consequences of our actions. We can learn virtue by reading the Bible, by listening to good advice from someone we know is wiser than we are or by reading a good book¾and then acting on what we learn. Thus, virtues are habits that give us the power to do what is right.[3]

On the other hand, if we look around and focus on the defects in the country we live in, the community we share, the institutions we want to belong to or the people we love, if we spend our time complaining about the things we want to change in these other people, we will end up unhappy and probably alone. Sometimes we might not be doing it on purpose. Unconsciously, we might feel better about ourselves if we take attention away from our shortcomings by focusing on the shortcomings of others. But if we continually act this way, we will always end up in conflict, scaring away and hurting those around us.

            Sometimes we think we have fallen in love with someone, and shortly afterward the person changes (gains weight, loses a job, gets a haircut, etc.). Suddenly, we no longer feel as in love as before. We start harassing our partner and blame it on the change. Without realizing it, we become cruel, and furiously we start trying to make our partner change back into the person we had chosen. The other person gets hurt. We might not realize why we are doing what we are doing, or even that we are doing it, but slowly we drive our partner away. Eventually, we find ourselves alone or in a relationship in which love is no longer present. And all of this is because we are looking for a “perfect person” who will surely show everyone how great we really are. We must be great, since we landed such a great catch! Right? Wrong! What a big mistake! In the end, with this attitude, everyone loses, everyone gets hurt.

            Sometimes we want to belong to an organization or a club or maybe even a church, but we don’t quite fit in. Then we go to great lengths to prove to the organization that the problem is theirs¾because, of course, we refuse to accept that the problem is ours. It is much easier to point fingers and accuse the outside world of how it has failed us than to look inside and face how we have failed ourselves. We would rather find a million excuses than come face to face with our “ugly side.”

We need to learn to come to terms with our “ugly side,” our defects. Instead of denying we have them, we need to overcome our defects and say goodbye to them. We need to be honest with ourselves and be able to analyze ourselves as if we were an onlooker. Then we can look at our defects and do something about them because we will realize our defects are only a temporary part of our personality. They are only ours as long as we decide to keep them. Our defects are nothing more than potential areas of improvement, and if we look at them as opportunities to change and grow then we will not get down and depressed about them.  They do not have any power over us, and they do not determine who we are unless we allow them to.

            We also need to understand that this holds true for others as well. We need to learn to dislike the defect, the bad action, the ugly behaviour but not the person. We need to see that the behaviour can change and that the bad action can serve to teach a great lesson to the person. It is the action we do not approve of, not the person. It is the defect we hate, not the person. If we all try to be more honest and gentle when we talk to each other, we can contribute to great changes in each other’s lives. We will help bring out the best in others and ourselves.

             We are imperfect beings seeking for perfection. We have lots of shortcomings, and until we accept this, we won’t be humble, and worse of all we won’t be able to accept others with their defects. We won’t be able to love them as they are and for who they are, without trying to change them.

Let’s pray so that we can appreciate what we have for what it is, not for what we think it makes us look like to others. Let us accept ourselves for who we really are. And let us accept and love others just as they are.






Wisdom to contemplate:


“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9)




“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)




“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)













[1] Peter Kreeft, “Justice, Wisdom, Courage, and Moderation: The Four Cardinal Virtues”, Back to Virtue (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 1986), pp. 59-70.
[2] Iain T. Benson, “Values and Virtues: A modern Confusion”
[3] Tim Gray, “The Virtuous Life is Worth Living: Real Men Choose Virtue”, Catholic Education Resource Centre. http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0368.html