Of all the “Hallmark holidays” I love Valentine’s Day the best.
It takes the “gratefulness” from Thanksgiving and adds in “all love, all the time.”
And rumor has it that sex may be part of the deal too…but this is a “G-Rated blog…”
I started writing this blog February 14, 2014, in honor and memory of Marty Edelston (my friend and mentor) who had passed away in October of 2013.
It is no accident that the man with the biggest heart in the world was born on February 14th…yes, Valentine’s Day is Marty’s birthday too.
So I kicked off this blog two years ago sharing a quote from my good friend Sean Stephenson, a psychotherapist, author and internationally known speaker:
“I love everyone because as soon as I don’t love you, you own me”
The lesson here is quite simple:
When we spend our energy NOT loving someone, we willingly hand over our power (and more than likely, our confidence) to them.
But if we work on eliminating the things in ourselves that keep us from loving others, what’s left is just love and gratefulness (and more confidence).
Although I am far from a student of religion, Sean’s quote is a modernization of something we should all practice in our lives…that is, “love your enemies”…wish them well…so you can move on to what is really important in your life which is your own happiness and well-being.
I know…old news…but how many of us spend more time and energy making others’ wrong, creating anger (and stress) while we ignore all the good stuff we could be focusing on?
Someone recently “quoted me” on Facebook with a quote that I did not author but it’s one I try to live by…and I hope it’s meaningful to you as you move through this Valentine’s Day, loving everyone.
The quote goes like this:
“The only consistent feature of all your dissatisfying relationships is you.”
Isn’t it funny that the people in our lives who have the longest lists of people who have wronged them, made their lives miserable, caused unhappiness for them, rarely come to the realization that they are the CEO of their life and that there is only one thing that is present in all of those relationships?
OK…enough on the lecture…Valentine’s Day is simply the best holiday…and I will close with one more quote which is the same one I closed with two years ago.
From the great Stephen Stills:
“Love the one you’re with”
With love and gratitude (and wishing you an awesome “V-Day”),
This post was written by Brian Kurtz and posted on Valentine’s Day. However, the message Brian shares pertains to every day! Love is important and we need to be aware of our need to be loving to ourselves and to others. This article has been shared from the following website: https://www.briankurtz.me/the-importance-of-loving-everyone-2/
Over the last several weeks, I have been reminded of the importance of never settling when it comes to love – that love that you will (or should) call that love of your life. I have been happily married to my sweet, amazing husband for 40 years now. And…that is my point: NEVER SETTLE WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE!!!
I have seen the divorces and the heart-wrenching situations of those who settled. In reality, there is no such thing as settling, there is only succumbing (briefly) to the belief that no one will ever love us. As I have witnessed those relationship wrecks, I have cried for those broken souls who let the belief sink into their hearts that no one would ever truly love them. I don’t know who or what they doubted more: that God would provide them with a true love or that they were worthy of such.
Love is worth sacrifice. It is worth living alone. It is worth living with uncertainty. It is worth passing up the one you think may be the only person who will ever want you. No one finds true love by settling for the one that “will do”.
It is with that thought in mind that I share today’s article. I hope you enjoy!
Trust me, all singles get to that place. Oh, you know the one…
You’ve been single for a while, and since you really really want to be in a relationship, you start to bargain with yourself. You think, “Maybe I could just settle for someone I like just enough” instead of waiting for one who will truly make your heart floweth over. Well, here’s the sign I’d post in that puddle of pessimism: No settling allowed!
As anyone who’s already read the preface to Meeting Your Half-Orange knows, I’m all about being picky.
To make it clear why I don’t think you should settle for “eh” when it comes to a lifetime love partner, here are 10 reasons why settling works against you. Don’t settle for love, because…
1. Settling is a choice made from fear.
Don’t choose a relationship because you’re afraid to be alone. Or because you’re afraid you won’t find someone better. Or because you’re afraid you’re not good enough to attract someone who’s nuts about the real, true you. Be strong, not scared! You’re a tough cookie and you know you’re meant for more, so don’t let fear make decisions for you. Trust in the good life can bring you.
2. Passion is like a hot pepper in a good soup.
In other words, it changes in flavor, but it doesn’t diminish. If you choose a relationship with a passion and attraction to the whole person (not just their looks), the rewards of that emotional attraction can still be there decades later. But choose a relationship without that emotional passion? You could end up with a soup with no flavor at all.
3. Friendship marriages are different than deep, romantic ones.
Yes, some people can commit to an arranged marriage and still stay together for the long run. But it can take years to develop any emotional zing—if ever they do at all. Relationships can offer so much more than someone who cleans the toilet or puts gas in the car every other time. You can have more if you want it.
4. Love isn’t a business contract!
I read a quote from a woman who says she feels okay that she settled for her partner since marriage, after all, is like “a mundane non-profit business.” A mundane non-profit business? Goodness, what kind of marriage is that? Personally, I prefer to be alone than spend time with people who don’t speak in some way to my heart. Don’t you? Marriage or your big relationship should be the same way! Let your heart have a say.
5. When the novelty of coupledom wears off, you’re stuck with each other.
All day. All night. All weekend. All the time. Watching not just your favorite shows but theirs. Withstanding not just their acceptable habits, but their annoying ones, too. Do you want to spend all your quality time with someone you wouldn’t give your high-quality stamp of approval?
6. Settling is a sign you’re pessimistic about your future.
It says you think you’ll never meet someone who adores you, who’s healthy and right for you, and who you love wholeheartedly in return. Be a dating optimist! If you want to feel happy, challenged, smart, pretty, safe and attracted to your partner, you can. You first have to believe the right partner is out there for you, and then begin asking for him or her to come rolling on into your life.
7. You deserve more!
If you want to feel amazing about yourself and feed your healthy self-esteem, you should partner with a wonderful, respectable person you’re madly attracted to in some special way. Settling with someone you don’t respect and adore is a way of diminishing yourself. You deserve someone as great in heart and soul as you are.
8. If you settle, there may come a day later in your life when you feel you’re missing something.
Are you prepared to battle with that? Someday, when you see couples who seem to care deeply for each other in palm-sweating, butterfly-churning ways, do you want to think, “What have I done? I never had that…” or do you want to smile, hug your honey and say, “Love is amazing. We have that, too.”
9. You deserve a big, bad, wonderful love!
Long-term commitments are marathons, not sprints. If you’re going to go the distance, you want someone next to you that makes the run worth doing—through the highs, the lows, the effort and the exhaustion. Give yourself the gift of a wonderful life for the whole long run.
10. If you’ve settled with a so-so someone, you won’t be open when your half-orange comes along!
Your other half is so desperately hoping you’ll be open. Do yourself the favor of making sure you are. Don’t lie down into a relationship if it’s not going to make you stand up and shine. Celebrate yourself and the love you’re meant to have and don’t settle for anything less!
One Bible story that stuck with me ever since I was a kid is the story about Peter asking Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who has sinned against him. Jesus first replies with what would seem to be an absurd number of times – “seventy times seven” – and then He follows with a parable about forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35).
Hearing this story as a child, I thought, “Man, 490 times? That’s a lot of forgiving!” But, that’s the point, isn’t it? We are to never stop forgiving. And Jesus makes the point very clear that unless we forgive others, our Father in heaven will not forgive us. (Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:25)
Forgiving the Unforgiveable
But, you may be thinking, “What if my spouse does something unforgiveable?” Jesus never said forgiving would be easy. But, He did say that we need to forgive, over and over again. There was no caveat that said to forgive only when the other person deserves it or to forgive if they ask for forgiveness. Matthew 6:15 says, “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This is serious business.
Unfortunately, I can speak from experience in this area. I was on the receiving end of forgiveness. For many years, I struggled with pornography. This was something that began as a teenager and had progressed into a full-fledged addiction that was present even before Anne and I were married. Yet, it was something I kept hidden from my wife and everyone else. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I shared my sin and addiction with Anne, after much personal pain and confession to God. It also meant I needed to come to terms with some issues of my past.
But, as that heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders, it became a tremendous burden for Anne. For so long, I had lied to her. I had hidden something from her. I had pretended to be something I wasn’t. I was hypocritical. With every right, Anne felt betrayed. How could she trust me? How sad did this make her feel? She was disappointed. She was angry. She was hurt.
At this point, Anne could have chosen to walk out on me, and with every right, I think. I certainly didn’t “deserve” to be forgiven. But, neither do any of us deserve God’s forgiveness. He doesn’t forgive us because we deserve it. He forgives us because He loves us; and that’s exactly why Anne was able to forgive me.
Forgiveness vs. Forget-ness
Now, that doesn’t mean she just swept it under the rug and said, “Thanks for letting me know. Just don’t let it happen again.” Forgiveness does not mean “forget-ness.” Being forgiven does not mean that your spouse will just forget about whatever it was that required the act of forgiving. Depending on the situation, it may require a time of healing, a time of rebuilding that trust you once had.
In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says:
Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don’t understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.
Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.1
This doesn’t mean that you can hold on to this like a trump card and play it every chance you get. “Remember that time when … ?” That goes totally against Jesus’ point of “seventy times seven.” Just remember, God has forgiven you more times than you will ever have the opportunity to forgive someone else.
In my case, I understand that even today I am still rebuilding the trust that was lost due to my lack of honesty. But, I also know that Anne has truly forgiven me. It wasn’t easy for her, but I am thankful that she has taken God’s Word to heart by forgiving me in this … and all the other stupid things I do every day that require forgiveness.
Today’s article was written by Matthew J. White and is shared from the following website: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/gods-design-for-marriage/does-your-spouse-see-jesus-in-you/forgiving-when-its-not-easy
“I think I’m done with therapy!” I told my therapist, outpouring my pent-up frustration. “It seems that all this talking and introspection is useless. Four years of continuous work and I’m still unsatisfied and constantly disappointed!”
And so I kept on rambling. “What’s the point of it all? I’m finally married to someone I love, after getting out of an unhappy marriage. I shifted to a career that I’m actually passionate about. I moved to another country, particularly to a paradisiacal city which most people would be thrilled to even just visit. I dropped over 25 pounds and feel very comfortable (even proud!) with my physical appearance. I’ve even discovered new hobbies that have shown me a different way of living. And all for what?”
There was a minute of silence. And then my therapist, after having told me so a million times before, once again calmly said: “Remember that:Change happens from the inside out. Not the other way around.”
Oh how I hated that she was right! I had managed to radically change my outside world completely, yet I still felt the same. Everything around me looked so different and so similar at the same time. Because even though my external world had changed, I had not.
It seems that despite my therapist’s words of wisdom, all along I chose to believe that if I created that perfect life I had always dreamed of I would finally be who I wanted to be.
So I spent all my energy and effort in changing everything about my circumstances that did not make me happy. Much needed changes that I don’t regret. But that time showed me were not enough for a true transformation.
As much as I wanted it to, changing the outside did not change the inside.
You can move to the other side of the world. Start a relationship with the partner of your dreams. Or even accomplish the professional goals you desire the most. But what I learned is that: Wherever you go, whoever you’re with, or whatever you do, you take yourself with you.
And if despite your choices, you still remain the same person you were before, your life won’t be much different.
Only real personal change, the change that comes from within, can turn your life around.
So here are 6 tips to keep in mind during this journey toward personal transformation:
1. Nothing ever changes, until you do. If you have external circumstances that are making you unhappy, by all means change them. Change them in an intelligent and unwavering way. But keep in mind, that whatever role you are playing in that unhappiness will continue, unless you change too.
2. If you want true change, face yourself. There’s no running or hiding. You have to look at your biggest fears straight in the eye. You have to dig deep into your old hurts and wounds. And you have to challenge your self-limiting beliefs and toxic ways of thinking.
3. Believe you can change, then persevere. Don’t hope you can change. Believe that you will. The right mindset is critical for this mission. Because defying your lifetime habits will not be easy. It will feel like swimming against the tide. And it’ll be your faith and determination what will give you the courage to carry on.
4. Watch out for your unconscious along the way. Challenging yourself will feel so threatening that you may rely on defense mechanisms such as denial to avoid facing your reality. This will “protect” you from the anxiety of confronting some ugly truths about yourself. But will only delay, or even sabotage, your road to transformation.
5. Avoid a real self vs. ideal self war. Fighting against your (not-so-desirable) actual self is not only pointless, but steals away the energy you need to transform into your ideal self. That person you aspire to be. The more you fight who you are now the harder it’ll be to let go of it. You need to accept yourself just as you are so you can then start working towards transforming into that person worthy of your admiration.
6. Take it day-by-day. Step-by-step. Transformational change is created through daily individual actions. There’s no milestone to be reached. Because it is a process that lasts a lifetime. All you can do is take a step every day to get closer to the person you wish to be. And every now and then, stop to reflect on who you are today, and compare it with who you were yesterday.
We can all undergo a process of personal transformation or “metamorphosis” (as I like to call it), if we’re willing to let go of who we are to become who we truly want to be. And just like the caterpillar completely rearranges its form to emerge into something so beautiful, we too can emerge from our cocoon to transform into the best version of our unique wonderful self.
It is not the beauty of the butterfly what makes it so remarkable. It’s the changes it has gone through to achieve such beauty.
Today’s article was written by Jessica Beltran, MS and is shared from the following website: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/thrive/2014/10/change-only-happens-from-the-inside-out/