Fresh approach to life

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Starting from this post, here, I have chosen to make a fresh attempt at getting my life back in order. I have always had a bit of difficulty when it came to crucial point in a process. I quit. Yes. I quit. That is definitely not a thing that one brags about. However I am more than happy to say it as it would surely serve as an example to others. Everyone has this problem in one or the other for form or at one or the other time. Problem is, most don’t admit it.

I wish to begin the process of breaking this barrier by accepting the fact that I quit at crucial point. need to overcome that block. Else there is no progress. Rather, to stay within my teachings, there is no life. Progress is a linear motion. Whereas I have been talking and teaching about here and now. In the moment to be alive. There is no past or future. It is all here, right now. So progress is incorrect. However, not being able to tackle the stagnancy is sign of inability to live in here and now. That is worrying.

Hence, this attempt at breaking free from it. Hopefully, with some courage and encouragement from friends I will break the barrier. Meanwhile, enjoy life.

What Love Really Means

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When couples come to me for pre-marital counseling, I sometimes ask: “Why do you want to get married?”  Whatever else, they say, they always give me the big reason; and the big reason is always the same.  What do they say?  “We love each other.”  Then I ask a very unfair question:  “Tell me, what do you mean by that?”  There is silence.  Then, one will say, “Oh… you know!”

I guess maybe I do know.  I think they are talking about a euphoric emotion that makes them oblivious to reality.  They are the happiest they have ever been. What they don’t know is that the euphoric feelings will last for two years and then they must find another foundation for marriage.  Wouldn’t it be better to explore that foundation before they get married?

Love is a choice.
What is love?  One definition says, “Love is the feeling that you feel when you feel a feeling like you’ve never felt before.”  If that is your definition of love, I can tell you, that kind of love will never lead you to a life-long marriage.  The euphoric feels are temporary.  It is interesting that in Eph. 5:25 husbands are commanded to love their wives.  If the intense feelings of love were permanent, why would God command a husband to love his wife?

The fact is, they are not permanent and love is not a feeling, but an attitude, with appropriate behavior.  Love is the attitude which says, “I’m married to you, so what can I do to help you?  Love is choosing to be kind, and supportive.  Is that your attitude?

Love is a way of life.
Most people get married based on love.  However their concept of love often focuses on feelings.  I read one definition which said, “Love is a four-letter word composed of two consonants, L and V; two vowels, O and E; and two fools, you and me.”  There is some truth to that, and fools often make poor decisions.

In the Bible, love is not a euphoric feeling, but a way of life.  In Titus chapter two the older women are instructed to teach the young wives to love their husbands.  This implies that love can be learned.  It is not something that happens to you.  It is something you choose.  Once you choose to love, then you look for appropriate ways to express it.  This kind of love will lead you to a life-long productive marriage.

Love is powerful.
Would you like to know what love looks like in a marriage?  Then, turn to I Corinthians chapter 13.  Listen to these words: “Love is patient and kind; is not arrogant or rude; it does not insist on it’s own way; it is not resentful; Love does not bring up past failures, but chooses to forgive.”  Does this describe your attitude and treatment of your spouse?

This is the kind of love that makes for happy marriages.  Love focuses on meeting the needs of the spouse; helping them succeed; listening to their thoughts and feelings.  In short, it is giving your life away for your spouse.  That is precisely what Christ did for us, and it is what husbands are instructed to do for their wives.  Love is powerful.

Love can be learned.
“I don’t love her anymore.”  How many times have I heard that in my office!  What is that supposed to mean?  Usually, it means that he has lost the euphoric feelings he had for her when they got married.  And that their differences have emerged and ended in arguments.  The fact is, everyone loses the euphoric feelings.  They usually last for only two years.

Then, we must learn to love.  We must choose to treat each other with respect.  We must listen to differences of opinion and try to find a solution.  We must learn to work together as a team; using our differences for the benefit of the team. This attitude is commanded by God.  To say, “I don’t love her anymore,” is admitting that you are breaking God’s command.

Adapted from The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted by Dr. Gary Chapman. To find out more about Dr. Chapman’s resources, visit www.5lovelanguages.com.

Lessons for a better life

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One can’t give what one doesn’t have.

John was stressed. He tries many things prescribed to him to break from the stress and he still could not.

One day, casually chatting over a drink in the evening, I asked him “What is it John that stresses you out so much?”

“I don’t know” he said.

I asked him, “Is it the job?”
He said, “No”
“Friends?”
“No”
“Family?”
“No”
“Children?”
“No”

“Then what is it John?”
“I don’t know” he replied with honesty, “I really don’t know.”

“John, tell me one thing. Are you afraid of something?” He thinks for a while, finishing his remaining drink, pointing for another one. Head tucked down, eyes closed. When the next drink arrived, he raised his head, one sip and with some shiver in his voice he started “You know what? I am, in reality afraid. I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of not being able to stand by my little family. I am afraid I will not be able to give what I want, to my wife, to my kids to my friends.”

He went on, “I am afraid that one day, I will not be able to give that security, that happiness and that love to them.” He stopped. I could see the shimmer of tears in his eyes. Tears he held back but fear was pouring out from all over.

It was the fear that caused the stress in his life. This stress was affecting his peace of mind and hence adversely affecting his work, his relationship and his stable family.

This is very typical of the society that we live in. From the genuine love and affection for ones own family and friends, the fear of failure rises and before even you know, it manifests into reality. Fear brings weakness. Weakness brings failure. Weakness means defeat before even giving a fight.

Solution is simple. Once again, ask yourself, what is it that you are afraid of? Afraid of, being a failure to your family? Failing in what? Failing in giving them happiness and love?

Well you can’t give that if you don’t have it yourself in the first place. Fear will take all that away from you. You will be left with no peace, no love and no happiness. Then how will you be able to give it to you family?

Remember you are made of your family. On your own you are nothing. So instead of trying to make them happy, make yourself happy first and this will automatically bring them happiness. Since you are made of them, whatever else makes you, will benefit also benefit from what you do to yourself. You choose to suffer, they will suffer too. You choose to be happy, they will be happy too. Don’t ignore the most important thing in your life. ‘You’ are the most important thing your life.

Do this exercise: Every morning when you wake up, before jumping off your bed, put your hands on your eyes, say to yourself, “Today I choose to be happy. So let me be happy and this way all that makes me, will be happy too.”  Take a deep breath and slowly open your eyes, step off and begin your day.

Let me know what you experience.

PS: The above is from a series of article I had written long ago, for an organisation wanting help people break free from fears. I just found them and will post a select few here.

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