Yesterday we started on part 1 of the 2-part series, How To Know You Like Someone, which is along our theme for this week, Keeping The Found – which basically means making sure that that which you have identified does not escape from your hands. Now today we conclude on that topic by looking at the last 3 steps you can take to clearly ascertain you like somebody.

Just a recap on the points we discussed yesterday;

1.Question your initial motives for choosing to know this person.

2. Consider how you usually feel in this person’s company.

3. Give yourself some space.

Now let us get down to today’s business;

4. Ask yourself if your expectations for the relationship are too high. Sometimes you might question whether you want someone in your life because you constantly butt heads with them. But it might not be that you actually dislike this person. It could simply be that you like them well enough, but that there are habits or personality traits of theirs you find it hard to relate to or handle over any extended period of time, indicating that you’re just not all that close or that when you’re together, it needs to be only in “small doses”. For example, it could be because they’re an introvert while you’re an extrovert. Or, maybe their interests don’t coincide that much with yours but they insist on telling you all about theirs while not returning you the same courtesy of listening about yours. If you’re thinking by this point “yes, that’s exactly it!”, this is likely to be a sign that you’d benefit by spending more time with other people – as well as still some (perhaps less) time with this person – rather than a sign you dislike this person and only spend time with them to avoid being alone.

5. Expose yourself to as many other people as you feel you can. Spending time with other people might give you a better idea of the kinds of people you’d prefer to know. Seeing other people in different contexts might help to give you an idea of whether or not the person you’ve been spending a lot of time with fits into this category, or whether you might have outgrown them.

  • If you’re feeling nervous about spending time with other people (especially if your time has greatly revolved around this one person), trying out this step doesn’t have to mean spending time with family or close friends (though these things do help) only. Just saying a cheerful “hi” or seeking to make small talk with a few acquaintances (whether it be a shop assistant, colleague, or someone you regularly pass in the street) can be a start.
  • If you’ve allowed this person to take over a lot of your life and shut you off from other people, you might like to consider volunteering with people who are feeling lonely, such as senior citizens, or down and out youth. This will help to put your own feelings of loneliness into perspective and will bring into contact with many other people, thinking of their needs rather of your own neediness.
  • If you feel bad about spreading your wings, see this as an altruistic act. Your spending time with a wider range of people can help break the loneliness cycle not just for you, but for the other person; a recent study undertaken by the University of Chicago, the University of California-San Diego and Harvard found that loneliness is contagious and can be passed on to others, meaning that you could transmit your loneliness to this person without even meaning to do so. In increasing your exposure to other people, you may be breaking the cycle of loneliness for both of you.

6. Monitor your ongoing thoughts and emotions. Another approach you can use to test the relationship’s value to you is by making plans to do something with this person and following through with the plans. All the while you are carrying out this plan, monitor your automatic thoughts and emotional reactions. If, prior to and during this time, you find your head is full of negative thoughts such as “This is going to be awful,” or “I wish I had something nicer/more interesting/better to do,” or you experience strong negative emotions such as dread, disgust, boredom, etc., then these are likely warning signs that you don’t truly like being with or appreciate this person as someone who connects with you.

I hope the steps have been beneficial to you.

Stay tuned for other topics this week.

It is a brand new week which means we will be discussing a brand new topic. Sorry because we ought to have discussed this yesterday but due to some factors we are now doing it today. Now, through feedback mechanism, one of us suggested we discuss relationships from scratch and that is exactly what we will be looking into this week. Now to start us off on our theme this week, Keeping The Found – which basically means making sure that that which you have identified does not escape from your hands, is the subject that forms the backbone of every relationship that we are going to discuss in a 2-part series; How To Tell You Like Someone or You Are Just Wasting Time. Am sure almost everybody at one time in their lives has liked someone, or is in the process of liking someone. Now how do you really tell that you are not merely wasting your time and cultivate your feelings for nothing, well here is your chance to add to your database of knowledge about the subject. Below are some steps that you should take to determine whether you are drawing water with a sieve or a solid container;

1.Question your initial motives for choosing to know this person.

At the start, maybe you were genuinely interested in this person’s qualities or had something in common with them when you first met. On the other hand, maybe you felt you should be nice to them just because your other friends liked them, or you were on the rebound from a break-up, or something in the other person’s life made you feel sorry for them. Try to go back to the start of your relationship and think of as many different reasons as you can for why you became involved with them. Doing this will help you to decide how you truly feel towards this person.

2. Consider how you usually feel in this person’s company.

Think about what you personally gain from the experience of spending time with this person. Do you get bored, feel anxious, or uncomfortable? On the other hand, perhaps you often feel happy, cheerful, loving, or warm when spending time with them. Take some time to think through as many different memories as you can to build up a pattern – have you experienced enjoyable times or is it hard to even remember the last time you experienced any positive feelings around them – if ever?

3. Give yourself some space.

This step may be difficult for you if you really dislike being alone but it is important to try. Being apart from the person about whom you’re not sure can give you a clearer perspective on whether or not it’s purely loneliness that motivates you to keep communicating with this person, or whether there are genuinely good reasons for staying connected. Try to remain apart for at least two weeks; this amount of time will help you figure out whether or not you really miss the person in question, or whether you’re just bored when they’re not around. While apart, consider whether:

  • You miss specific things about them. If so, it’s probable that you genuinely care for this person.
  • You find it hard to recall anything in particular that you’re missing, or there is only a vague sense of missing their company. You might even feel a sense of relief that you’re not having to “put up” with certain behaviors and attitudes this person has when you’re together. In this case, it’s possible that you’re only keeping this person in your life to fill a gap.
  • You find yourself making comparisons with ex-friends or ex-dates in your life. Some time apart can sometimes reveal a negative pattern of similar issues, personality traits, and habits arising. In this case, you have probably made the same error again, repeating a relationship that is unlikely to fulfil either of you.
  • Give yourself time for self-reflection and self-discovery. If you don’t know yourself very well, you’re vulnerable to seeking affirmation of your worth in relationships with others and are under the spell of expecting others to “raise you from the ground up”. If you feel that this is what you’ve been doing, allow yourself time to figure out who you are and what you care about so that you can grow to like yourself more. In doing so, you’ll replace feelings of loneliness with liking yourself, creating a strong foundation for healthy relationships with other people.

Make sure you join us tomorrow as we finalize on this topic. Meanwhile apply what you have learnt today and refer other people to the read of this article so that we all grow together and be better persons of the society.

To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; to cultivate our personal life, we must adopt the right attitude towards all that comes our way. I know much has been said about attitude and how it determines your altitude and the way it also determines your character. I know scholars have down on books and articles just to expose this animal attitude and how much it can do to our future and also present. And today i want to add to your library of Attitude and hope that you will either adopt a positive attitude today or you will continue having the positive attitude or you will share this with a friend whom you think needs to change his or her attitude.

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity. Successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.” -William James

In the movie, A Bronx Tale, the kid, Calogero ‘C’ Anello, makes a statement near the end in which he says, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.” The ability to do or be anything you want in life is a lesson sometimes learned much later then early.

Do not fool yourself into believing you have no abilities to achieve great things. There is quite a bit inside each of us, inside of you, that given the right frame of mind can propel you to greater heights. It all happens with a huge positive attitude inside.

Think of the iceberg floating out in the large open sea. The area above the water may appear small with only enough capacity to carry a few seals. Aimlessly it drifts with the ocean currents, ships avoiding contact where possible. But underneath the iceberg is an immense structure of ice that goes mostly undetected.


That huge area underneath is your attitude. It can be a negative one or a positive one. Its your choice on what its going to be. A negative attitude will keep you floating aimlessly, never achieving much of anything in life. A positive attitude will propel your abilities to greatness.

We always tend to under estimate the power of our attitude. It can be the difference between languishing in an unsatisfying job position and having a very fullfilling work life. It can be the difference between being lonely forever after a divorce to finding a new life filled with love and happiness.

It can be the difference in everything.

Now let us finish by looking at very interesting facts here:

If you would assign each alphabet a number respective to its position this is what you would have;

 A for 1

B for 2

.

.

.

Y for 25

Z for 26

Let us look at some parameters that most people think determine success but in the real sense they don’t.

1. Knowledge – if you right the word knowledge and assign the individual letters their numbers this is what you will have.

K = 11
N = 14
O = 15
W = 23
L = 12
E = 5
D = 4
G = 7
E = 5
Total 96 points

2. Hardwork – if you right the word hardwork and assign the individual letters their numbers this is what you will have.

H = 8
A = 1
R = 18
D = 4
W = 23
O = 15
R = 18
K = 11
Total 98 points

Now if we look at the word attitude this is what we get.
A = 1
T = 20
T = 20
I = 9
T = 20
U = 21
D = 4
E = 5
Total 100 points

A Young student approached the famous French scientist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, and declared, “If I had your brains, I would be a better person.”

Pondering the depth of that statement, Pascal paused momentarily before replying, “Be a better person, and you will have my brains.”

And that young student became on the most famous philosophers of their time. Pascal had helped him change his attitude.

All these writings are mainly to hammer our point today;

THERE IS NEED FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE RIGHT ATTITUDE

In line with this week’s theme; Creating Positive Change, is a story that really inspires me. Most of the time we set out to do a particularly task but when at it we develop short sightedness. We forget to remember the spirit that was in us when we first began. We normally set our eyes off the goal. And as someone once said, when we set our eyes off the goal, all we see are stumbling blocks. I hope this story will inspire you and make you be vigorous in the pursuit of positive change and self liberation. And like we said yesterday, if you don’t liberate yourself now, then no one will.

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

“We told them so.”
“Crazy men and their crazy dreams.”
“It`s foolish to chase wild visions.”

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.

He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realized with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

My challenge to you today; GO AT ALL LENGTHS TO PURSUE YOUR GOAL AND ACCOMPLISH YOUR DREAMS.

I once visited The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: A Haven for Elephants and Rhinos, at The Nairobi National Park, and I saw something that really took me by surprise. I went past elephants and was confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a rope tied to their legs. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. I saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
“Well”, he said, “when they were very young and much smaller we used the same size of rope to tie them and at that age, it was enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” I was so amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they could not, they were stuck right where they were. The powerful and gigantic creature has limited its present abilities by the limitations of its past.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life holding onto a belief that we cannot do something simply because we failed at it once? How many of us refuse to attempt something new and challenging because of what we had set for ourselves?

It is all in the mind. It is all a MINDSET.

I believe God wants us to dream BIG. So BIG in fact, that it will take HIS POWER to make it work! He gives us what we need to do our part and then GIVES to us, again, the POWER it takes from HIM to make it happen. We just have to do our part. I love HIM for that. He lets us know how important OUR PART is in everything.

How well can we adopt Positive Living and the perfect MINDSET.
1. Keep Dreaming Big
Stopping your inner critic from inhibiting you is essential.  That inner critic can prevent you from dreaming big. As soon as you commit to a big dream or goal- visualize it daily.  Believe and intend to really go after this new big dream.  Your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. This exercise will also help you to problem solve your way through challenges and create positive outcomes beyond your temporary struggles. As you continue to dream big, you’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need in your life to weather any storms and make your dreams come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also help you to get through tough times and put certain things into perspective. It doesn’t take any more time or effort to dream a big dream than a small dream. So if you are going to dream anyway, dream big.
2. Believe in Yourself
If you are going to be successful in stabilizing and maintaining your overall emotional well being and creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. Begin to believe that you possess more control over your life than you may feel you do when times get tough.  Focusing on the events and details that we do not have control over (i.e. natural disasters) is self-defeating and a waste of precious mental energy.  Instead, focus on the aspects of your life you do have control over.  All the little things in our control have big effects on our life experiences.  We play a role in all of our successes and failures.  Believe in yourself that you have the power to make your failures a temporary experience and create new successes in the future.
3. Stop Complaining
As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to spend less time placing blame and complaining about circumstances.  This is a way we continue to harp and focus on the negative aspects of our lives prolonging the experience of failure and hardship.  Analyze who you are blaming and what you are complaining about. I’m overweight. I don’t feel good. I won’t get out of debt. I can’t get another (or a better job). I can’t stand the relationship I have with my family. I’ll never get married. The poor economy is to blame. My marriage is the cause of my unhappiness. My boss is ruining my life. Really examine this type of inner dialogue. More than likely, you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU. Decide what you want, and create a plan to get it.
4. Turn Paranoia on Its Head
It is easier to succeed in life if the world constantly supported you and brought you opportunities. Successful people believe this. Don’t assume the world is a horrible, unwelcoming, and a difficult place to be. Try thinking the opposite! And turn paranoia into something more positive. By expecting to be treated poorly or to not have the opportunity to achieve, we ignore the strange places we find leads and assistance and we lose the doors that are opening for us. Success and luck are found in unexpected places at times. By expecting to find them, we are more likely to actually see what has been there all along just waiting for us to seize it!
5. Use Affirmations to Build Self-Confidence
One of the most powerful tools for building a positive outlook and self-confidence is the repetition of positive statements until they become a natural part of the way you think. Create a list of 10 to 20 statements that support your belief in your overall worthiness of good things and your ability to create the life of your dreams. Here are some examples of affirmations that have worked for others in the past:

  • I am worthy of love, happiness and success.
  • I am smart.
  • I am loveable and capable.
  • I can create what I want and need.
  • I am able to solve any problem that comes my way.
  • I can handle anything that life hands me.
  • I have all the energy I need to do everything I want to do.
  • I am attracting all the right people into my life.

Rising Every Time We Fall
You can create the perfect plan and execute the plan as anticipated and still find disappointments, adversity and failure along the way to your final success. Adversity is what gives you the opportunity to develop your inner resources of character and courage. Adversity is a great teacher. It helps you learn how to achieve your future goals despite the many temporary hardships you experience on the way. It will test you and make you stronger, but you have to hang in there and not give up!

I remember reading The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale when I was in high school. There was one story that really impressed me about positive thinking about how it can create such happiness in someone’s life.

Norman Vincent Peale tells the story of a old man being interviewed on a talk show. The talk show host noticed that this older man was so radiant and happy.

He asked him for his secret of happiness. The man replied, “I haven’t any great secret. It’s just as plain as the nose on your face. When I get up in the morning,” he explained, “I have two choices–either to be happy or to be unhappy, and what do you think I do? I just choose to be happy, and that’s all there is to it.”

 

“If someone puts a drop of poison in your water…

…would you drink it?”

The obvious answer is “NO”!

Chemical poisons that we can see, taste, touch, and smell can be fatal.

Fortunately we are intelligent enough to know that we do not ingest poisonous substances…

…but what about our mind ?

 

 

Repeatedly, people are poisoning their minds with negativity, and though we cannot see this negativity, it is just as fatal.

Negativity is the poison that kills dreams!

And we need to stop it before it contaminates our lives.

Negativity starts with negative thoughts.

Negative thinking cripples a person’s life to one degree or another. It robs people of the opportunity to live up to their full potential and of achieving their greatest desires and aims.

It condemns many to the rat race of mere survival— drudgery day after day—because they don’t think they can achieve anything more. It brings depression and other mental disorders, and that in turn leads to physical disorders.

Negative thinking results in negative, destructive criticism‚ which results in destruction. Destruction is a strong word, but that is what it results in, because the potential that has been there for good, for greatness, or for success has been destroyed.

So many people want to do great things. So many people dream of being a person who changes the world through some great work written, a great deed of courage performed‚ or great acts of compassion rendered to those in need.

But the negative feeling of “I just can’t do it” robs people of that chance to make good on their dreams.

How do we eliminate this poison?

Monitor the thoughts that you allow into your mind…

… every thought!

If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts…

…think again.

Strive to think positive, empowering, and supportive thoughts.

Just as you monitor your thoughts, monitor the words that you speak.

Listen carefully to every word that is coming from your mouth.

Watch for excusitis (Excusitis is a disease that causes people to constantly make excuses.)

When you hear yourself complaining, stop yourself immediately.

Create a vocabulary of a successful, positive, inspiring individual.

Be passionate in your speech and express your enthusiasm with your words.

The energy of the words that you speak is a powerful force that is creative.

There is so much to be positive about!

You are so valuable and that should raise your self-esteem, and self-value!

Part of the process to shift your thought energy from negative to positive is to be grateful for the gifts in your life and to focus on what is great in every situation.

Be appreciative and show appreciation to others.

Gratitude will attract to you more of the things that you desire.

Negativity is the anchor that holds you back.

Cut yourself free today and be the most positive, optimistic person that you know!

The power of POSITIVISM is CONTAGIOUS.

So be a CARRIER and generously infect everybody!

If you’ve been negative about yourself in the past, turn over a new leaf in your life and become someone who is so positive that you’ll be able to influence others’ lives for the better.

Mahatma Gandhi said that we all ought to be the change we desire to see in the world. If you don’t like the way things are done in your setting, start by changing yourself. What are the basics of creating positive change? You can shape your destiny either for the better or for the worse. For the better, it will mainly involve the adoption of a positive mind, it will involve the inculcation of the spirit and driving force to become a better you, it will involve the acquisition of the virtual mind of where you desire to be; your DESTINY and it will involve the skills to evaluate yourself as an individual. Destiny, the predetermined course of events, is closely related to success, the achievement of an objective, which means you can set a perfect DESTINY as an objective and achieve it; then we call you SUCCESSFUL. I reiterate the words of H. E. Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya, during the 5th anniversary of the Youth Development Fund, when he said that we must all decide to be successful which stamps the fact that SUCCESS is a decision and so is DESTINY.

That is the CENTRAL DOGMA.

This week we will be looking into how best we can be instrumental to the betterment of ourselves and the society we live in at large. To start us off, is something I heard from Marianne and it keeps me going daily:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

by Marianne Williamson

So after you read this post today, grab a piece of paper and brainstorm the following questions:

1. What are your talents?

2. What are you passions?

3. What can you do with these talents to shine and make a big difference?

That will in return give others the permission to do the same.

Tattoos

Posted: March 10, 2012 in Social Concerns

Many, if not all of us, in the world of tattoo have had Leviticus 19:28 thrown in our faces “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” Usually it is meant to condemn either our profession or our obviously decorated skin. So what is a Christian tattooist or tattoo enthusiast to say? Is tattooing indeed defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are we callously ignoring God’s commandment? Let’s shed some light on the subject by looking at it through Scriptural doctrines the law with its conviction, and grace with its freedom. First, by researching references to Leviticus 19:28, we find it refers to a heathen practice meant to invoke the attention of pagan gods and usually by means of cutting oneself to “prove” one’s sincerity (see also Lev. 21:5, Jer. 16:6, and Deut. 14:1). It was an attempt to make one worthy to approach some graven image of a god through self-abasement. God rightly admonished His chosen people not to follow the pagan rituals of such false “religions”. However, some critics will still hold fast to the literal letter of the law and conclude that regardless of its textual meaning, the act of tattooing is still forbidden granted, the entire Bible is indeed the inspired literal Word of the living God, but it also represents a progressive revelation of its Author His nature, His grace and His plan for redemption. Taken in the context of God’s plan to restore mankind into fellowship with Him, the law was given to show us that we could not redeem ourselves by our own efforts. Paul writes in Romans that the law that it was given to reveal sin will justify no man. Only through faith in the free gift of God’s grace, found in the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, can man be justified (ROM 3:20-26). In fact, Jesus actually redeemed us from the law and its curse (Gal. 3:13, see also Gal. 3:22). But if one wants to live by the law the Old Covenant then one must keep all of it (Jas. 2:10). Transgressing any part of the law means we are guilty of transgressing all of it. According to Levitical law, we may not eat the meat of rabbits or pigs (Lev. 11:6-7), nor lobsters, crabs, prawns, oysters or clams (Lev. 11:10-12). Hybrid breeding of livestock and mixing linen and wool in fabrics is prohibited (Lev. 19:19). Shaving the sides of your head (being clean shaven) or disfiguring the edges of your beard (trimming) is also forbidden (Lev. 19:27). So if you’ve ever eaten a pork sandwich, dined on Maine lobster, trimmed your beard or worn wool blend suit or have gotten a tattoo you’re guilty under the law! Thank God that He has provided a better way for us to be reconciled to Him! A New Covenant! Romans 5:1-2 says we are justified by faith, given right standing with God through the Lord Jesus Christ (see also Rom. 5:8-11). The entire 5th chapter of Galatians deals with this issue contrasting the law and liberty, the lusts of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. Under the New Covenant, all the law is fulfilled in loving God with all your heart, soul and mind and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40). Jesus fulfilled the law and now our right standing with God is based upon His right standing. Our righteousness is based upon His righteousness not on the law. Galatians 2:21 puts it this way, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” In Paul’s day there was controversy over whether a believer would be defiled by eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul addressed this at length. In his understanding, the eating of that meat was neither good nor bad of itself. It was the attitude of the heart that was important. Heart motive either cleansed the meat or condemned the eater. Yet while all things were legal to Paul, not all things were without consequences. (Read the 14th chapter of Romans and I Corinthians, chapter 8.) Paul affirmed the freedom we have in Christ, but he also warned us to beware that our liberty does not become a stumbling block for others. With liberty comes responsibility. A word of caution: do not flaunt your Christian freedom. One man’s freedom can be another’s downfall. Yeah, so what about our body being the “temple” of God? Doesn’t tattooing defile it? Well, let’s look at the context of those scriptures (I Cor. 3:16, 6:19, II Cor. 6:16). In the first instance, Paul is addressing envy, strife and division in the church at Corinth and warning them to be careful of what is built upon the foundation laid down by Jesus lest the temple be defiled. In chapter 6, he refers to sexual immorality as defiling the temple of the body. In II Corinthians Paul warns against tainting the bodily temple with idol worship. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 15:11 that it is what comes out of the mouth of man that defiles him that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt.12: 34-35). It is the love, purity and faith that come out of your heart that keeps your temple holy or it is the strife, immorality and unbelief within your heart that defiles it. Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. As Christians we should take dead aim at the devil and his unholy minions, not at brothers and sisters in the Lord who happen to be decorated (or those who are not). Paul himself advises us not to engage in foolish disputes and arguments over the law. He calls it useless and unprofitable (Titus3: 9).

Love: The Basics

Posted: March 9, 2012 in Love

We’ve all experienced love. We’ve loved (and been loved by) parents, brothers, sisters, friends, even pets. But romantic love is different. It’s an intense, new feeling unlike any of these other ways of loving.

Why do we fall in  Love?

Loving and being loved adds richness to our lives. When people feel close to others they are happier and even healthier. Love helps us feel important, understood, and secure.

But each kind of love has its own distinctive feel. The kind of love we feel for a parent is different from our love for a baby brother or best friend. And the kind of love we feel in romantic relationships is its own unique type of love.

Our ability to feel romantic love develops during adolescence. Teens all over the world notice passionate feelings of attraction. Even in cultures where people are not allowed to act on or express these feelings, they’re still there. It’s a natural part of growing up to develop romantic feelings and sexual attractions to others. These new feelings can be exciting — or even confusing at first.

The magical ingredients of Love Relationships.

Love is such a powerful human emotion that experts are constantly studying it. They’ve discovered that love has three main qualities:

  1. Attraction is the “chemistry” part of love. It’s all about the physical — even sexual — interest that two people have in each other. Attraction is responsible for the desire we feel to kiss and hold the object of our affection. Attraction is also what’s behind the flushed, nervous-but-excited way we feel when that person is near.
  2. Closeness is the bond that develops when we share thoughts and feelings that we don’t share with anyone else. When you have this feeling of closeness with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you feel supported, cared for, understood, and accepted for who you are. Trust is a big part of this.
  3. Commitment is the promise or decision to stick by the other person through the ups and downs of the relationship.

These three qualities of love can be combined in different ways to make different kinds of relationships. For example, closeness without attraction is the kind of love we feel for best friends. We share secrets and personal stuff with them, we support them, and they stand by us. But we are not romantically interested in them.

Attraction without closeness is more like a crush or infatuation. You’re attracted to someone physically but don’t know the person well enough yet to feel the closeness that comes from sharing personal experiences and feelings.

Romantic love is when attraction and closeness are combined. Lots of relationships grow out of an initial attraction (a crush or “love at first sight”) and develop into closeness. It’s also possible for a friendship to move from closeness into attraction as two people realize their relationship is more than “just like” and they have become interested in one another in a romantic way.

For people falling in love for the first time, it can be hard to tell the difference between the intense, new feelings of physical attraction and the deeper closeness that goes with being in love.

Lasting Love or Fun Fling?

The third ingredient in a love relationship, commitment, is about wanting and deciding to stay together as a couple in the future — despite any changes and challenges that life brings.

Sometimes couples who fall in love in high school develop committed relationships that last. Many relationships don’t last, though. But it’s not because teens aren’t capable of deep loving.

We typically have shorter relationships as teens because adolescence is a time when we instinctively seek lots of different experiences and try out different things. It’s all part of discovering who we are, what we value, and what we want out of life.

Another reason we tend to have shorter relationships in our teens is because the things we want to get out of a romantic relationship change as we get a little older. In our teens — especially for guys — relationships are mainly about physical attraction. But by the time guys reach 20 or so, they rate a person’s inner qualities as most important. Teen girls emphasize closeness as most important — although they don’t mind if a potential love interest is cute too!

In our teens, relationships are mostly about having fun. Dating can seem like a great way to have someone to go places with and do things with. Dating can also be a way to fit in. If our friends are all dating someone, we might put pressure on ourselves to find a boyfriend or girlfriend too.

For some people dating is even a status thing. It can almost seem like another version of cliques: The pressure to go out with the “right” person in the “right” group can make dating a lot less fun than it should be — and not so much about love!

In our late teens, though, relationships are less about going out to have fun and fitting in. Closeness, sharing, and confiding become more important to both guys and girls. By the time they reach their twenties, most girls and guys value support, closeness, and communication, as well as passion. This is the time when people start thinking about finding someone they can commit to in the long run — a love that will last.

What makes a good relationship?

When people first experience falling in love, it often starts as attraction. Sexual feelings can also be a part of this attraction. People at this stage might daydream about a crush or a new BF or GF. They may doodle the person’s name or think of their special someone while a particular song is playing.

It sure feels like love. But it’s not love yet. It hasn’t had time to grow into emotional closeness that’s needed for love. Because feelings of attraction and sexual interest are new, and they’re directed at a person we want a relationship with, it’s not surprising we confuse attraction with love. It’s all so intense, exciting, and hard to sort out.

The crazy intensity of the passion and attraction phase fades a bit after a while. Like putting all our energy into winning a race, this kind of passion is exhilarating but far too extreme to keep going forever. If a relationship is destined to last, this is where closeness enters the picture. The early passionate intensity may fade, but a deep affectionate attachment takes its place.

Some of the ways people grow close are:

  • Learning to give and receive. A healthy relationship is about both people, not how much one person can get from (or give to) the other.
  • Revealing feelings. A supportive, caring relationship allows people to reveal details about themselves — their likes and dislikes, dreams and worries, proud moments, disappointments, fears, and weaknesses.
  • Listening and supporting. When two people care, they offer support when the other person is feeling vulnerable or afraid. They don’t put down or insult their partner, even when they disagree.

Giving, receiving, revealing, and supporting is a back-and-forth process: One person shares a detail, then the other person shares something, then the first person feels safe enough to share a little more. In this way, the relationship gradually builds into a place of openness, trust, and support where each partner knows that the other will be there when times are tough. Both feel liked and accepted for who they are.

The passion and attraction the couple felt early on in the relationship isn’t lost. It’s just different. In healthy, long-term relationships, couples often find that intense passion comes and goes at different times. But the closeness is always there.

Sometimes, though, a couple loses the closeness. For adults, relationships can sometimes turn into what experts call “empty love.” This means that the closeness and attraction they once felt is gone, and they stay together only out of commitment. This is not usually a problem for teens, but there are other reasons why relationships end.

Why Do Relationships End?

Love is delicate. It needs to be cared for and nurtured if it is to last through time. Just like friendships, relationships can fail if they are not given enough time and attention. This is one reason why some couples might not last — perhaps someone is so busy with school, extracurriculars, and work that he or she has less time for a relationship. Or maybe a relationship ends when people graduate and go to separate colleges or take different career paths.

For the young people, a couple may grow apart because the things that are important to them change as they mature. Or maybe each person wants different things out of the relationship. Sometimes both people realize the relationship has reached its end; sometimes one person feels this way when the other does not.

Moving On

Losing love can be painful for anyone. But if it’s your first real love and the relationship ends before you want it to, feelings of loss can seem overwhelming. Like the feelings of passion early in the relationship, the newness and rawness of grief and loss can be intense — and devastating. There’s a reason why they call it a broken heart.

When a relationship ends, people really need support. Losing a first love isn’t something we’ve been emotionally prepared to cope with. It can help to have close friends and family members to lean on. Unfortunately, lots of people — often adults — expect younger people to bounce back and “just get over it.” If your heart is broken, find someone you can talk to who really understands the pain you’re going through.

It seems hard to believe when you’re broken hearted that you can ever feel better. But gradually these feelings grow less intense. Eventually, people move on to other relationships and experiences.

Relationships — whether they last 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, or a lifetime — are all opportunities to experience love on its many different levels. We learn both how to love and how to be loved in return.

Romance provides us with a chance to discover our own selves as we share with someone new. We learn the things we love about ourselves, the things we’d like to change, and the qualities and values we look for in a partner.

Loving relationships teach us self-respect as well as respect for others. Love is one of the most fulfilling things we can have in our lives. If romance hasn’t found you yet, don’t worry — there’s plenty of time. And the right person is worth the wait.

Following a request by one of the audience, i decided to scribble down some points that may be beneficial in the maintenance of a long distance relationship. If you have any question, please feel free to fill the form in the contacts page. Now here we go;

The key to handling long distance relationships (LDR) is mutual commitment from you and your partner; otherwise it is doomed from the start. A reluctant partner is someone who is not willing to go the distance for the relationship, literally and figuratively. If your LDR partner has expressed uncertainty that they are in it for the long haul, don’t give up on them yet. There are ways of making someone put in real emotional investment in a relationship to truly make it work. Below are five of the most effective methods as revealed by people who are in, or have been through, long distance relationships.

  • Lay your commitment cards on the table early into the relationship. An LDR may start as such, or become a result of circumstances dictating a couple to spend some time being physically apart. At any rate, being open to each other about expectations and the level of commitment plays a big part in effectively handling long distance relationships. It should be done in the first stages of an LDR so little to no guesswork is involved. Laying your cards on the table requires honesty and openness about where you want the relationship to go, and how both partners can maintain it while being geographically distant from each other. If reluctance is expressed early on, make sure options are thoroughly discussed before dismissing the relationship as something that won’t work out.
  • Agree on a schedule when you can be physically together…and stick to it.
    The highlights of an LDR are those times when a couple can be physically together. Make sure to block agreed-on schedules for such and avoid having last-minute reasons for canceling or postponement (unless in the cases of severe weather conditions and extreme emergency situations, of course). Handling long distance relationships means committing to being physically together even if it involves spending for airfare or other modes of transport to be with your loved one for a fraction of time. Face-to-face communication is important because conversing by electronic means cannot fully convey what people really feel. Having your partner understand this and pledge to do this step can serve as a good gauge of their commitment to your union.
  • Make small things count. Handling long distance relationships requires spending some time together. Showing your partner that you care for them means doing small things to make their life more comfortable, less stressful, and always with something exciting to look forward to. Some examples include surprising them with small gifts that they have expressed interest in, or helping them with a project or work that they are having problems with. They may not be huge things or favors, but they will discover in the long run that having you around in their life is much better than going at it alone. Bear in mind that independence is one of the biggest things to work with in handling long distance relationships, so knowing which gaps to fill to make your partner feel cared for but not intruded upon requires a bit of a balancing act. Do things for each other but not to the point of becoming co-dependent.
  • Maintain constant and quality communication.
    The backbone of an LDR is steady communication. Plenty of LDR fights begin when one partner cannot be reached for a certain amount of time, or when things get lost in translation over electronic correspondence. In this regard, handling long distance relationships require both partners to have reliable means of communication on a regular basis. If your partner keeps making excuses about missing arranged times for talks, explain that it makes you feel neglected and not valued. You can glean from their answer (and if they make an effort on quality correspondence afterwards) if they have really made an emotional investment into your relationship.
  • Learn to see the LDR as a stepping stone to being together for real. Seeing your future together as a couple is a true commitment to any relationship. In the case of an LDR, so many factors can affect a couple’s goal of being with each other after a period of physical separation. A partner who starts making long-term plans on their own without consulting the other should send warning bells ringing that something is up. Again, handling long distance relationships means being open and honest to each other about decisions big or small, and not leaving a partner in the dark. Always keep your eyes on a future with both of you being together in all ways, for real.

For most relationships (long distance or not), it is often true that love offers no guarantee and things may not work out the way you expect them to all the time. Handling long distance relationships means having real emotional investment from both partners before they can truly become a real life couple. Work on committing to this first and foremost.