Category: Love

How to Love Genuinely

How to Love Genuinely

This short video is a description of genuine love, as opposed to a love full of attachments and self-focused. Genuine love focuses on the other person’s needs and happiness while “selfish” love focuses on one’s own needs and happiness. Genuine love finds fulfillment from within oneself while selfish love tries to find fulfillment from someone else.

Thus, genuine love is totally from within and not subjected to what is outside of oneself. It is therefore more within our own domain and not dependent on another for its source of happiness and contentment. Selfish love, on the other hand, being dependent on someone else to provide our happiness, is inherently more unstable, unpredictable, out of our own control and subject to the whims and fancies of an external source. In this way, self love sets oneself up for failure and disappointment.

Making the Right Decisions every time… the Spiritual Way

Making the Right Decisions every time… the Spiritual Way

We are faced with choices and decisions every day. Often, we wonder whether the choices and decisions we have made are the right ones. Have you ever wondered whether there is a fundamental guidelines in decision-making? Is there a fail-proof way of making decisions?

Well, in the spiritual sense, there is.

The best way to know whether you have made the right decision or not is by looking at the motivation behind the choice you made. When you distill all the complicated mental processes to their fundamentals, you will realize that all our decisions are driven by two basic and opposing emotions – unconditional love and fear.

We always make choices that we hope will eventually help us to attain our desires, wants and needs. In other words, we look outward for things to fulfill our desires, wants and needs. However, all our desires, wants and needs are ultimately meant to give us happiness. So the end goal is happiness.

Happiness, however, is not to be found from anything outside of ourselves. Happiness is our nature, our essence and can only be realized from within.

The question, then, is how do we realize this happiness that is already within us?

The answer is that in order to experience the happiness already within us, we need to remove all fears that are blocking us from experiencing the joy and happiness we already are. As Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”.

Once you have understood this, the answer to the above question becomes obvious. How do you know if you have made the right decision? You will know whether you have made the right decision or not when you are able to identify the motivation that drives you to make that decision – was it unconditional love, or was it fear?

Each time you made a decision out of fear, you have made the wrong decision, for you have not only perpetuated that fear but strengthened it. Remember that whatever you focused on becomes stronger. So, by basing your decision on fear, you strengthen the fear in you, and that will ultimately lead to unhappiness instead of the happiness you seek.

Likewise, each time you made a decision out of love, you have made the right choice, for in this instance you have perpetuated and strengthened love. As before, whatever you focused on becomes stronger, so a decision based on love strengthens the love in you. This will eventually lead to happiness.

Making decisions in this way not only benefits you but also everyone else. It benefits society as a whole since there will be greater love and lesser fear.

From the spiritual perspective, it is easy to see how all these made sense. After all, as a spiritual being, you are meant to manifest love. So, every decision that is based on love has got to be the right decision.

Is your love truly love?

Is your love truly love?

Most people think they know what love is. After all, have not we all been in love before? However, I am here to argue that most people do not truly know what love is, even though they frequently use the word “love” in their conversations. In fact, most people use this word much too frequently and too freely without truly knowing what it is.

If you say that you love someone, and you feel sad, miserable, empty or lonely without him or her, then you are not truly loving the person. What you love is the fact that he or she can fulfil your needs for safety or significance.

Perhaps having this person in your life makes you feel safe or protected. Or perhaps having this person makes you feel safer than facing up to the fearful unknown. Many of those in abusive relationships stay stuck in their relationships because of this feeling of relative safety of the known abuses over the perceived fear of the unknown.

Another reason we say we love someone is because that person fulfil our need to be significant, to be useful, to be needed, or to be of relevance in this life. This gives our life a certain purpose, as if our life is not wasted otherwise. Having someone who love us boosts our self esteem, self worth and give us a sense of belonging and acceptance.

This kind of love leads to an additional need. We need that the person we love behave and respond to us in a certain way that fulfil our own needs. If not, then conflicts arise in the relationship. So our love is conditional.

This is what most people called “love” but it is truly only a selfish need for love. This kind of love fulfils Abraham Maslow’s first four levels of human needs, that is physiological need, need for safety, need for belonging, and need for self esteem. True love is only possible when we have worked through our own inner issues and understand the true cause of our deeper fears and needs for safety and significance.

True love, in the spiritual sense, is unconditional. By this, we mean that true love does not have any personal needs to be fulfilled. True love is simply giving and totally accepting of who or what that person is, without expecting anything in return from him or her. True love is happy and contented with what is, right here and now.

Every relationship we are in offers us an opportunity to face up to our deepest fears. When we examine our own relationships, and analyse the real motivations for our behaviour, it might lead us to the realisation that the choices we make in our relationships are often intimately related to our own fears.

When the decisions we made are motivated by fears, the consequences are almost always less than desired. On the other hand, when we make choices based on true unconditional love, the outcomes are certainly going to be much more to what we want or need.

Lastly, when we have truly found unconditional love, we will realise that it was never to be found outside of ourselves, for true love is our very essence. Thus, it can only be found within. Once found, peace quickly follows.

Spirituality is a personal choice

Spirituality is a personal choice

Choosing to walk the spiritual path is a very personal decision. It is a decision that only you can make. No one can, nor do they have the right to, compel you to make this choice. It is a personal matter – a personal choice.

Our modern lifestyle is too focused on materiality. If you are fine with that, that is OK too. However, sooner or later, and especially as you grow older, you will start to seek something more than material wealth.

Perhaps you will question your existence and your mortality in the face of friends and relatives passing away, or in your own illness. Perhaps you encounter a unique spiritual experience. Many people discover spirituality in the midst of their failures. Whatever the case may be, at some point in your life, spirituality will become important.

That would be a good starting point to seek out spirituality.

 

What is spirituality?

The word “spirituality” can mean so many things to so many people. Some find spirituality to be daunting and mysterious because it has been made out to be such.

In fact, spirituality is simply the aspect of our life that is not perceivable by our five physical sense organs – the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue and the body. All of life is made up of spirit and matter. Even our own existence is a combination of mind and body. It is the immaterial that is spiritual.

Judge Thomas Troward, who gave the famous Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science, said it best when he said that the only real difference between the dead matter and the living spirit is intelligence, or consciousness. Thus, spirit and mind are intimately related.

Here is where we have to be very careful with the use of words, for they can sometimes be the cause of confusion. In fact, in your own search for spirituality, you will come across similar words that are used in different religions. Some of these same words refer to different things. On the other hand, sometimes different words are used to refer to the same thing.

It is important to be aware of this limitation of words. It may be more useful to look at what the word represents and remember the nature, qualities or values that it represents instead of the word itself. Then you can see the similarities in the different words used, or the differences in the same word used by different religions.

 

Seeker of Truth

The seeker of spirituality is essentially the seeker of truth – the absolute truth. The nature of this absolute truth is that it is unchanging. It exists in the past, in the present and in the future. It exists everywhere. It is beyond time and space. In any point in time and space, it is there. It is there even before time and space.

This being the case, anyone who seeks it, regardless of where or when he starts out from, he should eventually arrive at the same truth – the unchanging truth. Thus, no one has an exclusive claim on spirituality – not Christianity, not Islam, not Hinduism, not Buddhism, not Sikhism, not any religions.

In fact, you will find that genuine spiritual seekers will not compel you to believe in what he himself believes in. True spirituality is not about beliefs. It is about knowledge. Beliefs may be a starting point but it must never end there. Your beliefs must eventually lead you to the absolute truth through your practice.

Therefore, there is no compulsion in spirituality or in any true religions. Compulsion is only for the fearful and the faithless who seeks strength in numbers. They are not genuine spiritual seekers.

 

My Spirituality

So, this is how I have come to see my own spirituality.

I do not see a personal God, who favors one group of people over another. God does not play favoritism. God does not say, “If you are a Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist, you go to heaven. The rest will go to hell.” I do not believe in such a God.

What I see is an impersonal creative force – a natural force. You can call it Divine Intelligence or Divine Mind. It is impersonal. It creates everything, following natural laws. Thus, it embraces everything and it is impartial. This is unconditional love. This is true justice. After all, how can one be fair when one is partial?

So, my spirituality is a path I am taking to recognize this Divine or Universal Mind. It is to purify my own Personal Mind so that it can then re-experience this Divine Mind, this Original Pristine Mind. The goal is to remove all impurities – all negativities, all unwholesome motivations, all limiting views or beliefs – from my Personal Mind, and make it pristine again.

Some people called this the merging with the Divine and considered this to be the ultimate attainment in a spiritual path. I do not know if it is the ultimate but I do know that this is the path I am taking.

And I invite you to join me in this beautiful journey.

5 ways adult children hurt their parents without realizing it

5 ways adult children hurt their parents without realizing it

What are you doing to brighten the lives of your aging parents? Bringing a little light and happiness into their lives will leave a legacy of love your own children will emulate.

An article by Gary and Joy Lundberg

Most people love and appreciate their parents. We don’t doubt that. The problem is, parents can’t tell this unless you show it by the way you treat them. Sometimes adult children can bring heartache to their parents without realizing what they’re doing. We’ve boiled it down to five main ways this happens. If you are a parent of adult children, you may recognize some of these. If you’re the adult child, you may be in for an awakening. As parents age, their physical needs may change but their need for your love never does. Check to see if you’re doing any of these.

1. You don’t call them much

Time just flits by, and you realize it’s been a month since you last called your parents to check on them or to share what’s happening in your life. You may be thinking, well, they can call me anytime they want. There’s no question; parents need to call their children, as well.

Here’s the thing, they don’t know your schedule, and they don’t want to interrupt you at the wrong time. Or they don’t want to trouble you with their problems. And yet, they want you to care. You need to take the initiative and call them, at least some of the time. Even just a short call to see how they are feeling. Ask them what they did that day then share what you are doing. Be sure to include some good news. Too often, the only news shared is the bad. Being in on at least part of your life will bring them more happiness than you can imagine. If they lay on a lot of unwanted advice, just say, “Thanks, Dad, I appreciate your concern. I was just thinking about you and wanted to know how you’re doing.” Don’t forget to say, “I love you.” That’s music to their hearts.

 2. You ask them for money

Some kids only call when they need money. Don’t do that. In fact, don’t ask them for money at all. You’re an adult and capable of providing for yourself and family. Your parents have worked hard for what they have, and they deserve to keep it for their needs. As their lives wind down they have no idea what expenses lie ahead. They need that retirement nest egg for the unknown. It’s comforting to them to have that security. We know some children who’ve bled their parents dry, and then when the day came and the parents needed the money to live on it was gone. That’s not fair. Don’t ask your parents for money. If you owe them for some you’ve already “borrowed,” pay it back as soon as you can. Lovingly help them protect what’s theirs. They need to be able to enjoy it in their later years.

 3. You forget their birthdays

Parents love to be remembered on their special day. It doesn’t have to be a fancy celebration, just a remembrance. You know how you feel when you receive a gift from them. They aren’t much different. They like it, too. Find out the things they enjoy. A young couple we know gives their parents a gift card to their favorite restaurant, and they thoroughly enjoy it. If you don’t have the money for a gift, you surely have the money for a card. Receiving a card in the mail from an out-of-town child brightens any parent’s day. A phone call is great, too. If you live nearby, drop by with a hug and good wishes. Let them know you’re thinking of them, and wish them a happy birthday. You might even add, “I’m sure glad you were born. I love you, Mom.” Some children invite the family over to celebrate a special birthday. Turning 70 is a lot more fun when you’re surrounded by those you love.

 4. You don’t offer them your help

You may be thinking, hey, I told Dad to let me know if there’s anything I can do for him, but he hasn’t told me of anything. He’s probably hesitating because he thinks you’re too busy, or he’s afraid you didn’t really mean it. How about suggesting something to him? Look around and see the needs. Older people are advised to stay off ladders because their balance is impaired, and it’s too risky. How about offering to come over, climb that ladder and clean out their rain gutters. A friend’s son recently did that for his parents, and they were extremely grateful for the help. A little help from you will go a long way in helping your parents feel loved.

 5. You don’t include them in your family events

They don’t need to be included in everything but for the main events, invite them. They want to be part of special occasions, such as holiday dinners, a baptism, a concert your child is in, weddings or a vacation. Let them enjoy being with you and your family when it fits. Sometimes just an invitation to Sunday dinner at your house will brighten their day. If they invite you and your family over for dinner, accept the invitation and show up.

Is this what you want?

Look at how you are treating your parents and ask yourself if this is the way you want your children to treat you when they’re grown. They are learning how by watching the way you treat your parents. It’s a lesson they won’t forget. If you’re not measuring up, it’s not too late. You can make a change this very day. Begin by picking up the phone and calling your parents right now.

The World’s Most Unusual Therapist

The World’s Most Unusual Therapist

Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients–without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.

When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane?

It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed the story.

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Open Your Heart to Love

Open Your Heart to Love

Many people live a life without love.

They cannot love themselves, and therefore they cannot love anyone else. Some even feel that they do not deserve love. The sad fact is that without love, no matter what else you have in life, it’s not enough. We need to love ourselves unconditionally in order to live fully.

The love I’m referring to here is not romantic love.

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