Category Archives: Love

All things concerning love and its relationship to life.

Love thy enemy

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on the Isle of Wigh...

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of the hardest things to do is love your enemy. If you really ponder the fact that all our enemies are just like we are in that they desire the same things we desire. They want freedom, power, peace, love, a place to call their homeland, money, religious rights, etc. just like we do. But for many centuries, people have been fighting amongst themselves and with other cultures and nations creating havoc, unspeakable tragedies, and untold sufferings. What can we attribute this to? Is it because men dominate world affairs and women don’t? Is it because humans are more animalistic than they are spiritual? Is it because this is man’s destiny — to always be at war? Whatever the reason, it’s pitiful that people of all races, religions, and creed do not look for ways to live in harmony as much as they look for ways to become more powerful and destructive. If people in power took the time to look into the hearts of their “enemies” perhaps they would find the answers the perplexing questions posed above. Peace to all.

Average is awesome

“The virtues which keep this world sweet and the faithfulness which keeps it steadfast are chiefly those of the average man.”

~ W. Russell Bowie

Perhaps the sweetest thing in this world is being true to those you love the most and them loving you in return. The ability to love is within each of us and belongs to everyone. You don’t have to be educated at an Ivy League school, be a churchgoer at a popular church, have perfect parents, or have a large circle of friends to know how to show your affection and appreciation for the people closest to you. The only requirement needed to manifest your love for someone is with words, action, touch — all done with sincere desire. This is something the average person can do any day of the week and at any time of the day. In being average, we give life to everything around us which gives life to the world in which we live. So, it’s OK to be average as long as you love with all your being and do it faithfully. Doing this makes you awesome!

Golf balls, pebbles, sand and coffee

“The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee”

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with GOLF BALLS. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of PEBBLES and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of SAND and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced TWO CUPS OF COFFEE from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that:

1. This JAR represents your life.

2. The GOLF BALLS are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

3. The PEBBLES are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

4. The SAND is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Spend more time enjoying your hobbies. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the sink disposal. TAKE CARE OF THE GOLF BALLS FIRST–THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER. Set your priorities. THE REST IS SAND.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the COFFEE represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

People should spend more of their time thinking about what is most important in their lives and about those who are closest to them, then spend the remainder of their time doing things for and with those people.

Do you love you?

“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”

~ Alain De Botton

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

To be happy in life, we ultimately need to be in love with ourselves. Sometimes the only person in the world who loves you like you want to be loved–is you. If you’re buying expensive gadgets to bring you fulfillment, or using people to get something from them, or overextending yourself financially to gain acceptance from others, then you will never be ultimately satisfied with your life. If you only desire to have many things that eventually become dust in the wind or only want what one day will crumble to the sea, then you will never have what can remain with you and within you for as long as you live…Love. Nothing lasts forever and everything changes. If you can accept this and live your life according to this absolute, then you can begin to fully understand just how much more sweet love, respect and expression really are to your being. Always love yourself and life more than the dependency for material things which aren’t a source for true love at all.

The greatest gift of all

“The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your life. It is the only thing that will ever truly be yours.”

~ Tiffany Loren Rowe

The very best gift of all is one you give to yourself. It’s one that no one can take away from you and is free to give. Because of this, you should treasure it like a room full of gold and diamonds and enjoy it as if it really were. What is this gift? It’s loving and believing in yourself.  That’s it! Something so simple to imagine doing but something that many of us don’t do at all. Be one of those who rewards yourself with the very best gift of all — self love and a belief that you can become the person you want to be. Think about how you want to wrap your gift and then surprise yourself with this beautiful gift without hesitation. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, so do it soon. This is my gift to you.

The Eternal Gift

The rainbow rule

The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you finish the work.

~ Pat Clifford

If you have a child(ren) in your life, then be sensitive to the fact that time won’t wait for you to find time to spend with them. Make a daily effort to spend time with your offspring so they can grow up in a way that you want them to grow up. Children are directly effected by how much effort we put into their lives. This effort comes from your commitment to make the time to help them become people you will be proud of and who will be proud of you for all the time you give to them. The best use of your time is the time you give to others; so make sure you give more time to the ones you bring into this world than those who don’t matter as much to you in the end. Put children before your work so they can enjoy the many colors of the rainbow and more importantly, your colors.

Rainbow Children

Portions of life

“The best portion of a good man’s life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

~ William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

“The surest cure for loneliness, the quickest way to happiness, is found in this, a simple creed: Go serve someone in greater need.”

~ William A. Ward

Create many small unremembered memories based on acts of kindness and love instead of big remembered memories that are void of love and kindness, and you’ll live a life worth remembering. One thing you can do is to “Whine Less and Give More.” The more I talk about my problems and focus on them, the worse they seem — and the worse I feel.  I’ve discovered when I feel bad about my life, I go do something for someone else. Then I feel better. It’s amazing how that works — even if it’s not every time. Go do something nice for yourself by doing something nice for someone today!

Life Blooming in Beauty

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for use of his illustration.

Be beloved and you’ll be loved

“It is a good thing to be rich, it is a good thing to be strong, but it is a better thing to be beloved of many friends.”

~ Euripides (480-406 BC) Greek Playwright

All the money and strength in the world can’t get you the kind of friends that give you all you need to live a happy life. Friends are to be treasured, cherished and preserved all your life so that you don’t lose them. Losing good friends is more painful than losing money or power because they are alive, unique and hard to acquire. Pets can be counted as friends. After all, they are considered to be man’s best friend. People who own pets, especially dogs, have been shown to be less stressed and require fewer visits to their physicians than non-owners. Survival rates for heart-attack victims who had a pet have been shown to be 12% longer than for those who did not have one. Pet owners have also been shown to have lower blood pressure. The reasons are most likely related to an array of psychological factors, such as the fact that owning a pet decreases loneliness and depression, encourages laughter and nurturing, and stimulates exercise. If you don’t have a pet that you can care for, then go adopt one and start living a happier lifestyle with your new friend.

Facets Flower

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for use of his illustration.

Marry well and you’ll be well

“A mother should give her children a superabundance of enthusiasm, that after they have lost all they are sure to lose in mixing with the world, enough may still remain to prompt and support them through great actions.”

~ Julius C. Hare (1795-1855)  English Cleric

Children need lots of encouragement everyday to get through their lives. If they are blessed with a mother (and father!) who raise them up in a manner that others admire and desire, then they will most likely go on to have successful families. To accomplish this, you must “marry well.” While the phrase “marry well” is typically used to describe people who marry someone rich, I am talking about something entirely different: genetics. Apparently, longevity genes can be inherited. According to a February 2005 study in Mechanisms of Aging and Development, exceptional longevity and healthy aging is an inherited phenotype across three generations. So, for you single people out there, pick a spouse whose grandparents are still alive. This won’t make you live longer, but it might help your children. Then you’ll have a better chance knowing that your children will care for you as you get older. Bless all the mothers and fathers of the world. Let them know today that you love them for all they have done for you.

Nurturing Flower

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for use of his illustration.

Managing your stress

“One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.”

~ Josh Billings

“The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present.”

~ Barbara De Angelis

Have you ever held a grudge against someone just because they angered you about something? Do you get bothered at work easily?Whether trivial or not, don’t fret over someone or something and let it affect your health, but rather manage it. Everyone stresses to a certain degree, but not everyone knows how to manage it. The key to accomplishing this is to recognize what the big factors are in your life and how to mitigate them. Constant stress produces high levels of cortisol, which has been shown to impair cognitive functioning and weaken the immune system. I believe that stress kills more people than just about anything else. So, before you move to anger and bitterness toward someone or something, relax and have a ball. It’s a lot more fun and healthier for you.

Having a Ball

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for use of his illustration.

Sure, it’s possible!

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”

~ Margaret Drabble (1939-)  English Novelist

Not sure what you want in life or how to get it? Having a clean slate with regard to what is possible or not is the first step in finding what you want. Another very important element to getting what you want in life is a positive attitude that gives you the momentum each day to persistently progress. To do this, you need to treat everyday as if it is a party and you’re celebrating all the opportunities you have in life. Since everyday your alive is a gift for yourself and others, be sure and invite your friends and loved ones to your party everyday and celebrate life. Remember that it’s OK to get drunk on life and love because the hangover is healthy and heals whatever ails you. Party on!

Having a Ball

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for letting me use his illustration in this post.  You can view his blog at: http://timcoffeyart.wordpress.com

Emotions in motion

“The sign of intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.”

~ (1904-1990) American Journalist

Marya Mannes

Controlling one’s emotions is so important to one’s character and for so many reasons. People judge us very critically based on how we react to certain actions, verbal statements and/or in-actions. If you want to be considered intelligent by your peers and to strangers that you’re in control of yourself in all situations, then all you have to do is not overreact emotionally. To accomplish this, I have found that it is best to think “big picture” so that you always have a clear perspective of the situation. This gives you some control. It’s also a good idea to count to 10 before you react to something. By doing this, you’ll most likely find that by the time you reach number 1, you will have cooled down enough to handle the matter without so much emotion attached to it. Try it next time and see what happens. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, all is OK now.

Your life or lips?

Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.”

~ Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish Writer

Lip service never did any good for anyone except those who like to hear only what they want to hear. It’s easy to say something to someone and act like you mean it, but without action behind the words they only tickle the ears. Words are powerful but they cannot match the power of action. If you want to touch someone’s heart with your words, then you must accompany the words with liveliness to push them from your lips into the essence of their being. True friendship requires doing whatever is necessary to convince each other’s soul that you will do anything to preserve the friendship or love between you and them. Do more than tell someone you love them or like them — show them! A little action goes a long way. And a lot of action generates remarkable results.

Nag, nag, nag!

“People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be – not what you nag them to be.”

~ S.N. Parker

Nellie the Nagger

nag
1. To scold, complain, or find fault constantly
2. To be a constant source of anxiety or annoyance

If you want to push someone away from you emotionally; destroy their confidence; make them angry; or show your true colors – then constantly tell them how they are doing things wrong or how much you dislike them or dislike what they’re doing. Nagging is not only negative, it’s destructive. It is the cause of many breakups in relationships of all kinds and only shows how immature and selfish you are when doing it. Starting today, make a conscience effort to not nag when dealing with someone you care about. Don’t be a nag. You’ll keep friendships alive and you’ll also mature in the process. Now that’s something to brag about!

Wanting what you can’t see

“Beauty, truth, friendship, love, creation – these are the great values of life. We can’t prove them, or explain them, yet they are the most stable things in our lives.”

~ Jesse Herman Holmes

Beauty in Nature

Have you ever stopped to realize that the things we desire and chase the most in life are things that we can’t even see. Real beauty is only found within us. Truth is never known. Love, creation and friendship are manifested only when acted out in a physical presense. All of them are abstract and really left to individual interpretation. Regardless of what we think of them, they are truly the most important things in our lives. So, as you live your life seeking material things that you can touch, see, smell and feel, you must realize that they won’t bring any real lasting satisfaction. Remember that sometimes it’s the things you can’t see in life that matter the most.

Psst…I have something to tell you.


Psst...I have something to tell you.

“I praise loudly; I blame softly.”

~ Catherine the Second (1729-1796) Russian Empress

When was the last time you made sure someone heard you loudly when you displayed your anger towards them or said something destructive to them? Can you think of the last time you raised your voice loudly to tell someone how much you care for them, to encourage them, compliment them, desire them, or how much you enjoy being with them? If you answered “recently” to the first question and “never” to second question, then today, you should tell someone you sincerely love or like that you really appreciate their friendship and love. And when you have something mean or negative to say to someone you really care about, make sure you do it quietly. Words can be very destructive. Shhh!

You want me to do what?

Malcolm Forbes

Malcolm Forbes

“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”

~ Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) American Publisher

The hardest thing to do for most anyone is to help others who cannot or will not help them in return. It is human nature to do something for someone with an expectation of getting something in return from them. This is the way we are taught as children and it’s also the way business is done. You receive goods and services in exchange for money. In today’s world, nothing is rarely done for free. When something is done for free, people think there must be a catch attached to the favor. When there isn’t a catch, then they are grateful for the favor. Doing something for someone else without any expectation is one of the greatest experiences you can give to yourself. So, in effect, when doing this you gain satisfaction for yourself and earn respect from others who see your selfless actions.

How much is life worth?

Tenzin Gyatso gives a characteristic hands-rai...

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, said:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Live each day to its fullest and never be a slave to money or anything else that sacrifices friendships, health, love and life’s simple pleasures. These are the very things you will remember the most at the end of your life – NOT how much money you have or how popular you are. Live and love for today and in the moment!

What it means to be “A Man”

Rudyard Kipling from John Palmer

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

The Love Gun

Og Mandino

Og Mandino

“I will make love my greatest weapon and none on who I call can defend against its force…My love will melt all hearts liken to the sun whose rays soften the coldest day.”

~ Og Mandino

Many people are so interested in owning a powerful gun that shoots big bullets or fires many bullets rapidly all in an effort to kill a living being. I want to own a gun that could never kill anyone nor cause any fear when pointing it at them. No weapon or shield could prevent it from penetrating all life forms. My gun would soften the hardest of hearts, lighten the darkest of souls, and warm the coldest of minds. All I need to do to get one of these guns is to enter dreamland where all things can be pretty, possible, and permeable. In my dream, I’m going on a shooting spree to shoot my love gun at everyone I see. Let’s make love, not war!