Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It really is an easy choice; I choose Happy ~

So, I was having a conversation with my daddy over the topic of prayers generally and the very act of praying specifically! We tend to want and want and constantly ask and ask, and ask. My dad had mentioned that he finally understood that everything that he “needed” out of life had already been given to him and that as a consequence of this, his prayers must no longer be that of asking of God to do this. . . and that .. . ; but one of absolute gratitude for that which he had already done! Hmmmm. . .; whao!!! He insisted that we just needed to slightly open our eyes in order to take the blessings in.

I will come back to this conversation later on.  I look around me with my ignorant and mundane eyes and see that I have a lot of things that needed to be done and a lot of apparent problems that needed to be solved and something else, my “to do” list happens to be as long as the Mississippi river. :-)

I then decide to take a second look and dig deeper into my whole life (in law, we call this the totality of the circumstance test):-). In order to do a really thorough analysis, you’d really need to step out of your body and look in as an outsider would.  In that moment,  I saw a healthy, well -adjusted mother of four healthy children, with a  husband to die for (I call him my very own “yori-yori”, meaning heart beat), doing a job that I love, making a difference in the lives of my clients, waking up every morning to every bone in my body and my children’s bodies still intact and rising up with me, someone who has never suffered or lived through any of the natural disaster that I see happen to people just like me on what is fast becoming a daily basis.   I pause . . . ; a really long pause and then stepped out of that outsider’s body, and a tirade of outburst like this one, “ Ogor, . . . , how dare you not be anything but extremely happy and grateful for the gifts and blessings in your life”!!!!

You know . . . ;everything in life is about perception. How you perceive something determines the level of control and power it will have over you! Our perception of a thing makes it a problem or just another curve in the road of life! Two people might be on the verge of losing their jobs or their homes and to one, even though he knows that it as a difficult situation, he chooses instead to see it  is just another curve on the road of life. He chooses instead to embrace and focus on the other gifts and blessings in his life – gift of good health, good friends who could help him out, good families who will be there for him regardless. Etc. Not only would the situation get to resolve itself, life will and often times present a way out of the treacherous situation with that kind of healthy mental attitude. Why? Because he did not let the adverse situation eat him up and destroy the only thing that he must hold on to at all cost – Hope! Because he purposefully chose to channel that adversity to a frequency of gratitude, life rises up to his frequency and presents more grateful scenarios to him!

 To another, the loss of a job or a home will mean the end of the world and the complete loss of hope. The inordinate negative energy and loss of hope channeled to this unfortunate occurrence often times begins to result in diminishing health. The more worry and hopelessness that is channeled to these events, the more the event gathers momentum and  is powered into a cycle of more negative occurrences!  Ever heard about the cliché, “when it rains, it pours”? That is exactly what happens to us when we fail to take a real perspective of events and circumstances in our lives.

Life can and does get really difficult and tough sometimes.  If it doesn't kill you, then it is meant to teach you a thing or two, and might very well be a blessing in disguise. Knowing what I know now, I will never let a seemingly tough situation weigh me down; I would rather cease that opportunity to be grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed on me! The reason it is always good to have in depth conversations with people( in this case, daddy dearest) :-)

As always, I finally understood where my daddy was headed with his theory that prayers must be all gratitude and No Seeking favors because we have already been given that which we NEED! (Keyword being “need”).

On a closing note, I ask you – “When life throws a curve at you, would you choose hopelessness and worry or would you dare look at your life and choose HAPPY because of the numerous gifts that you have already been given? I think we have a really easy choice here!

 Let’s commit to making it a habit to offer mostly prayers of gratitude and genuinely SMILE at LIFE irrespective of what our current circumstances are (because there are really a lot to smile and be grateful for) ; LIFE will in turn SMILE back at us:-)

Lovingly yours,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

LOVE and infidelity . . .

Hope everyone is having a really great “merry month of May”! I love this month for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, a reason that might smack of a teeny bit of selfishness J . . .,but,  I am pretty sure that  I can be pardoned .  I was born in this fantastic month of May. Secondly, May is such a beautiful and glorious spring month.  I was in my car going to work this morning and was in awe of the beauty around me; every flower and every tree that I saw was in its full bloom! Such breath-taking scenery that just reminds you that everything about nature is perfection! Simple perfection! . . .; thanks to this glorious month! 

So guys, this topic that I wanted to explore is one that just has hit home for a lot of people. It’s everywhere around us. Society sort of gives it some tacit acceptance. Every time you turn on the television or on the radio, you hear spouses separating because of it! Others stand silently behind a spouse that strays hopelessly grappling for a good reason to stay on in in such relationships! We all jump in, either to condemn or support the parties involved! The fact that this might be the case still cannot and does not make infidelity right.  I have been asked my opinion on whether one can still love and stay with their spouses or significant others even after they stray. Can a relationship really survive and successfully re-build after this ultimate breach of trust.

In a situation when you love your partner or spouse with every inch of your being and then you realize that she or he had been carrying on with a clandestine affair. It is devastating and gut-wrenching! It is even more so, when the other man or woman involved looks a lot better than you do or is on a higher socio-economic ladder than you are. It is the ultimate betrayal especially when the relationship is one that is founded on a marital union which really is sacred. Marriage is a solemn and sacrosanct union. The party in a marriage indulging in infidelity is really committing an atrocity not only against this union and the innocent spouse, but most importantly against himself given the grave potential consequences.

I have to really define Love as best as I can, given that we rightly assume that love precedes every relationship and hopefully is the foundation of every relationship both marital and non-marital. Without being overtly religious with this discussion, I still strongly believe that the best definition of Love that I have yet to see is biblically based. “God is Love” – 1 John 4.8; “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”. 1 Corinthian 13:4. Isn’t that just beautiful? I think it is absolutely flawless!!!

The above quotes are the most authoritative, profound and powerful definitions of Love ever written. 
I do not believe that Love is a visceral reaction or that it is entirely feeling-based.  Last week, I encountered a gentleman who was also an attorney and we started talking about this topic. He stated to me what his perception of Love was. I am compelled to share this with you. J.  He said, “Love is really not a feeling, rather, it is an investment”.  I thought it was really poignant. I thought it was true. I continued thinking about his definition and how Love can really be a multi-faceted investment.  I surmised that Love must be an investment of emotions, commitment, time, effort, etc.  mmmmmmmmh . . . Do you agree?

So, If we truly understand the meaning of love, would we really cheat on our spouses and significant others that we love? I honestly would think NOT! Infidelity is a selfish act! It epitomizes the absence of God or whatever label you choose to give your creator, or that higher being most of us believe exists.

Infidelity is the ultimate breach of trust! It rocks the very foundation on which a marriage rests! It devastates the innocent party and destroys years of “selfless investments” in a twinkle of an eye!

People can and do make mistakes in their lives. We should and must forgive someone that we love when they make mistakes like these not only for the sake of the love that we have for the person, but for the sake of ourselves in order to move on, and create space in our lives for good to come in.

There really are consequences for every good deed or bad deed that we indulge in even when no one is looking. We are endowed with the natural ability to choose Good over Evil. When we decide to “bank wrong”, hefty grime awaits us at the ATM! It is that simple! It comes back to us in form of events that mirror the same good or bad deeds only that it is given back to us with interests and dividends!  Having this in mind, when we do cheat on someone that we profess to love, it not only causes toxicity to our relationship, but the negative nature of the deed itself will ultimately attract to the perpetrators, similar negative events and situation.  These transgressors often wonder why things are going wrong in their lives and are quick to forget that when they purposefully hurt another that they owe the duty of fidelity and protection, they are simply courting disaster. It is sure to happen! It is only a matter of time.

Personally, the sad piece for me is the fact that the innocent party in the whole mess might be affected by the consequences that the perpetrator is suffering -The law of unintended consequences. Innocent children are caught in the fire! Some innocent parties end up suffering intense psychological, physical, and emotional devastation because thing that affects a loved one tends to affect the people in their lives.

If you feel that you no longer wish to stay faithful to your spouse or significant other, take the last honorable step left; take the official walk away from your relationship or marriage into the arms of the meddlesome interloper who is worth giving up that which you have so painstakingly invested in; at least, you are greatly minimizing the grime that which awaits you at the ATM. Then, it is no longer an act of infidelity! You are free to do it! If it would not feel good when it is done to you, why then would you repeatedly do it to someone you profess to love.

As for the innocent parties in relationships who still believe in the ideals of fidelity, marriage and true love, never be deterred at all! You never go wrong when you are in the Right! Continue living your life and giving your ALL to the person or persons that you love. Don’t let a transgressor push you to seek revenge by indulging in the same atrocious act!  I advocate never keeping track of how much you’ve sacrificed for a relationship provided that it is with someone that you love. Relationships are very complex and challenging! It demands a lot of investment! Who says that it is meant to be easy? If it was meant to be easy, then it is not something that is good and true. Be very afraid of a relationship that is seamless! Great relationship demands parties or at least one party that is willing to go one hundred percent! Once you have done your part, leave the rest up to your creator.

In conclusion, I think that infidelity (notice I didn’t say infidelities) can happen in a loving relationship.  People can make one-time mistakes and if they express their remorse, must be given the benefit of the doubt and be forgiven. In forgiving, I do not in any way wish to diminish the selfishness and inherent evil in infidelity. However, forgiveness is the only place to go because it releases the innocent party and opens up for them, more “windows of good” in their lives. It comes from a higher place. Forgiveness equals Love.  

For the habitual transgressor,  . . ., you know, there is no such thing as repeatedly cheating on someone that you love. Repeated infidelity is simply antithetical to the nature of Love. Repeated infidelity and Love are mutually exclusive! Perhaps a further realization that the very negative nature of infidelity will harm them not just literally, but through events and circumstances that will inflict pain on them similar to the pain that the innocent spouse experienced (only that it will be a lot worse) might just be sufficient deterrent.  

As for the meddlesome interloper who has consciously injected himself/herself in a relationship that he/she is aware is alive and thriving especially the sacred marital relationship!  It is coming back at you!  mmm. . .mmm. . .mmm; You end of reaping with huge dividends and interests, that which you give to another.

Irrespective of the side of the table that you are on, you owe it to yourself to treat the other party in your relationship as kind and as loving as possible. It is the right thing to do! It ensures and almost guarantees a happy life for both parties in a relationship.  A happy life after all, is really the whole essence of living isn’t it? I think so J

I wish you a fantastic merry month of May!

Lovingly yours,