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heart buns

How many cheeks do you have to turn for it to be enough?

If “being Love” is your endgame, the answer is probably, “as many as it takes”.

At t[h]m, we focus on us. We do that because you really only have the ability to change one person, you. Change is a choice and making that choice for someone else is not our job. We can inspire, influence and encourage others but, their change in is their own hands.

That all being said, sometimes, when it comes to our own personal change, we do have zero in on others. Especially, when it comes to forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a big deal. It releases your mind from the agony of how someone wronged you, it opens your heart by creating strength from vulnerability and, very simply, it frees your soul.

In most instances, I don’t think we can just snap our fingers and “poof”, we forgive everybody. Maybe it should be like that, but until we reach that level of unconditional Love and compassion for every person we cross paths with, forgiveness is going to be a strong internal debate. “Should I forgive this person?” “Do they deserve my forgiveness?” “What if they wrong me, again?” “Can I give them my Love?” Yes, yes, it doesn’t matter and yes, are your answers, by the way. 🙂

In the absence of being Jesus, Buddha or Gandhi, we need tools for forgiveness. We needs ways and reminders and reasons why we should forgive whether it’s once, twice or forty-one times. How do we fill up our tool chest (no coincidence your Heart is your chest, too)?

  1. Don’t take things personally – the second you start taking something personally is the second you start allowing guilt, blame, fault and a reason not to forgive to creep into your mind. Tell yourself that this person’s action is because of their response to a situation. They are in control of their responses and their behaviours. Regardless of how much they point the finger at you, they have the choice to externalize what it is that’s inside of them. You can’t and don’t make anyone do anything.

 

  1. Understand – although it can appear that the person is choosing to wrong or hurt you, no one is truly a bad person. I don’t believe anyone really has a bad heart and feels their true purpose is to watch the world burn. There is always a motivation driving us, be it something we can readily identify or something deep within the subconscious. In fact, understanding why someone did something is really irrelevant in comparison to just understanding that there is a “why”. By knowing there’s a “why”, it helps us with not taking things personally and it lets us know there is cause to the effect. As humans, we’re naturally predisposed to wanting reason. Undoubtedly, at one point or another, we’ve all felt undeserving, unloved, unworthy, powerless, helpless, the list goes on. How we decide to regain this assurance in ourselves is reflected in how we treat others. Understand that as much as it may seem like this person is a class A jerk, they are truly struggling with something of their own. They are lacking something that they are trying to find. And, their perspective on their situation is probably not the same as yours. Try to understand this person and where they are coming from. But, truly, above anything, just understand that this person needs help. They need your Love.

 

  1. Let it go – this is where you come in. You can choose to carry the burden of resentment with you, or you can choose to get it off your shoulders. The more you focus on how you’ve been hurt, the bigger it will be. Letting go doesn’t make you a pushover or give the other person the win, it’s just the opposite. It empowers you by accepting the opportunity to grow. You can know that whatever it is you’re enduring is an opportunity in life to be Love. The universe will never give you something you don’t need at that particular moment. Let go of labelling it as “bad” and latch on to knowing that you’re where you are because you need to be there; because you need to learn something.

 

  1. Be a goldfish – have a short memory. Our whole lives are an exercise in forgiveness. Until our eyes and Heart see everything through unconditional Love and compassion, we’re always going to be given an opportunity to forgive. Set the scoreboard back to zero each time. Keeping track of how many chances you’ve given someone or how many people you’ve let off the hook is just going to build that bitterness inside of you. Treat each instance as the first. Everyday, reset your excitement in finding the opportunity to be Love.

 

  1. Don’t be a doormat – just because we want to offer forgiveness, it doesn’t mean we need to put ourselves in the line of fire. Put your Heart in a place of forgiveness but get invested in making a change. Help yourself improve that situation; offer your support to that person in helping them get through whatever they’re struggling with, get yourself out of there, or just treat yourself to an ice cream. Whatever you can do to make your life better, do it. But, do it from a place of Love.

How you open yourself up to forgiveness is really going to be a product of what resonates and makes the most sense with you. Ultimately, remind yourself that you can’t change what’s happenED but you can change what’s happenING. Forgiveness helps us clear the fog from our Hearts and our heads and lets us understand that there’s always an opportunity to be the better version of you. The version you are meant to be.

be Love.

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the stank-tity of marriage

handcuffs

For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. Til death do us part!

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were reading a life sentencing rather than boilerplate marriage vows.

And, to top it all off, that courtship condemnation is usually followed by a heart-felt “I DO”.

So, why can’t it be “for better and best”? Or, “in health and longevity”? And, “because life brought us together”?

Although my title to this article is a bit harsh, I don’t really have anything against marriage. I do truly believe it to be a wonderful idea. But, I do think it is sort of just an “idea”.

I won’t get into how the legality and paperwork of it all are really a false sense of dogmatic commitment we attach ourselves to (okay, so I guess I did just get into it). But, I will ask, why do we get married?

½ + ½ = 1

We believe that there’s another half out there that will make us whole. I mean, how many guys fell even further into the dog-mahouse the second Tom Cruise uttered the sap-soaked “you complete me”? First Cocktail, and then that one; thanks for nothing, Maverick.

What if told you, you’re already complete? What if you truly believed it?!

The hard truth, and it’s “hard” because we’ve been so conditioned to believe otherwise, is that you are everything you need to be. No one can fill any void you feel you may have, except for you.

I’m not saying everyone subscribes to this belief, but marriage usually falls into the mix right after “establish secure career” and “white picket fence”. It’s just too bad that nowhere in that recipe is the ingredient, “Love myself”.

What I’m really trying to get at here is the reliance upon relationships to give us the feeling of wholeness and meaning. The trouble with that dependence is the same as the trouble with any dependence; it can be taken away from you. And, when something can be taken away from us, we live in fear. When we live in fear, we don’t live as our true self. When we don’t live as our true self, we’re not being Love.

Imagine contributing to a relationship as a whole, not a part. Imagine the Love you have for yourself to always allow you to absorb whatever the relationship brings you, but not bring you down. Imagine being able to give of yourself completely, always knowing that nothing can be taken from you. This is what Loving yourself is.

When we can look at ourselves in the mirror and know that who we are is Love and truly Love ourselves, our Heart can never be broken. We can fully give ourselves to our partner because we understand that the purpose of that relationship, like any other relationship, is to teach us the lessons we need to learn. But, it is not our purpose. It is not what gives us meaning.

Our meaning is our self. Our self and Love. Our purpose is to give it away as much as we can. Allow your relationships to be an opportunity not to see what you can get, but to be able to give what you are. That, is a true commitment.

be Love.

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you’ll just end up getting hammered

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Take, take, take! You can’t just give and not take. You want to get something out of all this, too, don’t you? That probably doesn’t sound like it’s in the spirit of being Love, but it’s true. When it comes to Love, as much as you have to give, you have to take, receive, open up and accept.

Part of shining your Love on as many people as you can, is allowing Love to shine on you, too. It’s amazing how exponential this is. When you give Love, you fill your Heart and the Heart of the person you’re giving to. When you allow Love into your Heart, you let it be filled up as well as giving that person the opportunity to fill theirs up, too. It’s just Love after Love after Love. Really, what’s more inspiring and beautiful than that?!

None of us is as tough as we think. We put on stoic exteriors; we believe our past experiences have taught us lessons to harden us; we believe we can handle whatever life wants to throw at us; and we build up a galvanized outer shell, all the while weakening and crumbling on the inside. When the deteriorated inside finally compromises the integrity of that false exterior, it not only brings us down but those around us.

We’re only as strong as the weakest link.

Everyone on this planet is part of the chain of Love; we’re each a small, little link in that chain. Alone, the load we can pull won’t go very far. But, when you hold me up and I hold you up, and we hold up those four people over there and they hold up another six, there is nothing that can’t be carried. We have to give and support and we have to accept and be supported.

We all have problems. We all fight our battles. We have things that bring us down; make us feel helpless; make us feel worthless; that make us destructive and tough to be around. Whatever it is and however we externalize it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we all need help. To be honest, I don’t even know how I put up with myself, let alone how the people in my life put up with me. But, over and over, these special people show me how much Love is in their Heart. They are constantly trying to teach me how to Love myself. They show me that just being who I am is deserving of Love. These people offer me their Love because of who they are and who I am, without exceptions or conditions. It’s just up to me to let it in!

You can be that person who doesn’t want to burden anyone and can figure things out by themselves and never lets anything get to them. Or, you can stop lying to yourself, extend your hand and be part of Love. That’s just how simple it is. There is no pride in Love. There is no badge of honour. There is no judgement. There’s just you and that’s more than enough. Loving yourself means letting others Love you. It means trusting Love enough to be entirely vulnerable. It means being willing to be hurt and, also, helped. It means knowing that by putting your faith in Love, it will only bring you what you need.

be Love.

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f*ck this!

f this

No big deal.

How many times a day do you hear that word? How many times a day do you use that word?

If there’s anything that the 21st century has brought us, it’s lack of censorship. Often cloaked as “freedom of expression”. A “fundamental right” that is very easily abused.

You don’t really have to go much further than primetime HBO for foul language, nudity or disturbing acts of violence. And, really, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the endless “resource” the internet is of all things immoral (my somewhat insincere apology for the judgement).

Once upon a time, this kind of stuff was confined to R-rated movies that occasionally hit the theatres or dirty magazines you could maybe score from your older brother. Now, it’s all common-place and we don’t even blink an eye. There’s no squeamishness, no filters, no really anything. It’s rather safe to say we’re a de-sensitized society. And, getting more numb by the mini-series.

Except, and here’s the ‘except’, when our Heart wants to take the centre spotlight, then all of a sudden, we get stage fright. Why are we okay with dropping gratuitous f-bombs, forwarding on emails of grotesque car crashes and listening to music that seems to celebrate and exploit the usage of racial slurs, yet we suddenly get uncomfortable or disinterested when it comes to Love?

Is Love boring? Is it not conversation worthy? Do we think it’s the made up pot of gold at the end of the bullshit rainbow?

Or, is there an element of vulnerability we subconsciously attach to Love? If we speak or act from our Heart, are we thinking we’re putting ourselves out there; that we’ll be taken advantage of? Are we scared of Love and how it can show us how beautiful we really are?

Don’t think of Love as giving up your power or creating vulnerability, but think of it as being a force. Power is just the inanimate version of what you can do. Force is putting it into action. The moment you put force behind your Heart is the moment you start to create a change. And, that change occurs in you.

Changing you is what will change what’s around you.

Whether it be relationships, your job, your life path or simply feeling better about yourself right now; it starts with you. Allowing Love to use you as a force will open up all those things you don’t even know you’re missing. Really ask yourself how “whole” you feel. If you feel pretty whole, that’s great! Keep going. But, if there’s something inside of you that you just don’t seem to be able to put your finger on, it means you’re ready. You’re ready to be a force of Love.

The great thing about being a force of Love is that it literally comes in about a million different forms.

Smile at someone,

Leave a nice note on a co-worker’s desk,

Buy your friend lunch,

Tell your mom you appreciate her,

Give someone a hug,

Give everyone a hug,

And, holy shit, maybe just tell someone you Love them.

There are so many daily opportunities for us to un-censor Love. Leave yourself reminders or wear a string around your wrist. Make a deal with yourself to say or do something nice every time you’re in the presence of the f-word. Start shifting your focus and start creating change with force.

be Love for f*ck’s sake.

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