Listen, Respect, Love

“Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence” (Jorge Luis Borges). Daily, practice listening to people and talk only when asked a question. Give a succinct answer that does not provoke further queries. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, therefore let’s listen twice as much as we talk. We might learn a thing or two by having the mindset of being an eternal student of life, learning, progressing, and constantly growing through observation and listening.

Train yourself not to agree or disagree by shaking your head or making any verbal remarks during conversations, seminars, meetings, or sermons. This is more challenging than it sounds. Keep ethically upright personal opinions strong by not allowing others to influence or control your moral decision-making skills and abilities. Do not concern yourself with other peoples’ opinions (OPOs). Our own intrinsic opinions, beliefs, and convictions about ourselves, the universe, and all matter therein, matters most. Respecting and loving others begins by respecting and loving yourself.

Integrity

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful” (Samuel Johnson). We become dependable, respectful, and trusting to ourselves and toward others by upholding our integrity. Personal growth not only develops and enhances ourselves, nevertheless can benefit everyone around us as well. The most powerful method toward changing others manifests by changing ourselves first. People around us will indirectly or directly be changed through our new bolstered positive and inspiring attitudes, words, behaviors, and lifestyle.

Immature Love

“Immature love says, I love you because I need you. Mature love says, I need you because I love you” (Erich Fromm). Strong emotional bonds or bondage form, in part, because of an oxytocin release, among other physiological chemical reactions, which creates a powerful mental fog or misguiding judgement leading to blind love; not true sustaining secure love. Before making a potentially life altering decision remember to intelligently and maturely ask yourself based upon your upright principles and moral codes, “Does the potential upside far outweigh the potential downside? Is the risk worth it?” Don’t sacrifice short-term gain or pleasure for possible lifelong pain, misery, turmoil or death. Build fortifying lifestyles by wisely choosing incredibly good daily habits, consequently generating impenetrable resilience to otherwise insatiable temptation. Meat Loaf sang a song, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” which partly goes:

“I gotta know right now

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?

Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

I gotta know right now!

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

And will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

Let me sleep on it

Will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it.

Will you love me forever!

I couldn’t take it any longer

Lord I was crazed

And when the feeling came upon me

Like a tidal wave

I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave

That I would love you to the end of time

That I would love you to the end of time

I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

So now I’m praying for the end of time

To hurry up and arrive

‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you

I don’t think that I can really survive

I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow

But God only knows what I can do right now

I’m praying for the end of time

It’s all that I can do

Praying for the end of time, so I can end my life with you!”

“Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions” (Isaiah 3:10 NASB). Please don’t succumb to lustful instant gratification or yield to temptation without fully understanding yourself, lest you end up like the pour soul described in that song. Don’t become blindsided or shocked by something that could have been made known through wise questions and answers prior to making the most impactful leap of your life. Obtain premarital counseling and know each other’s current health status and values (especially physical and emotional), financial situation and standards of excellence, definition of love and commitment, all children involved, amount of children desired, religious or spiritual beliefs, desirable locations to live, and one another’s dreams, among other important factors to consider. Stand alone for as long as it takes. Choosing to remain single by choice or patiently waiting for the right person is more admirable than making haste, for haste makes waste. Be intentionally patient in order to live a good life filled with an abundance of health, wealth, love, and joyfulness.

Revelation: Self-restraint Sprinkled with Action

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (Galatians 5:16 NLV). Now, you can live a righteous, self-disciplined, and powerful purpose-driven life with new insights, behaviors, and being hindsight is 20/20. Respect yourself totally, which encompasses mind, spirit, soul, and the beautiful one and only custom made body that is yours. Do not feel misled, guilty or judged due to slip-ups and wrong decision-making. Accepting divine grace and forgiveness covers the mistakes of being human.

Additionally, do not succumb to retail therapy as a futile coping mechanism for temporary fleeting relief because of problems, which only multiplies troubles creating additional feelings of numbness and void. The value of something is relative, although may be directly and individually linked to efficient and effective time given up acquiring it. Each moment before deciding to spend more money than you currently have, think of invaluable time that could be spent with family or working toward goals possessing expansive meaning and purpose, having potential to literally save or positively influence enhancing change in an individual’s priceless, beautiful life.