Love is Hidden In Plain Sight. It Just Takes Courage, To See.

“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been pondering.

What does love look like? 
What does love look like? is the question I’ve been asking of You.

Once believed that love was romance, just a chance. 

I even thought that love was for the lucky and the beautiful. 

I once believed that love was a momentary bliss, but love is more than this…” – Misty Edwards

Sometimes we don’t recognise Love, because “Love is hidden in plain sight”. It’s such a cliché, that I have not paused to ponder what “hidden in plain sight” really means. I loved this definition I came across online:

“It means that something is visible to a person but because… it is not where the person looking for it expects it to be, it is hard to locate. 

For example, I was looking in my bookshelves for a book by a particular author. I thought the book had a red cover, so I was looking for a red cover. I was wrong; it had a white cover. I probably glanced at the book 3 or 4 times without recognizing it. It was hidden (meaning I didn’t recognize it) in plain sight (it was perfectly visible).”

That got me thinking.

Is it possible that we become so attached to what Love must look like, that we become blind to what Love really looks like, when it’s always been there, right in front of us? 

Love is hidden, only because I didn’t recognize it, when it is right in front of me. 

Still, “What does Love look like?” 

“…most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it, and dying without ever truly discovering it.” – Leo Buscaglia

Last night, A and I agreed that there is no one definition to Love. Question is, can we recognise Love when it’s right in front of us? Our eyes need cleansing, to truly see.

For that cleansing to happen, sometimes we need to face some painful truths about ourselves. This morning, an inconvenient truth became apparent: “I am A Terrible Friend.” I began to see I have been Projecting on my friends, my own Shadows.

“I realized that I only judged people when they displayed a quality I could not accept in myself… 

Hold your hand straight out in front of you and point at someone. Notice that you have one finger pointing at them and three fingers pointing back at yourself. This can serve as a reminder that when we are blaming others we are only denying an aspect of ourselves.

The process of hiding and denying parts of myself began to seem almost comical once I realized all the energy I was using in order to not be a certain kind of person.” – Debbie Ford, ‘The Dark Side of The Light Chasers.

Trying so hard to not be “A Terrible Friend” was draining me of my energy. I have been so focussed on looking like “A Good Friend” that I haven’t been completely true to myself and others.

When the revelation that “I Am A Terrible Friend” hit me, it felt like a pin had pricked an overly inflated balloon, stretched beyond its means. Ready or not, that stab of truth had punched a hole on my defensive walls and masks, and all that pent up negative energy from not being true to myself was finally finding release.

In the process, I felt lighter, and lighter, and lighter… Who knew, owning up to the fact that “I Am A Terrible Friend” could be so liberating? In the light of this truth, I felt free to drop the need to look good. And I found the courage I needed, to take the steps forward to grow my friendships, at the risk of looking like “a terrible friend”.

This revelation that “I Am A Terrible Friend” also opened my eyes to the reason why I’ve kept these friends in my life. It’s because “My Terrible Friends” have, at some point or another, demonstrated that they are also “My Fiercely Loving Friends.”

Fierce Love isn’t cotton candies.

It shows up when I’m messed up. It sounds offensive, annoying and stern. And it’s a hard, bitter pill to swallow sometimes.

Fierce Love is a friend, who keeps his car engine running in the parking lot, getting all worked up as he’s giving me a long lecture about my worth and lack of self-love.

Fierce Love is that friend sending me an angry text, demanding to know why I went partying without him and got so drunk. He’s mad he wasn’t there to take care of me when I made a fool of myself.

Fierce Love is that friend buying me a drink, sharing some painful truths I needed to face about myself, at the risk of loosing our friendship, saying “This is the most I can do for you.”

Fierce Love is the cousin, who’s strong enough to show me tough love, when I was in a state where I was the toughest to love. I was up to my neck in muck and too proud to admit it, but she waded in, in the midst of that and held up a mirror, high and clear. Sure, I felt like stinking shit after that, but in her other hand was Unconditional Love.

Fierce Love is the girlfriend who yells at me, fearing for my safety and insisting on driving me home, even though I think I’m sober enough to commute back on my own.

Fierce Love is the girlfriend who shouts at me to get a hold of myself, when I was falling apart and didn’t know any other way.

Fierce Love is the friend who kicked me out of his home when I was a bulimic at 17, and used his bathroom to puke. I thought it was funny. He made it clear it wasn’t.

Fierce Love is all the ways my friends continued loving me, in the limited ways they knew how, when I didn’t love myself enough and didn’t know any better.

Fierce Love is a lot of work. They were willing to put in the work. So will I.

This is how I know what Love is.

It just takes Courage, to see.

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Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

how to find love again and again

Originally posted on Hidden With You:

He says it with a straight face, his blue eyes staring straight at me.

He tells me the eyes are a window into the soul, and every time you snap the shutter, a little piece of the soul is snatched away. 

Fifteen years ago he says this, that hot July evening, the week we first met at summer camp.  There we sat in the shadow of the bell tower, children running and all around us, eagerly waiting to enter the banquet hall.   

The eye is the lamp of the body; those words have always puzzled me.  And now this.  What is it about the eyes? 

I am slightly amused, somewhat intrigued, a little frustrated.  I wasn’t asking for a philosophical speech or a Sermon on the Mount.  All I wanted was a picture.  I didn’t get one, at least not then. 

Instead, he offers more.  Something other than a two dimensional image.  His words invite me to eat and drink, think harder, look deeper, stay longer.  He draws me closer.  

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If you’re ANGRY, good! USE IT, WELL. Manage Anger, don’t let it manage you. Direct that heated charge of energy towards finding a winning solution.

ANGER is amazing when we’re angry enough. It can fire us up to find a solution, right on the spot!

If I’m angry from facing the same problem day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year with no change in sight, it means I AM THE PROBLEM.

It is also a clear indication of Wasted Anger. It shows we’ve been busy directing that charge of energy towards a torrent of counter productive, “feel good” verbal bashing–doing nothing constructive about the issue.

Use and manage anger.

Let it direct and motivate you and I towards finding an actual solution.

The good news is, if we’re still not getting it, PAIN is a very good motivator. It comes in increasing doses until we’re finally forced to surrender and do something about it.

I’m writing this post right after a jubilant moment of riding that wave of anger through to finding a solution.

Now I can stop cursing out loud and going into shock every time I have my earphones on, music blasting at full volume, only to have my ears bombed by a whatsapp notification! It’s so loud I once heard a popping sound go off in my skull. It’s a mini explosion. And it feels like I’ve been punched in my head by an invisible fist!

Right after the ‘assault’, I’d frantically find the non-existent silent option for whatsapp. Every time, I’d find the same thing. There is no such option, except for mute in group chats.

But today is the day I had enough. I got angry enough to stop doing what I’ve always done, yet expecting different results. I got angry enough to ask for help. My boys figured it out in a few seconds. I finally found the NONE option. It’s hidden out of sight but it’s there all along. I could’ve found it if I had just scrolled up instead of down, like I always do!

I once read this quote on Stephan’s FB, and it comes to mind today:

“It takes a lot of things to change the world: Anger and tenacity. Science and indignation, The quick initiative, the long reflection, The cold patience and the infinite perseverance, The understanding of the particular case and the understanding of the ensemble: Only the lessons of reality can teach us to transform reality.” — Bertold Brecht 

And as we all know, we’ve got to BE the change we wish to see in the world. It begins in us, in the little things, in the daily things.

So are you ANGRY today? Good! USE IT, WELL. Manage Anger, don’t let it manage you. Direct that heated charge of energy towards finding a winning solution. Get angry enough. Then use it.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Love, Choice, Responsibility by Leo Buscaglia

Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia PhD (March 31, 1924 – June 12, 1998), also known as “Dr. Love,” was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Sourthern California.

While teaching at USC, Buscaglia was moved by a student’s suicide to contemplate human disconnectedness and the meaning of life, and began a non-credit class he called Love 1A. This became the basis for his first book, titled simply LOVE.” – Wikipedia

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Significance

Originally posted on jesssmithwriting:

Recently I have acknowledged both my significance and my complete insignificance in the universe. It is the greatest paradox I have faced and come to understand. We spend our days running around in our own “zone.” We forget that all the while, everyone around us is doing the same thing. Reality is nothing but our personal perception. My reality is completely different than the next person’s. We can hear the same song, look at the same tree, read the same book, but we will not gather the same information from these things. We get so caught up in our own lives, assuming that that is “reality.” But it isn’t, it is just ours!

Without sounding like a complete hippy..the ocean is what has taught me this. A 5 minute walk takes me from downtown of a metropolis to standing on a beach, staring at a vast, beautiful body of water..a…

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“When there’s chaos, the calm one prevails.” – AT

“One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.” – Lao Tzu

Our world is in a state of crisis. It is nothing new. It is a constant thing. But each and every day, we can make a difference by choosing Awareness.

Being aware of our action and reaction to the crisis and conflicts in our inner world, can direct our contribution to our outer world.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandhi

Last Thursday, a text and a call sent me into a fearful and panicked state, the twin triggers of anger and hate. In my state of distress, I turned to a friend I’ve come to respect on so many levels.

I value his approach to life, people and the little things. You can see how a person is with the bigger things, by observing the way they are with the seemingly insignificant, little things.

He is not perfect, but no one is. In some areas he admit he’s downright clueless, and apt to repeating the same painful experiences until he learns–but isn’t it the same with all of us?

With these things in mind, I looked to him for help.

He began by asking a series of questions to clarify a few things.

In my state of mind, there was no helping me. It was like trying to walk across a field planted with old explosive land mines.

Instead of fighting fire with fire, I am grateful he maintained his calm composure and fixed his eyes on the problem, never averting it to the person who is making him the problem now.

Even when I told him to forget it, he kept a steady gaze towards finding a solution instead of backing off and leaving me to my misery.

“…my dear friend, I just want you to assess the situation and know what kind of a person you are dealing with at the moment. 

Every word or action draws a reaction.

If shit happened, so be it, it’s about finding a solution now correct (?).

There are ways to solve a problem like this, just try to understand the nature of this aggressiveness, and maybe we’ll (find) the best solution together.

When there’s chaos, the calm one prevails.” – AT

internalpeaceAs we’re mindful of a world in crisis, let’s extend our mindfulness to the simple, little things.

“Every word or action draws a reaction.”

“When there’s chaos, the calm one prevails.”

Are we contributing a problem or a solution? Are we adding more fuel to fire and playing our parts as agents of fear and anger and hatred and war? Or are we making space for peace by working on our inner peace?

Let it begin with me.

Let it begin with you.

Let it begin with us. 

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

The Living Flame Of Love

 “…with time and practice, love can grow deeper in quality, as I say, and become more ardent. We have an example of this in the activity of fire:

Although the fire has penetrated the wood, transformed it, and united it with itself, yet as this fire grows hotter and continues to burn, so the wood becomes much more incandescent and inflamed, even to the point of flaring up and shooting out flames from itself.

It should be understood that the soul now speaking has reached this enkindled degree, and is so inwardly transformed in the fire of love and elevated by it that it is not merely united to this fire but produces within it a living flame. 

The soul feels this and speaks of it thus in these stanzas with intimate and delicate sweetness of love, burning in love’s flame…” – Fray Juan de la Cruz, on his poem, ‘The Living Flame of Love’.

What’s burning within you? Guard the Flame.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

“…hardly anyone thinks that there is anything that needs to be learned about love…This attitude–that nothing is easier than to love–has continued to be the prevalent idea… in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.” – Erich Fromm

Originally posted on theloveculture:

“…hardly anyone thinks that there is anything that needs to be learned about love. This peculiar attitude is based on several premises which either singly or combined tend to uphold it.

Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love.

Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable. In pursuit of this aim they follow several paths.

One, which is especially used by men, is to be successful, to be as powerful and rich as the social margin of one’s position permits.

Another, used especially by women, is to make oneself attractive, by cultivating one’s body, dress, etc.

Other ways of making oneself attractive, used both by men and women, are to develop pleasant manners, interesting conversation, to be helpful, modest, inoffensive.

Many of the ways to make oneself lovable…

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“Each person in your life is sent there for your benefit and to teach you a lesson.” – Mastin Kipp

Originally posted on theloveculture:

Love this post by Mastin Kipp: “If, for some strange reason, you have or still keep attracting lovers who only end up causing you pain, today’s words are for you.

Each person in your life is sent there for your benefit and to teach you a lesson. The lesson could be how to trust yourself. The lesson could be that you are loved. The lesson could be to heal a wound from your past, or perhaps, the lesson could be forgiveness.

Now, think about this. If someone is sent into your life to teach you forgiveness, how else could you learn the lesson of forgiveness than by being betrayed or let down by someone you care for deeply? Or, if the lesson is to teach you how to trust yourself, then how else could you learn except by getting into a relationship where you KNEW from the beginning that is…

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