Libya: A Story Forgotten.

theloveculture:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr

Originally posted on middle east revised:

Libya. A story forgotten. In Bedtime Reading for the Unborn Child, Libyan poet Khaled Mattawa writes: “Night girl, night girl/your book is full now/You have drawn all the pictures/You have seen many weepers.”

NYC136555

Unfortunately, it seems like it is still not time for dawn in Libya. The country was destroyed by a war prosecuted by NATO, and the wreckage is now more visible than ever. I went through the photos Magnum’s photographer Michael Christopher Brown took during the Libyan civil war in 2011. The paradoxes and ironies of these photos are so bitter and obvious, as I am reading news from Libya now, four years later.

NYC136566

Gaddafi’s death (the killing of Gaddafi) didn’t bring freedom. And it didn’t bring peace. NATO’s intervention in Libya was not, as many have praised it, a humanitarian success. It wasn’t, as it was hailed, a ‘model intervention’. It was a boomerang that came back to…

View original 451 more words

“When you don’t know how to say no, your body will say it for you.” – Dr. Gabor Maté

Originally posted on theloveculture:

“When you don’t know how to say no, your body will say it for you.” – Dr. Gabor Maté. “When we have a symptom, or an illness, it’s not enough to say ‘How do I get rid of this? How do I wage a battle against this?’.

There’s another way to look at it.

…Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They’re actually yours. They’re specifically yours, designed specifically for you, by a part of you that loves you more than anything else.

The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You’re not going in the right direction and there’s something pricking you on the side that says, ‘Look Here. This way.’

The part of you that loves you so much, that doesn’t want you to lose that chance, will go…

View original 122 more words

“When you don’t know how to say no, your body will say it for you.” – Dr. Gabor Maté

“When you don’t know how to say no, your body will say it for you.” – Dr. Gabor Maté. “When we have a symptom, or an illness, it’s not enough to say ‘How do I get rid of this? How do I wage a battle against this?’.

There’s another way to look at it.

…Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They’re actually yours. They’re specifically yours, designed specifically for you, by a part of you that loves you more than anything else.

The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You’re not going in the right direction and there’s something pricking you on the side that says, ‘Look Here. This way.’

The part of you that loves you so much, that doesn’t want you to lose that chance, will go to extreme measures to wake you up. It will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen.

What else can it do? That’s its purpose.

…Most of the stress of human beings are emotional ones. And the biggest stress of all is trying to be who you’re not. 

So the maintenance of health really depends on knowing who you are, getting in touch with your body, getting in touch with your self, being mindful of all that, and honoring who you are.” 

****

“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

Moving Mondays: The Power of Choice

Originally posted on Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg:


We spend so much time reminding ourselves that we don’t have control over everything that happens to us in our life that sometimes we forget what we can control. We have the power to control how we react to people and circumstances in our life. We have the power to choose what our response will be. It’s important to cultivate a daily mindfulness practice to remind ourselves that we always have the power of choice.

While learning to let go of what we can’t control is vital for our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, it’s vital to remember that we do have control over our choices. We will never be able to control the people around us — there will always be people who anger us or hurt us or annoy us — but we do have the power to choose how we let other people affect us. Each day we can…

View original 28 more words

L-O-V-E is not just for the lucky few. It’s for Everyone. Happy Valentine’s Day.

What better time to get reconnected with what LOVE is, than Today? And Everyday ‘ever after’ that!

My favourite definition of LOVE is my favourite because it’s so practical:

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.” – 1 Cor 13:4-7 (NIV)

Truth be told. I used to look at this definition of love and think, “When I get to heaven, maybe!” But in 2010, when my life got Shaken up to Awaken me, I began to realise something. It’s impossible to Love others this way, only if I haven’t learned how to Love myself this way.

Start with YOU.

GET CONSCIOUS of the way You Love You.

Love is patient, love is kind: Are you patient, with you? Are you kind, with you?

Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud: SELF-LOVE, my lovers. When we learn SELF-LOVE, we begin to see that it’s not about Compete and Compare, it’s about Complete and Complement! (I got schooled on these AMAZING 4Cs by my spiritual mentor Rinda. Thanks RINDA!)

Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs: Love means, Honor. Are you honouring yourself? Only when you learn to Honor yourself, can you truly Honor others. If you need to know that You Matter, begin by letting others know They Matter. And remember, be easier on yourself. Are you easily angered with you? Are you still holding on to your past mistakes? Be gentle with you. FORGIVE You. Learn what you can, then Let Go.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth: Are you replaying old stories of old hurts and old wounds and old offences and old betrayals and old mistakes, over and over again like a spoilt record–like you’re enjoying it? Pause. Stop. Recognise that this mind-pattern is a soul’s cry for Love. It’s time to Love the hurting, wounded, offended, betrayed, and flawed person in you. It’s also time to recognise that we are are more alike than unalike. For every suffering someone has inflicted on us, we too, may have unconsciously or consciously, caused suffering to others–perhaps in different ways and form. But suffering is still suffering.

Go in a new direction TODAY (and everyday after that). It’s time to be reconnected with the truth of You. The truth is that you’re WORTHY of Love, just as you are, right now. You don’t have to be perfect, to Be Loved. You are SO LOVED. More than you can ever imagine. Pray for your eyes to be opened to this truth, again and again, day after day.  

Love always protects: Are you protecting you? I am not talking about being defensive. I am talking about loving yourself enough to make CARING decisions that takes care of you. Only when you learn to protect yourself, can you do the same for others.

This could mean loving yourself enough to walk out on a relationship that is no longer Honoring you. You don’t actually love anyone, if you can’t even love yourself enough to extricate yourself from a sad and bad situation.

This could mean loving yourself enough to drink responsibly, and never drinking to the point of regretting some things you did when you were drunk. Some things can never be undone. But it’s never too late to learn. ‘When I know better, I do better, that’s all.’ – Maya Angelou.  

Love always trusts: Are you Trustworthy? Can YOU keep your promises to yourself? Everyday is another opportunity to be the kind of person YOU can trust. Learning to Trust You can come from painful outcomes in and out of a relationship. Chances are, your instincts already knew from the beginning this person was not right for you. It’s OK. Consider it as a painful lesson, and therefore a Gift, in learning to Trust You more next time.

And remember, LOVE ‘always hopes, always perseveres': Don’t lose HOPE on you. Dare Yourself to hope again. DREAM UP good things for YOU and keep growing in that direction. Never give up believing in you. In relationships, someone can walk out on you for their own selfish reasons, but that’s just a reflection of their growth. YOU can choose to never walk out on you. Never let YOU go. Keep GROWING. Grow forward, with you.

That’s LOVE!

I’m a big believer in turning my STRUGGLE into STRENGTH. So I must confess. After all this time, I still get a little nervous come Valentine’s. I still find myself dreading the feeling of Single Awareness Day and feel a little SAD! ;- ) It’s silly, but IT’S REAL. And we know I’m not the only one. WE all struggle with insecurity. The beauty of it is TODAY (and everyday after this) is another wonderful opportunity to remind myself / ourselves:

L-O-V-E is not just for the lucky few. It’s for Everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day, Lovers!  

“The measure of a man, is the measure of his heart, and the measure of his heart, is the measure of his Love… You don’t measure me, like men, they see. You’re looking at my heart, the core of me… Your eyes of Fire, sees differently. Keep me in the gaze of Love… ” – Misty Edwards & David Brymer

With ALL my Love,

Mish

The Love Culture
www.facebook.com/theloveculture
www.theloveculture.wordpress.com

****

“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

Prayer of the Weak

Originally posted on Saturday Soul:

cover 2

Prayer of the Weak

It may look like I am weak, but I am not

I pray to open my heart and mind to possibilities and risks unknown

I choose to risk pain so that love can be found

I am not afraid

I am not going to hold back, yet I am terrified

I will wrangle rings of fire to bring you close to my heart

I will do this because I am love

I am not afraid, but I am terrified

Our shredded hearts will heal to become like branches of a tree

Giving rest to our weakened souls

Nurtured by our tears

I pray for you to come and be yourself with me

Let’s fight our way to each other’s arms

And love without fear

Share the terror that we feel

Opening our hearts

To love as no other

What is love but your heart beating?

What is…

View original 34 more words

Take that leap of Faith: OWN your disgrace, to experience Real GRACE

graceinthemidstofdisgrace

****

“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

Moving Mondays: The Power of Love

Originally posted on Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg:


How often do you say “I love you”? Do you say it to your friends and family as you hang up the phone or you before you go to sleep at night? Sometimes we say these words so often that they become mechanical. We forget the meaning behind them.

Love has the power to transform. It has the power to change lives. Children who know they are loved are more likely to be healthy and successful as they grow up than children who do not. But that power doesn’t end during childhood. Love is the motivation for so many of our stories, songs, and works of art. The metaphors are endless. Why do we say that love gives us new eyes? It’s because love has the power to change an ordinary life into an amazing one. Our daily life may remain the same, but our perspective is altered. Whether we’ve met a…

View original 69 more words

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” – Hafiz

Could it be, Life has SHAKEN you to AWAKEN you? 

Here’s another radical idea: What if that moment your world as you knew it was crumbling down and flipping over, was a divine moment of Grace? 

If this idea isn’t sitting well with you, WAIT, check this out before you go:

“While on an expedition to Antarctica last month, photographer Alex Cornell witnessed a massive iceberg flip, revealing a strangely translucent blue underside that’s completely free of snow and debris. According to Science World, almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare.

Much larger iceberg flips are even capable of causing tsunamis that can overtake nearby ships.” – thisiscolossal.com

flip-1

Stunning Iceberg Flip captured by Alex Cornell: http://www.alexcornell.com/#/antarctica/

 

flip-2

Stunning Iceberg Flip captured by Alex Cornell: http://www.alexcornell.com/#/antarctica/

 

On YouTube, in a video entitled ‘Iceberg flipping over…’ the person who posted it described the phenomenon like this: “… the huge berg lost a part of itself (look at the right side sinking) and then flipped over with a huge roar.

In the process of melting this happens all the time, but it is seldom that it is captured on video WHEN it happens…”

As I read all these and marvelled at these stunning shots, I was graced with a moment of clarity, which led to an inner hush of silence and gratitude…

…For the ‘Divine Meltdown’ that led to the Flipping Over of my world.

It was a scary and painful episode of my life where every false external securities, addictions and attachments I had clung on to and mistaken as my Identity, Worth and Purpose, melted away in a blink of an eye.

It was terrifying while it was happening.

But all along, it was Grace at work, a blessing in disguise. It marked the moment of my Awakening. For that to happen, my old world-view was turned Upside Down, Inside Out.

More than that, it was an answer to my prayer. All year long, no kidding, I’d been praying, “Upgrade me! Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically-TOTALLY!” Of course when I prayed that dangerous prayer, I had no idea I was inviting into my life, an extreme internal makeover.

What I had in mind, and what the DIVINE had in store for me, were worlds apart. I got more than what I could ever ask, hope or imagine for myself.

But again, it was NOT EASY when things went down the way it did. I had not anticipated that a total Upgrade would mean Growth, and lots of Growing Pains. And just like an iceberg in the process of melting, it looked as if I was losing a part of myself and sinking under. When the flipping over happened, I was flipping out, BIG TIME. There was a huge roar of fear. I protested and resisted the massive change that was about to happen.

And no matter what I did, there was no turning back. The flip was still happening, ready or not.

As I went under, I thought I was dying.

As it turns out, it was a rebirth.

ALL that had been hidden from the surface of my consciousness all these years, began to reveal itself, and is still revealing itself. What seemed like a ‘Rude Awakening’ is, and continues to be, a Grace-Filled Awakening.

“Almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare.”

Are 90% of us still below the surface, still not Awakened? Are we choosing comfort, over the pain of growing? Security, over the risk of change? Are we resisting a massive ‘flip over’? And flipping out when it happens?

During a conversation with a friend the other day, he shared that he’ll rather have a smooth, monotonous existence where life may be boring but at least he’d never have to grow. He prefers it to the jarring pain of growth.

I know I can’t live like that. If you’re not growing, you’re ‘dying’. For me, that’s an even greater pain. I hope to keep growing till the day I die. And in this light, for every Flipping Over that has happened, is happening and will continue to happen, I say, bring it on. It’s always scary and painful and frustrating at first. But again and again and again, I am rediscovering that ‘what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It takes the flipping over to reveal what’s buried, and hidden within.

It’s not easy. And nobody likes painful experiences. But we can all give an empowering meaning to whatever we experience in life and be so much better off for it. Perhaps today is another opportunity to relook into a painful / challenging moment in your life, and be reminded of this truth:

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” — Hafiz

 

****

“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

Hold On to Now

We’re all holding on to something, whether we’re conscious of it or not. In this post, I’m focussing on our tendency to cling on to Pain from the Past, verses Grace in the Present moment.

Last Sunday, my girls and I were talking about Relationships (remember, ‘relationship’ is not just about BGR or romance, it encompasses ALL of life and everyone that’s a part of your life) and the human nature of holding on to pain. Something I’ve been relearning and reminding myself lately is this:

Today

is my First

and Last day

with you (anyone who’s a part of my day and life).

 

Today

will never happen again.

 

11.1.15 (the day we were having our

heartfelt talk) will never happen again.

 

If Today is my First and Last day with you, a loved one, a friend,

do I want to leave you in Pain or in Love?

 

“It’s true… but it’s not easy,” A says.

It’s not easy, it’s true. Especially when you’ve been hurt.

It’s easier to hold on to hurt, hurt them back,

10 times more! An eye for an eye!

 

That’s human nature.

 

When you’re angry,

being in the Here and Now

is not easy.

 

You want to go back to the past,

remind them of every mistake they’ve made

and if possible, cut them off from your future.

 

But if you train yourself to remember,

Today is the First day and the Last day

with a Loved one, you’d want to leave

them in Love… not Pain.

 

Yesterday,

that opportunity came up for me

to put this lesson into practice.

 

It was a whole day of struggling to hold the tensions

between the Past and the Present.

 

“Another way in which we can transform our darkness and “easter” the new life of the new self is by holding the painful tensions within us – the tugs between what the ego wants and that to which the True Self calls us.

We’re filled with an array of opposing tensions. John of the Cross wrote that in the dark night “the soul becomes a battlefield in which… two contraries combat one another.”

We’re pulled between the opposites: good and evil, hope and despair, love and hate, forgiveness and revenge, venturing forth and staying put, the urge to wholeness and the pull to fragmentation, acceptance and rejection, commitment and freedom, community and solitude, intimacy and autonomy, psyche and soma, doing and being, consciousness and unconsciousness, the masculine and the feminine. The list goes on and on…

…The first step toward growth is to enter these tensions, embracing and exploring the pain and ambiguity within rather than running from them, concealing them, or anesthetizing them.

…This interior integration and healing of the soul is our aim. But it can’t happen if we avoid the pain and tensions within us. Once, when my counselor and I were discussing Joseph Campbell’s captivating dictum ‘Follow your bliss,” he commented, “It may be just as important to follow your agony.” Perhaps we can’t find our real bliss until we begin to contront our agony.

The poet Gibran wrote something similar: “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The self-same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears… The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

When we enter the darkness, we accept that there will be trials. In the clash of opposites, the pain and conflict pull the strands of our lives back and forth in a miserable tug of war.

…Holding such tensions meant asking myself in countless circumstances, Am I being true in this moment…? Am I responding out of fear?” – Sue Monk Kidd, ‘When the Heart Waits.’

Fear gave me all the reasons to withhold Love.

Love embraced all of my heart, releasing Love.

 

I listened to both, and noticed how both felt like.

If I put Fear aside, I knew my heart had forgiven.

 

Then I reminded myself,

14.01.15 will never happen again.

 

No matter the painful outcome in the past,

Today will be my First and Last chance

to wish a loved one Happiness in life.

 

So I did. “Happy Birthday…”

And it left us both in Smiles.

 

There’s Grace in each Present moment.

Be present in the Present. Be here, Now.

 

It’s not easy. But the hope is in the trying.

DSC01168edit

Spotted this squirrel in Chiangmai, all stretched out, “holding on.” 28.12.14.

 

Love,
Mish

The Love Culture
www.facebook.com/theloveculture
www.theloveculture.wordpress.com

****

“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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers