Love Is Allowing Yourself To Feel

“We must not numb our pain.

When in sorrow, sorrow.

When in anger, anger.


It’s the only way to go through it.” Paul said to me, as we were discussing the problem of alcoholism in Finland.

His main language is Finnish. So when he speaks in English, it’s very simple. But I get it. And I love it. It comes out sounding like a poem.

Paul is saying we must go through the process of whatever it is we’re feeling. So when we’re in sorrow, then allow ourselves to be in sorrow.

Having spent many years working in a rehab for alcoholics in Helsinki, he’s seen how desperately people try to numb their pain, instead of dealing with the root of that pain. In the end, the only thing they create is a bigger mess, ruining their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

…I feel like I can relate to them.

For over a decade, I’ve tried to numb my pain through many ways.

It has led to many addictions that can be a whole blog post by itself.

The past one year and a half, I’ve been learning that there are better, healthier and more effective ways to deal with pain. Today, I’m just going to focus on one: Giving yourself permission to feel what you feel.

I’ve been having a hard time processing my feelings the last couple of days / weeks / months. Here I am, learning about love and sharing what I learn on The Love Culture. But I am highly aware, too, that these whole other spectrum of “dark” emotions are well and alive and brewing in me.








They’re not there all the time. At least not on the surface. But when it’s triggered, the rawness of the pain and the way I crumble, surprises me.

Seeing the way that I am when I’m in pain–and being made aware that I’m not much different from the person causing me pain when I’m hurt–just left me feeling absolutely lost in my own darkness. 

And then someone comes my way today, to remind me of my goodness and help me see the Light, within and without. I feel loved, supported and cared for. And it’s bringing me release. Which got me wondering…

Could this be the reason why we hold on to our hurt?

Is it a cry to be loved?

I believe the answer is, Yes.

This question and answer have, in the past, allowed me to let go of the need for justice or to set things right–at least, not in the heat of the moment. Understanding that both the perpetrator of pain and the one in pain is both crying out for the same thing–to be loved–frees me to open up my hands to receive the Love that I need from God, others and myself, to heal, instead of keeping it clenched in a fist of fury, ready to retaliate.

But this time around, I’m feeling conflicted.

Here I am, talking about love and compassion on The Love Culture, but I wasn’t feeling very loving or compassionate at the moment towards the source of my pain. I felt disgusted instead. And I felt bad for feeling this.

Then a friend comes along and gives me this reassurance:

“Dont ever be afraid to feel “negative” feelings.

They are just signals, not the be-alls and end-alls.

In the great silence of which you understand, there is the unfolding of His greatness and love, which can NEVER be taken away by our feelings.” – TW

I felt grateful for this reminder.

His permission (yes, we don’t need ‘permission’ so to speak, but when we’re stuck and unable to move, it helps to have someone say “IT’S OKAY, GO AHEAD”) to feel without condemnation, allowed me to navigate my way through this, by trying to understand,

“What are my “negative” feelings signalling?”

That I need Healing.

That I need more Love.

Both of which I can choose to receive in prayer, even in this time of pain.

What is your pain telling you? What are your “negative” feelings signalling? May your permission to feel, and your courage to face your darkness, give you the Understanding to Love and Be Loved.




Michelle Tan is the Founder of The Love Culture ‎~ Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living.

Her mission is to make space for Faith, Hope & LOVE through her writings, clothing line ROX/STA & music.

Loving Yourself Through The “What Ifs”

If you’re stuck wondering “What If?” today, may this post bring you release and help you grow on in Love.

The night Sweetie left us and the following day, the whole time, I kept thinking,

What if I brought him home on Tuesday, would he still be alive today? What if I left him at the petstore, would he still be alive now?  

What if? What if? What if? It never ends.

These thoughts kept coming as surely as the tears have been flowing. But I’ve been through this before and I know doubting myself and allowing it all to spiral into a big self-hate party wouldn’t solve a thing. So in between doing the dishes and cleaning up baby’s tank and apparatus and wiping my tears, the thought that came to my mind is this:

Can you love yourself through the ‘What Ifs’?

How do we do that?

1. By shifting the main focus from the outcome, to the heart.

And these were the questions that were coming to me, during this time:

Q: What was your intention when you brought Sweetie home?
A: To help him get well

Q: Did you love him?
A: Yes I do

Q: How long did you want him to live?
A: …Forever

And then, silence.

The questions and answers reminded me of the most important thing: I wanted the best for him and did my best for him.  In the end, that’s all that matters. If I did something wrong, that wasn’t my intention at all.

And my heart knows it.

2. By actively practising Graciousness and Compassion.

When it comes to making mistakes, Awareness and Accountability is important. But most importantly, see a mistake for what it is–A Mistake.

Learn from it and grow on. 

As my favourite quote by Maya Angelou goes, “I did then what I knew how. When I know better, I do better, that is all.”

I also love what my friend once said to me when I was filled with remorse over a decision I had made: “You were navigating the best way you knew how.” I know it holds truth for us all.

Can we be gracious and show compassion–to ourselves and others–for being human? For feeling fear? For making bad choices because of fear? Can we learn from our mistakes and allow ourselves to grow on? The truth is, we can…

…Because Love is a choice.

3. Loving yourself through the “What Ifs” means learning Self-Love. 

For a start,  think about all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy about yourself–right now. 

Keep your thoughts to the present moment. Not of what you were in the past. Not of your “potential” in the future. But of you, as you’re reading this. Our mind is like a muscle. Over the years, we’ve trained it to be our own best self-critic. So it may come as a surprise to you, that thinking good things about yourself doesn’t come naturally. The hope is in the trying. As you keep training yourself in this area, it gets better and easier.

4. Have FAITH 

Tomorrow is another chance to try again. It’s not the end of the world yet, though it may feel that way. Have Faith that everything happens for a reason. Allow this Gift of Pain to serve a purpose. Learn from it and grow through it.

This post is dedicated to my love at first sight: Sweetie

ps: Sweetie is my first rescue fish. He’s already lost his ability to float or swim by the time I saw him again for the second time on Sunday. (You can read about it here if you missed the previous post: Love… While You Can, When You Can) But I’m not the first person moved to bring home a sick fish to try and nurse him / her back to health. I got to know about ‘goldfish rescues’ in 2010. Knowing how much work and time it consumes, I thought these people were a little bit crazy.

But with Sweetie, I finally understood why they would do this.

LOVE is why…

Love makes it all worth it. Always.




The Love Culture – A Loving Way Of Being

Love… While You Can, When You Can.

Have you ever wondered “What If?” and allowed Fear to come in between you and Love–in the present?

The better question we can ask is this instead, “What would Love do now?”

My biggest lesson for this week is to Love… While you can, when you can.

Last Tuesday, was the first time I saw Sweetie. He was the only one of his kind…

…swimming in a blue tub, mixed up with two black moors, much bigger in size.

He paddled frantically to hide when he saw me, docking himself next to a black moor. I only had a top view of Sweetie. Since he wouldn’t budge from his hide-out, that was that. We left him at the shop that day.

But I was feeling a tug of war.

To bring him home?
To leave him there?

…but I kept thinking “What If?”

“What if I go all the way back, but don’t feel like bringing him home?”
“What if no one keeps an eye on him while I’m at work in July?”

“What if we move by end of the year and there’ll be logistical issues?”
“What if I leave for NZ next year and there’s no one to care for him?”

If I knew then what I know now.

That I’d only have 2 days and 2 nights with him, plus 30 minutes…

…I would’ve brought him home sooner.

By the time I went to see him for the second time on Sunday, his tub was overcrowded with black moors–freshly stocked. Poor sweetie, a tiny thing surrounded by giants, was left there to fend for himself.

My friend Pam had came along for this unplanned trip to the petstore so we both got to look at his face for the first time in the viewing tank that day. It was love at first sight! But we were both also aware that he sank right to the bottom of the tank when scooped up for us to see. His blood-streaked fins indicated that he was severely stressed and not feeling well.

I knew though, this time, I couldn’t just walk away and leave him there.

I was aware I would be bringing home a sick goldfish to care for.

After all the pain and grief and heartache from the loss of Pumpkin, Ponyo, Peaches, Patches, Pebbles, I had some reservations. Why risk getting hurt again? But loving Sweetie felt like the natural thing to do…

I’m glad I chose Love over Fear.

The last 2 days and 2 nights filled Pam’s heart and mine with so much awe, gratitude and wonderment for this tiny and handsome goldfish.

It’s true what they say…

“Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

Bringing home Sweetie was a great decision I wish I made sooner.

But more than that, I guess the biggest lesson of all for me…

…and for us all,

Is to always, always, always,


While we can.

When we can.

He refused to eat on his first day home… my heart sank. If there’s anything a goldfish loves doing, it’s eating. And when they don’t… it means goodbye.

Have you seen a face cuter than his? He’s got such a cartoon face it’s surreal. Heart-meltingly adorable…

In the petstore, he’s already lost his ability to float or swim. So when I brought him back home, it was no different. But he kept wiggling his tail and hands (front fins) and propelled himself all over the tank.

*Most adorable picture of Sweetie by his god-mother, Pam. It was love at first sight when we saw his face.

“We love you lots, Sweetie. And we’re sad you have to go. Someday we’ll be together again. Thank you for coming into our lives–you’re a gift from heaven above, and we’re glad to have met you, before you went back home. 




The Love Culture – A Loving Way Of Being

“The Truth Seeps Out Of Syria” – Peter Hitchens,

Author: Peter Hitchens for Daily Mail, UK. Published: 21:58 GMT, 9 June ’12.

I have been contacted by a group of Western women who live in Syria and who believe that most of what the world is being told about that country is false.

As far as I can discover, they are not stooges of what they agree to be a rather nasty government in Damascus, but exactly what they say they are: normal human beings caught up in a political tornado. For obvious reasons, I have promised to protect their identities.

I urge you to read what follows, because it is important, because our emotional interventions in other countries never do any good, and because it is vital that people resist attempts to drag us into Syria, too, by feeding us one-sided atrocity propaganda.

This sort of propaganda has a price. I hope you have noticed the continuing tally of deaths of selfless British soldiers in Afghanistan, in a cause long ago abandoned.

And I hope you have also noticed that Libya, ‘rescued’ by us a few months ago, is now a failed state whose main international airport was recently taken over by gangsters, and where unjustly arrested prisoners are starved and tortured in secret dungeons.

One of my informants from Syria writes of the ‘activists’ we hear so much about: ‘These protesters are not peaceful, flower-carrying people wanting freedom. No, they are weapon-toting killers who snipe, who ambush, who fire upon the army with the sole purpose of inciting riot and mayhem.’

She blames Salafis, ultra-puritan Muslims influenced by Saudi teachings, who loathe and threaten Syria’s minorities of Alawites and Christians. She says many of the ‘activists’ are foreigners, a view shared by all my informants. Many of the ‘activists’ are armed.

Armed intervention is in fact well under way, uncondemned by the UN, which readily attacks the Syrian government for defending itself.

Another writes: ‘I have seen reports of opposition rallies which showed pictures of pro-government rallies, and reports purporting to be from the north Syrian countryside, where it has been an incredibly wet year, which appear to have been taken in some desert. The news being accepted as truth by BBC World News is so biased these days that I no longer believe what they say about anything any more, after more than 60 years of crediting them with the truth.’

She says she has spoken to a man who took part in a march at Hama last summer. He ‘was worried for his safety, but was given a red rose to carry and assured the whole thing would be calm and orderly, and seeing many other men from the mosque joining in with their small sons, he agreed.

They walked for a very few minutes, the unarmed police watching them from the wayside, then a man next to him pulled out a gun and shot the nearest policeman dead.’ A riot followed, reported by foreign TV stations as a police attack on peaceful marchers.

I expect to have more to say on this in weeks to come.

Peter Jonathan Hitchens (born 28 October 1951) is an award-winning British columnist and author, noted for his traditionalist conservative stance.

He has published five books, including The Abolition of BritainA Brief History of CrimeThe Broken Compass and most recently The Rage Against God. Hitchens writes for Britain’s The Mail on Sunday newspaper.

A former resident correspondent in Moscow and Washington, Hitchens continues to work as an occasional foreign reporter, and appears frequently in the British broadcast media. He is the younger brother of the late US-based writer Christopher Hitchens.

In 2010 Hitchens was described by Edward Lucas in The Economist as “a forceful, tenacious, eloquent and brave journalist. Readers with long memories may remember his extraordinary coverage of the revolution in Romania in 1989, or more recently his intrepid travels to places such as North Korea.

He lambasts woolly thinking and crooked behaviour at home and abroad.” – Source, Wikipedia




“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

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Eyewitness account: Media lies about Syria

Anhar Kochneva speaks out against the war on the streets of Damascus. (Source: Anhar Kochneva)

Author: Natalia Mihailova for GB Times05.06.2012

Independent journalist Anhar Kochneva has been living and working in Syria for more than ten years. She says that the situation in Syria is not at all similar to how it has been presented in the mass media.

She is Russian, speaks fluent Arabic and her friends and neighbors are ordinary Syrians. She walks along the same streets of Damascus and goes shopping in the same stores as any other resident of the Syrian capital. We recently spoke with her to ask about some of the causes for the long-term disorder in Syria?

So-called demonstrations

Were there any prerequisites for the Syrian crisis?

First of all, there were no signs of any crisis a year ago. Nothing extraordinary happened in March 2011. The whole thing started out as a case of criminal activity.

I always got furious when journalists wrote that ‘mass riots and demonstrations had been taking place in Syria during recent months’.

It is not true.

I’ve been living permanently in Syria for the last seven months, and I saw only three ‘so-called demonstrations’. So-called, because there were very few people and they were clearly staged as a performance for journalists.

“Protests” were shot on video for five or ten minutes before people quickly dispersed. In some cities, where bandits took control temporarily, they forced people to go to demonstrations.

I came to Syria in the late-90s. To tell the truth, I didn’t like the country. Now I’ve been living in this country for quite a while, the country has changed. Life has changed; people have changed. People have started their own businesses; they have their own property.

Therefore, people would maybe have supported a protest movement 10 years ago, but now they wouldn’t. Now people want stability. There is unnecessary chaos, some disorders. They used to live in a peaceful country. Syria was one of the safest countries in the region. Here you could leave a bag with money in the street, return two days later and find it in the same place. Now, unfortunately, it’s not like that anymore. People are afraid. Something they were proud of was stolen from them.

In the hands of bandits

Who is planning the explosions, shooting at people and destroying buildings?

Some weeks ago I was in Homs. I was in the sadly known Baba Amr district of Homs. Most of the residents have left their homes. My friends live 800 meters from Baba Amr. They told me that bandits fired at their houses. Not the Army.

The Syrian army does not kill people. They only answer when the situation is extreme.

Most of the last months’ casualties were soldiers of the Syrian Army. The so-called rebels fight in the streets, shoot videos and burn tires. If you see black smoke on a video “made by mobile phone”, it’s not the result of artillery fire by the army, it is smoke from burning tires.

A month ago I was in Zabadani in southwest Syria. The bandits kept the whole city in fear. We often hear and read in media about the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. A humanitarian catastrophe begins when a city is in the hands of bandits.

In Zabadani, my colleagues and I were captured by bandits. They showed us a rusty tank and said the tank fired at the town. But the two ruined houses were in the middle of the district. I do not think that the tank could shoot from the air or from behind the corner. They gathered a dozen people and organized a demonstration especially for us. At this moment I looked at the people’s faces. I saw only fear and hatred on the faces. They were afraid of the bandits and hated them.

Soldiers of fortune

You always use word ‘bandits’: aren’t they rebels or the opposition?

There are a lot of soldiers of fortune among the bandits. They are Chechens, Romanians, French, Libyans, and Afghans. Moreover, there was a very funny accident with Afghan soldiers. A few Afghans were caught and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ They replied, ‘We were told that we came to Israel, and at night we are shooting at Israeli buses. We are fighting with the enemy to liberate Palestine.’ It might be funny, but it is true. The guys were really surprised, ‘Are we in Syria? We thought we were in Israel!’

Syria’s own criminals are also in armed gangs. These are real criminals who should be in prison. Such people can be found in any country. It is very typical that when they take control of a city they immediately burn criminal archives.

There are these types of people in any society… the people who like to enjoy the power, who do not want to work but want to have money. We have more and more cases of robbery. Their number is not great. On the other hand, one does not need a large number of people to terrorize the city. Two armed snipers can paralyze life on the streets.

Wants chaos, not reform

The parliamentary elections took place on May 7, 2012. Did the opposition participate in the elections?

Yes, the campaign was very active. All the walls of the main streets of Damascus were covered with candidates’ posters. They said 7,200 candidates were competing for 250 seats. Why are you sure that the vote was not democratic? Who says so? The leaders of the Syrian opposition? They have been living abroad, in Europe, for decades. What do they know about the real Syria? What do they know about our needs? Let Syrian people decide their future.

The major opposition parties acting in Syria participated in the parliamentary elections. By the way, one more detail to the situation. Three days ago the son of the head of the Syrian National Party was killed. The party got threats that they should not go to the elections, but the party refused and then the guy was just killed. Who is responsible for this? The government or the ones who do not want any positive changes in Syria? The bandits do not need any reform; they only need destabilization and chaos in the country.

Who is the conflict in Syria between?

Tragically, Syria is an obstacle for the US to change the political balance in the Middle East. Read the book Where to Invade Next, edited by Stephen Elliott, and you will understand a lot about the Arab Spring.

Thanks to the global media, we all live in the alternative media reality. The whole world is watching a movie about something which does not in fact exist; it’s fiction in the guise of real events. This is a manipulation of public opinion.

UN observers, see for yourselves!

What is the attitude towards the Annan plan in Syria?

One opinion is that this is an attempt to give the bandits the time to regroup. Everybody we have seen here in Homs told us that in a week the Syrian army would have solved the problems with bandits. On the other hand, there is the second version: that the US wants to get out of this situation without losing face.

Through the verdict of the UN, they would recognize the fact that the Government of Syria was right and stop to escalate the situation. I prefer the second version. I think it’s true because it is impossible to not see the truth. You can trick once and even twice, but it is very difficult to trick all the time. I am sure that 300 UN observers will see the truth. Force them to lie – it is difficult.

In January, a mission of the League of Arab States gave a detailed report on the events in Damascus. They reported that police conduct in Homs was a reaction to the activities of the armed gangs. So far, the commission’s report of LAS has not been published. I hope that the UN personnel are decent people who will objectively reflect the situation.

Finally, do you support the Government of Syria?

Me? I don’t know anybody from the government. I support the people of Syria. Nobody else.

– Independent journalist Anhar Kochneva, has been living and working in Syria for more than ten years. She is interviewed by Natalia Mihailova.

“A lie cannot live.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.




“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

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“The West Must Quit The Theatrics And Tell The Truth On Syria”

Link to original article on The Conversation: the-west-must-quit-the-theatrics-and-tell-the-truth-on-syria-7303

Author: Fiona Hill, Honorary Fellow At Deakin University. 3 June 2012, 8.55am AEST.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia will lead the way in expelling Syrian diplomats in response to the Al Houla massacre.

These theatrics are just another act in the shadow play over Syria.

Western governments and Arab world allies declaim violence and at the same time support financial and logistical aid to an increasingly violent armed opposition, not all of whom are Syrian.

We call for a ceasefire and push for military intervention without any intention of following through on either.

The intentional killing of more than 100 civilians in Al Houla, including women and children, is as shocking and frightening to Syrians as it is to Australians. But it is not a new development.

Armed gangs and militia, including the Free Army, have been abducting, extorting, and murdering citizens, destroying energy and water utilities, and robbing, vandalising and torching private properties for many months.

Suicide bombings in Aleppo and Damascus have caused carnage recently, with terrible loss of life on 10 May in particular.

In March, the murder of women, children and elderly men in Karm Al Zaytoun was a chilling precursor to Al Houla.

Many Syrians say the presence of the UN special envoy and monitoring mission, who are a ready audience for opposition propaganda, has sparked an escalation in such acts of terror.

The Syrian President continues to call for foreign financing, arming and abetting of militias to cease, and Kofi Annan continues to invoke the fragile ceasefire with such unequivocal statements as “This message of peace is not only for the government, but for everyone with a gun.”

Both Kofi Anan and Head of the UN monitoring team Major General Robert Mood reserve judgement on the perpetrators of the Al Houla massacre.

The “mainstream” armed opposition and agitators outside Syria blame militia aligned with the government. Within Syria there is much more conjecture.

UN monitors report evidence of Syrian government involvement through spent tank shells, yet a spokesman for the UN High Commission on Human Rights claims that fewer than 20 of the 108 killings can be attributed to artillery and tank fire. The rest were executed at close range.

While no-one will yet confirm who did this, word on the street says it is an act of retribution by militia. But which militia? And retribution for what?

Apart from the criminal gangs, opportunists, and the criminally insane now operating without restraint in Syria, there are “thugs” who have been active in suppressing political agitation for decades. Known as the Shabbiha, this network of men loyal to a “big man”, with all the criminal activity that this can entail, are brutal.

The Shabbiha’s alliance with the Syrian government may not be formalised but the conditions that allow them to operate are created by this government. Therefore the government bears responsibility for their actions.

The Syrian government has sworn to make those responsible accountable, and well they might. Like other Arab governments the Syrians now find that control of “the street” by a de factosecurity force is not only unpredictable but a liability.

Meanwhile the armed opposition (as opposed to the peaceful pro-democracy movement in its various forms) comprises not only the Free Army but also Al Qaeda and Sunni jihadist “brigades”. They are united only in their shared distaste for Syria’s secularism. Their appetite for a Sunni Islamist government is patently clear.

To this end the Free Army intimidated and barred Syrians from voting in the Constitutional Referendum. Despite this, a new multiparty system was heralded in Syria – surely cause for universal celebration and yet unremarked by “Arab Spring” enthusiasts.

The armed opposition boycotted Parliamentary elections held on May 7 across Syria and now denounce new Parliamentary members as government loyalists.

By their logic, every Syrian who accepts political enfranchisement is a government loyalist. Many speculate that this belief is motivating such shocking actions as Al Houla’s massacre.

When the BBC ran a 2003 photograph from Iraq to depict this Syrian massacre the slaughtered became double victims.

In a propaganda war of breathtaking proportions, and after more than a year of civil unrest, the Assad-led government has yet to fall.

The President’s broad, but by no means absolute, Alawi clan support has not achieved this alone. Syrian government Ministers and Parliamentary members are men and women of Shia, Sunni, and Christian backgrounds. The President’s wife is a Sunni. Syria is a secular state.

By these factors all-out sectarian civil war is being held at bay. But how long can Syria hold out against the onslaught of external (economic) and internal (violent) pressures?

Insistence that these pressures remain legitimate clearly imperils children of the “wrong” sect, or of parents caught between peace and mayhem.

For the sake of all vulnerable Syrians, we must insist that the truth of the Al Houla massacre is told.

The Secretary General of the 57-member state Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) representing over 1.4 billion Muslims is leading the way. In a radical statement he calls on religious scholars to denounce these crimes and on OIC member states to reevaluate their positions.

Australia’s continued support for the armed opposition can only be read as acceptance of the opposition’s “higher purpose” – a Sunni Islamic state at all costs. Australian government theatrics over Syria must cease.

Our vindicated whistle blower on Iraq came out of Canberra. It’s time Australia had some truth on Syria.


Fiona Hill does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

The Conversation provides independent analysis and commentary from academics and researchers.

Founding and Strategic Partners are CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, UTS and UWA. Members are Deakin, Flinders, La Trobe, Murdoch, QUT, Swinburne, UniSA, UTAS, and VU.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.




“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

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Love Does No Harm To Others

“If you LOVE your neighbour as much as you love yourself you will not want to harm…

…All ten (commandments) are wrapped up in this one:

to LOVE your neighbor as you LOVE yourself.

LOVE does no wrong to anyone.

That’s why it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need.” – Romans 13:9-10, (The Living Bible translation)

“LOVE does no harm to a neighbour;

therefore LOVE is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:10 (New King James Version)

“Who is my neighbour?”

An expert in the law had asked Jesus that question, after having tested Jesus on what must be done to inherit eternal life, according to the Law.

Jesus replied with the now world famous story of The Good Samaritan. And asked him in return, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

I am referring to passages found in Luke 10:25-37, just in case you may want to check that out for yourself, which I’d gladly encourage you to do.  

Besides the person / people living next door, Merriam-Webster dictionary also clearly defines Neighbour as, A Fellow Man.

A Fellow Human is your neighbour.

So what do we do with Our Fellow Man?

Jesus said, “This is my command: LOVE each other”. – John 15:17

And one of the hardest teachings of Jesus is found in Luke 6:27, “But I tell you who hear me: LOVE your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… If you (only) love those who love you, what credit is that to you?”

But it makes total sense that He would ask this of us, because it means:

LOVE your neighbour as yourself.

LOVE does no wrong to anyone.

LOVE does no harm to a neighbour.

I love this song by Jason Mraz, “What Would Love Do?” When a friend, Stephen Ryan, shared this song with me, what struck me was its similarity to the famous question “What Would Jesus Do?” But the version he gave me didn’t have Jason telling us how he came up with the idea for the song. So I find it amusing when I discovered his thoughts behind it…

“There’s a famous bumper sticker that says What Would Jesus Do? I don’t know, I haven’t seen Him in a while. But what moves me is when I think What Would Love Do?

I realise it’s the same thing. So when you find yourself in any predicament, ask yourself, What Would Love Do?” – Jason, on his idea behind the song What Would Love Do?

I can see what Jason’s trying to do here. Sneaky. But I like how he drew a parallel between What Would Jesus Do? and What Would Love Do? If you know what Jesus is all about, you’d agree too, “It’s the same thing.”

Because I enjoy the slower, reflective version Stephen shared, more:




Michelle Tan is the Founder of The Love Culture ‎~ Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living.

Her mission is to make space for Faith, Hope & LOVE through her writings, clothing line ROX/STA & music.

Love Is Seeing Through The Eyes Of Appreciation: You Are On A Working Holiday, Right Here, Right Now

It was a hot Saturday afternoon last week.

We’d just finished lunch and debriefing after our volunteer work with GLOW GIRLS, an NGO programme designed to instil Strength, Self-Worth and Purpose into the lives of teenage girls from underprivileged communities. We hope these values will help them navigate better in life.

It’s been a long day. And as we walked from the restaurant to the open air car park, there were the usual complaints about the melting heat. But as a breeze blew our way, I felt this weather was perfect for the beach.

It’s also perfect for tourists who actually love soaking up the sun here.

So I said to Shirleen who was giving me a ride to the train station, “If you think about it, people from overseas come over here for a holiday…

…So actually, we’re all on a working holiday right here, right now. If we’re not so desensitized to our surroundings and take things for granted, we can actually feel like a tourist in our own country…”

“I’ve never thought of that before,” Shirleen says. “It’s a nice thought!”

“You don’t need a vacation if there’s nothing to run away from,” – Jason Mraz.

If we begin to realise that our desire to get away, may have nothing to do with the lack in our current environment, but more to do with our inner discontentment. And if we learn to see through the Eyes Of Appreciation…

…We’ll see differently.

We’ll see beauty, wonder and phenomenal reasons to be happy and grateful. For all we have, for where we call home–right here, right now:




Michelle Tan is the Founder of The Love Culture ‎~ Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living.

Her mission is to make space for Faith, Hope & LOVE through her writings, clothing line ROX/STA & music.

Love Is Speaking Up For Those Who Can’t, Like Tilikum The Killer Whale

“Maybe we as a species have outgrown the need to keep such wild…

…enormous, complex, intelligent and free-ranging animals in captivity…

where their behavior is not only unnatural, it can become pathological.

Maybe we have learned all we can from keeping them captive and asking them to perform for our pleasure and profit.

Now we know, that they are to the ocean, what we are to the land.

But all our groundbreaking insights have been learned while dilligently studying them in the wild. Where we learned they have languages and relationships and complex societies, just like us.

Like us!

…We need to look at ourselves and decide, the time has come, to view the captivity of whales and dolphins as a part of our history, not a tragic part of our future.” – Jean-Michel Cousteau




“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

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