theloveculture

Have you ever considered this radical idea, that the worst betrayals you’ve ever experienced, are those which you are solely responsible for?

That instead of being ‘The Betrayed’,  you’ve switched roles to ‘The Betrayer’?

It’s an unsettling thought, but it can be a powerful one if you’re ready for it to release you from the role of the victim, to grow into the victor. One way to do that is to face the darkness within you as your own ‘victimizer’.

What do I mean by this?

Let me begin by asking: Have you ever broken promises you’ve made to yourself? Chances are, you’d answer yes–I know I have, all the time.

So how does that make you feel about yourself? Speaking for me–not too great to be honest. I want to be a ‘man of my word’ kind of person.

I want others to be able to trust in me.

But…

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When You Feel Like You’re ‘Dying’, Could It Be You’re At A Point Of Growing Into A New Way Of Living?

“Though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life.” – wiki

Just thought I’d share a bit of what I’m reading from the pages of ‘When The Heart Waits’ by Sue Monk Kidd. 

“…Julian of Norwich wrote that our wounds become the womb. This touching image points us to the awareness that transformation hinges on our ability to turn our pain (the tomb) into a fertile place where life is birthed (the womb).

…One way we coax the life of the new self is by living the questions that inhibit our dark night, by dwelling creatively with the unresolved inside us.

I lived with the questions about who I had been and who I was becoming, and about whether the growth was worth the pain, risk, and upheaval. I lived with the questions about how to adopt parts of myself that I had orphaned, how to heal old wounds, how to relate to an expanding vision of God and the world.

I didn’t like the disorder and the anxiety the questions produced, and I didn’t like the unknowing.

At the height of all this I came upon a little book by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. It altered the way I felt about the questions. Here’s part of what I read: 

“I beg you… to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

…When we extinguish questions from our lives, there’s little if any developing consciousness. We block ourselves from new truths and possibilities.” – When The Heart Waits, Sue Monk Kidd.

IMAGINE: I found a dinosaur’s egg the other day…

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

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“…the most painful act the human being can perform, the act that he dreads the most is the act of seeing. It is in that act of seeing that love is born, or rather more accurately, that act of seeing is Love.” – Anthony De Mello

I decided I would walk back to my Hotel that day, even though I had spent all day and most of my money shopping and my shoulders were aching from the weight of the bags. Flagging down a tuk-tuk would made the trip quick and easy and with the unbearable heat rising up from the sidewalk and bouncing off the city walls and radiating down from above it is a wonder I chose to walk that day but at the time I decided that I would like to wander through the alley ways and stalls and nod my head in greeting to the people of Sukhumvit Road and thats all it was at the time. But it is only in retrospect that we see the significance of seemingly small decisions such as these. We don’t realise how our preferences, no matter how small, act as the fingers and the palms and…

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WE MADE IT! Happy Anniversary! It’s Been 1 Year, 1 Month, 3 Days Since The Idea For The Love Culture Took Flight. It’s Been Real Nice Playing Captain Of This Ship And Having You Aboard! ;)

TIME FLIES! I just never imagined The Love Culture would be flying all over the world, too! 🙂 I’m looking at my stats and it’s pretty mind boggling. My blog has travelled to all these exotic, distant countries in all corners of the earth, before I’ve even set foot in it!

…What a dream come true! 🙂 Thank you for dropping by and subscribing (65 awesome subscribers!) and leaving sweet notes.

It’s been worthSMILES! 🙂

Country views as at 25 Feb ’12 till Now:

United States 1,167
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Turkey 21
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Greece 13
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Switzerland 12
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Austria 9
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Egypt 9
Saudi Arabia 9
Sweden 9
Lebanon 7
Ukraine 6
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Serbia 5
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Ireland 3
Iceland 3
Palestinian Territory, Occupied 3
Jordan 3
Venezuela 2
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Slovenia 2
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Taiwan 2
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Mauritius 1
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Benin 1
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Libya 1
Bangladesh 1
Macao 1
Guam 1
Suriname 1
Cambodia 1
Mongolia 1
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Namibia 1

“…you’re never alone.”

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 Monster

This afternoon… I was thinking of a monster who…

…really needed to be loved.

All he ever wanted was love.

“You can’t find love by being this way!” the little girl said and walked away.

But how else could a monster be?

Could there be beauty in a beast?

Would love change everything?

Is there a monster in each of us?

I think I’ll write a story! 😀

Many hours later, I discovered Love Monster on The Future’s Bright!
I haven’t read the book yet but I think it’s awesome already. I want one! 🙂
“LOVE MONSTER is a tale of the biggest search any of us might undertake — the search for love…
…This is an unforgettable tale about the power of taking action and how sometimes, when you least expect it, love finds you.”
*Watch “Love Monster, a new picture book from Rachel Bright.”

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

For Better Or Worse, In Sickness And In Health

I can’t remember how our conversation got there, but it did.

“That’s why when we say our vows, we say for better or for worse… in sickness and in health,” he said, slowly and softly.

That’s the way Uncle Keith / Grandy speaks now, ever since he has his hearing aids on, and just as well.

Instead of a strong and mighty downpour of words (not that I remember him ever speaking that way)…

…his is a billowing mist, rolling gently across the hills and mountains of knowingness… slowly descending upon the layers of complexities within our inner forest…

…to rest on trampled grounds… without force… but through a quietness of spirit that feels like a refreshing dew.

And so that night, I saw this portion of the vow in a new light.

“For better or for worse…” now means more than problems related to the external and the material. It means even when he / she is at their worst as a person…

…can we continue to love them?

“…In sickness and in health” now means more than physical challenges… It means even when he / she is mentally unwell and emotionally unfit…

…can we continue to love and stand by them? Not as enablers… but as one who is willing to hear and speak the truth in love?

This vow of love transcends a man and a woman.

When we call our family and friends our loved ones… can we also love them for better or for worse… in sickness and in health?

This question can hear no answer in words if we are to be true to ourselves and others… It can only be lived, one day at a time.

The hope is in the trying.

“I set you free…”

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 Is Like Mining For Diamonds: It Takes Work.” – Paul Mauchline

“In a new relationship, you are meeting another person’s persona: the person that they most want you to see.

As you get to know the person better, new layers of each of you emerge for one another to see.

As the level of trust in the relationship grows, you both will expose deeper and deeper layers to one another.

The deepest layers of each of us are formed at a very young age, in response to childhood experiences.

If your expectation is that relationships do not take work, then you probably are in for a major disappointment when the deeper parts of your partner’s personality emerge.

Temptation may come to leave and find a new, “better” partner.

You will find, however, that we are all the same: we all have deeper layers that hide under our socially acceptable personas.

If you are unwilling to explore the deeper layers of your partner, or to reveal your own deeper layers, your relationships will remain superficial and unfulfilling.

You will feel that something is missing… that your relationships are never intimate… that your partners never understand you… that you cannot understand your partners.

You will be wondering why love seems to elude you. You will turn from person to person, looking for the “right” person, but never find him or her.

You will never discover the real person that lies behind the mask of the persona in your current partner.

You will never create the loving relationship you desire, unless you are willing to put forth the effort to discover who your partner actually is, and to reveal your true self to your partner…

…You know that you are working at your relationship when you want to run away in frustration, but you stay and talk with your partner–not just once, but repeatedly.

Intimacy grows from the commitment and work that you put into your relationship.

Of course, this is not to say that everyone is compatible with everyone else. However, once you have found a partner who meets certain parameters and seems compatible, the balance is 100% pure W-O-R-K.

A nice anology for this process is that of mining for diamonds. On the surface, you can see certain signs that tell you that diamonds may be down there, somewhere below the surface. You decide to dig, and you invest all your time into digging. It is messy work. You feel like giving up, but all the signs on the surface insure you that there will be diamonds down there, somewhere.

So you keep digging.

Eventually, after a lot of time and a lot of effort, you find rough gemstones deep below the ground. How amazing that such beauty could be so far under the surface of the earth, under so much dirt. You are very glad that you persevered, instead of giving up in your search.

Relationships are exactly like this. Put the work into a relationship with the right person, and you will reap the love and intimacy benefits…

Extinguish your fears. Have your priorities in order. Love one another to the highest degree. Keep digging till you find the diamonds within your partner, and your partner finds the diamonds within you. Have fun with one another, and enjoy a journey of passionate, committed, rising love together.” – Paul Mauchline

*Note: These are selected portions of an article “Love is like mining for diamonds: It takes work” by Paul Mauchline. All credit goes to him.

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

Allowing Guilt To Serve You

At work today, a pang of guilt just came out from nowhere and took me by surprise. My question was, “Why?” Why am I feeling this way now? Could there be a reason for all this?

My mind was flooded with painful memories of how my beloved goldfish, Patches and Peaches, had died. Though they were both ill, I have come to realise eventually that what killed them wasn’t entirely their sickness or disease.

It actually had a lot more to do with me and my own ignorance, unawareness, stubbornness and poor listening skills.

Patches was in a real bad shape, and I had gone down all the way to Singapore to see someone and also to hunt down some Parzi for my baby. I couldn’t wait to bring the meds home so he could get well.

Apparently, he was still eating before I got back. But on the night that I got home, I did a water change, introduced him to the meds and he stopped eating. I had not put two and two together at that time, that perhaps his refusal to eat was a sign that something really wasn’t right.

When I got up at 3 in the morning to check on him again, I saw peaches in her tank, huddled at a corner, looking down below into the blue tub where Patches was quarantined. The moment she saw me, she whipped her tail and swam in the opposite direction–a sign that she’s upset…

And I soon discovered why. There below was Patches, still looking like he’s sleeping, except that he was really gone this time… My heart broke.

I had really hoped that he would get well and live on forever…

I didn’t understand why he was gone the same night I got back.

So I repeated that mistake with Peaches, when she too fell sick.

Patches & Pebbles

Pebbles & Patches

Peaches, Pebbles & Patches

Peaches & Pebbles

It was only when I had spent endless hours and days and weeks and months grieving and agonizing over their death and wondering WHY over and over again when the reason became so clear to me one day.

Aunty Christine, the kind lady whom I had stayed with in Singapore had told me how her whole bucket of kois died after she gave them way too much medicine. “Only a few drops will do.”

But I, always thinking I know better, did what I felt was right.

I dropped two cap fulls of Parzi into Patches’s water. I do believe now that he died from an OD. And the same might be said for Peaches. I will never be 100% sure and there will always be a million and one other reasons that could’ve contributed to their early demise–but on my part, I am sure I was hugely responsible for their sudden departure, too.

And for that, I couldn’t forgive myself for a long time.

The guilt and sadness of knowing that you killed your own baby with your own bare hands–that’s a hard thing to live with. I loved them so much and wanted the best for them. But my ignorance didn’t help. I wasn’t paying attention to the details of their body language. I didn’t listen. And it cost two innocent goldfish their life.

So I felt so much fury at myself today, while at work.

I was kicking air under my table, partially wanting to give my own ass a kicking if that were possible.

But I was also largely aware that this must all be coming up for a reason?  Why now? Why am I suddenly feeling this way?

I thought I have been through this before and have decided to let myself off the hook when I came into awareness that the root of my sorrow and grief over my goldfish was my unforgiveness towards myself. So why are these negative feelings of guilt surfacing now, of all times?

Soon as I threw out the question why,

I began to see a clear parallel and lesson.

I loved my goldfish so much.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

I wanted the best for them.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

Out of my ignorance, unawareness, stubbornness and poor listening skills, I made things worst for my goldfish instead of the best I was hoping for them.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

I really, really, didn’t mean to hurt them.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

But I messed it up–and repeated my mistake more than once!

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

The fact is, I really, really loved them.

And I’m sure The Loved Ones in my life really, really loved me too.

I didn’t mean for them to be in pain.

I’m sure The Loved Ones in my life didn’t mean for me to be in pain too.

This mental dialogue went on for a while until a point was made.

I began to understand that I had asked for this. I had prayed for a bigger capacity to love and forgive a specific loved one. I didn’t know how that might happen…

…till this.

*It was only when I got in touch with my own humanness, weaknesses and brokenness that I remembered I too have been guilty of the same.

*If silly me deserved forgiveness and grace, what more These Loved Ones in my life.

*I just need to put myself in their shoes… must not be easy being the one living with guilt.

*I also learnt once again, the importance of feeling our emotions, acknowledging it and letting it go.

Could your guilt or ‘negative’ feelings serve you today? 

There’s always a reason and lesson for everything. Ask Why…

…then be ready. The answers will come, in all shapes and forms.

Accept the truth–no matter how hurtful it may be to know the truth at first–because in the end, the truth really does sets you free.

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