The Kind Of Love That Works

“Hatred never ceases through hatred, by love alone does it end. This is an ancient truth.”

– Buddha

 

I’ve seen a lot of protests lately. The anger and frustration in peoples seems somewhat justified. But the hate is questionable. The vengeance only pushes pain from one heart to another.

I guess sometimes it seems like hatred is the quickest way to defend our beliefs. But it’s those quick thoughtless reactions that cut us deeper, as people.

How can we solve this? Were the Beetles right? Is love really all we need? Could it be as simple as hugging our enemies?

I remember when one of my coworkers told me that “all that peace and love stuff is great, but it doesn’t do anything”. He’s right, it usually doesn’t. Because in too many cases we’re looking to have fun instead of using love as a way to approach our lives. There has to be a balance between the two. The pain, the fear and the sadness need to be addressed too.

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Seeing New Things, Going New Places

As the airport doors slid open and the warm Florida sun touched my skin, I looked down and spotted a lizard scurrying across the walkway. I was 11 at the time and I had only seen lizards on TV and in library books.

I remember that moment vividly. It was like culture shock to see and experience something that was completely out of the ordinary. To this day, I still smile when I see those little reptiles.

There’s something special about traveling and experiencing things away from home. It connects us to more than what we know.

I read this article by a sociology professor who left her hometown of Berkley California to spend 5 years in Louisiana. She wanted to learn about the locals and understand their political views, which were completely opposite of what she was used to.

I’m not that interested in politics, but I was drawn to a story that’s toward the end of the article. It’s about a woman named Sharon who sells life insurance and wants to provide her children with a better life than she had. Continue reading

Do You Want To Know The Truth?

They sold us a dream.

We’ve been persuaded to try and buy happiness. We’ve been bamboozled into ignoring our own intuition and to blindly follow others who somehow know the “right” way.

These false narratives have been pulling us apart for decades and causing us to collapse on ourselves and each other.

The worst part is, we’re afraid to wake up. We’re afraid to leave the fairy tale behind because we just don’t know what’s out there.

We’ve been pulled so far from home that our dreams have started to feel like reality. But the longer we carry on this story, the harder it’s going to be to face the truth.

When I was 18, I remember thinking that I didn’t have to worry about my future because I thought I was going to be rich. I conveniently skipped over the “how” part. Oh, to be young.

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Just Forget About It

We think the world revolves around us. We really believe that everything should go our way. Even though we know better there seems to be this underlying idea that we’re in charge how things turn out.

I was driving home the other night in the rain and I hit traffic. I wanted to get home and relax, but reality said to wait.

We’re delusional sometimes. It causes a lot of unnecessary stress.

I decided that I’m going to start reminding myself to just forget about it. Whenever I can remember, I’m going to forget about my plans, forget about my demands, forget about my wants. Because they seem to be getting me into more trouble than they’re worth. Life’s lighter and more spontaneous without them and sometimes giving them up is a wise move.

I’m sick of running in a hamster wheel. I just wish we believed in the small stuff that could set us free, but for some reason, we doubt the power of simple persistence. We give up on ourselves too quickly and search for the big quick fix.

I pray we find a way to forget about all the things we wish for and spend more time embracing the way things are. We just might realize that what we want exists right here.

Air Fried Chicken

I saw an infomercial the other night for an air fryer. They showed someone frying chicken the conventional way which was a “sloppy” mess. Then in came the air fryer.

The opening line went something like “now you can eat all of the foods you love without the negative side effects”. Too bad that little machine is nothing more than a convection oven that’s missing all the fatty oils that set our taste buds on fire. So these so called fried foods aren’t going hit the spot like we wish they would.

We’re famous for trying to find ways around facts, but sometimes the good stuff comes along with bad stuff and that’s just the way it is.

I’ve been working on finding a healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie. I’d like to have a treat without feeling guilty or sick (after I eat 10). But at the end of the day, I want the real thing. The one from when I was a kid that was giant, filled with flour and packed with sugar. I can’t fool myself no matter how hard I try.

Desires are complicated and as hard as it might be, we’re better off shrinking them rather than trying to find loopholes. And if you can go cold turkey, more power to you. But don’t quit smoking then pick up a habit of kicking your dog when your stressed.

Getting what we want has consequences and when we know those consequences are going to be negative, we often try to come up with some way to lessen the blow. Like my knock off cookies and the phony air fryer.

But lessening the blow actually makes our desires stronger. We end up wanting the original thing even more. So my advice would be to notice desire as it comes up. When we’re paying attention and we feel our desires bubbling, we can recognize them and decide what we want to do rather than be swept away.

When desire runs the show we eat the entire bag of “30% less for the same price” Cheetos. When we’re consciously paying attention, it’s a lot easier to have a few or say no all together.

And when we screw up or give in, oh well. What the hell can we do about stuff that we’ve already done? Nothing except for try to do it less in the future.

Turns out life ain’t easy when everything’s right at our fingertips, it makes things more convoluted. But that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel.

Except for when it comes to the air fryer. Give that up and grab yourself a real bucket of chicken.