Tag Archives: love

How Can Love Bring Healing Into Relationships?

A focus on hate in society can be debilitating. Many believe that to stand up for what is right, an argumentative attitude is necessary. Unfortunately, argumentative attitudes only further complicate things. Many mistakenly decide that force may be required to change minds. But like Martin Luther King, Gandhi and other humanists have realized, hate only begets more hate.

In order to find some type of middle ground or resolution, love must be brought into the equation on some level. Why? Following are some great reasons!

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1.  Love increases compassion and empathy.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune”. (Dictionary.com).  When people enter into conflict with a sense of compassion, they feel the pain of their adversary.  It makes them realize how they would feel if they were in their adversary’s shoes.  Compassion is essential in bringing about change during times of conflict.  Likewise, empathy, “the psychological identification with feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another” (Dictionary.com) is also essential in bringing about change.  Until we can understand what someone else is going through on a personal level, we truly don’t know why change needs to take place.

2.  Love promotes more discussions and less arguments.  How many times have you tried to “get down to business” when anger is coloring your perspective?  Anger is like a flame that burns anyone who gets too close.  Anger is a natural facilitator of arguments.  It is nearly impossible to be objective when the flames of anger are burning bright.  Love, on the other hand, makes us more capable of being objective, thus facilitating more discussions.  And it is possible to have discussions without anger being involved.  It’s perfectly okay to agree to disagree-and much healthier than fighting, too!

3.  Love helps us to identify with an adversary’s perspective.  When we are able to identify with another human being on the level of humanity itself, anger is automatically driven to the background.  When we realize that we are all essentially searching for the same things on the level of being human, we experience unity and forgiveness.  Unity and forgiveness are critical in bringing about essential, peaceful changes.

4.  Love creates an atmosphere of acceptance.  When the kindness and compassion of love enter any picture, an atmosphere of acceptance is cultivated.  This is a widely understood topic even by giants in the movie industry (like Disney) with thousands of movies being centered around the topic.  Even children’s movies (one of my favorites entitled Brave)  speak of not only accepting others but also accepting ourselves….a beautiful mindset with a ton of benefit!

5.  Love reduces pride.  Now don’t get me wrong…pride in itself is not a bad thing…unless it is allowed to become the predominating mindset.  An inflated sense of pride causes us to believe that others owe us something.  Some synonyms of pride are conceit, egotism, vanity and vainglory.  (Dictionary.com).  How many times have you tried to reason with someone that is convinced they are overly important and you owe them the world?  It is darned near impossible to reason with people like that.  What is the outcome of vanity and an inflated self concept?  Argument!  And usually arguments with those types of personalities don’t turn out very well!

6.  Love increases a sense of value and worth among people.  Let’s look at the definition of love.  Perhaps I should have earlier, but the definition proves this point.  Love is “a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection as for a parent, child or friend.”  (Dictionary.com). Love is easy when it comes to those closest to us.  It comes naturally.  But when you’re talking about your enemy, it can be much trickier.  Love with strangers and acquaintances is a decision, a life style you choose to lead.  It is responding with dignity to someone who you may not necessarily agree with.

I created a quote a while back that said “Lay down your weapons; embrace and be one; Forgiveness will reign when the battle is done.”  I got some backlash about this one!  But my meaning behind it was “Treat others with respect, as you would like to be treated.  Only then can you mend broken mindsets and societal patterns.”

How can we expect to find peace among the dissension when we aren’t even willing to lay our differences aside?  It’s impossible.  It will never happen until we make the decision to live with more loving attitudes!

7.  Love increases understanding.  When someone comes to you with a request, you must have a sense of understanding about what they’re talking about!  Love cultivates a sense of understanding.  That “aha” moment when we realize what someone else is going through makes all the difference in the world when it comes to us accepting them and being more loving.  Love breaks down barriers, arguments and all forms of hate and prejudice because it allows the beautiful knowledge of understanding to emanate among the souls of those discussing different scenarios and situations!  Understanding definitely diffuses arguments!

8.  Love promotes respect.  The nature of love is the nature of respect.  And the nature of respect requires that respect be given in order for it to be received.  When you respect someone, you care!  You listen, you lend a hand, you really want to make a difference!  That’s what love is all about!  It is impossible to say you love someone or want to make things better for them and yourself without experiencing some form of respect.  Respect is a precursor for the kind of caring that meaningful change requires.

9.  Love promotes hope and possibility.  With hate, there is little to no hope involved.  There is pain, anguish and agony.  With love?  Well, there is the hope of a better future because people are willing to discuss problems and understand each  other’s situations!  Hate leads to discouragement.  Hope leads to enlightenment!

10.  Love promotes a sense of responsibility.  Hate?  Well, it creates an environment where people feel helpless.  They become despondent and stoop to lower types of emotions and interactions such as apathy, anger and resentment.  Love creates a sense that everyone can make a difference.  When we each believe we can make a difference, our sense of personal responsibility rises.  So what’s better for our society?  Helplessness or an increase in caring and personal responsibility?  I think that one is pretty self explanatory!

The truth is we can make a difference.  Each and every one of us.  Even if we only influence one other person for the better, think of the ripple effect that can have on an entire society?  And the reality is, most of us are able to affect more than one other person.  Many of us are able to affect hundreds of people throughout our lives depending on where we work, where we live, who we associate with, where we go, etc.  Love is a powerful force for more reasons than those I just listed above.  If we all make the choice to embrace it, what a beautiful world this would be!

 

 

 

What Does Falling In Love Do To Us?

Everyone loves the feeling of being in love. But what does love do to us? To answer that question, I’ve done some research!

First of all, the feeling of love is caused by chemicals in our bodies. Dopamine, vasopressin and cortisol flow in large quantities through our brain, making us feel that “high, fluttery feeling” when we’re around the person of our desire. So, technically, love is a drug!  Or maybe better said, love itself is an influencer of bodily (hormonal) drug activity!  (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

You may say, wait!  Cortisol?  I thought that was a stress hormone!  Well, it is.  But…cortisol is also responsible for many good things in body function as well such as controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism and reducing inflammation.  It assists with memory and helps fetuses grown in women during pregnancy.  (That is, if you’re still in the lovey dovey phase! (Hormone Health Network:  What Does Cortisol Do?)

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Many times people say they feel different when they get involved with a new lover/relationship. And in a way they’re onto something.  The hormones present in your body when you’re in love create feelings similar to those of people with manic depression.  It is almost as if you could conquer the world.  As if life is different, vibrant and new.     (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

For these reasons, love is a good thing.  But, if we get dumped or break up with our lover, the opposite can happen.  When we are rejected, pain centers in our brain light up when we look at a picture of our ex.  We also can experience having a broken heart ( a real condition called stress induced cardiomyopathy) which has the very extreme and rare possibility of killing its victim.  (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

“Broken heart syndrome” can strike even if you’re healthy.   Luckily, though, it isn’t common.  The symptoms of stress induced cardiomyopathy are almost identical to those of a heart attack.  It is unknown how many people actually die from this condition but there are eleven documented cases in which Johnny Cash was one of them.  (Thought Catalog:  11 Documented Cases Of People Actually Dying Of A Broken Heart).

Love can heal and it can hurt.  It is my opinion that we are better for having loved because it expands us and enlightens us in our daily existence of being human.  Though the pain can be pronounced, the positive effects are worth the extra effort!

Living In Love Doesn’t Mean Being A Doormat!

To revere peace and love, we are told to live in love and have a good attitude. That is a wonderful way to live but we also need to know our boundaries in that type of lifestyle.

Too many times we think that living in love means to allow others to walk all over us…to be a doormat. In reality, it means to have a loving attitude and to help out any way we can…with limits.

Living In Love by Diamante Lavendar

Once the relationship becomes abusive or we are being used for the benefit of others, there is no shame in walking away.  In fact, walking away is setting a healthy boundary for us to continue to be loving people.  The key is:  walking away with a good attitude.  In order to do this, we must walk away before our anger is ignited because we have allowed others to use us in our process of trying to be loving, caring people.

So….once your good has worn out its welcome in a situation (as it very commonly does)…walk away!  And don’t feel bad about doing it!  Because you will soon find yourself facing another situation where your love is needed to be passed along.  And if you allow yourself to be used, you will be too weary to continue on your journey.

Take care and God Bless!

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My colored pencil piece entitled Eternity

Here is my newest piece of art. It is made with colored pencils on paper and is entitled Eternity:

Eternity with Diamante written over it

This piece is available on Fine Art America and Red Bubble (minus my name printed on it–that was done only for security reasons).  I wanted to create a piece of art that speaks about all humans as being part of the circle of life.   Nature, humanity and creation are all one big, beautiful piece of art.  One revolving system of love and light.  Here is my description as seen on Red Bubble and Fine Art America:

Eternity is around us and in us. Each of us makes up a piece of eternity and combined we are eternity alive. We are all filled with the same spirit and life essence plus we are gifted our own unique talents and abilities to share to make the world a better place. When we realize this truth, we will be living in heaven on earth.

This piece can be purchased in many different items including stationery, gift items, home decor and more.  I’ve included the links below in case you may find yourself interested in taking a peek!

Red Bubble:  http://www.redbubble.com/people/diamantelavenda/works/21711043-eternity-by-diamante-lavendar?p=greeting-card

Fine Art America:  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/eternity-diamante-lavendar.html

Love

This was a write up in my February newsletter I recently published.  My editor loved it (she is also my friend.)  She encouraged me to put it on my blog, which I have now done.  I hope it helps you to find more peace and meaning in your life.

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Love. We’ve heard so much about it during our lives. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” “True love keeps no record of wrongs.” These things are all very true but sometimes hard to achieve.

Everyone is tested. We endure fiery trials of one form or another. The trick is to always bring it back to a loving attitude at the end of the day. How is that possible in some instances? Sometimes, only by the power of God Himself is it possible.

I have suffered, as some of you know, through differing forms of abuse. I have felt like I had nothing left to give, like everything had been taken from me. And yet, I was expected to love. If you’ve read my book Breaking The Silence, you know my story. It has been excruciating…and still is sometimes to this very day. The best advice I can give is do your best in the time given. Ten years ago, my best wasn’t as good as it was five years ago. And five years ago, it wasn’t as good as it is now. I still have a long way to go, but as long as I’m on my way, I know it will continue to get better day by day.

Don’t beat yourself up if you have trouble being loving. Especially at times when you are hurting. Nobody is perfect and nobody can be 100% loving 100% of the time. It’s not a human capability. Luckily, God is there to hold your heart in His hands as He molds and makes you into who you really are made to be as you progress through your existence on this planet. Humans are frail and fallible. But we are also very capable of learning. So keep that in the forefront of your mind. Do the best in the day you are given.

And be forgiving. Forgive yourself and others for not consistently living up to difficult standards. Sometimes the best way to show love is to forgive. And to know perfection is not attainable. Once you let go of “should, must, have to” it gets a little easier to be a loving person.

February is a time of hearts and candy and flowers. Those are all wonderful, but it is my experience that the expectations we put on ourselves and others are the most primary causes of either happiness or disappointment. So remember, we’re all here to learn and grow. Enjoy it as much as you can without beating yourself up over it at the same time!

Happy February! May every day this month be your Valentine’s Day!

Feeling Alone

I am convinced that feeling alone is one of the hardest things to deal with as a human being. We were created for love and fellowship. When we don’t have those things in a genuine way, it tears at our inner beings. Isolation is a desperate feeling; hopelessness is even worse.

We constantly crave a companion; someone we can bear our heart and soul to who loves us unconditionally. We crave a hug that reaches our pain and takes it away. If we are left alone for too long we even begin to go crazy and imagine things.

I used to wonder why. What is so important about someone who is there and who believes what we say? Why is friendship and compassion so necessary to the human condition?

It’s actually quite simple. Because we were made to need it as a necessity in life. We were created to bond in love and have a purpose for living. We were created to be one with God and His creation.

That is why nature is so soothing. It was created for us. That is why love is so healing. It too was created for us. It is an inherent need woven into the fabric of our hearts; a compelling drive and desire to be accepted.

It is really quite simple. Simply profound. With understanding and discernment, we can achieve our truest and highest calling, which always involves love. Never has hate achieved those purposes. Hate tears apart and brings pain and corruption. Love builds up and brings healing and wholeness…purity too.

Love makes the world a better place. It cares and it shares. It holds goodness and mercy. I wish that for everyone reading this blog. May you find the peace, joy, healing and mercy that only love can bring. Because it is essential to a life well lived.

Namaste!

Love Is All That Really Matters

His name was John. He was a quiet man.
He cared not about living according to the precepts of humanity.
He preferred life to be simple,
For in simplicity he saw grandeur.

When he spoke, his voice was meek;
Most times others ignored his unassuming nature.
His peacefulness was seen as weakness,
His generosity a flaw of the human condition.

Quietly he walked through life in the most ordinary way.
The corridors he passed on his journeys were well populated
Though he was hardly noticed;
It was as if he hadn’t walked them at all.

When he spoke his voice was but a whisper;
A breeze passing by the others who were near.
His words fell silently around them,
And they scarcely took the time to even glance his way.

A select few did notice his passing;
They stopped to smile and nod at his peaceful candor.
After he had spoken, their hearts soared with new life,
For they saw John’s beautiful nature, and intelligence.

As humanity swarmed around him,
Rushing and darting to keep pace with the craziness that society expects,
John noticed the stars in the sky and the warm summer breeze.
He felt the green grass beneath his feet and warmth of the sun on his face.

Children surrounded him and listened to him speak,
Laughing and smiling at the stories that he skillfully told,
Just as a spider spins a beautiful, glistening web,
Were his observations of life and life’s journeys.

He always stopped to feed the birds and to watch the butterflies
Flit through the air like colorful, miniature kites;
His day was complete when he had the opportunity
To pet a neighbor’s dog or feed a squirrel in the park.

John appeared to be elusive, but that was only because
Everyone around him was too busy to stop for a moment;
To meet as one heart to another, to find a place
Of commonality or interests shared.

“He’s different,” they would say. “Too quiet. A bit off.”
He heard their comments but it didn’t bother him.
He knew what was truly important.
“They must only learn,” he thought quietly in his head.

He remembered the gunshots in the war,
His friends dying around him; his best friend
Pleading as he bled to death in his arms,
“Tell my son I love him.”

John knew life was brief. He valued the things
That others took for granted; things like
Peace; happiness; soft, puffy clouds in the sky,
A quiet place to sleep at night. The hug of a child.

And he knew their indifference was not deliberate,
It was just that they hadn’t known what he had known:
That life was a gift, it was not something to be taken for granted;
And that its purpose was to give love to others;

Even if they didn’t understand why it was being given,
Or what they were supposed to do with it once they received it.
Love’s grand purpose would make itself known at just the right time,
In just the right place with just the right people with absolute perfection.

And that, John knew, was all that really mattered.

For The Love Of A Cat

She was a cat. She was crafty and cunning, graceful, sublime. She knew her place and it was a place of lofty heights. She took no orders from anyone but the High Priestess of her temple.

There were times when she lay in the warmth of the sun, stretching her legs out before herself. She moved for noone. Unless a fly or bug caught her attention. Then she crept and crouched, her tail lurching forcefully back and forth. She knew what she liked, and she attended to it with great abandon.

For The Love Of A Cat Blog

There were times when love filled her and she leapt from her lofty height to grace the High Priestess with her presence, rubbing her soft, fluffy fur against the High Priestess’ legs. Warm, fuzzy purrs emanated from deep within her belly as she hugged the High Priestess with much admiration. When she loved, she loved fiercely. But ultimately she grew tired of the affection and left to once again to attend to other interests.

During other moments, she became sociable and would follow the High Priestess around as she chatted happily in her native tongue. The High Priestess always seemed to understand although she spoke in another language. They had a communion between themselves, a communication that surpassed their language barrier. When the High Priestess pet her, all was well with the world and she was free once again to explore her terrain.

Through the years, she and the High Priestess shared many wonderful moments together talking, listening to the birds, snuggling and reading books. The days passed quickly and the years quietly passed.

She began to get old and she moved more slowly than before. Her voice became hoarse when she spoke to the High Priestess. But she noticed that the High Priestess was also going through changes. She thought nothing of it. Besides the obvious, things were the same.

The chatting continued, just a bit more slowly. The time spent reading and cuddling increased. It was a season of wonderful communion. The High Priestess seemed to have more time for her now. She spent less time in the lofty heights and more time on the floor in the sunlight, the warmth radiating through her velvety fur as the High Priestess attended to her duties. There was more time for sleep and less time for play.

Until one day when the High Priestess called for her. She was much too tired. She answered quietly but her voice was barely a whisper. She listened as the High Priestess searched through her domain, calling her name. Finally the High Priestess found her and her voice sounded strange. She knelt next to her cat, stroking her fur as teardrops fell to rest in her downy fluff. The cat was so tired that she peacefully purred and listened to the High Priestess’ voice float further and further away. As the intense need to sleep overtook her, the cat graced the High Priestess with one final wave of her tail. She meowed a faint goodbye and shut her eyes, feeling the sadness of the High Priestess emanating through her heart;  a feeling she did not enjoy. She knew she would see the High Priestess again. She was only falling asleep.

And she resolved to wait patiently until that time came.  She only hoped that the High Priestess knew they would be reunited;  in a place where they both had the energy and vigor of the days when they had first met.  Then they would talk, play and read books together once again as she waited to jump down from her lofty height to greet her High Priestess anew.

Recipe for Happiness

1 1/2 c. love
1 c. prayer
3/4 c. enlightenment
3/4 c. acceptance
1/2 c. peace
1/2 c. wisdom
1/3 c. understanding
1/4 c. faith
1/8 c. discernment
4 T. gratitude
3 T. fortitude
2 T. goodwill to others
dash of hope
sprinkle with abundant laughter

Mix together. Add some dreams. Toss in positivity. Allow time to process!