It’s the Way You Live, Not the Way you Talk.

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Recently at work, we had this exercise called cross training, where our team members stepped into each other’s role to truly appreciate what the other accomplishes on a daily bases.

During a visit at my location, one of my coworkers and I happened to start talking about life, the future, and where we wanted to be within the next few years.  The next morning when she came into the office she proclaimed “I told my husband about this beautiful Christian young lady that works with me, I told him all about you”

Naturally I was a little taken back. Not once within our conversation about life or the future did I mention my religious beliefs. I never mentioned faith within my goals or the reason for my goals.  I told her I was not upset with her comment but simply wondered why she assumed my faith.

She simply stated. “well am I wrong? You will learn in this life time, it is not the way you say but the way you live your life”.

She made perfect sense. There is a striking difference between people who always talk about God and his word and people who carry his word through their actions and live a life that is centered around performing good works with humility that comes from wisdom.  Occasionally when I come across people who preach God’s word within every aspect of life, I feel that I do not always properly represent my faith in God.

Within my life, I have moved a way from established religion because I stumbled across so many people who would preach one message but actions did not align to the word they  taught to the masses. As a teenager this was the first independent thought that really started to separate me from my parents and family. It was the first decision I made as a young adult. To align my actions when possible to my faith and beliefs. Not just live the truth on Sundays and to formulate my own beliefs and not take everything at face value.

As I grew older and slightly wiser, most of my actions and who I am are directly tied to my faith.  As pointed out within the book of James in chapter three, your actions should match your word. If you are wise and understand your faith than do not prove it through your words and praising God in front of others, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. If deep down there is a selfish ambition within your hurt, your actions will directly reflect this even when you tell others about the word or your faith.

Some people have told me that by not speaking on my faith, I am essentially hiding my beliefs. By leaving God out of my blog, I am not truly living up to my true purpose outlined by God.

To this I would like to combat that words and speaking God’s name is only half the battle. You can announce to the world your love for God and the good works you perform on his behalf, you can hide behind a religious mask and cast judgement based on your definition of the word of God, but I have also learned that teachers of the gospel are held to a higher standard. Your actions must always match your words. To me personally it means more that my actions are able to communicate all the words that I do not necessarily speak.  It means more to me that I perform what is true in my heart, that I do not speak ill of others, that I perform works that align with my beliefs and not to fit in with the crowd or my peers.

Preaching God’s word can be powerful but living a life and performing God’s will and purpose is even more powerful and affects a larger demographic. Not everyone is willing to hear the word of God but can connect with someone performing the work of God more easily.

My take away from this conversation with my coworker My actions and constant state of changing my environment and self is a direct reflection of my beliefs without me once uttering the name of my lord and savior.

So my challenge to each and every person is to live a life that aligns with your own purpose and goals.  Allow your actions to speak louder than the words you will ever speak.

Perform good deeds without recognition. Do not point out all the good or bad you do. Remain silent. What you do is important, in most cases more important than what you say. You cannot preach one thing in public and think your private whispers will never surface.

Until next time!

-Bella

 

 

What Are We?

The infamous DTR, is the conversation most men and some women avoid with a ten foot pool. Within our current society this conversation is unavoidable due to the current state of dating.

I never really sat and thought about this question until it was mentioned within a conversation with who I will refer to as “the blue eyed boy”.  Mr. Blue eyes simply stated that after a while he was about  to approach the question “what were we doing?”(If you do not know the outcome of this please read “Bad at Love” posted previously its alluded to in the second story). I stumbled on a generic answer that it was naturally progressing in its own direction, and I sounded like a true tool at the moment and also after  when reflecting on my answer.

To be honest, I did not know the answer to the question. We were sorta friends but were we aiming towards more? All of our conversations were mostly platonic enough with an edge of flirtation. Well to be fair a little more than an edge of flirtation.

I openly flirted and did have genuine interest but all we had was two hangouts and constant messages. Does that define a relationship label?

When you look at what dating has become within the modern society for millennials, you start to understand why the question arises so often, and how someone could easily ask the question what are we were after a few hangouts and constant communication.

Dating is a shit show. Before when analyzing dating methods in the past we went from courtships and young marriages, to less formal settings where one dated and married their high school sweetheart or typically their first love. Through a few more decades and so many other steps we some how get to our modern mess of dating without clear definition if you are just “hanging out” or are you something more. Leading to the infamous DTR conversation.

Today’s dating arena contains the following  (but not limited to) relations : Netflix and chill style dating, Christian courtships, friends with benefits, sex without the friendship, poly amorous relationships, open relationships, strictly only friends, hanging out, and the classic relationship.

To put it lightly dating is confusing. You never really know where you stand and there is the constant question that plagues us naturally:  Do they want more out of this?

Although I gave the worst douche bag answer to the “blue eyed boy” (which some day I will apologize for),  he still made me realize how unclear it could be.

With traditional dating out the window within our society, it is time for those who want something real to stop waiting to ask the question “what are we?” and to start controlling the situation from the start. We need to start dating intentionally.

Dating intentionally is a well known concept within the Christian community. That is dating someone where both of your intentions are marriage or long term commitment.

At some point although I highly agree with dating intentionally and dating someone with similar intentions, lets take this concept a step further.

It is time to start building friendships intentionally. With intentional dating someone there is already an established label, and there is already the stigma that the two of you are in fact together in some form of a relationship.

So what is building friendships intentionally?

One thing I rarely do is label every person as my friend. I have a plethora of coworkers, acquaintances, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ but very few friends within my inner circle. Personally, friendship is an extension of my family. Many of my friends become intertwined with my life that they become an essential part of my family. There is a study that shows that people that you keep within your inner circle develop who you are and shapes key parts of your personality. My goal within my inner circle is to constantly keep people around that not only are genuinely amazing individuals,  but people that I would love to emulate in some form or a key quality they possess that I lack. Every person within my inner circle contains many characteristics that I wish to possess or help me grow and achieve goals.

Intentional friendships is not limited to people who are just potential romantic partners. The reality is you should be intentional with every friendship that you manifest and contribute to.  You should intentionally build friendships in hopes that one of the friendships could manifest into something more romantic and into intentional dating.

Building an intentional friendship is truly getting to know another person past social communication. There are four types of communication Social (superficial-weather conversation, mental (ideas and non-controversial beliefs), emotional (fears and tear jerkers, hopes, and more controversial beliefs), and spiritual.  Intentional friendship building gives you two months to really start to learn about the person. In reality it typically takes a life time to truly know another person, but taking two months without being overly romantic or any  physical touch or completely alone time is key. You really start to see if you would be friends with this person let alone date them. It allows for the infatuation period to be less about getting to know the person and more about a connection the moves past superficial communication. You move past the first stage of communication to the next and start to build the trust of the other person. At the end of two months the two of you can decide if you want to DTR, date intentionally, or just be friends. Within this stage no one gets deeply attached on an emotional level and it helps to really understand compatibility. You either find someone that you want to date or you find another friend along the way.

Which leads into dating intentionally. Dating intentionally has two aspects. The first aspect is knowing self which I discussed in my post “When to settle down” in depth, but it simplifies to knowing your own self worth, what you deserve, and not settling for anything less. Along with knowing oneself you must truly be ready to enter the third stage of communication which is emotional communication. You must be able to break down your walls and let someone else into your life.  The chasm between the first two levels of communication and the third is rather wide because the third level is the level of trust, intimacy, vulnerability, and transparency. Most of us are afraid to be wrong and absolutely terrified to be rejected and communicating at the emotional level opens us up to be rejected, hurt, and scarred.  Most of us yearn for this emotional connection and communication with people, but for individuals, like myself, we constantly push against it settling for mundane conversations about abstract ideas and superficial topics. Truly dating with intention means communicating about our fears, dreams, faith, motivation, wants, needs, and joys.

Naturally all of this leads into the last type of communication, spiritual communication,  and hopefully a relationship that withstands time.

Building friendships and dating intentionally avoids the awkward stages and conversations that we all dread. It also leads to less confusion on wants and needs as well as hurting another person or feeling hurt yourself.

This is easier said than done. I preach intentionally dating to teens until I am blue in the face but application is not always as easy.

You must truly be ready to settle down and make your intentions clear. When you are not clear about wanting to build a friendship and staying the course of intentional dating, infatuation can easily take over and true intentions get lost in translation. When you cannot adequately express yourself and your intentions, it is easy to never truly enter an intentional friendship or begin to intentionally date.

Lesson well learned from Mr. Blue Eyes , who once gave me uncontrollable butterflies. Acknowledge the need to build an intentional friendship with someone before diving into intentional (or just regular) dating. When you do not slow down and build the solid friendship, infatuation can easily fade leaving two people who truly do not know one another. If you are similar to myself be open about your walls that are hard to overcome and remember building a stable foundation is key to constructing any structure that is worth while.  Move to emotional communication and past that with someone only when you are truly ready but be open about not feeling ready. Stop trying to impress and express. Express your true self and open up to all the possibilities.

 

 

 

Being Human: Love

So the theme of the week was love. I talked personally about being bad at love and followed it with a post on determining the moment you are finally ready for love. Obviously as I posted on Monday, love is not something I would say I am always wise on, at least within the romantic realm.

Today I am going to apply the concept of love to the series being human. There are so many facets of being human, but one that is a constant for every person on this planet like faith is love.

Examining love outside of relationship goals and stories of my struggles is a bit easier for me. Looking at love from a project stand point and being less critical of my own faults causes a lot of revelation on what it is truly like being human.

Love according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the following

Love:

a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

  • maternal love for a child
(2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers

  • After all these years, they are still very much in love.
(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests

  • love for his old schoolmates
b : an assurance of affection

  • give her my love

As one can see love boils down to affection and attraction towards someone. According to Merriam-Webster and most other sources love is this emotional attachment or desire towards another person.

I do on some level agree with the definition of love provided, but it is truly not all-encompassing. Love is more than an affection or attraction to someone. In the realm of being human most of us have had the feeling of love outside of people. We love the high of a drug, we love our pets, we love the feeling of sleeping in on a Saturday, we love the drink that erases the worries of the week, we love praise from other people, we love attention from our crush, we love the high right after sex, we love the intense rush after facing our fears, we love God and our faith, simply we has humans love so many things.

One can argue that I am over using the word love and taking it out of context,  or it may seem that I am taking small things that we like and saying we love them. In reality, I am not at all. As humans, love is more than an emotion towards a person.

Love is a chemical reaction and more specifically a human chemical reaction.

Although there are some people who say that love is more complex than a chemical reaction, first we need to stop and think about all the times that humans love objects and abstract ideas, and later I will address this argument.

Falling in love and the action of loving  is created when our bodies release certain hormones and chemicals that simply create an overall happy and calm feeling for the person. This overall chemical reaction or high leads to so many of us becoming addicted to love, the concept of love, or things that imitate this reaction and emotions released.

Love makes us feel good. So many people chase the high or feelings of that precious chemical reaction that leaves us feeling great and satisfied.

Some of us go after it by chasing the wrong mate, some of us gain similar feelings through owning animals, some of us become adrenaline junkies and chase adventure, some of us satisfy it through one night stands or masturbation, some of us find it and chase it through drugs and alcohol, and the list is endless. We simply start to fall in love with things that happen to imitate the same feelings and chemical releases.

We become a slave to the feelings and high of the chemical reaction.

Aside from the chemical reaction, on some level I agree love is more than a chemical reaction.  Love can manifest past the chemical state with certain people and specific things. You can have this emotional attachment to something that started with a chemical reaction but simply becomes a constant in life that helps connect us to the world around us. As humans we not only crave that precious chemical reaction we also crave attachment and connection which is the second facet of love. Love for our faith gives us attachment and connection that we crave. It gives us something to hold onto when there is no one. It gives us hope when all we see is despair. It is a connection to something beyond us, it is a connection to something better.

The same connection can be applied to a romantic relationship, drug high, to partying, our friends, our animal companions, adventure, and so many other things we claim to love. It is an attachment or connection that allows us to feel a little less alone within the world and connected to something bigger or attached to something that takes away our reality. It simply helps to fill a void or emptiness.

Being Human is not simple but understanding that we crave love and connection helps us understand one another a little better.

So often we succumb to judging others and ridicule them for the decisions they make in life that helps them feel attached and connected to something. We label them in society as misfits, drug abusers, rebels, zealous bible thumpers, and so many other derogatory things.  Simply we all have a choice but we need to stop labeling and judging others and start understanding what leads them to the choices they make and how can we love and connect with them regardless of their choices.

So often I write about bringing joy into your day and random acts of kindness. I write about it so often because, this is a way to connect and attach yourself to other people. It also helps those people becoming connected to the world around them. Never underestimate human connection and spreading a little piece of love to the world.

Love is a powerful tool and a huge aspect of being a human. It is bigger than faith and purpose because most of the time love and connection leads us to our faith and purpose. It is a language that every single person on this planet can relate to on some level. Love can transform a life in a positive or negative way.

So why not make it a positive experience each day.

Love is our human connection.

-Bella