Soulful Voices

{January 27, 2007}   Soulful Relationship


If you’re not married , share  this with a friend. If you are married, share it with your spouse or  other married couples and reflect on it.

An African proverb states,  “Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one  eye.”

Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don’t let  lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a  low self-esteem, make you blind to warning signs.  Keep your eyes open,  and don’t fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see  as faults aren’t really important.

Once you decide to commit to  someone, over time his or her flaws, vulnerabilities, pet peeves, and  differences will become more obvious. If you love your mate and want the  relationshi! p to grow and evolve, you’ve got to learn to close one eye and  not let every little thing bother you.  You and your mate have many  different expectations, emotional needs, values, dreams, weaknesses, and  strengths.

You are two unique individual children of God who have decided  to share a life together.Neither of you are perfect, but are you  perfect for each other?  Do you bring out the best in each other?   Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare,  and control?  What do you bring to the relationship?  Do you bring  past relationships, past hurt, past
mistrust, past pain?

You can’t  take someone to the altar to alter him or her. You can’t make someone love  you or make someone stay.  If you develop self-esteem, spiritual  discernment, and “a life”, you won’t find yourself making someone else  responsible for your happiness or responsible for your  pain.

Manipulation, control, jealousy, neediness, and selfishness are not  the ingredients of a thriving, healthy, loving and lasting  relationship! Seeking status, sex, wealth, and security are the wrong  reasons to be in a relationship.

What keeps a relationship  strong?

Communication, intimacy, trust, a sense of humor, sharing  household tasks, some getaway time without business or children and daily  exchanges (a meal, shared activity, a hug, a call, a touch, a note).   Leave a nice  message  on the voicemail or send a nice  email.

Sharing common goals and interests. Growth is important. Grow  together, not away from each other, giving each other space to grow without  feeling insecure. Allow your mate to have outside interest. You can’t always  be together. Give each other a sense of belonging and assurances  of commitment.

Don’t try to control one another.

Learn each  other’s family situation. Respect his or her parents regardless.

Don’t  put pressure on each other for material goods. Remember for richer–or for  poorer. If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as  resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and pain replace the  passion.

The difference between ‘United’ and ‘Untied’ is where you put the I.

Source: Rev. Ronald McFadden


{December 5, 2006}   A Story on Love and Marriage

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death’s agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.
With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the
table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth; seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.
“Stay out of those,” she said, “they’re for the funeral.”

It’s so funny because even when we think life is so serious, it’s
really just a joke!  and the joke is on us!

That’s because we’ve already been handed the answer to all life’s problems but we keep fumbling around in the dark, creating all kinds of havoc until we just accept the one sure answer that’s been waiting in the back of our mind all along. Just waiting for our acceptance.

We’ll say it again!  FORGIVE AND BE FORGIVEN. As you give you shall

Let me share the most helpful means of forgiving that I know:

Begin by thinking of someone you do not like, who seems to irritate you, or to cause regret in you if you should meet him;  one you actively despise, or merely try to overlook.  It doesn’t matter what the form your ange takes.  You probably have chosen him already.  He will do.

Now close your eyes and see him in your mind, and look at him a while. Try to perceive some light in him somewhere; a little spark of brightness shining through the ugly picture that you hold of him.  Look at this picture till you see a light somewhere within it, and then try to let this light extend until it covers him, and makes the picture beautiful and good.

Look at this changed perception for a while, and turn your mind to one you call a friend.  Try to transfer the light you learned to see around your former “enemy” to him.  Perceive him now as more than friend to you, for in that light his holiness shows you your savior, saved and saving, healed and whole.

Then let him offer you the light you see in him, and let your “enemy” and friend unite in blessing you with what you gave.  Now are you one with them, and they with you.  Now have you been forgiven by yourself. Do not forget, throughtout the day, the role forgiveness plays in bringing happiness to evey unforgiving mind, with yours among them.

Every hour tell yourself:
“Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
Forgiveness offers everything I want.
Today I accept this as true.
Today I receive as I have been given”.


{November 16, 2006}   Mayonnaise, Jar and Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the coffee…

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large  and  empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into t he jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if  the  jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.” The professor then produce d two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things — your God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions —things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,  and your car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles o r the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that a re critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner.  Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.” Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled.

“I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

-author unknown

et cetera