Why I’m going to start my next Relationship in the Friend Zone!!

Just FriendsSo are you saying you want to be “Just Friends” or you want to “Be Friends”?

Ok so now that I’ve lost 90% of the people who first saw that I posted something new I’ll tell you why we should all want to be in the Friend Zone! In today’s age of technology and information that’s readily available, it seems as though we can all use a lesson in Friendships, remember when you would talk to someone for hours on the phone, or you’d sit and actually have a face to face conversation? Now it’s a Text “hey what’s up?” I’ve been fighting this Smart Phone craze, while it’s easy to send a quick “hey just wanted you to know I was thinking about you” or “check out this cool thing I know you’ll love” We’ve become too complacent with our friendships. A few weeks ago I decided to open up a bit more and talk about my sexuality Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle, and as the weeks go by of this abstinence journey, some things are becoming clearer. As I focus on not letting my libido control my actions, as I learn to not react to every arousal I feel, it’s changing the way I see the world. In a conversation with a friend last week, we talked about not reacting every-time you feel an attraction to someone, sure there may be some chemistry, but what else do you know about them? As I reflected and listened to my friends words, it seems there’s two options when you feel attracted to someone. It’s either you let the opportunity go, or once you interact with them the only other option is a Romantic Relationship, or acting on the sexual chemistry you feel from them. For me I think there’s many more options, I’m sure we’ve all either heard or used “I’m not ready to be in a Relationship”, what about getting to know the other person first, why are we jumping the gun?

Sexual Chemistry isn’t the only criteria for a Relationship!

If we’re coming from the perspective where we’re controlled by our libido, we allow sex to play a bigger role than it should. As I spoke about in my last post, I’m learning how to feel sexual energy and not react to it. No one goes around having sex with every person they feel attracted to, yet if we feel attracted to someone, we neglect getting to know them if we can’t or don’t want to have sex with them. That is the main point I hope sticks with you. As we go through life, we will meet many people, and they’ll all bring out various parts of our personality. While we may be physically attracted to them, that doesn’t mean that we should be in a relationship with them, what about just being their friend, what about getting to know them first? Now you’re probably thinking, sure I already know what you’re saying, this isn’t anything new. I challenge you to examine your thoughts the next time you meet someone you’re attracted to, I bet you’re not thinking that it’s ok to get to know them, and not have to act on your attraction to them. We all know this in concept, but I feel that it’s in our thoughts that we’re missing this subtle difference. My Pastor Steve gave a great explanation of a few things that we should all have in a Romantic Relationship. He also believes that there’s an order to them too:

  1. Friendship – The kind where you know every detail about the other person, their likes, dislikes, want, desires …(As Steve put it, you’re fused together)
  2. Gardening – Then the  lord  God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” – Genesis 2:18. (NLT). Imagine if you will that men and women were created for each other, to compliment the other and be a helper. There is also a clear distinction here that they are going in the same direction, for a garden to grow everyone involved has to be doing the same thing. You can’t have one person pulling up the soil after another has just planted a seed.
  3. Sexuality – Sex was meant to be a very pleasurable experience, if not our bodies won’t react to it the way we do. Not to be graphic or anything, but imagine how different it is when you know what every little sound that your partner makes, and you know what excites and makes them more aroused. That’s why friendship is important, you foster a relationship where communication is key, you tell and share your most deepest secrets. After all it is called Intimacy (into me see).
  4. Family 

With this kind of a road-map can you begin to see why the order of these things are important, can you begin to see how sex shouldn’t come first?

Does “The One” really exist?

Men and Women are different, there have been many books and Speeches given about this subject. Yet despite our differences, together we can create a Family, together we make life. While I don’t claim to understand Women or even Men for that matter, we’re all carrying around this image of who or what we expect our spouse to be. When we’re single we have a long laundry list of qualities that we’re looking for, and they’re all non-negotiable. At some point we end up with a person sitting across from us that might not either measure up to our list, or even if they have many qualities they don’t have them all. This is quite a leap, but I’m wondering if “The One” is more of a fictional character that no one person will ever embody? If you’re in the situation where the person you’re with isn’t all that you desire, you may end up putting too much pressure on them to be something they’re not. How come we don’t embrace the qualities they do possess, and recognize that someone else may be the person for the other things you’re lacking. Now I want to be clear here though, within the chastity of Marriage, if your partner is lacking sexually, you’re not to go find it somewhere else. If we are to follow the Road-map from earlier, we should be able to foster a better relationship through genuine friendship, and by communicating I think it’s still possible to achieve what you’re looking for sexually. For clarity, lets say perhaps your spouse isn’t driving you to achieve your career goals, perhaps a mentor can fill that void. By understanding that we can have genuine relationships with people that are not sexual, but still fosters growth, and helps you accomplish your goals, I think we can ease our spouses from some of those burdens. Imagine if you will it’s not “The One- who encompasses all that you’re looking for” but rather “One person who has …” another “one person who has …” and yet another “one person who has…”

Above all boundaries are important in relationships. Relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial, allowing both people to get what they desire out of it. I caution you here though, if you have a friendship where you’re taking, be warned that it may not last very long. Even if you can remain friends, you will leave your friend feeling drained, and who likes being with someone they feel is a leach. In most romantic relationships the problem arises when we haven’t fostered a true friendship, as I’m sure many people know sex usually becomes infrequent at some point, what do you do then! Life isn’t easy, you have to WORK at everything you do, a friendship and a Marriage both require work to make them work. Complacency is the enemy of Growth, it doesn’t matter the type of relationship, we should be continually growing together. If you find yourself using the words “Oh you know me, you know what I want” you’re probably in danger, the other person may be asking a question because they don’t know the answer. Unfortunately relationships don’t grow by osmosis, time together doesn’t constitute actually knowing each other; we have to actually communicate for that to work.

May your week be filled with joy, peace and love, and let’s all make an effort to be more intentional in our Relationships. Also I hope that you recognize that it’s ok to be physically attracted to someone but not have to act on it. Who knows how fostering a friendship with that person may positively influence our lives.

Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle

love-kiss-man-woman-silhouette-fire-smoke

I was speaking to a friend last night after she read my last post, while she thought it was a great post; and that it revealed another layer to me. She did point out that I always seem to stay away from sex, and she was right, I was intentional in that. I soon realized though that she was right, it’s a vital part of who I am, and to not talk about that aspect, wouldn’t give a full picture of who I am. So I’ve decided to break my silence. I decided to start writing because I wanted to have a record of my transformation, and my hope is that I may help others on their journey also, so leaving out this part won’t be a full picture of my journey.

***This post deviates from my usual safe topics, and I’m about to embark on one that’s seen as a bit taboo, but if you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll no I’m never afraid to say what I mean. This topic might be a bit more graphic for some, So this is your opportunity to stop reading. I do encourage you to keep reading though, as always I will give a full picture of what I’m talking about, and by reading all the way to the end, you won’t get any misunderstands about my view.***

So where do I start!

I’m sure that my now most of you should know that I’m Christian, and I believe strongly in my faith. While I’ve been Christian for most of my life, there was a point in my life where I strayed away from my faith. I’ve since returned, and I continue to grow everyday. Late last year I heard a teaching at my church on The Power of Love, and it has changed my view on Sex, and my conduct as a Christian. Since that message I’ve decided to Abstain from sex until I’m married. As a Christian it’s taught that sex outside of Marriage is a Sin. While Christians are generally conservative, it’s my belief that God intended for sex to be something that is ammazing, exciting, and will leave you writhing with pleasure.

“…Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me. I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine. Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me… I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees…”

No that is not a quote from the newest steamy novel, it’s form the Bible, specifically Song of Solomon 8. I know this is just one chapter, but there are several other cases of this type of language.

So how should I behave!

“Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people” – Ephesians 5:3 (NLT)

Here we learn that many sexual behavior is condemned outside of a covenant relationship. It’s also interesting to note that the Greek word pornea is used here, which is the word for pornography. Impurity, meaning washed clean; also referring to being in a self-serving mind set. Lastly greed referring to not getting your own needs met. When we combine the three, we see that Sex is part of the covenant relationship, and taking any action that is self satisfying (including masturbation), or somehow getting your needs met, would constitute as sin. Now I know you’re thinking that with all those rules, it doesn’t leave me much room. Well you’re right, but if you follow the path, it’s also very rewarding in the end. I was practicing this but without much of a method, or a guide on how to conduct myself, I was a bit lost. I read a post from another writer Bryan Reeves, and I believe that through his work on the subject of Male Sexual Energy, I’ve found a kind of Guiding Principles to help me in my walk of abstinence.

Doing nothing is a Option!

Since very young, men are taught to respond to a female’s presence by acknowledging her with an action. Then as a teen we’reMan looking at woman thought that if we see a beautiful girl, “we’re to go get her number” or “go talk to her.” In instances where a few males are gathered together, at the mere hint of a female, it seems they become a pack of apes, hollering and hooting at her. For the male that doesn’t replicate this behavior, he is seen as weird, and the most hated question “why wont’ you go talk to her? do you not like girls?”  Bryan suggests that instead of responding in the way we’ve learnt all our life, what if we acknowledge that we’re aroused, and then do nothing! Additionally there seems to be the idea that on the opposite side of sexual arousal is a relationship. The “I think she’s hot, so I must start a relationship with her” syndrome. As I’m sure you all know physical attraction is only a very small element of a successful relationship. How many people have met someone very attractive, and things fizzled very quickly after. By not acting on every sexual urge, we give the other parts of our brain to process and think. A man is a visual creature, and a woman’s body is curvaceous, and with every rise and fall or her skin, it brings a very strong arousal in a man. In many cases though, you don’t just go around having sex with every attractive person you see, so how has doing nothing not caught on yet?

Delayed Gratification brings greater pleasure later!

By not giving into every single sexual feeling, I can learn to harness it in one direction. Women imagine if your guy comes home, you’re sitting on the couch reading a book/watching TV (in hopes of not being chauvinistic or stereotypical, this seemed a better example). He’s been thinking about you all day, and he can harness all that sexual energy into not just being sensual, but also be ravishing. Then you have one of those toe curling episodes, where you feel satiated rather than the usual “Ok get away from me now feeling.” As Bryan suggests, instead of focusing purely on a woman’s physical body, you learn to respect, and understand her mind and body as one. By channeling all your energy into one relationship, it gives greater focus. By understanding that you will have periods where you’ll be sexually aroused, and sometimes by others who’s not your spouse, you learn that you don’t have to act on it. By understanding that this is how you were made, there is also no guilt, but when you do decide to act, it’s in a focused direction.

So what does this have to do with Anything!

By practicing abstinence, not only am I fulfilling my Biblical directives, but I’m also keeping my sexual energy for a committed relationship. Understanding that I will be sexually aroused, but that I don’t have to act, helps me to harness my energy. Harnessing my energy helps me to focus all of that energy on one person, in explosive passion and service. I’m only at the beginning of my journey, so it’s too soon to really tell what the benefits will be. From my experience so far, I’ve felt an awakening in me though. By not objectifying women, I’ve began to see them more that physical objects, that I have to acknowledge in some kind of prehistoric display. As I continue to learn, I anticipate that I will get to the next stage, mind and body.

**Thank you for reading, I hope it wasn’t too bad. I wanted to give a clearer picture of my journey and what I’m hoping to accomplish. As with my last post, I hope that this can help spark conversations between men and women. There is a greater love and level of satisfaction for everyone out there. Imagine a world where we learn to harness and perfect our sexual energy. Seem to me there could be more peace!!**

 

 

Has becoming a Man become an Unreachable Goal!!!

Struggling Man

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about what it means to be a Strong Man. As my 34th Birthday came and went, I find that the topic had not faded away, but instead become a bigger part of my consciousness. As it has been in the past, many of the thoughts I have are either addressed in other posts, or is the topic of discussion in Church.

What proceeds isn’t meant to chastise anyone, I’m hoping that this topic can be a prompt for a conversation; a conversation between men and the women in our lives. All I ask is that you keep an open mind, and hear what I say with a voice of Love. Thought it’s important to start with this disclaimer, didn’t want my words to spark anger or any kind of resentment!

A recent conversation with a friend reminded me that my struggle isn’t unique, as males we face constant pressure to be a Man (not quite sure what that even means). Although we face pressure to provide, to show strength but still be passive, to NEVER fail (failure is a sign of weakness). We are told these Stories that we eventually believe, and they become our mantras; but we’re never thought how to cope. I seem to be a bit of a tri-fecta unmarried, no children, and no substantive financial successes (money, nice car) to show for myself. But how has my manhood become about that? I’d like to point out that those things I listed aren’t everything, and although it’s not verbalized, EVERY man knows that he’s measured by those things.

Living with Bad Role Models!

Whether you’re religious or not there seems to be a scarcity of good role models. In the Media we see Athletes who are strong and great at their physical accomplishments, but we also hear of stories of infidelity or rampant divorce. In the movies we see the Man who can get multiple women in bed, idolized as “The Man” What about the stories about the many who’s a father, a husband, a lover, a friend, life long companion all wrapped up into one person? Why are those men not idolized? Even in the Biblical times, we read stories of Men like David, who was a great Leader, but who was also plagued with depression and feelings of inferiority.

Talking about problems is seen as a Weakness!

I saw a story about the recent recession and how families were dealing with it. One of the men made a statement that has stayed with me, he said “They would rather see me die trying to stay on my White Horse, than to see me fall” What he meant was that to maintain the facade of having it together, even though it’s obvious he doesn’t. He said that his wife and daughters don’t talk to him about the struggles he’s going through to to maintain the view that he has it together. The truth is we don’t have it together, we men face immense pressure to “Be a Man” We’re expected and in most cases required to be a provider, safety and security are our main priorities. I challenge you though, sure men don’t generally talk about their problems, but in many cases part of the problem is that others aren’t willing to have the conversation.

The R Word feels like the Kiss of Death!

Yes I’m talking about that “R” word, responsibility. While being able to provide and care for those around you with financial support is important. It has become the defacto response when not wanting to face fear. As Jim Carrey said To find peace you first have to let the Armour go and stop worrying about what will happen if people see you without your armor. I’d replace the “R” word, with the “V” word. No not that “V” word, I’m talking about vulnerability. We all have weaknesses, we all fall short, but the great thing about vulnerability, is that it frees us from fear. Without Fear we can have hope and faith instead. Fear keeps us in a state of inaction, it prevents us from moving and bettering ourselves. Faith and hope on the other hand are action oriented, they entice us to do better, to not take the status-quo as an acceptable pathway.

Keys to become an Agent of Change

Now that I’ve painted a picture of doom and bad role models, how can you possibly change. My Pastor Steve suggested a few specific things you could do, his were really great so there’s no need for me to invent something new.

Use your Strength for Good

Reject Passivity- As males we possess a kind of strength, and we should lead that way. When a problem arises don’t default our responsibility, don’t use “Ask your mom” or “I don’t do that kind of stuff, why don’t you plan that honey” We must be an active participant in decisions, the women around us are counting on us to make decisions, don’t become complacent. Now what I’m not saying is “I’m a man and I need to make all the decisions (while pounding my chest like a cave-man)” There’s a difference between compromising on a decision and making all the decisions. Compromise fosters harmony, and allows both people to have a stake in the decision making process.

Take Responsibility- Not the same one from earlier, but take responsibility for your actions, don’t blame others’ for what you do. Take full ownership of your action, and leave it up to others for theirs. Something I learnt this year I think is helpful here, “Always do my Best.” Each day I will do the best that I’m capable of, the caviat here is that if I can only do 50% then that’s what I’ll do, I won’t beat myself up for not being able to accomplish 150%.

Lead Courageously- We’re expected to lead our families, so lead with confidence and courage. If you feel you lack those skills then pray for them, and actively seek out opportunities to improve. For single person like myself, it doesn’t take a family to lead, and I can still lead in my everyday relationships, whether work, friendship, or others.

“A wise person hears the Truth, and adjusts his behavior to the truth. A foolish person hears the truth, and adjusts the truth to his behavior” – Unknown (well I hear my Pastor Steve say it on numerous occasions)

The Truth is constant, it shouldn’t change, therefore you should change to the truth rather than the other way around. For example, we know that smoking is bad for your health. A wise person will say, smoking is bad for my health and since I would like to live longer, I will have to stop smoking. In contrast a foolish person will say, well I don’t smoke that often, and I probably won’t get cancer for awhile anyway, so I’ll smoke till I die. Sorry smokers, it’s the first example I could think of, and there is Scientific evidence to back it up so it seemed a great illustration. As the truth becomes exposed to us, do we change our behavior to reflect the new truth, or do we find a way to maintain our current behavior, and model a truth that reflects our behavior. As we navigate our lives as males, which are we living, as a wise person or a foolish person?


As I stated in the beginning, this isn’t meant to chastise anyone, but it’s more about starting a conversation. As a man I face immense pressures to be a certain way, and while it may not be entirely true, I feel that women around me expect those things of me too. You may argue that it’s not true, that you do not expect those things from your men, but have you ever talked to them about it? If you ask what is a Man, whether it’s from a man or a woman, you’d probably get very similar answers. This pressure has lead to depression, suicide, and men are literally killing themselves to maintain this persona. I hope you use your words to build up and strengthen rather than tear down and humiliate, do it with and for Love. Men speak to the women in your life, let them see the real you, let them see what you’re actually struggling with. For the women, talk to your men, and be willing to get rid of the “Knight in Shining Armor” persona, I’m not saying that your guy isn’t going to save the day. But this is real life, no one rides a white horse, maybe a white Prius!

The Meaning of Living- According to Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

One of my favorite Comedians has always been Jim Carrey, and Dumb and Dumber has been one of my all time favorite movies. I had previously heard that Jim Carrey is brilliant, and I had thought it was one of those things people say about someone. Today I had the privilege of listening to a Speech he gave at a University this year. I think it’s the most succinct compilation of thoughts I’ve ever heard that gives a glimpse of what Life is about. I took down a few of the ones that touched me, because they reflected the path that my life is on currently.  I highly recommend that you look at the video: Full Speech: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

(The following is a few of the Quotes he gave in the speech, along with a few of my thoughts and why I think what he said is noteworthy)

  • You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you Love (For me I see people living life according to what they think society and others want them to do, and many of them seem soo unhappy. So why not do something that you’re passionate about, something that makes you feel alive and vibrant at your core)
  • Live your life asking how can I have an effect on the world while I’m here?
  • Ask how can my gift change the world, not what can the world do for me.
  • What if people see me without my mask! (The lesson here is to not let fear and the EGO stop you from being your authentic self)
  • To find peace you first have to let the Armour go. (Instead of fighting against who you are, your authentic self, stop worrying about what the world thinks. The masks we wear prevent us from achieving full happiness. To find peace within ourselves, we must let go of all of these things)
  • Our need for acceptance, can also make you invisible. (We’re constantly striving to feel wanted and accepted, but as we continue to look to others to bring us satisfaction, we find that the goal is always moving. We continue to try, but can never accomplish what we set out to do. This race makes us loose our uniqueness, and we become invisible, we’re no longer our true selves)
  • To find Peace we must let our Light shine through, and take the risk to let ourselves be seen. (Remembering that we all have a gift, something unique that we bring to the world, that is our light, our beacon. Be must be willing to be seen with our flaws, our shortcoming. While recognizing that we bring a talent, a gift to share with the Universe. As Brene Brown would say, we must be willing to be vulnerable)
  • Don’t let Wealth, Fame, Prestige … distract you from your true purpose in life, which is to let your Light shine through!!
  • There should be nothing more important in this world than you. (Learn to embrace and invest time into perfecting your gift)
  • Don’t let your EGO(the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough) fool you, know that you already possess everything you want, believe it and it will come to pass.
  • Stop worrying about how your dreams will come through, just believe, and don’t get caught up on what the vessel looks like. If you miss your chance, the Universe will find a way to bring it back around again.

With each passing day, it’s ammazing what we can find that helps define our path. I’m happy that I’m at a stage in my life that I’m able to learn about these things. After all in the end I’d like to know that I’ve lived my life, and that I’ll be satisfied with what I’ve done. This is just one small stem towards that future. Thank you Kathleen for first posting this, and for guiding others to find their light.

 

 

 

Hindsight is 20/20, and so is HOPE!!!

Hindsight

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “Hindsight is 20/20” I think the same thing can be said about hope. Over the past week I’ve been hearing the same message about hope, but what is it? Why should we be hopeful? According to dictionary.com. Hope is: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidencethe feeling that  what is  wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. It takes confidence to be hopeful, confidence in yourself and your path. For me life is about balance, between past, present, and future. Between good and evil, positive and negative. Sometimes life is also about the grey areas, it’s not just Black and White. I was reading a post and came across a bible verse that I wanted to share.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.  “Rabbi,” his John 9disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,”  Jesus answered.  “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9: 1-3

 

Before I get more into talking about being hopeful, I thought it was good to get a little context. Sometimes our understanding is clouded by wrong beliefs. As we see from the example above, Jesus’s disciples thought the blind man was suffering because he did something wrong. As Jesus pointed out, suffering can also be a great opportunity for Love, grace, and miracles. I understand that all may not agree with the example I used, because not everyone agrees with my religious views, however please bear with me for a bit longer. Religious convictions can be some of the strongest, but even with religion we can still have wrong beliefs, and I believe that this example is one that demonstrates that point. But what does this have to do with hope? Just as Jesus’s disciples saw suffering as the result of some type of wrong doing, I believe it’s the same lie many of us tell ourselves. Life is full of good and bad, ups and downs, it can be a bit of a roller coaster. Although things happen to us, it’s not always a result of bad behavior, we’re not being somehow cosmically punished for our past mistakes.

Last week I read a post from thedailylove.com that reminded me that life is also full of nuances. In her post Donna Gates asks Are you Positive or Negative? At first I was a bit taken back by her post, because she suggested that we shouldn’t use those labels. After reading further I realized that she was on to something, sometimes we limit ourselves, and holding on to labels can do that. As I mentioned above life is sometimes nuanced, bad things may happen, and it’s not always a direct result of something we’ve done. In many cases, bad things can lead to victories, triumphs, and life changing revelations. The end of a romantic relationship, could lead to us finding ourselves, and then finding someone that’s better suited for us; but first we have to release ourselves from the old way of thinking.

The other important aspect of Hope is the past. If you’ve been in a similar or worse situation, it gives you confidence. From your past experiences you gain the strength to overcome other situations in the future. As I was jogging last week, I recalled a time in my life when I wasn’t sure what would happen next. Was I going to find meaningful work, will I ever find love, will I have enough money to pay my bills? As those thoughts slowly resurfaced, I realized that although I hadn’t found that “Great Job” financially I’m much better off now, and as for love, I’m learning to love myself. There are many things I consider myself to be; a positive person, an optimist, are among those labels. I also recognize though that there are many other nuances, I’m learning not to let my EGO mislead me. To not get a false sense of confidence, to recognize that my happy moments are giving me strength for the unhappy ones. By seeing where I’ve come from, it gives me strength to endure the day ahead. While I can say that I don’t suffer from depression, I do have my moments when I feel doubt and gloom come over me. In those moments though I’m able to reflect on where I’ve been, and with the help of those who love and care for me, and my faith of course, I’m able to pick my head up again. What I’m not saying is that I live with my head in the clouds, I don’t think that Life is always about lollipops and rainbows, but that it’s nuanced; and recognizing that saves me from inner turmoil.

Tools and practices to be more hopeful:

  • Life is not just black and white, sometimes it’s about the grey areas also. Recognizing where your beliefs are centered is the first step.
  • Your past experiences give you confidence for the future. Experience builds confidence, when facing a difficult situation, ask yourself what other similar situations have you faced before? Chances are you’re here now because you’ve survived past experiences.
  • Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean that you think things are always going to work out. Sometimes some challenges aren’t meant to be overcome, they are there to show us our limits.
  • Going through a bad experience doesn’t mean you’re being punished for something. Although there are consequences to our actions, that rule doesn’t apply to EVERYTHING. Sometimes some experiences are an opportunity for Love, Grace, Mercy, and Life Lessons. Learning to recognize the difference is an important aspect of having hope.

Hope