The Chest less Man Part III
The Velvet Brick
As we close out this blog. We want to remind you that life is what you take in and what comes out. You can never get what's not deposited.
The Velvet Brick is a concept of toughness with the touch of velvet. The loving correction that's intended to develop you into a man of character with balance toughness and tenderness. Your wife would describe it as firm and strong on the inside, but soft and pleasant on the outside. What it isn't: forced authority and scare tactics to earn the allegiance, I'm the man communication, can't make a decision, want to be served, Not to be seen, afraid to deal with conflict, your way or the highway perspective, no fallibility, or sound judgment, not committed, selfish and no self-control, cold natured, unforgiven, unapologetic, and unapproachable.
The Capacity of Love…. the amount that something can produce:
The Paradigm shift of Love…. Loving with intention and transparency requires a paradigm shift in how ‘love’ is defined. When we view love through God’s divine lens it produces deeper relationships with others. The love paradigm shift challenges whether we can handle the tension of trusting God to soothe us as we interact with difficult people.
Think of a paradigm shift like this…
Before you build a house, you need a blueprint for it – a pattern or plan for how the house will turn out. Paradigms are like blueprints, or plans, for specific results in your life. If you want to change something about the house you’re building, you change the blueprints first.
The same goes for shifting your paradigms to generate different results in your life!
Creating a paradigm shift is simply an awareness issue. Once you recognize that you have a paradigm in place, you have the power to change it. You have paradigms in place in all areas of your life… maybe without even knowing it. You create results in for major areas of your life: time and money freedom, health and wellbeing, relationships, and vocation – and chances are you already have firm paradigms in place in each area, some of which may be limiting
Your marriage Paradigms shifts aren’t inherently good or bad.
They’re either expansive – serving you and creating growth in an area of your life, or contractive – creating subconscious blocks and challenges. Some of your paradigms are likely working great for you, while others may be keeping you stuck. And if you want to know what your paradigms are producing in your life, all you must do is look at your current results – because your results are a mature mirror for the paradigms that you think from and live by.
If you have a dream for your life but that dream is not happening for you, the great news is that you can change your paradigms to better service and manifest your dream.
This is called a paradigm shift, and all it requires is shifting your perspective.
Throughout the course of your life, maybe you’ve heard the saying that you are a child of God. But what does that mean exactly? What I believe it means is that we didn’t create ourselves. Not one of us has the higher intelligence to create our own bodies or organize our brains into the magnificent interfaces they are – complex systems that can communicate with both the finite and infinite sides of our nature. Because I believe we didn’t create ourselves, because we are the offspring of a deathless spirit, of an infinite intelligence, we can access this mind of infinite intelligence. And here’s the amazing part: when we relate to our circumstances or conditions as spiritual beings having a human experience, we can tap into everything that the Universe has to offer us! You were called into being to make a difference and to do extraordinary things. You were built to live a life of joy, fulfillment and abundance, and your highest self knows this.
Make decisions based on love
In a now famous commencement speech, actor Jim Carrey said that many of us often make decisions out of fear disguised as practicality. Now being practical can be good, but the thing is, good is the enemy of great. Decisions made from a place of fear put you in a contractive mindset, a mindset for dreaming small and accepting your current circumstances.
If you feel you’re making decisions based on fear, try shifting your perspective and making them based on love, and you’ll immediately begin to live more expansively. Instead of asking yourself what you think you should do, or what you might be capable of, ask yourself the resounding and powerful question:
What would I LOVE?
This One Question Will Make You Dream Like a Kid Again
How do you begin to start reconnecting to what it is that you would truly love, versus looking to your current circumstances to tell you what you can be, do and have in your life?
The Vulnerability of Love……
Vulnerability is a necessary part of loving an individual. For you to love someone, you’ll need to pull down your walls and allow this person in. You need to show him or her the person only you know yourself to be. What this does is make us vulnerable. It makes us vulnerable to judgment, ridicule, to the possibility you may scare him or her away.
In a couple, partners sometimes experience two strong competing emotions that seem to be at the crux of the dilemma of vulnerability: love and pain. While discomfort may be part of the equation, from vulnerability also stems love, joy, and belonging, all of which are fundamental parts of the human experience. Research suggests that satisfying, intimate relationships are what gives our lives happiness, meaning, and purpose. On the other hand, social isolation puts us at risk for psychological and physical issues such as depression and cardiovascular disease and increases our risk of mortality.
We are all worthy of emotional connection, but it starts with authenticity.
To connect with your husband or wife, it is necessary to let go of who you think you should be or who you think your partner wants you to be to make room for who you are. For connection to happen, we must allow our true selves to be seen and known, but first we must accept some discomfort.
The first step towards achieving this is realizing that you cannot control the unknown and the potential to be hurt, criticized, or rejected. Love is inherently uncertain and risky, and fear will only create distance and prevent you from being able to fully connect with your partner. Allowing your partner to see your true self is not only important at the beginning of a relationship but is also necessary to maintain closeness for as long as a given relationship lasts. In fact, according to the Divorce Mediation Project, 80% of divorced men and women reported that their marriage dissolved due to feelings of growing apart and a decreased sense of closeness. Furthermore, partners who reported distance in their relationship were more likely to behave in ways that were considered hostile.
Relationships go through ebbs and flows wherein both partners experience changes in aspirations, values, interests, fears, and stressors. However, being vulnerable in sharing these feelings with your partner, is essential for a healthy relationship. Ask yourself: “If you don’t know someone, how can you truly love them?”
Vulnerability is beneficial in romantic relationships because it:
Allows us to build intimacy and connection.
Builds our confidence.
Promotes belongingness and acceptance.
Allows us to build our trust in others.
Enables us to give and receive love.
Lastly, Life coach and physcotherapist Tasha Gooden encourages us to ask ourselves several tough questions regarding what may be fueling our invulnerability:
Are you afraid of exposing parts of your personality that your partner may not like?
Does keeping distance make you feel safe and in control of your emotions?
Do feelings of rejection or judgement stop you from sharing your true feelings or bringing up difficult topics?
Do you feel that your partner will leave or betray you?
Do you view relationships as uninteresting or unimportant?
This does not only apply to romantic relationships, but relationships in general. Whether you are interacting with a partner, family member, friend, or others, give them a glimpse into what makes you. Allow people to connect with your emotions and experiences. Maybe they’ll share their own story about a time where they also struggled and felt inadequate or lonely.
Lastly, give yourself the opportunity to experience love and to be seen. And always remember, “you got to risk it to get the biscuit” – you must take risks to get rewards
The expense of Love
Love is never free. There is always a price to pay for what each partner gives. People newly in love joyfully care for each other in every way they can. They strive to fulfill each other’s every desire, and even attempt to anticipate them in advance. Their “generosity -coffers” are overflowing, and they easily forgive when disappointments emerge.
His love paid and paved the way for us to live more fulfilled.
Our culture packages love in jewelry commercials, flower bouquets, and boxes of confections. Celebrities pair up and break up with such regularity that weekly magazines and gossip websites thrive on the intrigue. Contemporary romantic comedies promote an if-it-feels-good-it-must-be-love mentality that leaves many moviegoers feeling empty—especially when their real life can’t compete. And maybe that’s where you are. Maybe you feel dead to love. If so, perhaps it’s because you’ve been swindled.
Love—the kind that’s real—doesn’t come wrapped on Valentine’s Day. It’s not the momentary glow of a fresh relationship. It’s not the reuniting of two characters in a sappy movie.
No, real love is explained in the Bible. Real love is selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. Jesus taught his disciples about love:
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
By this we know love, that he [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)
In our self-indulgent world, a love so sacrificial and selfless may sound like some impossible ideal—some unreachable gold standard of what love could be—but it’s not. It really happened, and it happened for Tasha and me.
No Strings Attached
You may have learned from experience that what our world calls love often comes conditionally. If you mess up, it’s gone. If you don’t pay the cost, it evaporates.
But that’s not the real thing. Real love endures. Real love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. Real love doesn’t seek its own. Real love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4–7).
And there’s Someone who loves like that. He gave up more riches than you could imagine coming on a rescue mission. Although he didn't deserve it, he was betrayed, whipped, and beaten to fulfill that mission. Soon after, he died by one of the most painful forms of execution that humans have ever invented. He loved us and “gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).
The Rescuer—Jesus—died for love. He lived entirely without sin, yet he walked up a hill in Israel 2,000 years ago and sacrificed his life to save sinners from God’s wrath—the punishment we deserve for our rebellion (Romans 5:9). He didn’t put stipulations on his love, such as waiting for us to clean up our act first (Romans 5:8) or only caring for the “best” of mankind (1 Corinthians 1:26). He went all in because he wanted to save us.
Three days later, Jesus rose to life just as he predicted, proving he is the Son of God (Matthew 12:40; Revelation 1:18). He proved that he can indeed give us new life.
The Bible tells us God is love (1 John 4:8) and beautifully summarizes his gift:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)
The intent of Love
Whatever the specifics of our intention for love, it is a focus on what is important to us now and what we want to experience in the future. Intentionality is an important practice that, with understanding and dedication, can bring beneficial change to our lives. For one thing, intentions take work. We do not just wish things into being.
L. O. V. E. Four simple letters that spell a very BIG word. Even the most eloquent of us, from John Keats to Carrie Bradshaw, have stumbled over words as big as LOVE. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all set an intention for love in hopes of avoiding these stumbles. Whether we are entering into new relationships, or refreshing old ones, we have a vision of what they will be. We might want to set the course in a new direction or bring in someone who does not replicate the problematic situations of previous relationships. Whatever the specifics of our intention for love, it is a focus on what is important to us now and what we want to experience in the future.
Intentionality is an important practice that, with understanding and dedication, can bring beneficial change to our lives. For one thing, intentions take work. We do not just wish things into being. We set an intention, and then we identify and practice the things that will support that intention. For another, it is important to practice intention without attachment. Intention without attachment means creating and holding an intention without becoming attached to a specific manifestation of the outcome of that intention. Setting an intention for love is no different.
What you need to know about setting an intention for love is that you will still stumble in love (or out of it) despite your best intentions, and that’s ok.
No amount of intention for love will save us from seeing what we need to see and learning what we need to learn, through relationship. No matter how awkward or painful, some lessons are only learned through experience. And that’s just the way it is. The best thing you can do is learn how to be more loving with yourself and others so that, whether your intention for love manifests, you can be in relationship with clarity, understanding, and conviction.
If you are ready to open yourself up to bring love into your life, you should be happy and proud of your assuredness in doing so. Know that Love is a journey, not a destination, and use these reminders to help you set your intention for love.
REMINDERS FOR SETTING POSITIVE INTENTIONS FOR LOVE
Be clear: I can’t tell you how many people I have heard say, “I made a list of exactly what I wanted in a partner, and I met him/her! It is uncanny how he/she is everything on the list.” It is true that if you are clear about what you want, you will find it. So, go ahead! Make your list, and make sure it includes everything you can think of that you want.
Open to more: The flip side to the list exercise is the reality that we don’t know what we don’t know. Your most detailed list of the traits you know you want in a partner won’t include the traits you didn’t think of – which might be wonderful – or the traits you’ve never encountered – which might be challenging. We want to be open to what is in our highest and best interest, regardless of whether we are consciously aware of it or not.
Hold onto the feeling: The best way to stay on track with an intention is to connect with the feeling that is associated with this intention. By connecting and reconnecting with this feeling, we are strengthening our process and intensifying our result. If we become doubtful or hopeless, it is this feeling that will help us stay the course.
Get rid of the baggage: It is hard to get something you do not feel like you deserve. If you have unresolved emotions or negative beliefs that are holding you back from being free and clear to get what you want, I suggest you do what is necessary to get them out of the way. A Breakthrough session with me can be helpful in this regard. However, you want to pay attention to when and where negative emotions and beliefs show up after you set your intention. This will help you open and receive what you truly want.
Remain unattached: To get what you really want you can’t get sidetracked by everything that is almost what you want. This means that when presented with an option that falls short, you acknowledge the shortcoming and let it go, holding your intention for what you truly want. It also means that when something comes your way, you both accept that it might be what you are truly looking for and give it the space and time to be what it truly is.
Learn to receive: We can be as intentional as we can be, but unless we learn to receive, our intention will not come to fruition. Receiving is an art that can be practiced. If you think that you might be challenged in this area, then start small. Start receiving compliments, gifts, and well-wishes as completely as you can. This practice will help you get more of whatever you want in your life, including love.
The result LOVE =EVOL....is the word love spelled backward.