LOVE and MARRIAGE

<b>LOVE and MARRIAGE</b>
Get your wisdom to survive and thrive in your marriage.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Don't Die!

 



You Just Don't Die!

All About . . . .

In ancient times, many individuals were in quest of immortality, especially those in power.

For example, Qin Shi Huang (259 BC - 210 BC), the First Emperor of China and the builder of the Great Wall, had made many futile attempts to discover and access legendary sources of immortality during his relatively short lifespan.

Another example, the ancient pharaohs of Egypt might not have been on a quest for immortality because they earnestly believed that they were already immortal; nevertheless, they had spent an enormous amount of resources into retarding the decay of their physical bodies, as well as into building spectacular pyramids and grand tombs in which they could preserve their wealth and riches for their immortality.

Realistic Realities

Nowadays, we all know the reality that all humans are mortal and that death is as inevitable as day becoming night.

“Is there anything we can do about our mortality?” This might be a question that many of us would like to ask ourselves.

First of all, man’s perceptions of mortality always change with age and time. If you ask a young adult if he or she would want to live long, probably the answer is “I don’t know” or “I just don’t want to grow too old and decrepit, like my grand-parents.” The young adult’s perspective of mortality also explains why many of the younger generation are living a reckless lifestyle as if there is no tomorrow.

Naturally, their perception of mortality would change over the years as they grow older with a family of children, or if they have a successful career with all the trimmings of a luxurious lifestyle that they would like to continue. A longer lifespan would then become an extension of their own legacy or continuation of their enjoyment of the fruits of their own accomplishments. The inscription on the tombstone of Bruce Lee, the Hollywood actor, reads: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” That says much about the hope of many to extend beyond the grave.

As aging continues, the fear of death or the unknown might also dawn on humans, driving some of the elderly into craving a longer lifespan in order to delay and defer the inevitable.

Indeed, many people may have different perspectives of their own mortality, depending on their upbringing, the life experiences they have gone though, their religious beliefs, as well as the meanings of death and dying to them. As a result of the differences, some may focus too much on death to the extent of creating death anxiety, while others may deliberately deny the existence of death, just like the ostrich burying its head in the sand.

The objective of this book is neither to convince you to crave longevity, nor to show you how to live to one hundred and beyond. It simply presents you with the consciousness of living the rest of your years as if everything is a miracle -- if you just don't die!

Click here to get your copy.

The Book Outline . . . .

INTRODUCTION

ONE: Consciousness Is Everything
TWO: Consciousness of Breath
THREE: Consciousness of Thinking
FOUR: Consciousness of Wellness
FIVE: Consciousness of Living
SIX: Consciousness of Changes and Challenges
SEVEN: Consciousness of Being

The above is what this book is all about. Click here to get your copy from AMAZON.

An excerpt from the book . . .

What is consciousness?

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our aware-ness.” Lao Tzu

Consciousness is everything; if you are not conscious, you are not living your life, if not already dead.

What is consciousness? Being conscious is a "special quality of the mind" that permits us to know both that we exist and that the things around us exist too. Surprisingly, some of us may not have this consciousness.

Life is an inner journey that requires consciousness of the body and the mind, together with that of the soul, to continue to make its progress in the right direction in order to reach its final destination. Unfortunately, since the beginning of time, many people have traveled the same journey of life but without reaching their destinations because they simply lack their consciousness of the body, and the mind-not to mention that of the soul-to guide them along that journey.

Consciousness comes from the mind, which is created by the brain. Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC), the father of modern medicine, was one of the first scientists to observe and notice that people with brain damage tended to lose their mental abilities. He realized that the mind is created by the brain, and the mind crumbles piece by piece as the brain dies.

The human brain creates the consciousness of the mind, giving humans pleasures and displeasures, happiness and unhappiness, as well as many other positive and negative emotions and thoughts. They become our experiences which are stored in our minds, and these experiences also become our memories that generate our subsequent thoughts-they are the byproducts with which we weave the realities in our lives. Therefore, consciousness is the capability of the mind to see them as they are. Without consciousness, which is knowing what is happening in the mind, you just obediently follow what your mind tells you. That is to say, you have become a slave to your thinking, instead of being the master of your own thoughts.

Consciousness is probing deep into the conscious mind: asking meaningful and relevant questions, and then seeking self-enlightening answers to all the questions asked. After all, throughout one’s life journey, one has to ask many different questions at different stages, and seeking different answers from the questions asked. In order to reach the destination of one’s life journey. consciousness of the mind is a necessity, and not an option.

You Just Don't Die!

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Human Happiness

 

Human happiness is important to human existence. Without happiness, existence may become meaningless. One of the sources of happiness is human relationships, in particular, love relationships.

Happiness and Relationships

Human actions, especially negative ones, are always based on the knowledge of self and others, which is often incomplete, inadequate, and inaccurate. Human perceptions are based on attitudes, beliefs, and habits, which may be biased and distorted because they originate from an individual’s own unique past experiences, and perceptions of those experiences.

To overcome the above obstacles in good human relationships, you need to harness the power of gratitude. 

What’s gratitude?

According to a scientific study, for every 10 years of life, gratitude may increase by only 5 percent. So, you need to consciously increase your gratitude in order to change your life to have better relationships with others. The reason is that human relationships play a pivotal role in the happiness or unhappiness of any individual.

Gratitude may change your character, more specifically, your own perceptions of people and all the happenings around you.

According to Robert Emmons of University of California, in life, you should always express your gratitude for people and experiences, rather than just the things you receive. Professor Emmons also says, “Being personal and specific about gratitude is more important than expressing lots of it.” You can always express your gratitude for your families and friends, your freedom of living and worship in America, and your health. In other words, always count your blessings, and express your gratitude to others in the form of love and compassion—the key to having stronger and healthier relationships for greater happiness.

Having good human relationships with others may not only afford you joy and happiness, but also heal you mentally, physically, and spiritually through your own connections with others. On the other hand, having bad human relationships may only make you feel sad, lonely, hopeless, and unhappy. That may also have a negative impact on your marriage.

Marital Happiness

Your marital happiness is your contentment and your satisfaction from your marriage: contentment from getting all the basic needs of a marriage, and satisfaction from getting some of your wants in your life.

So, what’re some of the basic needs of your marriage? Sexual intimacy? Trust and fidelity? And what’re some of the wants in your life? Financial support or independence? Absence of conflicts and arguments?

Unhappiness is also a personal perception that marriage isn’t really what it should be according to that individual.

The reality

Marital happiness is only a perceived state of mind, and there’s no recipe for creating and perceiving that state of mind.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

GETTING MARRIED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY?

Click here to get your paperback copy; and here to get your digital copy.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Processing Mental Expectations

 “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Alexander Pope                     


If you are not happily married, you may feel unhappy and depressed, not knowing what to do next. Should you seek separation and divorce? What to do with your children and other matters related to your marriage?

Given that nearly all of us go through life expecting certain things to happen, we become greatly disappointed when things do not turn out the way we think they should. As a matter of fact, in life, things seldom go our ways, and life is never what it should be. Our disappointments can easily turn into anger, anxiety, despair, regret, and many other negative emotions that adversely affect who we are and how we process our thoughts.

To offset or diminish the devastating emotional consequences as a result of not meeting our expectations, many of us may resort to mentally expecting the worst, instead of the best, while hoping against hope that we may still be pleasantly surprised; deliberately lowering our life expectations to proportionately reduce the extent of our disappointments; and consciously expecting no expectation whatsoever with our complete detachment.

Processing expectations is more complex than we may think. The mental exertion to “expect the unexpected”, to “go with the flow”, and to “live in the present without any future expectation” is easier said than done, and may be even difficult or impossible for most of us. 

So, how do we live our lives in these circumstances? How should we process our life expectations?

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING may provide you with the wisdom in the art of living well. This 200-page book explains in simple language with common everyday examples to illustrate the essence of TAO wisdom and how it may integrate with conventional wisdom to live a life of your choice.
THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING is the wisdom in the art of living well.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Teaching Children About Sex

 



TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT SEX

Sex is “a big deal,” especially in a marriage.

Surprisingly, some couples may have more sexual intimacy after several years of marriage. The explanation is that by then they may have much reduced level of stress: better financial environment; children growing up; less worry about conceiving a child. In short, sex can even get better as years go by in a good and healthy marriage.

However, some couples may also cease their sexual intimacy due to: childbirth; pursuing a career; midlife crisis; an out-of-marriage affair. That, unfortunately, is also the reality.

Living together without love or physical intimacy is “living separate lives”—it may also be due to pornography, which is addictive, pervasive, and destructive to the addicts and their respective relationships.

So, it‘s important for parents to educate their children about sex. But how?

Like building the foundation of a pyramid, teach them about the values of life and living, which are usually dignityhonor, and respect for self and others.

Growing up and getting married isn’t just about self or just two people: it’s about human relations—how you relate to others around you. For example, in a marriage it isn’t just about the relationship between you and your spouse; it also involves your children or stepchildren, the in-laws, and the friends. So, learn to develop good relationships, and teach your children to do likewise as they grow up. 

Relationships are related to emotions, both positive and negative ones. Teach your children to control and manage their emotions and temper tantrums, which will play a pivotal in their subsequent life choices and decisions.

All of the above will define and shape your children’s perceptions and understanding of the meaning and the importance of sexual intimacy when they grow up into adolescents and young adults.

The reality

Remember, just do your best, and let God do the rest. You can teach your children about sexual intimacy, but you just can’t control what they feel and experience in their lives. Controlling only generates resistance and distancing. This applies not only to your children, but also to your spouse. You can share with them what you believe in, but you just can’t make them believe what you believe in. That’s the reality.

Getting Married to Make You Happy?

Stephen Lau


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Happiness and Mental Focus

 Human existence is meaningless, if it is devoid of human happiness.


Since time immemorial, man has been searching for happiness. Many believe that human wisdom holds the key to ultimate success in the quest for happiness. Hence, the pursuit of wisdom is also as old as age.

Happiness is like a carrot-and-stick to a mule—forever unattainable: the more pain inflicted on the mule, the greater desire it shows to reach out for that unreachable carrot in front. Maybe that explains the painstaking pursuit of happiness by many. Indeed, happiness is not only abstract and intangible, but also elusive and evasive.

Happiness comes in many different forms. What happiness to one individual may not be happiness to another—just as one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Happiness is uniquely personal. In addition, even if it is attainable, happiness comes and goes, just as day and night. Furthermore, no matter what, happiness has to come to an end with the expiration of life.

It is human nature to seek happiness by any means, and human wisdom is considered the most appropriate way to attaining human happiness. During the brief lifespan, humans seek their own wisdom to help them pursue their happiness that may come to them in many different forms, such as wealthgood healthsatisfying relationshipssuccessful careers and endeavors, and among others.

Sadly, the many different forms of happiness that most people crave and pursue in their lives may not bring them true and lasting happiness.

Why not? It is because there are certain myths about true happiness.

One of the myths is that happiness is about experiences. Accordingly, many use money to buy those pleasant life experiences, such as going on a vacation, throwing a party, or buying an expensive dress. The memories of those happy life experiences in the past, as well as the thoughts of those happy moments to be repeated in the future—both are unreal: the past was gone, and the future is yet to come. So, the happiness created by those memories and thoughts in the human mind is unreal and self-delusional at best.

Another happiness myth is that most happy life experiences have to do with sensual sensations, which are based on pleasures derived from the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. But sensations can provide only sensual pleasures—such as the excitement of new experiences, the thrill and passion of sex, or the delights of a fine meal—they last only a brief moment or two, and they do not contribute to true and lasting happiness.

The truth of the matter is that all your wonderful life experiences are only to be enjoyed, and then to be let go of, just as a delicious meal is to be enjoyed, savored, and then to be digested, and ultimately eliminated from the body. So, the continuous quest for happiness is elusive and evasive, just like chasing the wind.

The truth of the matter is that happiness is but a state of mind, and that is why it is abstract, intangible, and unattainable. It is all in the mind’s eye—just as John Milton, the famous English poet, says in his masterpiece Paradise Lost:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.”

According to the Harvard Business Review, money and happiness are not positively correlated, because wealth may make people less generous and more domineering. In addition, money may not bring out the best of an individual: the more money that individual has, the more focused on self that individual may become, and so the less sensitive to the needs of people around, as well as the more likely to do all the wrong things due to the feeling of right and entitlement.

An illustration of going from riches to nothing

Barbara Woolworth Hutton, also known as “the poor little rich girl”, was one of the wealthiest women in the world during the Great Depression. She had experienced an unhappy childhood with the early loss of her mother at age five and the neglect of her father, setting her the stage for a life of difficulty in forming relationships.

Married and divorced seven times, she acquired grand foreign titles, but was maliciously treated and exploited by several of her husbands. Publicly, she was much envied for her lavish lifestyle and her exuberant wealth; privately, she was very insecure and unhappy, leading to addiction and fornication.

Barbara Hutton died of a heart attack at age 66. At her death, the formerly wealthy Hutton was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of exploitation, as well as her own lavish and luxurious lifestyle.

Barbara Hutton was the unhappy poor little rich girl! She was widely reported in the media, and her story was even made into a Hollywood movie: “The Poor Little Rich Girl.”

An illustration of going from rags to riches

Christopher Paul Gardner is an American businessman, entrepreneur, investor, author, and philanthropist. In the early 1980s, Gardner was very poor and homeless; he was often sleeping on the floor of a public toilet. Gardner never dreamt that he would become a multi-millionaire one day. His very inspiring life story was even made into a hit Hollywood movie, starring Will Smith: “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Gardner was brought up with the belief that he could do or be anything that he wanted to do or be. He was homeless, but he was not hopeless. He often dreamed of wealth and success, and his dreams were not mirages. Because of his right doing, he made his dreams come true.

Initially, Gardner made his living by selling medical equipment. He did not make enough money to make both ends meet, and his poverty made him homeless for a year.

Then, one day, Gardner met a stockbroker in a red Ferrari, who offered him internship because of his incredible drive and sustained enthusiasm. He had a successful investment career, and he subsequently opened his own investment firm, Gardner Rich & Co.

More than two decades later, after the death of his wife, who challenged him to find his own true happiness and fulfillment in the remainder of his life, Gardner then made a complete career change. He became a philanthropist and a remarkable motivation speaker traveling around the world, focusing not on his own wealth, but on humanity and helping others to get their happiness.

According to Gardner, life journey is always a process of lesson learning and forward moving:

“People often ask me would I trade anything from my past, and I quickly tell them NO, because my past helped to make me into the person I am today.”

“On that life journey, mental focus is essential: focusing not just on the big things in life but also on the small things as well; appreciating what you have rather than dwelling on what you lack.”
       
“What seems like nothing in the eyes of the world, when properly valued and put to use, can be among the greatest riches.” 

“Wealth can also be that attitude of gratitude with which we remind ourselves everyday to count our blessings.” 

“The balance in your life is more important than the balance in your checking account.”

According to Gardner, everything begins with self-belief and doing.

“I just wanted to make a million dollars. But I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t play ball, so I said to my mother, ‘How am I going to make a million dollars?’ And she said to me, ‘Son, if you believe you can do it, you will.’” 

“It can be done, but you have to make it happen.” 

The above illustrations show that money can make you happy or unhappy, depending on your money values, and how you apply them to your daily life and living—that is, your money wisdom.

Click here to get your paperback, and click here to get your ebook.

NORA WISE
Copyright © Nora Wise



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Love and Money Wisdom

The wisdom of love

If you feel gratitude for those you love and for those who love you, you‘ll be happy.

If you appreciate what you now have, you’ll not feel the lack.

If you love and forgive yourself totally (only you can do that, and no one can do that for you), you’ll learn to let go of the past and move forward with your happiness.

The wisdom of love will give you the energy within for you to do anything and everything in every aspect of your life to give you happiness.

The wisdom of love and money

If you want to marry rich, do you think of love first, or the one you’re going to marry?

If you’re rich, does your loved one love you or your money? The rich and the wealthy, due to their ego, often don’t really care.

If you aren’t rich, do you love an individual irrespective of that individual’s abundance or lack?

There’re no definitive answers to all of the above questions. True and genuine love is unconditional, which is loving someone with or without money, and love is priceless.

The bottom line

Money cannot buy love, and love cannot buy money—that’s the reality. But love is hardly disconnected from the reality of living in the material world that involves money. And that’s also the reality.

So, you must focus on your own core values, such as honesty, integrity, love, compassion, generosity, and gratitude, among others. Your core values have little to do with money; instead, they demonstrate the values of what life has to offer, and not the values of things purchased with money. Your core values affect how you may live for the rest of your life, including with your marriage partner.

So, look at love and money from your own perspectives, such that you’ll not end up only loving money, and not its wisdom.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

GETTING MARRIED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY?

Click here to get your copy.

 

 

 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Infidelity in Marriage

Tiger Woods, one of the world’s most famous and wealthiest golfers, was caught with his dark secrets of infidelities and lies in 2009. At first, he vehemently denied and even concealed them. But, eventually, he was more forthcoming and apologetic to his fans and his family at several press conferences:

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. . . I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. . . I was unfaithful, I had affairs and I cheated. What I did was unacceptable. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me."

But Tiger Woods’ serial adultery and cheating made it difficult for his wife to accept his sincerity and true repentance. They were divorced in 2010.

Maybe in one of his statements to the public, Tiger Woods was telling the truth of adultery:

“I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled, and thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.”

Tiger Woods was awakened to the reality of accountability. With fame and money, he thought he could get away with anything. That was his self-awakening, but it came with a hefty price—a stain on his legacy.

The reality

The purpose of a married couple is to glorify God in everything they say, do, or accomplish, and to be an expression of sacrificial love, grace, mercy, and justice to everyone—especially to each other and their children.

Biblical Adulteries

King David’s adulteries

In spite of his efforts in seeking God’s wisdom, King David also demonstrated his darker side of the sin of lust.

One night, King David saw Bathsheba, the wife of one of King David’s generals, bathing on the rooftop. Succumbing to his own sin of lust, King David sent for Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. To gratify his lust, King David even purposely sent the general to the war front to have him killed so that he could marry the general’s widow.

King David eventually married Bathsheba. Although penitent for his sins, God punished King David, and their firstborn son died. 

King Solomon’s adulteries

King Solomon, the second son of King David, despite his profound human wisdom, violated God’s standards of sexual purity. His decision to disobey God and marry foreign women with their different gods led to his own idolatry. As a punishment for his sins, God divided Israel, and Solomon suffered bitterness and emptiness at the end of his life.

The difference between King David and King Solomon is that King David always lived in the presence of the Lord. So, King David always turned back to God with remorse and repentance, while King Solomon only distanced himself from God with no contrition and remorse.

So, living in the presence of the Lord always reminds you of your own accountability to Him, without which you will do anything and everything, thinking that you can get away with it.

The reality

Always live in the presence of the Shepherd. Always let the Shepherd guide you in the green pastures. Always let the Shepherd overcome your enemies of pride, lust, and deceit. Always let the Shepherd use His rod and staff not only to protect you but also to restrain and discipline you. Always let the Lord be your Shepherd throughout your marriage journey.

Adultery is a conscious and deliberate act to do just the opposite of what a marriage commitment requires. Adultery is prevalent because it has become the new “norm.” According to many, adultery is just a sin, not a crime, and everybody commits sins of some sort anyway. But adultery is a sin directly against God, who creates the marriage, joining the two as one. So, committing adultery is lack of accountability to God, and is unforgivable without judgment and repentance.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

GETTING MARRIED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY?

Click here to get your copy.

Don't Die!

  You Just Don't Die! All About . . . . In ancient times, many individuals were in quest of immortality, especially those in power. For ...