Getting Married to Make You Happy?

<b>Getting Married to Make You Happy?</b>
Get the wisdom to survive and thrive in marriage.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Yin and Yang Love Story

 

FOREVER YIN AND YANG
(A Novel)
                       
The Novel Is All About . . . .

This is a love story in ancient China, about a cock wedding with the presence of a cock instead of the bridegroom.

It is also a story of unrequited love, of murder and execution, of blood reincarnation, of death bringing back life leading to enlightenment. The story reflects TAO wisdom in love with no ego, as well as Nirvana, which is awakening to the ultimate truth of consciousness without being self-conscious.

Click here to get your novel.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Let God Help Your Marriage

Throughout your marriage journey, there are many setbacks and even detours. These are times that test your trust in God and your obedience to His will.

Changing God’s mind for what He has already destined for you is disobedience. Obedience to God is graciously accepting and embracing any adversity and calamity in life so that you may learn lessons from them, thereby enhancing your spiritual wisdom to continue your pathway of trust and obedience.

 “Teach us to number our days,

    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

(Psalm 90:12)

What is trusting in God? Trusting in God means believing in the veracity of His Words.

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

Letting God is letting go of your control of your destiny. God is in absolute control of everything in this world, including your marriage.

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.’” (Psalm 46:10)

Throughout ages, miracles have happened around the world—a testament to the indisputable fact that God is always in control of anything and everything, despite humans’ resistance to letting go of their own futile efforts and endeavors to control their own destinies.

Control is basic human instinct. Humans are inherently controlling. But you must let go of your control in your marriage. You can’t control your marriage partner—how he or she thinks. You can’t control your children—how they grow up, and what they’d become. You can’t control your success and failure in your life endeavors.

So, do your best, and let God do the rest. Contrary to popular belief, control isn’t power, but obedience to God is.

The parable and the real world

In the famous Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), the younger son asked his father for his fair share of his estate. The father gave him his fair share. With his fortune, the younger son traveled to a distant country, where he led a life of sin, and squandered all his fortune. His financial failure was followed by a natural disaster in the form of a famine. He learned the hard way that covetousness wouldn’t make him happy. Ultimately, he became penitent and returned to his father who welcomed him with open arms.

The father was like God, letting a sinner go his own way without stopping him, but would welcome him back if he becomes obedient and penitent, letting go of his sins and acknowledging his own accountability.

The reality

In the real world, you may think that you can and should control every aspect of your marriage. The reality is that only in the presence of God, you and your marriage partner may be transformed from the inside out with accountability.

So, just do your best, and let God do the rest. Let go of your control to let God take over the control of everything in your marriage. Live in the presence of the Shepherd with humility, obedience, and also accountability.

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.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Bag and Baggage

 The Bag and Baggage


Life journey is forever on a long and winding road with many detours and sideways. On this bumpy life journey, we all carry with us our own bag and baggage, containing our individual beliefs, feelings, and skills, some of which may ultimately become the signs and symptoms of our own depression.

Thinking questions

What are you carrying in your own bag and baggage?

Who packed your bag and baggage? Did others help you with your packing?

How long have you been carrying your own bag and baggage?

Is your own bag and baggage getting heavier with each day passing?

Does your own bag and baggage serve the purpose of your life journey in any way?

Have you ever thought of unpacking some, if not all, of what is inside your own bag and baggage?

What is inside an individual’s bag and baggage could be anything from anger, bitterness, frustration, regret, sadness, shame, to “what-if”—the major components of depression.

TAO is the human wisdom, which is The Way of going through what is in your bag and baggage.  


Emotions and feelings are two sides of the same coin; they are closely related, but they are two very different things in that the former create biochemical reactions in the body, affecting the physical state, while the latter are mental associations and reactions to the former

Depression involves the numbing of strong emotions and feelings, especially anger, fear, and shame, that an individual often experiences and carries in his or her own bag and baggage.

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we all have qi (), which is the internal life-giving energy circulating within each of us, giving us internal balance and harmony. Emotions are energy states, which may either contribute to or deplete our own internal life-giving energy, causing harmony or disharmony, and leading to positive or negative emotions and feelings.

The Seven Emotions

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are seven emotions that are the underlying causes of many internal diseases, and they are angeranxietyfearfrightjoysadness, and worry. Because Chinese medicine is all about internal balance and harmony, these seven emotions may even affect different human body organs. For example, excessive anger impairs the liver, causing headaches, while excessive joy dysfunctions the heart, leading to mania and mental disorders.

Generally speaking, any “excessive” emotion or feeling may trigger insomnia and loss of appetite, which are some of the common symptoms of depression.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Marriage Accountability to God

Lack of accountability to God for what you’ve been doing to your marriage and your marriage partner is one of the reasons why divorce is rampant these days.

You’re living in a world in which injustice and vengeance are rampant. Living in the midst of this storm of unfairness may cause you unhappiness and even your own lack of faith in God.

But seeing the lack of accountability in others should, on the contrary, enhance your own accountability not only in your marriage but also in your everyday living. God is forever just and will bring judgment and justice to all—at His own timeline.

An illustration

In 1984, Archbishop Valerian Trifa was deported from the United States after being accused of being a Nazi supporter, who not only had incited attacks on Jews, but also was responsible for executing many Jews in World War II.

After World War II, the former Nazi supporter came to the United States as a refugee immigrant. He assumed the name of Valerian Trifa, and he was ordained as a priest of the Rumanian church soon after his arrival in the United States. He rose quickly to the rank of bishop and then archbishop, who lived in comfort in a 25-room farmhouse on a 200-acre estate maintained by his church.

Then, a dentist, who was a Nazi survivor, recognized the Archbishop as the Nazi supporter. The case against the Archbishop was reported in the media, and then pursued for more than a decade long by some survivors of the Nazi, Jewish organizations, journalists, as well as by the Justice Department of the United States. Their joint efforts helped focus public attention on those Nazi war criminals who were living in the United States.

At first, the Archbishop vehemently denied his former identity, despite some handwriting experts had confirmed that his handwriting was identical with that in some of the execution orders he had carried out while he was a Nazi supporter. As luck would have it, with the advancement of forensic science, some experts could incredibly still retrieve some DNA from those execution orders with the Archbishop’s own saliva on them. That was his undoing, and his final judgment.

In 1982, the Archbishop was ultimately ordered to leave the United States. But he had spent two years trying to find a country that would give him refuge. In 1984, Portugal admitted him, and he finally settled in Estoril, where he died at the age of 72 of a heart attack.

So, believe that God is merciful, but also a just God, who’ll judge injustice and any wrongdoing according to His own timeframe.

So, living in the presence of God is showing your accountability to every aspect of your married life.

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.

 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Saving Money In A Marriage

Making money may be easy for some, but keeping the money made is difficult for many.

Many Americans earn plenty of money to live a great lifestyle but don’t save enough for their long-term life goals.

 

With your money wisdom, you always have to save and pay yourself first. If not, you could end up blowing away all your money faster than you earn it.

 

So, how do you pay yourself first?

 

Simple: Open both a checking account and a savings account. Deposit a certain but fixed amount of money into your savings account every month.

 

In addition, set up an emergency fund. Why? It’s because you may become unemployed; your house’s roof may need repair and fixing; you may experience a medical emergency; you may need a college fund, and so on. So, if you’ve extra cash each month, deposit it into your emergency fund.

 

So, how do you get rid of your debts?

 

With your money wisdom, you get rid of your debts as much as and as soon as possible. Pay off first all your debts with the highest interest rate, such as your medical bills and your student loans. Pay your credit cards balance—remember, getting another credit card won’t solve the problem of credit card debt or payment.

 

As for your home mortgage, make bi-weekly instead of monthly payments; refinance your mortgage from 30 years to 15 years.

 

So, how do you save little to save big?

 

“Beware of little expenses. A small leak can sink a great ship.”—Benjamin Franklin

 

Your every daily action has a monetary consequence. Here are some of the little things you can do to save little to save big:

 

Avoid buying your coffee on your way to work.

 

Bring your own lunch to work, instead of getting your lunch elsewhere.

 

Eat more at home than at restaurants.

 

Get your DVDs from your local library, rather than going to cinemas to watch your movies.

 

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.


Sunday, May 9, 2021

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



Friday, May 7, 2021

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

The Yin and Yang Love Story

  FOREVER YIN AND YANG (A Novel)                         The Novel Is All About . . . . This is a love story in ancient China, about a cock ...