The Love Experience: What is Love? And is it Choice or Uncontrollable

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Love is complex.

A mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.

Love can also be used to apply to non-human animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.

WHAT IS LOVE?

Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.

While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I love you” might mean something quite different than another’s.

Some possible definitions of love include:

  • A willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own.
  • Extreme feelings of attachment, affection, and need.
  • Dramatic, sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
  • A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
  • A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for another, such as in marriage or when having a child.
  • Some combination of the above emotions.

There has been much debate about whether love is a choice, is something that is permanent or fleeting, and whether the love between family members and spouses is biologically programmed or culturally indoctrinated. Love may vary from person to person and culture to culture. Each of the debates about love may be accurate at some time and someplace. For example, in some instances, love may be a choice while in others it may feel uncontrollable.

Source:https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/love

Let’s talk about that last sentence? Do you believe love is a choice or is it uncontrollable?

The Love Experience: The Characteristics of Love

Love is patient and kind;

Love does not envy or boast;

It is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

It is not irritable or resentful;

It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a (ESV)

How do I know if he/she loves me? How do I know if I love myself? How do I know if I love others?

~Nikki

The Cleaning Agents Truth and Honesty: Inner Work

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I have a friend that deals with reality by not dealing with it. He likes to pretend that his world is perfect in public. He puts his parents and marriage on a pedestal to the world. He is in photos that would make you think all is well. Yet, in his private life there is a different story. He’s the type that makes idle threats about what he’s going to do and say but never acts on them. He’s the one that upholds the wrong doing of his father by being silent. He needs the acceptance of that parent. Plus, the public thinks his parents are amazing. Deep down inside, he’s drowning. The things he does, the moods he has, the thought patterns that keep him trapped, all connected to childhood, religion and young adulthood experiences. He internalizes all of his grief, sorrow, hurt, disappointments, and I worry about the toll it takes on him physically.

If you are ready to heal, grow, improve, stop a bad habit, if you have lost too much and too many people, then take a couple of deep, deep breaths and prepare to go inward. In fact, you may need an oxygen tank because it’s going to take many deep dives to get to the root of some things. Some people start in shallow waters and then make their way to the deep and some just jump in. It’s an unraveling. Some said it’s like peeling back and onion layer by layer. But for me, some of my baggage had more layers than an onion. And if you want to know how long it takes to be healed, check out my other blog post from last week https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2023/01/11/how-long-does-healing-take-inner-work/

You just may have to admit that you are not perfect. You are not always right and may be rarely right. You may have to tell yourself the truth about your household, your feelings about it. You may have to tell yourself the truth about how you grew up and that perhaps your parents were not so perfect, either. You may have to untangle the web of your actions and behaviors. This can be some work and this is why most people leave this earth bound instead of free. They remain the same, sad or angry, silent or pretending, trapped in denial, and steeped in open or hidden misery.

Truth and Honesty are like ammonia or some strong cleaning agent mixed with water. Mixed just right it can get the job done without damaging what it is cleaning. If you ever decide to HEAL or CHANGE you can’t do it without Truth and Honesty. Here is what I have learned about inner work, it’s rewarding. It’s freeing. The “work” can be tiring, dirty, exhausting, but when you are clean, when you come into the light of understanding why you do what you do, say the things you say, act a certain way it gives you knowledge. It gives you POWER to be your AUTHENTIC SELF and to walk in the fullness of your destiny. It gives you WHOLENESS like you have never known but before you may feel like you are being ripped apart. Fear not. It’s only so you can be put back together, with some new parts and reprogrammed. This is when people will say, “Hmm, you’re acting funny. You have changed. There is something different about you.” And it will be true. There is something different about you when you do the work of healing yourself.

~Nikki

How Long Does Healing Take? Inner Work

There will be many things going on this year but, I believe people will begin to work on themselves whether it’s personal development or healing. It may be deepening or returning to their spiritual practice, buying self-help books or taking courses to help improve their life on many levels. Last year I discovered that I had more healing to do and I was ready to get on with it for good. I meant; I was ready to heal completely in this area. I do recall asking God how much more healing and letting go does one need to do?! How long will this take?!!! Ugh! I thought I was done. I’ve been talking about it and dealing with it for a very long time. Well, as I am reading a daily devotional (a book that is pretty deep spiritually so I take it chapter by chapter and sometimes, passage by passage), I think I might have gotten an answer to a question I asked in June 2022.

First, let me talk about the clue I received. Each year I am spiritually led to read certain books. Sometimes it happens all at once and sometimes it happens here and there. Well, I was watching a YouTube episode of Bishop Sarah Jakes Roberts and her mom have a casual conversation over the holidays. She mentioned the book in the video and discovered her mom had read the book also. When I heard the title, I knew I needed the book. This was my first clue that healing was about to take place.

This is what I read this morning:

“Healing is a process of restoration. It is the revealing of the underlying state of perfection and wholeness that always exists, despite injury or disturbance. Beyond all your hurts and pains, be they emotional, physical, or otherwise, is your innate spiritual pattern, which proclaims its independence and simply awaits opportunities to express itself to its fullest. Healing is a journey, not an event. Along the journey there is much to be discovered and discerned about yourself.”

“You ask, “How much healing is there to be done? How long will it take?” These are questions not for me to answer but for you to answer. How long do you want it to take? How much healing are you willing to do? How deep will you go? How much will you reveal? How often will you come to be in surrender? The answers to these questions depend on you. You are creating your own tests. You are creating your won obstacle courses. The mazes through which you wander, the hoops through which you jump, are all configurations of your own thinking. You too often misunderstand, and therefore underestimate the power of your creative abilities. You must become more consciously aware that you are simply manifesting anything and everything you think about, even subliminally.”

-The Sacred Yes by Rev. Deborah L. Johnson

~Nikki

My Top Lessons of 2022 Lesson #8: Fall Out of Love

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A letter to myself.

Dear Nicole,

Please hurry up and fall out of love with things and people that do not love you like you need to be loved. When I say things, I mean habits and ideas or ideals that no longer serve you. And especially, the ones that never served you in the first place. These things are holding up your progression. When I say people, I mean friendships and relationships. Fall out of love with the need to belong to a huge group of “girlfriends”. Please hurry up and fall out of love with that deep down inside longing to be accepted by your religious peers. It’s your need for acceptance stemming from childhood that keeps you bound. You oblige yourself to people that do not want you or really like you. AND you know it because you FEEL it.

It may be easier to say never fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you but, you may be the one that develops feelings first and the other person does a little later. But once you realize that the love is not there or doesn’t reciprocate in the manner designed for you, fall out of love with that person. Walk your feelings back. Pull back and pull off. As a friend once told you, “Put your heart in your pocket and not on your sleeve.” It is okay to and necessary for your growth and progression to fall out of love with things and people that do not love you. You can operate in a love for mankind for those people. A “Godly” love.

With Unconditional Love,

~Nicole

P.S. You cannot make deep connections where there are puddles in people. -Nicole Jackson

My Top Lessons of 2022 Lesson #7: Knowing is Half the Battle

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“All things are already in divine order.” – The Sacred Yes, Deborah L Johnson

As a child, I watched the cartoon G.I. Joe and at the end of the show he would always say, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.” There will be times when you are going through something extremely challenging and difficult. It can be dark. It can be so dark you can’t see your hand in front of you. It can be so dark; you can’t see or find your way out. It can seem like you are going to be stuck in this state forever.

G. I. Joe would review the episode, point out significant things, and tell you the lesson of the episode. This is how he poured knowledge into you so that you may have it in battle. You can have a one up, a two or three up, just by KNOWING some things and bringing those things into remembrance. In my religion, the Book of Isaiah 43:26a says, “Put Me in remembrance”. It has been suggested that when you can’t remind yourself of the truth, facts, affirmations, knowledge, you can ask the Holy Spirit to put you in remembrance of what is true or what you know. Basically, you ask for a reminder from a Higher Power.

I experienced more anxiety and more depression, with greater intensity this year than I can recall. In some of those times, I did not remember the truth about my situation or my feelings. I was overcome with those two things that the Spirit whispered, sleep. Sleep was my affirmation. It was my scripture. It was my escape. It was my knowledge.

However, for the times I was aware of the battle I was in, I sought the Lord. Some may think this is about Christianity and the Bible. You are partially correct. However, to seek what is Lord or who is Lord is to seek something or someone that can give you something to assist you in battle. No matter what your battle is. To seek the Lord is to seek answers. You want to get an understanding. You need some knowledge. You need some wisdom in battle. You need to remember so that you can know!

I sought through prayer. I sought by reading. I sought by searching affirmations and meditations for what I was going through. I searched Google and YouTube for CREDITABLE sources to find out more about fears and phobias, anxiety and depression. One very significant thing that has helped me this year when I question, “Why am I or must I go through or deal with this is something that came from the book, The Sacred Yes; “All things are already in divine order.” “When you exercise your faith, you UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT that all things are already in divine order.” What I am going through is in divine order helped me to HOLD ON because I KNOW if it’s in divine order it’s going to work out for my good. If it’s in divine order, I must learn from it. If it’s in divine order, I can’t control it but, I can control my response to it. KNOWING THIS WAS HALF THE BATTLE.

Choosing (making a decision) to have faith, to pray is a POWER MOVE that will produce POWERFUL results in your life. -Nicole Jackson

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson #5: RESET AS NEEDED.NO.LIKE REALLY.

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When you have a week (or weeks) that is seriously overwhelming and you’re on the verge of “exploding or imploding”, one should take some time to RESET and REFOCUS on what you are REALLY supposed to be doing with your life and TIME! Things, life, people, work, social media, will knock you off course if and you won’t realize it until you look up and see the shore of your goals for the year at a distance. You won’t realize it until you are DOING NOTHING you were doing or planned to do.

I took a RESET weekend to get back on course. I extended that weekend to a week. No social media. No running errands for others. I took time to deeply clean my house and spirit. Binaural beets, good sermons, spiritual messages, reading and writing, time in nature daily, and day dreaming was what I needed. I took out my planner/notes and reviewed my goals and got back on track. I detoxed from all of the negativity that was occurring. I didn’t watch the news, either.

So… I need to recognize when things are going off track and I’m involved in the chaos. I need to pull back. I need to RESET and REFOCUS as needed or forfeit my dreams and goals for the year. And that, my friends, is not an option.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Slowing Down in December

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It seems like I have finally adjusted to a less than busy schedule. I am becoming acclimated to this slow and steady pace of December. I spoke and set intentions to have an “easy and enjoyable” transition of holidays from the week of Thanksgiving to the first full week of January 2023. I am determined to involve myself in things that are easy and enjoyable more than things that are unnecessarily chaotic and difficult. So far, so good.

I have been taking more naps. I have been watching Christmas movies. I am reflecting and planning. I do need to move my body more. I have done chores in chunks and balanced them out with rest. I have said no to most things that add unnecessary stress. Reminding others that their lack of planning is not my emergency, with a mixture of gentleness and firmness, has freed me of most guilt. Andy Bounds – Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

I am consciously choosing events and whom to socialize with. You do not have to attend everything you are invited to. The mood is smooth, light and airy, boring to some. It’s exactly what I need after the things I’ve gone through and GROWN through. I feel like I need to be infused with hope and joy. I feel as if I need to smile more and laugh more. The last week in December I think I will do a social media detox as well as a physical detox. I hope your December is one of peace and love and heavy on self-love and self-care. While you are giving, don’t forget to give those two things to yourself!

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022: Lesson #1″I’m Not the Problem”

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These are my top 12 lessons from my personal growth journey this year. I share in hopes to help someone or to give a different perspective to the human experience.

We always hear, “Work on yourself. Do the work. It’s an inside job. You’re only attracting what you are.” First let me say that the last one really gets under my skin. I am not a liar or cheater. I don’t play games. I’m not many of things I get in the people I attract. So, “I don’t believe we always attract what we are. Even moths and other insects are attracted to light.”-Nicole Jackson. There’s room for expounding the last statement “we attract what we are”.

Secondly, I learned that I was not the problem in a “relationship” and there was nothing holding me back from a healthy relationship. But it was the other party’s own lack of healing, growth, confusion, and lack of honesty within themselves and to me that was holding them back from having a healthy relationship with me. What a relief that was. When I stopped jumping through hoops, I felt free. As a creative that is an empath and subject to take this deeply personal, there was something within that said, “Hey. Don’t take it personal. This person has a right to not commit for whatever reasons and they also aren’t ready to be with anyone. So, don’t take it personally.” I didn’t miss a beat. I kept right on with my projects and my life and it happened 3 days before Valentine’s Day!

My friends gathered around to coddle me but were surprised when I told them I was happy. I was relieved. I was glad this on and off again saga finally has come to an end. I was free. I was detached. No strings. I burned them. The individual and I remain associates. I had to remove our friendship dynamic as it was the bridge that kept us going back and forth. We are cordial and that is it.

TOP LESSON NUMBER ONE I LEARNED; I AM NOT THE PROBLEM. So many times, we try to figure out what is wrong with us and what we can do to make things work. It can’t work if the other piece is broken and doesn’t want to be fixed or can’t see they need some work.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Up to Par

I’ve been musing this week about meeting a guy that is on my level. When you hear, “on my level” do you think of someone that thinks they are better than others? Smarter? More financially stable? More spiritual or intellectual? I think of all of those things. I don’t think I am more of anything in a way that makes me “better” than someone else but, I do think I want someone that I don’t have to “carry” when it comes to maturity.

I think you do need someone that you can “vibe” with on different levels. It exhausts me if I don’t match up with a guy intellectually or spiritually. We don’t have to be on the same level but in the same flow. How about reading from the same book? I could take that. In order to be in a relationship with someone you have to be able to match in areas that are important to both of you.

I’ve had too many unbalanced, out of synch relationships and I am not accepting applications for more. Yet, I seem to attract people that are where I have already been and it feels like a weight. I would have to slow my pace to be with them and I don’t want to do that. I’m on a roll here lol! It would be great if they could pick up the pace instead.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to practice patience and perhaps, while on my journey I will meet someone going the same way.

~Nikki