Tag Archives: love

Give Me That Old Time Religion!

10 Jan

This is a conversation about religion. Yikes!

Often, just the mere mention of the word religion will get people to unconsciously straighten their backs and tighten their guts, while waiting for whatever is coming next. For me, I’ve lost count of how many people, once they discover I am Jewish, who want to share with me the simple fact that as soon as I make Jesus Christ my lord and savior I would be welcomed into God’s Kingdom of Heaven. Since Judaism is considerably older than Christianity, by, oh what’s that number, 3,760 years, I’ve often thought of all my dead ancestors and where they wound up after leaving their earthly bodies.

But interestingly I do believe in Jesus. But more about the historical Jesus as described in Reza Aslan’s bestselling book, Zealot. I am also very drawn to the Gnostic Gospels found in Egypt in 1945. Gnosticism being more about humankind’s individual relationship with God than it is about having a strict organized religion, created by men, to control men and women, boys and girls, with fear and damnation.

Even as a little boy in Sunday school, learning bible stories out of the Old Testament, I could not reconcile a loving, creative and merciful God with one who would smote (here is a word you don’t run across too often) you if you by chance angered Him, or for that matter, Her. If this was what organized religion was about, than I didn’t want any part in it. Immediately after my Bar Mitzvah at the age of thirteen, organized religion and I parted ways.

Now does that mean that I am against organized religion for everyone? Of course not. Just because I chafe at the yoke of religious dogma does not mean that that very dogma, and the organization that exposes it, does not bring enormous comfort to those who believe in it. And religion does more than just comfort our souls, it brings structure to our lives. But in my life it is my relationship with God, and God alone, that brings me even more than just comfort and structure; it brings me enormous joy and happiness, unconditional love for ALL my brothers and sisters, and the knowing that God has asked me to fulfill a function while in this body, a purpose so-to-speak, that will benefit all of mankind. I am hoping it is through the words I write.

The opposite of Love is not Hate, it is Fear.

We are all at the beginning of a brand new year. We each have the power to make of this year what we desire. We do it through our thoughts, the choices we make, and how we face and overpower our fears. So please remember this: God gave each of us free choice. He will never interfere. But he does ask two things of us; that we make no decisions by ourselves — and that we always choose wisely. Have a wonderful year.

With Love,

Michael

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And I Said to Myself

7 Jun

And so I said to myself, “I wish you wouldn’t talk to me like that!” But the person talking to me was me and no one else. ~Michael Luckman in Luckman’s Laws

 

Do you talk to yourself? Actually we all do. It is part of our human nature. It’s not a matter of whether we talk to ourselves, but more about what we say to ourselves. Social scientists tell us that on average we each entertain about 60,000 thoughts in a day. We also know that approximately 90% are negative. So it stands to reason that the majority of what we do say to ourselves will be negative. And there stands the problem.

Negative thoughts create the words we use to speak to ourselves. And those words hurt. Instead of building us up to accomplish great things the things we say to ourselves tear us down and remind us of all our faults, deficiencies, past failures and fears. Thus perpetuating into the future all the negatives of the past. No wonder it’s so hard to create the lives we want to live.

To overpower our negative comments to ourselves we must first understand that the majority of what we say to ourselves are LIES. Untruths told to us by others when we were too young to challenge their validity. Often these lies were told to us by people we loved and looked up to; our parents, grandparents, older siblings, teachers and others. And so we accepted them as true.

Here is a positive affirmation I like to use whenever I start trash talking to myself: “Infinite Spirit, I was lead to believe by others (or fill in the name of whoever told you the lie) that I wasn’t too (fill in the lie). That is ABSOLUTELY WRONG. In fact, I am (fill in the opposite of the lie).”

For much of my life I didn’t believe I was that smart. I always felt that others knew more than me and were overall smarter than me. To overpower that negative belief I created this powerful affirmation that I would repeat to myself many times a day; “Infinite Spirit, I was lead to believe by others that I wasn’t very smart. That’s an absolute lie. In fact, I am just the opposite. I am very smart with an above average I.Q. I am a quick learner who can master any subject that I desire.”

Say this positive affirmation over and over until the negative thought and comments are gone.

When you change your thoughts you will change your mind. When you change your mind you will literally change your life.

With Love,

Michael

Courage

3 Jun

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. – Mark Twain

Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life completely free of fear? Where we could and would try anything new because we would not be constrained by those awful, uncomfortable feelings fear causes us.

Well, it’s not going to happen. Nor would we want it to. Without fear, some of us might decide to do some pretty stupid things in our quest to posthumously receive the Darwin award. So in some instances experiencing fear is a good thing.

But most of the fear we as normal humans experience daily is not real. It is created by the delusional negative thoughts we entertain. Something like 54,000 of the 60,000 thoughts the average person thinks in a day.

So, as Mark Twain said, we are never going to reach a place of total absence of fear. But, we can stop fear from negatively affecting our lives by resisting fear and mastering it. And we do that by changing the fearful thoughts we think to positive ones.

So the first thing we must do is identify a negative thought we are thinking. And here comes the tricky part, because I know you’re going to ask, “Michael, how do I do that?” Actually, it’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it.

How you feel at any given moment is a reflection of what you are thinking. A positive thought generates good feelings. A negative thought bad feelings.

Acknowledge when you’re feeling fearful, afraid, uncertain, or doubtful. Then stop and identify what you were just thinking. It should be easily recognizable as a negative thought. Then let go of that thought and replace it with a positive happy thought. In moments you’ll find yourself feeling better.

There are times when I like to ask my higher power for help in taking the negative thought from me. Typically, when that happens a positive thought will immediately come to fill the vacuum. I usually ask the Holy Spirit the following: Holy Spirit, I cast the burden of this negative fearful thought about ___________ on you, and I go free.” It is best to say this out loud and as many times as it takes to unburden yourself of the thought.

If at first this doesn’t work for you don’t worry, it will. As you make this a habit you’ll find your belief system will change until you reach a point where you ask your higher power to take your negative thought fully expecting it to disappear. And, it does.

With Love,

Michael

Sacrifice

21 May

Over the weekend I was going through my writings from the last 15 months and came across this article from last May. As I reread it I was once again choked up with emotion and thought you too might enjoy reading it once more.

 

At least once a week I receive in my inbox a missive like the one below. Some tell wonderful stories that tug at our hearts, while others get us thinking about life in the 21st century. This is one that did both.

 

“Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

 

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes I’ll do it if it will save her.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

 

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away”.

 

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.” This is truly a story of generosity and love.

 

There was a time in our great nation when parents taught their children that they have a responsibility to not only their God, family and country, but also to those less fortunate than themselves. And so we learned charity.

 

There was a time in our great nation when parents taught their children to set aside their wants, needs and safety (even their very lives) for the greater good of our country. And so we learned sacrifice.

 

There was a time in our great nation when parents taught their children that some people may be different from us, but we are all God’s children deserving of respect and equality. And so we learned tolerance.

 

I don’t long to go back to the “good old days,” I lived through them, and in reality they weren’t all good. But I do long to go back to a time when “I” stood far behind “we”.

 

Isn’t it time for all of us to lay down ”our weapons of words” and find a way to join together for the benefit of all 330 million of us.

 

With Love,

 

Michael  

The Winter of My Life!

29 Jan

My sister sent me this today. I found it so true and so beautiful that I had to pass it on. I searched the internet for its author but could find no one to attribute it to. But I know that you’re out there and I want to thank you for bringing me this joy that is in my heart, and the tears on my cheeks.

You know. . . Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.

And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all.

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams…But, here it is… The winter of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well.

Seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like…But, here it is…My friends are retired and getting grey…They move slower and I see an older person now.

Some are in better and some worse shape than me…But, I see the great change…Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…But, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will…I will just fall asleep where I sit.

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…Things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime…So, if you’re not in your winter yet…Let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly!

Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…So, live for today and say all the things you want your loved ones to remember…And hope they appreciate and love you for all the things you have done for them in all the years past!

Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

And remember, live your life in the moment. The past is gone and the future just a dream.

My love to you,

Michael

Major Cause of Fear – Our Tribal Beliefs

15 Jan

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

It has always been my belief that everything we initially believe about life, the world around us and our relationships to other people, cultures and religions we learn as youngsters over the kitchen table. Much is true, but so much of it is just the opinions of other members of our family who are filtering their specific views through their own set of filters.

The first time we truly understand this is when we move in and share a dorm room or an apartment with another person. In the bathroom, as we sit on the throne, we glance at the toilet paper and realize that it is coming off the roll backwards, so we change it. The next time we’re in there we see that someone has changed it back. Who’s way is right? Over the top, or along the wall? Actually no ones.

I was born into a loving but dysfunctional family. And, I believe that all of us were born into dysfunctional families. The only difference between yours and mine is the level of dysfunction.

As these two to three foot beings we look up to our parents and other adults as these giant God like people. We love them because they love us and provide all our daily needs. Would they ever tell us something that wasn’t true? Duh? Of course they would. But often they themselves didn’t know that what they just told you wasn’t true.

Shel Silverstein, the famous author and cartoonist, once published a cartoon in Playboy magazine that showed a happy toddler playing on the floor with his alphabet blocks. On his face, plastered ear to ear, was a huge smile. He loved everyone, and everyone loved him.

Then enters his father, who opens up the top of his head, as if it were on a hinge. His father then proceeds to fill the little guys head with every swear word and every hateful and derogatory word to describe another’s ethnicity, race, culture and religion. As his father continues, the little happy child turns into a hateful, bigoted and racist person. Gone is the magnificent smile, replaced by a look that would kill.

Even though my parents were loving progressive people that didn’t stop them from passing on the “wisdom of the old country.” And though they were born in the United States they learned from their parents and grandparents all the reasons to stay away from certain groups of people. And I know from what my friends have told me, that they were told as children to stay away from people like me.

To teaching our kids to love one another,

Michael

Littleness vs. Greatness: The Choice is Yours

7 Jan

My belief is that God created us to have, be and do everything that we desire. That we were created for Greatness. Not just some of us – but all of us.        ~Michael Luckman

From A Course in Miracles we learn: “Littleness is the offering you give yourself. Everything in this world is little because it is a world made out of Littleness, in the strange belief that Littleness can content you. Chose Littleness and you will not have peace, for you will have judged yourself unworthy of it. For you will be content only in [Magnitude] Greatness, which is your home. Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself. Believe that little can content you, and by limiting yourself you will not be satisfied. For your function (purpose in life) is not little, and it is only by finding your function and fulfilling it that you can escape from Littleness. God is not willing that his children be content with less than everything.”

The wonderful thing about change is that it can happen in a moment. Each of us has been blessed by our creator with the wonderful gift of free choice. You don’t have to respond to outside circumstances as you have in the past. You can choose a different path. You can choose love over fear. Peace over anger. Tolerance over intolerance. Acceptance over rejection. Inclusion over exclusion. The choice is yours. In fact, the choice has always been yours. You don’t have to respond to anything as if you were following a script. You have the power to write your own script.

And remember this – no matter what you were lead to believe by others, you are and have always been, created for Greatness.

To the Greatness in you,

Michael