Friday, May 11, 2012

Soulful Relationship

If you're not married yet, share this with a friend. If you are married, share it with your spouse or other married couples and reflect on it. 

An African proverb states, "Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one eye."

Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don't let lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a low self-esteem, make you blind to warning signs ! 

Keep your eyes open, and don't fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see as faults aren't really important. Once you decide to commit to someone, over time his or her flaws, vulnerabilities, pet peeves, and differences will become more obvious. If you love your mate and want the relationship to grow and evolve, you've got to learn to close one eye and not let every little thing bother you. You and your mate have many different expectations, emotional needs, values, dreams, weaknesses, and strengths. 

You are two unique individual children of God who have decided to share a life together. Neither of you are perfect, but are you perfect for each other? Do you bring out the best in each other? Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare, and control? What do you bring to the relationship? Do you bring past relationships, past hurt, past mistrust, past pain? You can't take someone to the altar to alter him or her !

You can't make someone love you or make someone stay. If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment, and "a life", you won't find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness or responsible for your pain. Manipulation, control, jealousy, neediness, and selfishness are not the ingredients of a thriving, healthy, loving and lasting relationship ! Seeking status, sex, wealth, and security are the wrong reasons to be in a relationship. 

What keeps a relationship strong? Sharing common goals and interests. Communication, intimacy, trust, a sense of humor, sharing household tasks, some getaway time without business or children, daily exchanges, a meal, a shared activity, a hug, a call, a touch, a note. Leave a nice message on the voice mail or send a nice email. 

Growth is important. Grow together, not away from each other, giving each other space to grow without feeling insecure. Allow your mate to have outside interests. You can't always be together. Give each other a sense of belonging and assurances of commitment. Don't try to control one another. Learn each other's family situation. Respect his or her parents regardless. 

Don't put pressure on each other for material goods. Remember for richer or for poorer. 

If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and pain replaces the passion. 

The difference between 'United' and 'Untied' is where you put the I.

Rev. Ronald McFadden 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal is the largest excavated site in the American continent. It is Guatemala's most famous cultural and natural preserve.  Tikal possesses a certain magic... Like all puzzles without answers it fascinates everyone and we dare say... Tikal is so irresistible once you are here, you'll find yourself wanting to stay just a little longer!

      This majestic archaeological gem comprises 222 square miles of jungle all around the ceremonial center.  It took the University of Pennsylvania 13 years to uncover about 10 square miles of structures at Tikal.  However, much of it is still left to be unearthed.  So, do take some advice...  Don't try to see all of Tikal in one day, even if you are in excellent shape!

     Tikal remained a mystery for centuries, after being abruptly abandoned by the Maya over 1000 years ago and overgrown by a relentless jungle.  Only a legend survived among the Itza Maya people of a lost city, where their ancestors had achieved high cultural development.  In 1848 the legend faded, giving way to an exciting era ofdiscovery. It was a serendipitous discovery made by Ambrosio Tut, a gum collector or chiclero.

      He saw the temples' roof combs in the distance.  He ran to the island city of Flores to inform Modesto Mendez, then Governor of the Peten Province, in northern Guatemala.  When they arrived at the site the impressive temples, the open plazas and the several-story buildings, where priests and kings once lived, stood in front of Governor Mendez' and Ambrosio Tut's very eyes... They visited the site with an artist who recorded some of the carvings at Tikal.  Their findings were published by the Berlin Academy of Sciences in 1853.  It was only a matter of a few years before curious scholars started traveling from all corners of the world to see for themselves what they had discovered.