The Religion of Love..

For God so love the world, He gave us His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life- John 3:16

From a young age, I learnt that the ultimate love, is the love shown by God. It was the act of sacrifice that reinforced the depth of His love. A forgiving, sacrificial, selfless love.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Science of Love. And previously, I discussed that I believe in both science and religion. One of the aspects of religion that I admire is the unconditional love of God. That someone so undeserving, as I am, can receive such pure and infinite love. God has a greater plan for my life and a greater purpose so He sacrificed His son’s life for mine.

To know there is a love that helps, heals, forgives, and nurture is so reassuring. This love is AGAPE Love. The greatest love of all.

Teach me to love like you, Oh Lord

Love, Really?- The Science of Love

You’re walking through the grocery store aisle and walk past a handsome young man, immediately you are drawn to him. Your eyes interlock and BAM, you’re in love (HAHA).

That’s how quickly it happens. Well, my friends, there is much more to love than cross the eyes.

The idea of love has been sensationalized. Often we see Love as this explosive physical attraction and intimate connection we share with someone. As Valentine’s day is rolling by this weekend, we’ve become programmed to buying gifts, chocolate, and roses, but what if I told you to love is simply science. Let’s explore this together.

There is so much research on the science of falling in love. Truth be told, much of love is brain chemistry! Hear me out. I am not a cynic by any means, I love love, just like the next person, but my scientific brain, need some answers (smile).

Our brain is wired to allow us to love. There are three categories to romantic love; lust, attraction, and attachment. Each of these categories is facilitated by a different hormone (neurotransmitters).

Lust is associated with increased levels of sex hormones. For females, it’s an increase in estrogen, and for males, testosterone levels increase.

Attraction is generated by Dopamine, Serotonin, and Norepinephrine. Dopamine allows you to pursue reward. Sometimes we can become addicted to a surge of dopamine and “seeking reward”, leading to serial dating.

Attachment is facilitated by Oxytocin and Vasopressin. Oxytocin is also referred to as the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin plays an important role in bonding between a mother and baby.

Dopamine, produced by the hypothalamus, is a particularly well-publicized player in the brain’s reward pathway – it’s released when we do things that feel good to us. In this case, these things include spending time with loved ones and having sex. High levels of dopamine and a related hormone, norepinephrine, are released during attraction. These chemicals make us giddy, energetic, and euphoric, even leading to decreased appetite and insomnia – which means you actually can be so “in love” that you can’t eat and can’t sleep.

Harvard

There’s a deep, complex relationship between mood, attraction, love, and neurotransmitters. So, my friends, the next time you say I love you, remember, you learn it here first, that love is chemistry working on your behalf. Share it with a friend.

Below, you can find an awesome infographic on love.

nm-science-of-love-infographic
Northwestern University

How cool is our brains?

And to think, my parent thought I was still love sick!

Reference: Harvard Study

SUPPORT

I can’t say that I feel supported.

Wow! This week has proven to be one of the toughest weeks I’ve had in this new year.

Part of the issue is that I seem to not have the time I need to rest. Between work, family obligations, and the upcoming interview, I am left feeling tired and depleted. The people I would usually run to are absent. Or I preferred not to add my burden unto them.

Sometime this early morning, it dawned on me that I have a forever friend. I have a friend that sticketh closer than my brother. A friend that sees and knows all things. A friend that is always rooting for me in times of difficulties.

Isiah 41:10 (AMP), says Do not fear, for I am with you; DO not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of your with my righteous right hand..”.

This verse reminds me that even when I am weak, God strengthens me. Even when I feel discouraged, God supports me. Whenever I feel broken, God heals me.

I feel comforted knowing that I have such a dear friend whom I can turn to at any time. As challenging as my week has been, I take the time out today to reflect on His goodness and share some encouragement with you, my friends.

A prayer for US

Prayer courtesy of bible app

How was your week? I would love to hear from you, feel free to share below.

True Friendship vs. Short Friendship

I woke up one day and decided I no longer wanted to be friends with you.

It was a sad realization, and quickly I cut my ties. I think a part of me knew our friendship was circling the drain. We had plans to go to a concert the next day, but I was a no-show. I never apologized. This one bothers me to this day.

In reflection, I realized I was not being a true friend. Can a short friendship be a true friendship? I wish I knew the answer to that question.

What I do know is that a true friendship is cultivated over time. You are so connected that you can go months without seeing each other and pick right back up as no time has passed. I have those kinds of friends. I cherish those kinds of friendships.

But something was different about our friendship. I felt stuck. Too much uncertainty built uncomfortableness.

I needed to separate our spaces. I needed to grow. I needed to commit to the life and friends I have now, and sadly, I saw no place for our friends there. So I ghosted you.

Was it the right thing to severe ties? Yes. Was it the right way? No.

It’s been years now. I don’t even know where you reside. From time-to-time, I wonder if you’re doing alright but, very swiftly I forget you.

So guys I have a friendship question- Was it true friendship if it was such a short friendship?

What do you guys think-Can short friendships be true friendships?

10 Steps to Being Your Best Self

We are constantly bombarded with the idea of perfection, through social media, radio stations, and TV advertisement. Often times the emphasis is on your general appearance. But being your best self and showing up as such is much more than your physical attributes and dress. Being your best self from the inside, and feeling confident in any room you enter is the most important attribute.

I have attended interviews many times in the past and always feel the need to take hours ironing my clothes, styling my hair, practicing my answers, so to present my best self. Although nothing is wrong with the process, I really desire to shine through intellectual challenges and physical strength. The truth is, we all have that perception of our best self. Our ideal self! Sharing the steps I’ve taken to being my best self, below

Here are 10 Steps to Being your Best Self

  1. Go to bed on time. I have a set bedtime and its 9:00 pm. My body is programmed so well, that at 9:00pm my eyes will close, no matter where I am at that time (even at a party).
  2. Wake up 1 hour before work– meditate, pray, or practice some for of mindfulness. Daily affirmations are a great start to any day
  3. Pack a lunch for work– Ive found this to be extremely help for more than one reason. But it is a necessary step to reduce your chances of unhealthy eating
  4. Drink water
  5. Set goals that are attainable
  6. Spend your time wisely!!!- One of the things I struggle with currently is balancing my social media platforms. Im shocked how much mu screen- time is every week. One way, To counter this increase in screen time is to place your phone of sleep mode9 bed time setting). This has helped cut my screen time down by 1-2 hours a day
  7. Motivate yourself– Self Affirmations my friends, Use it
  8. Learn how to say NO– Now I still have a difficult time with saying NO at times, but I have gotten so much better. Remember not to spread yourself thinly.
  9. Believe in yourself
  10. Wear a smile– smiling has been shown to boot your mood.

What about you guys; have you found any helpful hacks to bring out your best self?

Why are Some Minority Communities Skeptical of Therapy?

On average there are 132 suicides committed each day. This is the astonishing truth and startling statistics in the United States. However, this issue stretches past the United States and extends globally. The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men, who account for about 70% of all suicide in the United States (2018). But certainly, this is a concern for many other communities and races.

As a minority woman and an immigrant, I am aware of numerous mental health struggles and the suicide rate of the people in my community. I fear that too often, we stay away, not receiving help when it is needed. I have found that there is a stigma in attending therapy, seeking counseling, and adhering to the prescription regimen in minority communities. I know of this through first-hand experiences where friends or family members are affected by mental health issues that often get swept under the rug.

Over the weekend, I listened to a conversation between my father and my aunt on the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Their viewpoints on therapy varied. However, this conversation highlighted a bigger issue at large; the shame associated with therapy and mental health. From my observation and personal experience, there seems to be a hesitancy in seeking out therapy and counseling in our community. This belief is further emphasized at a young age, where you are reminded that whatever happens at home, stays at home. 

As I age, explore different thoughts, read books, interact with different cultures and people, I’ve realized a serious struggle many people of color faced in coping with mental health. This is not to say that other communities aren’t affected as well. I am passionate about equality in healthcare and bridging the gap in health care disparities.

So how do we bridge the gap in mental health access in minority communities?

On a smaller scale, we need to address these issues at the home level. One of the realizations I’ve made this weekend is the need to break the family cycle. Moving forward, I am committed to raising children that have the opportunity to express how they are feeling and how other’s actions affect them. It is at the level of the home that we can begin to break generational obstacles and strong-hold.

Thinking globally, I believe social media is doing an excellent job of countering this problem. Platforms such as Clubhouse allows for interaction with licensed therapists, social workers, psychiatrist, and lifestyle coaches. Resource accessibility has been an issue for many years, however, new waves of resources are being developed. Friends and colleagues sharing their experiences on Instagram live and IGTV aid in spreading useful information to others. These small discussions will amount to great changes by creating a safe space for those coping with mental health.

Also, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of Telehealth in bridging the gap to accessibility, whether routine medical care or mental health needs. Teletherapy is a great resource as well. If you are looking to speak to someone, try going to Psychology Today Teletherapy, and type in your zip code. A list of therapists will be provided.

I still believe there is so much more we can do to create safe environments for others to heal, grow, and live a fulfilling life. One of my long-term goals is to make health care accessible to minority and immigrant communities, not only for routine care but for a holistic approach to health. Encompassing therapy and lifestyle modification space to build stronger communities now and in the next generation.

Has therapy helped you in the past?

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Happy Saturday Friends

If you are new to JAARABLOG, I welcome you with the warmest social distance hug!

One of my goals for 2021 is to live an intentional life, additionally you can read the 31 Things I planned for the next year, as I recently celebrated my 31st birthday.

So on this awesome Saturday, I encourage you to surround yourself with love and to live a fulfilling life. Whatever dreams/ goals you want to achieve can be accomplished through hard work, focus, and prayer.

Here’s our prayer for today

Courtesy of Bible App

Feel free to share your goals for today- Maybe it is simply getting some rest after a busy week.

I woud love to hear from you all!!