Got problems? The world certainly seems to have lots of problems. It seems overwhelming – how can we get ourselves out of the mess we are in? So much fear, war, anger, hate, deceit, self-serving behaviors and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The solutions to these problems that we face on a global level are not clear.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
The answer is LOVE.
“The only lasting cure for hate is love, and unconditional love means opening our hearts to people ‘as they are’ rather than condemning them as evil or writing them off as hopelessly ignorant.” Scott Noelle, The Daily Groove
Love is contagious. The more you can open your heart to strangers and love them, the more they can do the same.
“Have compassion for everyone you meet, even when they don’t want it. What seems conceit, bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.” Miller Williams
Those who seem least lovable need love the most. And everyone is worthy of love. Everyone. Just by existing. Therefore, you are worthy of love, just by existing. Sadly, our minds aren’t so sure about that.
Most of us love with our minds, but when we do that, we start keeping track of who did what for whom, remembering all of the times when he left his underwear on the floor or she didn’t appreciate that you emptied the dishwasher.
Our minds are guided mostly by fear.
To love openly and deeply, we must learn to love with our hearts.
Many of us struggle with the act of receiving love. That has certainly been hard for me. We protect ourselves with a shield that does not allow people’s gestures of love to fully penetrate to our souls. We sometimes take their gestures in on the surface and feel thankful, but never let it touch us deeply. This could be because we don’t feel worthy, or it feels too risky. It’s different for everyone. What is it for you? I often need to stop after someone does something loving and remind myself to feel it in my heart – this person is showing me that they love me – THEY-LOVE-ME! Wow! It feels pretty darn good to feel deeply loved. Work hard to allow yourself to be loved. If you want to honor the people you love, let them love you. Try to pay attention to where people are loving you and you have not really acknowledged it as an act of love towards you. Take it in.
- Forgive – forgiveness is not about saying that what someone did is ok, it’s about allowing YOU to let go of the resentment and anger in order to free up that energy and to move on.
- Practice gratitude. It’s been proven that people who take time each day to express gratitude are happier. Before you go to sleep at night, say out loud (to your partner would be great) or write in a journal 3-5 five things that you are grateful for. For more fun, try not to have any repeats over the course of one week. It feels pretty terrific to go to sleep feeling grateful.
- Expand your heart – when you walk into a room and you notice all of the things your partner did “wrong,” you may feel let down and unloved – pause. Choose the path of love and expansion. It’s a habit that quickly begins to feel good and rewards you for your choice. Reach out and express love for your partner (or child or friend or other) instead of criticism. Likewise, when your partner talks to you, listen with a heart that trusts that it is loved, rather than one that feels judged and criticized. Consider a child – if a child listens with judgment when mom says “put your jacket on,” he will hear “you are not responsible enough to take care of yourself.” If the child listens with love, he will hear “I love you so much that I don’t want you to be cold.” Try that with your partner. Allow yourself to be loved and trust that you are.
Go forth and spread your love!