Many people are best at loving themselves, ‘their own.’ Some are better at loving others, the stranger. (For most, it is not true that you can’t love others until you love yourself first.) For many, it seems easier to love oneself if first, someone else loved them deeply. Whatever the case, we can learn to love everyone, including ourselves.
Contrary to popular opinion, to love is more important than to be loved. Many sustain themselves with little received love by loving others. The story goes that a child of a very tough boarding school was seen to have thrown a piece of paper over the wall. He was called to the headmaster while one sought the snippet. It read: ‘Whoever you are, I love you.’
When it’s hard to love, start with being respectful. The feeling will come.
You may practice on animals, things or ideas. Just, don’t keep it at that.
To Love is a Form of Giving, Not of Wanting.
Love is a form of giving, not of wanting. This is so important that I repeated the subheading’s text.
I love/like my tea is for what the tea gives me. It is a sentimental self-serving entertaining liking, not a generous true repairing building love.
We can love (give) before we like or trust (get from) someone.
Don’t look at what you want someone to give. Rather, look at what they are excellent at already, at what they are capable of or willing to give.
Make it about the people deserving of your love. Not about what that could get you, the world, the past, the future, others.
Look at their contribution in general. Not at what you want to receive from them. Their life might not be about serving you. But you could serve them, if you wish.
Try to let your love flow. Don’t force it out through obligating yourself. It would make you resentful. They can’t help it that you forced yourself.
Set the example more than expecting others to improve. When you know how hard it is to perfect yourself, you won’t be so hard on others finding it hard to perfect themselves.
True love does not demand, bind, obligate, force, violate,
See, Hear, and Praise Others
A superb way to love is to think with them about them.
Feel for them. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Listen to them. Shut up.
Look at who someone truly is, the good in them.
Look at the good visible in them now. Not at what they should/could be.
Try to give them what they need most today. Ask them. What can I do to make your life more beautiful today?
People Cannot Change
Don’t expect people to change but peacefully expect us to improve. Hatred, dislike, and demands make it almost impossible to improve.
No one can change because in essence, we are fine. Tell people, “Don’t ever change.” But we can become more ourselves.
When we properly love someone, the person will have an easier time to become themselves more.
When we want someone to change, most of them will perceive that as, I hate you. Love people as they are, where they are, and they will change.
Getting to Know You is Getting to Love You
Ask about their lives, thoughts, and feelings to get to know them better.
Wanting someone close(r) and sexual love are a form of liking, not love.
Though, having sex may make someone feel loved when they are made to feel important, not just a prop in the life of others.
For many people, love and closeness are the strongest when shared in a monogamous sexual relationship. Don’t make loyal your partner, who put all of his/her eggs in your basket, suffer from a lack of love.
Being properly loved by one person shatters all one’s emotional distance to others, ends all of life’s loneliness.
Not all love needs sex; not all physical closeness needs sex; not all emotional closeness needs love. But the best sex is with someone who loves you and is emotionally close to you.
Jealousy is not begrudging others but insecurity about their own worth.
Learn to Receive Love
G^d called Adam alone. So, love from G^d and self-love cannot suffice us. Everyone needs human love from someone else too.
There is nothing wrong with wanting, needing to receive. But request. Never take.
No-one should only give and never receive. Everyone deserves and needs love unless you’re G^d. Make sure you also love some people who will love you too. Most people, when properly loved, will love back too.
Some people need to learn to sit still and let someone compliment, love them. To receive is an art too.
Two needy or two selfless people (and in fact, any group of people) can take turns loving the other.
How to love G^d?
G^d is Beyond Abstract and Needing, so loving G^d is a tad more difficult. Only a tad.
There never is a conflict between loving G^d and loving people. But with G^d, it’s often not so urgent. G^d can wait when you’re busy loving needy people. When you shower G^d’s children with love, you love G^d.
You may look for the Good He gave already. For things to be grateful for.
Be grateful. All the time.
But loving G^d is not about what you received or may receive. G^d is not your tea (see above). That’s merely liking G^d. Wanting to have.
Gratefulness may be a way to understand and grant that G^d loves us.
It is true that we need to love, but loving G^d we can still do not for our sake. Rather, just as a proper expression of who we are.
Loving G^d is to team up with G^d and all fellow humans, now, past and future, to join in perfecting the world, in particular, humankind.
When you want to team up with G^d and all people, that’s when you love G^d. And when you act upon that deep wish, you show your love for G^d. All true social activists, therapists, and lovers are lovers of G^d.