Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

How to love everyone and G^d?

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.

See also my previous pieces on Baseless Love, Is Altruism Egotism too, and Pure Altruism.

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.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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