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Love and Friendship

What is love?

Love is the most important lesson we are here to learn. It's the pleasant sensation you get when you hug someone. It's the warm, safe feeling you get when a special person in your life hugs you. It's the feeling you get the first time you cradle your newborn child, or when you pat your pet dog on the head and see his wagging tail, or snuggle your furry cat to your chest and hear her appreciative purring in response. The love of God is the greatest love of all with the greatest reward: spiritual fulfillment, the only type of love that brings lasting inner peace.

Why is love important?

Love dissipates fear. Love relaxes away tension and stress. Love takes away the negative emotions that cause disease. Love makes us feel at peace. Love is truly the answer to neutralizing everything negative in life.

How can I create love when my mind keeps dwelling on unloving thoughts?

You can create love by thinking kind thoughts, by speaking kind words, and by doing kind deeds. If your mind is constantly racing, or unwanted thoughts continually pop into your head, keep your mind occupied with other things such as listening to pleasant music, watching a fun movie or reading an enjoyable book. If something has upset you and you have trouble feeling or generating love, try picking up your pet and giving them affection, or looking through photographs of happy times. Reminisce about a time when you felt very loved and happy. Call up a close friend or family member who you know will give you positive support. Avoid calling those who you know may upset or anger you. Avoid reading or watching programs that promote fear and negativity. The more you fill your mind with positive thoughts, the easier it will be to let go of the negative ones. Praying to God consistently and from your heart with humility dissipates all negativity and brings us loving peace.

How can I love myself when I keep doing things I regret?

When you discover that a mistake can be turned from something unpleasant into a positive learning tool, you can move past the worry and guilt that sometimes follow regretful incidents. Take steps to heal any pain caused by the mistake. Find the lesson in the mistake by asking yourself these questions: Why did I do it? Why was it wrong? Was it my fault? Could I have done something differently? After examining the incident, decide how you can avoid repeating the same situation. Avoid dwelling too long on the topic. If you feel blocked, get the advice of someone you trust and respect. They may be able to help you see the situation from a different perspective. Once you've examined the mistake and formulated plans to do things in a better way next time, it's time to forgive yourself. Remember: Everyone makes mistakes, but the wise person learns from them.

Lessons from the Bible

Love Thy Neighbor

GALATIANS 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

JAMES 2:8  If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

LUKE 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

MARK 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

MATTHEW 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

MATTHEW 19:19  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

MATTHEW 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

ROMANS 13:9  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
 

Through Your Unconditional Loving Actions, Lead by Example

  • Be appreciative
  • Be available
  • Be calm
  • Be caring
  • Be comforting
  • Be compassionate
  • Be considerate
  • Be encouraging
  • Be fair
  • Be faithful
  • Be forgiving
  • Be genuine
  • Be generous
  • Be grateful
  • Be helpful
  • Be honest
  • Be humble
  • Be kind
  • Be a good listener
  • Be loyal
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Be pleasant
  • Be polite
  • Be positive
  • Be reliable
  • Be respectful
  • Be sincere
  • Be strong
  • Be supportive
  • Be sympathetic
  • Be thoughtful
  • Be trustworthy
  • Be warm and welcoming

The Qualities of a True Friend

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a person in your life is a true friend, a superficial acquaintence, or someone you should avoid entirely. Here's a list of situations which may help you sort out a true from a fair-weather friend. The answer lies in their behavior, since actions speak louder than words. Think back to situations which were similar to those listed below and read what a true friend would have done under those circumstances, versus a fair-weather friend. It may also remind you how to behave toward others whom you consider good friends.

The Difference Between a True Friend and a Fair-Weather Friend

SITUATION

A TRUE FRIEND WOULD

A FAIR-WEATHER FRIEND WOULD

You need help

  • Offer to help you or will give you help without your having to ask for their help
  • Will suggest helpful solutions
  • Will seek out others to help you if they are unable to help you themselves
  • Check to see how you are doing with genuine concern for your well-being
  • Expect nothing in return after helping you, and will refuse to be compensated if you offer
  • Pretend they didn't hear you or change the subject
  • Make excuses why they can't help
  • Help only if there's something in it for them
  • Quickly forget your situation and become self-absorbed
  • Expect or demand to be compensated, making you feel guilty if you are unable to pay them back

Something unpleasant has happened to you

  • Ask you how they can help
  • Sympathize with you
  • Listen patiently until you're through talking
  • Refer you to someone who may be able to help
  • Offer advice only if you ask for it
  • Invite you to their home or will offer to visit you at your home to talk in person
  • Change the subject or constantly interrupt you
  • Act disinterested or unsympathetic
  • Tell you they don't want to hear about it
  • Lecture you or give you unwanted advice
  • Tell you to call back later when you're feeling better
  • Compete with you on whose life is worse
  • Express opinions that make you feel worse

You share your deepest thoughts and feelings about something personal

  • Assume that these words were meant for their ears only and does not share them with anyone
  • Ask you if it's all right to share with someone dear to them if they feel this person can help
  • Assume that since you didn't say this was a secret, that it is all right to gossip about your situation with others
  • Tell your mutual friends behind your back, asking them to keep it a secret
  • Pretend to be supportive in person, but will badmouth you behind your back

You accidentally hurt your friend's feelings

  • Tell you in a non-threatening way giving you the opportunity to apologize and not feel badly for the mistake
  • Work on repairing the relationship through the sharing of feelings
  • Tell others what a bad person you are
  • Start a malicious gossip ring using the incident to start the process

You admit something you did that was wrong

  • Help comfort you, making sure you know that you did the right thing by admitting it and facing the consequences
  • Confide in you about their mistakes to help ease your discomfort
  • Forgive you and help you forgive yourself
  • Help you get past any negative feelings you're having over your mistake
  • Will help you figure out what steps to take next if making amends are necessary
  • Help you view the mistake as a positive learning tool
  • Abandon you because of it
  • Judge you for it
  • Act superior to you because of it
  • Scold or belittle you
  • Gossip about what you did with others
  • Make a mental note so they can use it against you in the future

You have good news to share

  • Feel happy for you and congratulate you
  • Ask to hear more about it
  • Ask to share the news with friends and family
  • Offer to celebrate with you
  • Change the subject
  • Find something to top your news or to divert attention away from you with whatever bad news they can think of
  • Act disinterested or envious
  • Act threatened or treat you as if you are a braggart

You discover that a vicious rumor about you is being spread

  • Not believe the rumor and will defend your reputation without prompting
  • Tell you about it if necessary for your protection
  • Will not let the rumor affect your relationship
  • Keep it to themselves if there is no need for you to know about it so as not to hurt your feelings
  • Believe the rumor without question
  • Embellish the rumor for entertainment sake
  • Stop seeing you without telling you why
  • Spread the rumor in order to feel important
  • Turn others against you to make themselves feel superior to you

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