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.
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.