Lowering Loneliness and Loving More People
Made Out of Love
We come into this world through love. Conception, bearing a child in the womb for months and nurturing a child for many years is a beautiful act of sacrificial love.
Think about it, you were made out of love at some level, which by default makes you lovable. Listing all the reasons why it's hard for us to accept that we're inherently lovable would just be too much.
A belief is a thought or collection of thoughts that has gotten stronger over time. It's more reassuring to know that you get to choose to believe in this thought of being inherently lovable.
If we're blind towards the fact that we're made out of love, then we cannot extend love to others. We cannot give what we think we don't have. We may think that the love we have is very limited or nonexistent so we cannot afford to love people more or love more people.
The nature of love is to expand. The nature of fear, resentment, and sadness is to shrink. Read on if you're ready to soften and expand your heart.
The Spread of Loneliness
We're going through a pandemic of loneliness. In my professional life, I've gotten the chance to talk deeply with many dozens of strangers at their most vulnerable moments. A common factor in all of their psychological pain is this: feeling uncomfortably or intolerably alone.
Recognizing our common humanity and our need for meaningful relationships is the beginning of stopping the spread of lethal loneliness.
It wasn't until recently that I realized the power of saying "Hello!" or starting a brief conversation with a fellow human at church, the grocery store or the gym. If the other person doesn't do it, then I have the opportunity to practice the strength of courage and form some sort of connection.
In a world that's full of chaos, seemingly tiny changes may or may not make a huge difference. This is the principle of The Butterfly Effect. Maybe a nice little chat with 99 strangers will lead to nowhere, but what if 1 makes a difference that ripples outward in a positive way? Loneliness is complex and alleviating it doesn't have to be.
The Spread of Love
In every truly loving relationship there's a rather unspoken rule of being there for each other in the good times and the bad times.
There have been nights where I cry out of emotional pain and I feel like I cannot turn to anyone but God. Deciding to become a Christian has made me feel like I got into the most important relationship of my life. The main reason why I turned to Jesus was because of the reckless love he showed no matter what, to those who loved him and those who hated him.
If we aim to create a more loving home, community, country or world, one principle that would behoove us to practice is unconditional positive regard. We ought to see the person as more than just a superficial behavior or appearance.
Knowing that God is behind my own creation and that of others has helped me tremendously in meeting people where they are, in being more familial with them.
To illustrate, if I were to meet someone from my country of origin living in the same country of residence as me, I would meet them where they are by asking things like "What led you to where you are now?" or "What do you enjoy about this place?" instead of expecting them to be like me or like the people I grew up with in my country of origin. I believe we're all children of God, we have the same origin, but our journeys are wildly different.