Here we are winding up the Month of Love with one more charge to all of us...This one is probably the most difficult to do. How do you love the (seemingly) unlovable? How do you love those who hurt you or better yet, those who hurt the ones you love? I am no expert by any means at doing this. I have had hurts in my life that have made it very very difficult to like let alone love. But, it's a mandate that I will always believe in and strive to achieve in my life. Here are a few things that keep me willing to try my best to do so.
In Other's Shoes - One of the first things I do when I find myself angry with someone, hurt by them or just perplexed at why someone might do an ugly thing is to try to put myself in their shoes. Usually, I will think of a better way to handle a situation, but, then I start to wonder why that person didn't handle it the way I would have. What could possibly be their driving force? Sometimes this really helps me be more objective and often leads me to see where I may have overreacted to a situation. Maybe I took something the wrong way or just needed to understand the other side of an argument or opinion. Nine times out of ten I am allowing a mild irritation to be much more than it needs to be and by doing this task, I can usually let go much easier.
Similarities not Differences - Another thing I try to do when I feel someone sees things so opposite of me, is to try to see where we have things in common. What are things that we both like? What are places we agree? What situations have we both possibly been through that connect us? When fear or anxiety come into my life because someone seems so different, this one really helps me a lot. Always look for similarities first.
Add the Correct Action - I have said several times this month that love is an action. SO, if we are supposed to love when it is difficult, what form does that action (love) take? Do we give the person a hug and a kiss? Um usually that would be a hard NO. But, one action we can give to show our attempt to love when it seems impossible, is sometimes to just shut our mouth. Don't voice ugliness about that person or situation. Like the old saying goes, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". Does that mean you can't have your own opinions about things? Of course not! But there are ways to voice what you feel without purposefully trying to hurt someone else. If you have taken the time to do the first two steps I have mentioned (truly taken the time) you may have some insight as to how to say something about a situation without hurting someone--or if you need to not say anything. Another action we can take to show someone love is to pray for them. When we stop and take the time to send positive thoughts and prayers out in the world, I believe it can actually change situations at times in ways we could never do ourselves. I also believe, it heals our spirit because we are letting go of whatever hard situation we may be in. Believe it or not, I think this is showing love in a way that is much deeper than we can do with our natural feelings or thoughts.
The Healing Power of Forgiveness - This is the biggest and best action of love we can give to those that are difficult to love. Forgiveness. Deciding not to hold a grudge against someone can free your mind, your heart and your spirit in ways that nothing else can. Forgiveness doesn't mean becoming someone's best friend or believing in whatever that person believes in, but, it's saying "you aren't hurting me anymore because I choose to let go of it". Sometimes you have to keep saying it and believing it over and over again until you truly feel it in your spirit, but, you can forgive. Forgiveness doesn't take away what has happened. Its just the healing balm you add to your own scar to cause it to heal. It's the choosing not to let something eat you up inside any longer.
In the times we are living in, we sometimes feel so divided it can seem impossible to ever feel enough love to heal anything. You can't make others agree with you or make them choose to forgive and love, but you don't need them to for you to heal from hurt. If you love by trying to see their side, or trying to concentrate on your similarities or by praying for them and forgiving them, or if you simply show a measure of love by keeping your mouth shut, it all adds healing to your life. AND when we heal, we can truly love the way we were made to love.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush, Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker