Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Tao of Love and Appreciation

If there is one thing that all human beings have in common, that is the overwhelming desire to feel loved and appreciated. But how many of us do? How many of us go through life looking for someone to really love them and appreciate them as they are. How many of us go through life wanting our very existence acknowledged in some way or some form? I believe this is engrained in each and every one of us from before birth.

Before we came to this earthly existence, we knew what it was like to feel loved and appreciated. Unconditionally. A love and appreciation so pure and magnificent that we spend the rest of our lives on earth searching for that very feeling of love and appreciation. The problem is, as human beings, we always somehow fall short. We have a faint remembrance of that feeling, and we search for it in our earthly embodiments, but it seems like it’s always like the brass ring. No matter how close we get to reaching out and grabbing it, we always miss it. In fact, that’s exactly what we do. We miss it. We miss that feeling. Therefore, we are always in search to have that feeling once again.

So, how can we come close in having those glorious and wonderful feelings of love and appreciation again? I believe that it is by making others feel loved and appreciated. For it is when we do this for others, then we ourselves will come close to having that brass ring once more.

There really is an art to love and appreciation, and it’s actually quite simple. Tell people you love them. Tell people you appreciate them. Tell them that because they are in your life, your life is so much better, that they bless you for just being here. When was the last time you had anyone tell you such wonderful words of bliss? When was the last time you told anyone these words of poetry that makes the heart sing?

Why is it that three of the shortest words in the English language are also three of the most difficult for human beings to utter? “I love you.” How often do you tell your spouse, your mate, your children, your parents, your friends? You may think that they know that you love them, so you don’t have to say it. But they need to hear it. Just knowing isn’t enough.

How often do we as children go through our whole lives waiting for our parents to tell us they love us and that they are proud of us? Some people go through their whole lives waiting to hear these words, even after the death of that very parent.

When we speak to others, do we speak to build them up or tear them down? Do we speak words of love and kindness, or do we cut down with words of anger, hate, and just plain old meanness? I know people who are known to treat people like dirt, and they’ve treated me the same. Know this…. When you are unkind to people with your words, it is not a reflection on the person who is being spoken to, but it reflects on the person speaking the words. I don’t know about you, but I literally avoid these people.

Another way to make people feel appreciated is to say the words “please” and “thank you.” Don’t tell, ask. Say please. And when someone does something, say “thank you.” You’d be surprised how far just saying these two words can take you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, child, relative, boss, or friend. Common courtesy goes a long way. I remember when I was doing the hiring at one of the companies I worked for, I don’t know how many times someone we were interviewing would say that they would take a “thank you” or “job well done” over a raise! Bosses, if you want good employees, make sure they know you appreciate them. Parents, you want kids to appreciate you? Appreciate them.

You may not get a response when you start practicing the art of love and appreciation. I realize we shouldn’t extend words and acts of kindness looking for anything in return, but it sure is nice. If you want people to say thank you to you, then say thank you to others. When you start saying “I love you,” you may not get one in return. Too many people don’t know how to say these words, so don’t take it personally. I’ve actually won people over by saying these three important words, and eventually, they would respond in kind. This life is short for we human beings. We never know when we may have another chance.

So, how do we change the world? One person at a time. I love you. I appreciate you. It really is that simple.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Collective Consciousness for Love and Peace

A lot sure is going on in the world right now! There is a lot of harmony among people, but there is also a lot of discord. What bothers me is that there is particularly a lot of conflict among our religious and political organizations, when it is these very organizations, which should be working toward the greater good of all as a whole!

Our religions should be teaching love, peace, harmony, and well-being, but there are so many who are teaching anything but! How can we tolerate hate and selfishness in these arenas when this is the time when we should be working towards exactly what Jesus and all the other great spiritual teachers taught: unconditional love for all! It seems that there are so many egos involved where people want to rule with their own personal belief systems and their own interpretations of what their Bibles teach to the exclusion of all others. And then we wonder why so many are being turned off to traditional religious organizations.

It especially bothers me when I hear some religious leaders speak such hate-filled talk toward all others who do not believe the way they do. Whenever anyone speaks hate talk toward anyone or anything, they are NOT speaking for God. They are speaking for their own selfish agendas. As long as they are speaking of our differences rather than what we have in common and how we can come together in that love, peace, and harmony, they are not speaking for God.

It’s worse in our political arenas. It seems like various parties will work against the other parties for the sole purpose of working against the other parties and all else be damned. They will also bring in their own religious views based on their own personal agendas, and again, so many speak hate talk. They call themselves conservative Christians, but their words speak otherwise. There are political talk show hosts who are very intolerant of those who believe differently, and I can’t even listen to them because the negativity that they are spewing forth is intolerable to me. I can feel it coming right out of the airwaves and it makes my soul cringe.

Obviously, there are many exceptions to both of the above where there are people working towards the greater good for all and do speak and teach love. They just tend to get drowned out by the hate-filled others. Our media doesn’t help either because they only print the negative.

It’s so easy to complain and find fault with others, but how often do you hear anyone talking about how we CAN work together. Mother Theresa was once asked to join an anti-war rally and her reply was no, but if they have a pro-peace rally, she would be there. Personally, I want to hear those who are talking pro-peace, pro-harmony, and pro-love, whether it is in our political or religious organizations.

I don’t want to hear how we can’t do something. Tell me how we CAN. Tell me how we CAN work towards peace. Tell me how we CAN get people back to work. Tell me how we CAN get insurance for all. Tell me how we CAN, as Americans, work together for the common good of all. Tell me how we CAN lower our crime rates. (Note: This is no reflection on President Obama. I know he’s trying, but he has a great challenge ahead of him.) Tell me how we CAN end abuse towards humans and animals alike. Tell me how we CAN have a healthy environment. Tell me how we CAN love and accept all people regardless of their color, race, religion, or walk of life.

When are we going to get it? We are on this earth together with no other place to go. This is it. I look forward to the day when the pro-love, pro-peace, and pro-harmony organizations out-number the anti-everything organizations. We’re out there. We have a voice. Our numbers are growing. We are the serum that is going to heal this hateful virus that has consumed our political and religions organizations (and it’s really not just these two organizations). Hopefully, I’ll see it in my lifetime. It’s coming.

We have the choice. Do we join the collective consciousness for love and peace? Or do we join the collective consciousness for hate and intolerance? Do we find solutions to our challenges, or to we just sit back and continue to complain and spew forth the hate-filled energy?

Love can heal. Love can change even the most hardened hearts. Love can rule the world. Unconditional love and acceptance of all. It’s ours if we just claim it and work towards the greater good of all. Let’s get into possibility thinking mode. Think love. Think peace. Think harmony. It starts with the wo/man in the mirror. And so it is.