“I’m not sure if love is all around me all the time. But I know when I look for it within myself—love is there. It may not be realistic to believe we can love everyone. But I know that as long as I maintain the self-love that I worked so hard to have. The love I try to show others will always materialize and be there for anyone who needs it.”
“I was never a lover of hard liquor in my drinking days; I simply loved my beer and how it made me feel. Well for a while anyway. Of course, I always loved my family more, but sadly drinking often came first, even when I didn’t want it to. Thankfully, I found a way to stop drinking and was able to show my wife and kids more love. However, my greatest discovery was finding a love I had heard about and never experienced, which was self-love. After I learned to love myself, and do so unconditionally, I was able to love people, even though I didn’t like them. Love life, even when I was going through unwanted circumstances. And forgive myself, even when I did something I didn’t like myself for.”
I can get all caught up in the negative emotions this world sometimes causes. But I know the fault is really my own—I know better.
Sometimes I feel a sadness that can overwhelm me. Or I can get angry about something I have no control over. And I can even worry at times with no apparent troubles in my life.
Again, I know better. But sometimes when I leave the house and I’m all caught up in one or more of these emotions, I become frustrated with people and things. The slow drivers, a cashier taking too long to help the person in front of me at the checkout, the weather. It really doesn’t matter, because I’m all caught up in some negative emotion.
However, there is something within me that says you know better—you can do better. Call it the voice of self-talk I’ve learned to use when I’m not at my emotional best. The voice of goodness that I know is a part of me. Or a voice that’s spiritual in nature. Whatever it is I hear, it calms me and helps me change my current thoughts to ones of love. At first it’s the love I already have for myself that comes from knowing I am not the person I’m behaving as, and then it’s the love I try to have for others.
After that. Any negative emotions I’m caught up in go away and I become a better person than I was only a few moments before.
Perhaps what I hear is the voice of love within us. A love that we are all capable of having and showing if we try. Especially in times when we’re all caught up in negative emotions.
“I truly do try to love people. And although I may not always get it back in return. I still believe love is all around me.”
I’ve learned that I can’t be everything to everyone and that not everyone is going to like me. I want people to like me of course, but due to the level of spiritual and personal growth I’ve obtained over the years, I no longer need everyone to like me. I will say, however, that I wish I could be everything to everyone when it comes to helping others.
The truth is though, that some people don’t feel they need help or are too proud to ask for it. There are those who are dependent on drugs, but don’t think they have a problem. And people who act out in different ways to feel important about themselves who see nothing unusual about it. Then there are those who feel hopeless about certain situations in their lives who either thinks no one cares or that asking for help is a weakness. In my experience, it takes a lot of courage to ask for help and doing so actually makes us stronger.
As I said, I’ve learned I can’t be everything to everybody, and I also know I can’t save the world. But there are some things I can do. I can be an example of someone who tries to love others. Shows kindness toward people, even when I don’t want to. And at the very least, be an example of someone who tries to understand others and practice tolerance toward those I don’t like.
It’s through our actions and behaviors that we can show people there are those of us who still care about them in life, and give them something to believe in. I know this to be true because it’s how I’ve lived my life for some time now. Not perfectly mind you; I struggle some days to do the things I speak of here. But no matter when I fail or feel like it doesn’t matter, I never give up trying to love others. And if they allow me to, I never give up trying to help them find their way in life.
One of my favorite past times is watching people at various places as they walk along going about their business. I enjoy seeing couples holding hands, people talking and laughing, and I especially enjoy watching families having fun together.
One of my favorite places to watch people is at an ocean front boardwalk near where my wife and I live. She also enjoys watching people, and just the other day we were there sitting on a bench across from an arcade where a fortune-telling machine sits outside; doing just that.
The machine actually reminds me of the one used in the 1988 Tom Hanks film Big. The movie is about a boy who uses a fortune-telling machine called Zoltar Speaks to make a wish that he was big. After becoming an adult, however, he’s still the same boy inside that he was before.
Anyway, as I sat there, I saw people walking along by themselves and in couples, but on this particular day families seemed more abundant. They came in all shapes and sizes, and some would stop and drop coins in the fortune-telling machine to see what it had to offer in the way of fun.
As I said, families are my favorite people to watch, but what I’m looking for in everyone is the part of them that helps me to love them. I call it their innocence, and as I sat there watching different families laugh and smile together at an amusement that by today’s standards is quite tame, I got what I was looking for. I’m not sure how innocent some of the family members truly were, but for the few minutes they stood in front of that fortune-telling machine, I couldn’t help but to love them.
It’s a much different world today than it was when the movie Big came out. At times people can seem immoral and even corrupt. But from what I saw in those families that day, it gives me hope that as a society we’re not at the end of our innocence just yet.
“Take pictures of the people you love. Record moments with them if you can. Call them a lot. Visit and hug them as often as you can. Tell them you love them until they’re tired of hearing it. Mean it. And perhaps most of all, appreciate them now.”