The Greatest of These is Love


Loving abundantly will create more joy in your life and the world.
Do you remember the Golden Rule? Many people and many religions utilize this concept to underlie their morals and ethics. Copy and paste this site to view various versions: I’d like to draw your attention to the version from the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The first step, in being able to exercise this rule in our lives, is to love ourselves. If we do not love ourselves, how can we possibly truly love others. Are we patient, kind, trusting, hopeful and persevering with ourselves or do we beat ourselves up, fear failure, self judge or even sabotage our success and joy?

If loving yourself is not your greatest strength, you can begin now with baby steps, i.e. patience. Try to treat yourself as you might a child, who is just learning to ride a bike or to read. Be kind to yourself; give yourself enough time, enough sleep, enough quality nourishment and plenty of positive experiences, laughter with friends, enjoyable vacations, massage or meditations and visualizations. If treating yourself with love and respect is difficult for you, I recommend the book, “May Cause Miracles”, by Gabrielle Bernstein. It is a 40 day process of reading, affirmations and exercises, which may increase your love for yourself, a miracle.

One thing that helps me to love myself is practicing random acts of kindness. I chose the photo above, a beautiful gift from nature, which I took on a three day hike in October, 2010, on the Ozark Highlands Trail. I haven’t a clue what species it is, but it presented itself randomly, on the forest floor, as a delicate and beautiful expression of love. It made me smile and pause to take a photo. I felt a sense of awe and tremendous gratitude for this rare presentation. I now share this beauty with you. I will also share one of my favorite random acts of kindness stories.

A dear friend, who was always baking and preparing gifts of food, had a range/oven combination. The range would not self-light and only select burners would work, but the oven seemed to work well, until the day it died. She and her family were not in a position to purchase a new one, so they got a toaster oven instead, just to get by. When I learned of this, my mental wheels began turning. I started looking online, at the selection of new range/ovens combinations from Sears, and plotted with a mutual friend and my husband about getting a new stove for her. I found one that would fit their kitchen and the following day, drove to Sears in my mini-van, purchased it, loaded it up and drove straight to her house for the unloading. I would often bring gifts of books or toys that our crew had grown out of, so she was used to me delivering boxes. I knocked on her door and asked her to help me with a box of stuff that I had brought. She saw the box and was immediately suspicious and onto me. She expressed such delight, surprise and gratitude that it warmed my heart and continues to warm it still, many years later. The really wonderful thing about practicing random acts of kindness is that it makes me smile and feel giddy, during the whole time I am plotting, planning and presenting them and even years later, as I think back on them.

I encourage you to begin looking for ways to mischievously be kind to someone in your surroundings, whether it be a smile, a kind word, a hug, a cup of coffee, lunch, a home made card or something large and unorthodox. You will be accomplishing the entire Golden Rule, as you do this, because you can’t help feeling joy and pride for your kindness, when you produce loving actions for others.

I’d like to sum this article with the lyrics from the Beatles, “All you need is love, love, love is all you need!” Feel free to share this article with those you love. If would like to receive future mailings, please sign up for my free newsletter.

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