“Hatred is wasted energy.” - Alfred Hitchcock
We think of love as something for children and romantic partners -- a mushy, almost silly, ideal, and certainly not a way of life or a way to get things done. Strong, successful people, are fighters, not lovers, right?
It’s time to give love its due. Let’s remove it from its floofy cloud pedestal and place in life’s trenches. Love is a powerful force of positive change, which makes it essential for personal and societal growth.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness.” We need need to stop wasting our time, and our lives, with hatred. If we want happy, successful lives and a better society, let’s put love to work.
Love starts with you:
You must start by loving yourself. That’s right. Check your internal hatred. Researchers say self compassion is “the,” or at least “a,” key to happiness, and it’s proven to foster mental health and resilience. And, emotionally resilient people have more to give to themselves, their goals, and others.
High esteem and self love also enhances motivation, as long as you don’t turn into and overconfident egomaniac. So beating yourself up, say over the donut slip up, doesn’t pay off on the discipline level as we often suspect. So, there’s no reason not to choose self love.
Love the ones you’re with:
Think twice about using family as a dumping ground for anger. People come home and “kick the dog” because they believe they can let it all hang out with family. But there’s a difference between being vulnerable with loved ones and being disrespectful. Your family deserves your love, respect and kindness most of all.
The Gottman Institute studied couples for decades and psychologist John Gottman claims he can predict future happiness in couples with 94% accuracy. What is this accurate prediction based upon? How kind partners are to one another. He says, “Contempt tears couples apart…kindness glues them together.” It really is that simple.
And a happy couple makes a happy family. So keep your family strong with the power of love.
Spread love daily:
According to researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard paying it forward pays off. It turns out cooperative behavior is contagious: “Good acts – acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation – spread just as easily as bad. And it takes only a handful of individuals to really make a difference.”
These loving acts can include things like handwritten thank you notes, listening to a friend, letting someone go first at the grocery or entering your driving lane, and making genuinely kind comments in social media.
So be love, give love and spread love. We all need each other to combat hatred in our world. Let’s be the change we wish to see.