By Dr. Alex Avila
In times of trouble and turmoil we often turn to the things that brings us comfort and guidance: Our higher power, family, loved ones, and country. With our special guest on Love University, J. Thomas Rompel, award-winning military thriller author (“Citizen Warrior”), we discussed how love can get us through the darkest days. Here are the important types of Love that can make life worth living:
Love of A Higher Nature: Many of us believe in a higher power or nature that loves and guides us. Some call it God, spirit, nature, essence, or simply the goodness of humanity. Regardless of what you call it, it’s important to commune with this Higher nature on a daily basis—expressing gratitude, faith, hope, and loving connection toward the Higher Nature and receiving the same in return. When life gets difficult, and we feel like we can no longer make it on our power, our Higher Nature is what we can rely on to carry us the rest of the way. Every day, make sure you pray, meditate, read spiritual blogs, listen to inspirational YouTube videos, and share your spiritual views with like-minded individuals. Most importantly of all, but your faith and spirituality in practice by being kinder to others—patient, forgiving, gentle, and loving. Strive to help people in any way you can and live by the higher principles you study. When you do this, you put your spirituality into application, and you will see amazing results in your life. Where before, you may have felt depressed, now you feel contentment and joy. Where before, you may have had doubt and uncertainty, now you have purpose and mission. Now you have the best of all worlds: You are living through your Higher Nature and your Higher Nature is living through you.
Love of Family and Friends: This is the rock-solid part of the lives of many: their spouses, children, family members, and close friends. We rely on these people as our rock-solid emotional and spiritual support. Of course, the reality is that not everyone has a family they can count on—due to divorce, illness, death, or addiction/mental health problems. Perhaps, you don’t have much of a family you can trust, but you have close friends who are like family. Or, you may feel lonely and let down because you believe that you have no one to love. If that is the case, you can create your own adult family—join an online group that relate to your favorite hobbies or interests and connect with like-minded friends. Perhaps, adopt a pet—dog, cat, bird, or fish—and express your affection toward your new animal friend. Get involved in a spiritual practice you resonate with and get to know those who share a similar tradition or belief. Spend as much time—online or off—with your loving family of biological relatives or friends doing the things you love to do, and your life will be much brighter.
Love of Country: Sometimes we forget the marvelous privilege of living in a country that provides us with the opportunity to be our best selves. A country is a collection of human souls who have either been born into, or came to a place, which they believed offered them and their children the best possible opportunities for love, security, and the pursuit of happiness. When an international crisis occurs, people can band together within their country, and worldwide, to help each other, and express a collective spirit of caring, compassion, empathy, and contribution It is a beautiful thing to feel part of a united whole in which we recognize the humanity and similarity of our values, beliefs, and dreams. No matter where we are from, we understand that we all want the same things: to love and be loved, to provide for our children, and to make a meaningful impact and contribution during our time on earth. The truth is that we belong to each other, and, working together, we can make the world a better place.
Yes, love in its many forms is the psychological vaccine that can save us from feelings of despair, regret, and fear when we face troublesome and challenging times. And, of course, to make it all work, we need to love ourselves as well. We love ourselves, not in an egotistical or self-centered way, but in a self-caring way that allows us to generate more energy and strength to help others. In your everyday life, make sure you practice self-care—good diet, exercise, sleep, spiritual practice—and forgive yourself for any errors you have may have made. Be self-compassionate just as you are compassionate to others and you will have more love to give to the world.
Remember: Love and the whole world loves with you. That is the best way to live.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON LOVE OF FAMILY, COUNTRY, AND YOUR HIGHER POWER: THE THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVING: WITH SPECIAL GUEST J. THOMAS ROMPEL, AWARD-WINNING MILITARY THRILLER AUTHOR, “CITIZEN WARRIOR”