A Year of Love

January 4, 2012

I love this time of year! I’ve always enjoyed making plans for improving myself in the coming year and reviewing how I did with my goals for the year past. I realize, though, this is a slippery time of year for some.

Over the holidays I happened to be around a television and I noticed there were a lot of dieting and dating commercials. I think there must have been a survey showing that people feel fat and lonely this time of year, and their goals for the new year are directed at making themselves more desirable and available. I know a little bit about that, but I’ve come a long way by making one major change in my life: I retuned my radio.

The Wrong Message: The world has a message for you and it’s repeated over and over on every channel: “You are not good enough, you are not trying hard enough, and you don’t have the right tools to be the best you can be BUT that’s okay because I have all the answers. Just do what I say and it will all work out for you. Call now and have your credit card ready.” It’s no wonder so many people have self-esteem issues. “You may be the best in your field, but those unsightly wrinkles are making you look old and tired! Those bags under your eyes could be treated with expensive laser surgery or you could buy this miracle cream (and if you don’t buy it, you will just have to suffer with makeup)!” Even a good nights sleep, a glass of water, a well balanced meal, and someone to talk to are marketable items that could not possibly be attained properly without some investment, according to the world. Most of us know a thing or two about taking care of ourselves and don’t always buy the hype, but there are scare tactics for intelligent consumers too. “THAT water has babaphyl* in it, a known carcinogen! THIS water has cupaflor* in it, a hazardous vapor! OUR water has nothing in it and only cost as much as your sofa! Think of your family! BUY our filter!” [*these are made up chemicals representing the latest discussions in the real food community].

Now some people might expect me to say that getting rid of your television is the way out of this mess, but really that’s the tip of the iceburg. I don’t watch tv and I’m still surrounded by the message that I am not good enough. I see it in town, in magazines, on the internet, and even repeated by well-meaning people.

The only answer for this world is love. You can’t buy it. You can’t sign up for it. It’s not for sale. It’s a free gift from above. Some people would say it comes from within. Whatever you believe…love does not care how you find it. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not brag. It is not proud. It disrespects no one. Is never selfish. Is not easily angered. It keeps no tally of faults. Love rejoices in the truth. It is a shield. It is trusting. It is hopeful. It withstands everything. It will never fail.

How to find love: The world would have you believe that in order to find love you have to meet that special someone. In the process you must kiss a few frogs, play a few games, and frequent the swimming ponds of potential mates or hope for a miraculous coincidence called destiny. The world even has it’s own definition of love. It’s sometimes jealous, insatiable, and unforgiving. It keeps a tally of faults, and shares them for sympathy or a good laugh. It must be pleased. It is up for question. It can be dull and lasting, or as intense and fleeting as the weather. It is a feeling of complete joy when you are together, and utter sadness when apart. It is “perfect”, rare, and fails most of the time. Hmm…that sounds nothing like the kind of love mentioned above.

Real love is all around us. You just have to know what to look for. Go back to the definition. Did you know that someone already loves you just as completely as all of that? I know it’s hard to imagine, but how would you live your life differently if you really believed you were loved so completely just the way you are? How would you live if you imagined that everyone is loved like this, just as they are right now, no strings attached? Imagine that!

What goals would you make for your life in 2012 if you were covered in unconditional love? How would you live this year differently if you treated yourself with unconditional love? Go back to the definition. Imagine a year of patience, kindness, no envy, respect, humility, selflessness, quietude, forgiveness, honesty, fortitude, faith, hopefulness, and perseverance. Maybe it’s time to stop asking the world to intercede for your future, and turn to the one who calls you wonderful. It is my hope for all of you, dear readers, that this will be a year of love.

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