By Richard Carlson
Question to Richard: I find it pretty easy to be kind to others, but I’m brutal on myself—any easy suggestions?
Response: I’ve yet to meet a single person who didn’t want a life filled with love. This is impossible, however, without first loving oneself. We must start from within and then move outward.
Obviously, the shortest distance between two points is an intention and this is certainly the case when it comes to becoming more loving to oneself and to others. We must first have the desire and then the intention and commitment to be a source of love---this means that rather than waiting for the world to be more loving, we decide that we will be the first one to reach out and act loving—no matter what! This choice will almost always bring us closer to our goal. The reason: people respond very well to the feelings of love being sent in their direction and their tendency is to act in kind.
The next time you are frustrated by what you perceive as a lack of love in your life, take matters into your own hands. Forget about all the problems with others and with the world for a while and, instead, look into your own heart. Ask yourself, “Is there any way I can become even more loving than I am----can I fill my heart with more loving kindness?” Can you, despite the fact that there are less than perfect people in our world, think loving thoughts about yourself and about others? Spread that love around as far as your mind will allow. Even if you feel someone “doesn’t deserve” your love, try to empty that thought from your mind and send them love anyway. Just as hatred and hostility can only produce additional hatred and hostility, it’s equally true that loving-kindness produces only one thing—more loving-kindness.
It’s ironic, but also pretty obvious that the more love you spread, the more love there is that will be coming back toward you. After all, you can’t control what comes at you, but you sure have total control about what types of thoughts, words, actions and beliefs you send out into the world. You will, in a very real way, discover one of the greatest secrets in the world—that love is it’s own reward. The more you dish out, the more comes back to you. In a very short amount of time, you’ll have more love in your life than you ever thought possible. And when that becomes true, just keep sending love as often as you can! For more ideas on making your life even better, go to www.dontsweat.com Good luck.