Some time back, I celebrated the New Year in America with good friends. I had a great time with those parties as we talked about our lives and how far we’ve come and how lucky we’ve been over the past months.
I caught up with a long-time friend. We were conversing when out of nowhere, he shifted the topic from where we were planning to travel to resolutions for the coming year.
I was surprised by what he asked since truth be told, I’ve never thought about it. Off the top of my head, I told him that I wanted to be more loving to others.
He smiled and told me that it was good that I had that as a resolution. We talked some more about other things and never mentioned it again.
The following day, I contemplated on what I told my friend. Because of that, I noticed a change in how I acted and treated people whenever I visited home for the year-ending holidays. I made up with people I used to be at odds with, and even fixed issues I had with my folks. This lead to aprofound change in the way I went about my life in Frankfurt.
Two months after, really close to Valentine’s, another friend loaned me a book she read. She knew I would like it. It was about love and its rules and how to have relationships that make you happy and fulfilled. It’s a cocktail of ordinary common sense notions and wise philosophies for taking care of and developing bonds that make one truly happy in life. It also has very helpful tips on how to build on your existing happiness.
However, I imagined some of these rules to be overly passive for someone with my personality, especially if they were set side-by-side with my resolution for the incoming year.
The way I see it, being more loving means taking action.
Of course, because we’ve read it in books and we’ve seen movies about it, we always associate love with dreamy romance. But you know what I found to be more profound? Real, tangible, practical and humble ways to develop a loving relationship every single day.
What I did now was to come up with my own rules, inspired of course by the ones I read in the book. Check them out, and spread the love.
1.You should have the ability to find happiness in yourself when you are by yourself.
I thought about this after reading the third rule that said you’ll never find happiness with someone else until you find happiness when you’re by yourself.
The writer further explains that one doesn’t need to live in isolation or in solitude. But one needs to spend a lot of time with oneself to find happiness in oneself.
Find some sort of balance between discovering things that make you happy both externally and internally.
Ask yourself if you can provide yourself with specific amounts of happiness. If you can’t, ask then if you will be able to fill up the hole left by the lack of being happy if you find it in external sources. And if you can, ask yourself if the happiness can and will last.
I came up with three ways of finding happiness in yourself while you are only with yourself and no one else. First, you need to know that the decision of whether being alone is good or bad is yours and yours alone. If you think it is good, then wrap your arms around it and let it in you. Second, you should make a solemn vow to yourself to make the most of being alone so you can find out more about who you are and what you want and what makes you happy. Finally, if you think you’re becoming restless, trying to find things to take your mind off being alone, contemplate inward. Are you giving yourself everything you need? Is there anything that can be done ASAP that can return balance to you?
Bottom line: the love you have is a lot more accessible to other people if you know deep down you are happy with who you are. When you have balance and you know that the happiness you have comes from within you, naturally you’d be more than willing to share the feeling with other people.
2.You should make the people you love laugh
In the book, it says that when picking out a partner, look for one who has the ability to make you laugh.
It might sound redundant, buy yeah, humor is both oddly and amusingly funny. Let me explain. When a person laughs, he or she puts in effort to make the muscles move which leads to the “hahahaha” of a laughter. This in turn leads to a rise in the levels of endorphins which makes a person experience the feelings of happiness.
Consider laughing in the midst of a group of close friends. It promotes relaxation and it is infectious right? But the best part is it puts everyone at ease and brings everyone closer together.
It has also been discovered that humor affects resiliency in a person, making him or her tougher against stressful situations. And there is evidence that laughter can strengthen a person’s threshold against pain. It can also help in cushioning the blow of receiving bad news.
What does this all lead to? It says that if you cause someone to laugh, you’re actually acting as a stress-reliever for the person.
3. You should be able to take in the differences you have with the other person and celebrate your common ground.
Loving is accepting. To be more loving, there needs to be acceptance– acceptance of those who are there to support you in whatever youdo.
It’s true that some of the people in your life may drive you up the wall with their constant weirdness. However, if they know that you are acknowledging and appreciating who they are, it will give them some sense of comfort. This will in turn lead to them thanking you by making you happier with positive and good vibes.
The best groups of people in the world are filled with individuals who exhibit various types of strengths. The faster you can reach a person’s heart, know the person, discover what makes them strong and reconcile yourself with any differences you may have, the faster you’ll create a team to reckon with – a team filled with support and love and awesomeness.
4.You have to be aware of the proper time for listening and the proper time for acting.
It’s our natural instinct to try and aid someone in their time of need, especially if they come to you for assistance, and especially if they’re a friend or a relative.
This is one of the simplest rules. It states that there are times when simply being there for a person is the best help one can give. When they look to be breaking down, just be strong for them and listen.
The writer believes that as humans, we are weird and unusual since we always have this longing to find out if what we say or do can be accepted.
Whenever a close friend or family member confides in you with his or her problems, tell them it’s perfectly fine to be angry or hurt. This also makes it easier, when the roles are reversed, and you’ll be needing a willing ear.
5. You should always say something nice whenever the opportunity arises.
This is very easy to do, all day, every day. It is one of those rules which shows a lot of love in a very short period.
When we were kids, our parents or maybe elders would often say that when we have nothing good to say, it’s best to keep quiet, or some variation of that.
So assuming you’re already an expert at tact, especially when you need to be, think about how much more of an impact you would have if you were kinder with your words.
Think of those times when normal life is going on and there’s no reason to be extraordinarily happy about anything. That the best time to say something nice – when those around you least expect it, let alone need it. That’s the best time for developing the foundation of love.
You may surprise them with a small token of how much you appreciate them, or compliment them out of the blue, or offer your assistance even when they haven’t requested for any, or make their day slightly better by sharing a tasteful joke.
The foundation of your love for other people is who you are deep down inside. Show how great you are to be with. People naturally fall for great things.
6. You should be someone exciting, uplifting and pleasurable to be with.
Just the previous rule, this one has the most impact when it isn’t needed.
Think of yourself as a beacon for those surrounding you. As you uplift and excite people, they little by little start to care about your happiness. And because when they are aware of your feelings of happiness, they too become happy, thanks to you.
7. You should be generous with who you are, and you will receive that same generosity in time.
The writer believes that in reality, you don’t always get back whatever love you give, from where it was given. There are times that it may be given back by someone completely different, maybe even someone you don’t know. But one thing’s for sure. If you’re generous enough to give it, you’ll receive it many times over.
People have different names for this phenomenon, but many have testified that things will be returned to you, although maybe not in the way you thought they would.
Try this rule out and gather information from what you will experience. There is a big chance you may just love the results.
As you might have seen, my belief is that when you take in happiness and love into your existence, the direction of actions you have to take will always be outward.
And if you analyze it, it’s quite simple. It’s all about how to create an environment that makes other people happier and more comfortable, where they can go about their everyday lives easily, much more easily before you came along.
A few of these people may see your efforts and return the favor when they can.
Try following these rules every day. You may find the results pleasantly surprising.