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Love

Love. Such a big word for only four letters. I’ve heard there are people who horde saying, “I love you” like a squirrel putting away nuts for the winter.

I am not one of those people.

I say, “I love you” all the time. It doesn’t always mean the same thing, however. For me there are many shades of love. They all emanate from the same source but each is slightly different. The love I feel for my mother is different than the love I feel for my brother, which is different than the love I feel for a friend. And I feel a different love for different friends.

Why do I mention this? I mention this because I understand saying “I love you” can feel weighty but why be a miser? Love is the greatest gift we humans can give and receive. It’s what makes life worth living, and I’m not talking only about romantic love, although there’s that too. Love in general is what makes life precious, beautiful and fulfilling. A world without love is the worst kind of hell.

It is my firm belief the best way to make the world a better place is to spread more love. Spread love like you breath air. Give it away freely and to everyone. Even if you can’t say the words, send out that energy. Spread kindness, a loving energy. How can there be hate and war if everyone is spreading love? How can there be loneliness and isolation if each and everyone person feels they are loved? And the thing about love is not only does it feel good to receive but also to give. And while it may seem exhausting to constantly send love to people, love surrounds us. God’s love is ever present. Every object, every person, every thing is saturated in God’s love. We are absolutely drenched with it but sometimes we are blind to it or take it for granted.

The best way to not take it for granted is to give it back. How about saying I love you to God? Or even, “Thank you for bringing me into existence. Thank you for dropping me in your glorious creation. I love you and the life you have given me. Thank you.” How about letting everyone around you know they are loved? Why horde it? Why wait? Why not express it to anyone and everyone?

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone felt a steady stream of love. If everyone felt cared about and loved unconditionally. Imagine what a utopia the world could be if we not only recognized God’s love for us but we spread that love to others. Imagine a world where everyone on the planet felt constant love from all corners. Where every child felt safe and loved unconditionally. Where every adult felt secure about the love in their lives.

We can bring that world into being. It’s already here, glimmering beneath the surface. I can see it.

I know not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Happiness

There are probably a million articles about how it’s important to visualize what you want. “See yourself winning that marathon, driving the Mercedes,” etc. In fact, the entire premise of The Secret is based on it. The message I hear again and again is, “Visualize the things you think will make you happy.” What if we skipped that step altogether and just visualized being happy?

I’m reminded of the movie “Peaceful Warrior,” based on Dan Millman’s autobiography “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.” Dan was a gymnast at UC Berkeley, well on his way to winning a national championship. A lot happens in the movie, but basically Dan gets into a car accident and shatters his femur. He gets a metal rod stuck into his leg. His coach thinks he can longer compete in the national championship but Dan perseveres, training on his own with the help of a guy he dubs Socrates – someone who helps him realize the power of being present. Dan competes in the U.S. Trials for the Olympics and wins.

After Dan gets his medal, a teammate comes up to him and says something along the lines of, “Wow! Can you teach me how you did that? I just know I’ll be happy once I win. If I can just get that gold medal my life will be great.”

How often do we think this way? How often do we say, “I’ll be happy when I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happy once it’s the weekend, I’ll be happy once I get married.” Why do we think we need things/people/events to make us happy? Why not skip that step altogether and just go straight for happy? Why wait for it?

I think it’s great to visualize what we want. I want to publish a book (eventually) so I’m seeing it in my mind’s eye. However, I don’t believe my happiness is contingent on getting published. I don’t want to continue to put my happiness on the layaway plan. Instead of seeing myself happy X amount of time from now because I achieved X, I see myself happy right now. Not because I bought a new car or my boss gave me a pay increase or because of any outside factor. I visualize myself as happy. Now. I see/believe/feel myself in a state of happiness right now. I cut out the middle part, the illusion.

I dream of a world where people realize life is too short to put off their happiness. I dream of a world where we are happy because we choose to be, not because something happened to us. I dream of a world where everyone is happy a majority of the time. Not only can it happen, it does happen.

I know not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Community

Lately I’ve been thinking about community, how everyone feels a need to connect. How as human beings an integral part of our existence is a longing to fit somewhere. Most of us already have a community we belong to, but what if that community were bigger and grander? What if we truly became a global community?

I envision a world where we take down our fences, our borders, our guards and “keep out” fades from existence. I envision a world where we all understand what I do affects you, what you do affects me — that we all affect each other. I envision a world where there’s a true sense of community around the world, so we cannot stand seeing our brothers and sisters suffer, and in fact we all take care of one another. I envision a world where the phrase “starving artist” ceases to exist because our creative people are allowed to express themselves in whatever capacity they choose and don’t have to worry about earning a living from their art. I envision a world where love is what makes the world go ’round. Where compassion reigns supreme and we all support each other. I envision a world where we are not only individuals but part of a larger group. A group that loves us, supports us and takes care of us. I envision a world where I cannot utter “I’m lucky I have a community” because everyone has a community. Everyone belongs. The lone wolf, the lone ranger, the outsider will no longer exist because we are all insiders. The circle will be huge and grand and encompass everyone. My community will be anywhere and everywhere. I can belong in the U.S., in Belize, in Iran, in China, in Namibia. I can belong anywhere. Everywhere.

I envision a world where my community is your community. Where you and I are linked. Where we all support each other without forgoing our individuality. Where I can strike out on my own but also look behind me and see the safety net waiting to catch me if I fall. I envision a life where the world is my community. The world is where I belong.

This world is already manifesting. I can already see it. Not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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