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|Books about positive values, spirituality, and counseling
Your Emotional and Spiritual Life
Key to Happiness
answer to the question, "What is the key to happiness?"
is "Observation of all that is, acceptance of others without condemnation
or arrogance, and compassionately using what exists in loving ways for loving purposes."
answer has to do first, with the meaning of what we "see"
when we observe life and second, what we do with the information
we gather. The Miriam-Webster Dictionary describes "seeing"
to take cognizance of by physical or mental vision <saw that
the boat was being driven ashore> <the only one who saw the
Synonyms behold, descry, discern, distinguish, espy, mark, mind,
note, notice, observe, perceive, remark, twig, view
Related Word sight; make out; examine, inspect, scan, scrutinize;
penetrate, pierce, probe; consider, study; appraise, ponder, weigh
Idioms fix one's eyes (or mind or thoughts) on, occupy oneself with,
pay heed (or attention) to, take notice of."
I am writing about descriptive observation and nothing more -- what
we "see." In order to observe what is important to other
persons it is necessary to listen and understand the other person's point of view, even though you may not agree with it.
do not agree with what we discern about the other person, we may
encounter internal static by experiencing our own fear and anger.
Our emotional reaction lets us know that we have formed an opinion
about what we have observed. Our emotional response gives us energy
to move on to the second part: what we "do" about what
we have observed.
will address the question of what to do (if anything) about what
we have observed and the judgment we have made about it. We may
be thinking, "I love you," and then decided to express
our love to the other person. Our objective become that of communicating
appreciation and love.
Or, we may
be offended by another person, and wish to arrange not be treated
badly in the future. Our objective then becomes that of self defense.
Methods to Achieve Our Objectives
another place we may create pain and difficulty in our lives, without
meaning to do so. We choose the methods we will use to deal with
what we find wonderful or offensive, methods with which to accomplish
genetically methods "built in" to our brains, by which we accomplis the objective
of staying alive, methods that do not need to be learned. We "fight
or flee" when our fear lets us know we are in danger. We don't
have to think about it; we just react.
"fight and flight" are not effective ways to create emotional
intimacy. They are not methods meant for intimacy. They are methods
meant for survival. So the methods for creating intimacy in relationships
must be learned, and added to our repetoire of learnings extracted
from our life experiences and stored for future reference.
Treatment of Others Is the Most Excellent Way
We may not
able to agree fully with others about the most loving ways to treat
each other. Such understanding is something about which we all continue
to learn. But almost everyone agrees that love is the best way
to live, modeled by most of the world's great religions. Here love
is used in the sense of how we treat others and ourselves.
had a chance meeting with a man mailing books, and in chatting with
him discovered he was mailing a children's book called "I Love
You More," by Laura Duksta and Karen Keesler, illustrator (www.hippieandthebaldchick.com).
It is a simple children's book with beautiful, childlike illustrations.
I think it will become a best seller, having already sold 20,000
in 6 months, mostly for adults. This reflects the interest in and
the significance of love for everyone, and the importance of treating others in loving ways, the way we would like to be treated by them..
So the methods
of love are the methods we have to learn by trial and error. They
are considered by many to be the way to connect with the spiritual
dimension of life, to draw on the resources of the universe. However
you may think of what is most loving, the challenge is not so much
defining it, but to finds ways to concretely apply love in your own
life. Those specific ways of loving will reflect the meaning of
love as you define it..
I wish you
success in your own journey to become more loving.