Loved People Love People.

People who are loving are empathetic, compassionate, kind, and care about other people - including people who don't look like them and that have opinions and views different than their own. They are willing to open their minds to new concepts (even if it makes them uncomfortable), and are willing to admit when they're wrong. They don't judge those who are going through situations that they may never have experienced themselves. If they notice someone going through a difficult time whether they can relate to it or not, they are willing to offer support either through lending a hand in some way or at least by showing compassion. They do things to help people - not hurt them. 

People who are hateful resort to things like intimidation, bullying, mocking, personal/property damage, trespassing, and theft to scare and inflict pain on someone. They think that their rights are more important than that of others. They believe that people in need aren't deserving of help. They are unwilling and unable to put themselves in someone else's shoes in an attempt to see from another's perspective. It doesn't bother them when someone else is hurting if it doesn't affect them directly. Instead of lending a helping hand or moral support, they readily offer judgments and criticism.

It's very hard right now for even the most loving of people to not let anger get the best of them in the face of all this hate. It takes an immense amount of self control to maintain integrity and kindness when faced with hate coming from so many directions; especially when it comes from people whose "love" turned out to be conditional and unreliable. It hurts. But as much as it hurts, remember that those who are the strongest are able to maintain a strength that is more reflective of their character than resorting to the same actions that hurt them. 

It is absolutely possible to not like what someone did or said and still love them, and having healthy boundaries means you can still have love for someone (even if you don't like them) yet create distance and not put yourself around them anymore. I'm learning these healthy boundaries, and that it doesn't mean I have to stop loving, caring, or being kind. I especially like knowing that just because I may disagree with someone, I don't have to be mean to them or belittle them and make them feel like crap in order to make myself feel better. Sometimes the kindest (and strongest) thing I can do is simply remove myself, which can be necessary more for my own peace than theirs; especially when I know a resolution cannot be achieved because the person I'm dealing with is unwilling to listen or unable to reason. There are other times when using my voice to speak up is completely necessary, and that getting my point across can still be accomplished in a loving way. Advocating for what you believe in, standing up for what you feel is right, and defending someone or yourself can all be done with love.

There's an expression: "Hurt people hurt people." Change the narrative. "Loved people love people." Love heals. Love is the secret weapon. Incorporate LOVE into everything you say and do. It takes practice, consistency, and a whole lot of strength and fortitude- especially when it's not reciprocated- but it can be done. Be the example. What would our world look like if most of us made this conscious attempt?  


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