It's so easy to be loving when everyone around you is behaving well. Loving others becomes a challenge when they aren't behaving well, when they're getting on your last nerve, when they don't do what they say they're going to do, when they take their frustrations out on you, and every other way that people hurt, offend, or mistreat you.
You cannot force people to behave well. Nor can you make sure that no one ever hurts you again (unless you avoid all human interaction). You can, however, control the ways you respond to others. THIS is the secret to guarding your heart, your peace and your joy. Do these ten things to the best of your ability, and you will be putting your love into action in ways that can drastically improve the quality of your life.
1. BE PATIENT. This is easy to do when times are good; but when times are difficult, patience becomes a choice. Decide now to be patient with people in your life when they act like knuckleheads.
2. BE KIND. Think of how kind you are to someone for whom you feel sympathy. Be kinder than that to other people in your life—especially those who do not deserve your kindness. With this simple rule, you can literally change your world.
3. DON’T BE ARROGANT, BOASTFUL, OR RUDE. No explanation needed.
4. DON’T BE JEALOUS OR ENVIOUS OF OTHERS OR THEIR POSSESSIONS. Be happy for the success of others and trust that good things are in your future.
5. DON’T DEMAND THAT YOU GET YOUR WAY. Be willing to do what others want to do, to watch television programs that others want to watch, or to take a route that you think is “the long way” whenever someone else is driving. Choose your battles and understand that most things aren’t worth arguing about.
6. DON’T BE DIFFICULT. You may have every reason in the world to be irritable; but just because you’re in physical, emotional, or financial pain, doesn’t make it OK to take it out on those around you. Making others around you suffer, is a choice. Don’t do it.
7. IGNORE PERCEIVED INSULTS. When you hear a comment that appears hurtful to you, either use your ability to “selectively hear” (tune out) or assume that the other person didn’t intend to harm you. Look beyond what is said or done to find out what’s going on with the other person. Bad behavior or negative words are indicative of some underlying fear or hurt.
8. BE QUICK TO FORGIVE. Forgiveness by definition is giving mercy to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Forgive even when you think you’re right because this demonstrates in a meaningful way that you value the other person more than you value being right.
9. BELIEVE THE BEST; GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. If someone says something unkind about someone you care about, defend him or her. And never allow the negative words or opinions of someone else to influence the way you feel about the people you care about.
10. BE LONG-SUFFERING. What does this mean? It sounds awful, but it’s an important part of keeping peace in your life! It means putting up with the people in your life when they aren’t behaving well.
We can eliminate a lot of the drama that we live with and the pain that accompanies it if we will show kindness to everyone, including the people who don't mean to hurt us, but do, and [this is the hard part] those who intentionally try to harm us. (If someone does intend to harm you, don't give that person the benefit of succeeding!)
Love isn’t only a feeling that you have for others. It’s that, but it is so much more. Love is measured by our actions toward others in our everyday lives. Being kind, patient, merciful, and long-suffering never fails to [eventually] create an atmosphere of peace and joy in our lives. Start today to do your part to create peace around you and watch your life change for the better.
Watch for the upcoming Successful Survivors podcast. It will change your life!
Rhonda Sciortino overcame abandonment, abuse,
poverty, filth, and hunger, and built a life of affluence, order,
fulfillment, and excellent relationships. Her desire is to help
others mine the lessons from their pain, and apply those
lessons to create their own successes. Rhonda founded Successful Survivors Foundation, which launched the Love Is Action Community Initiative, all to help people put their love into action and create purposeful, successful lives.