Creating a Balanced Life: Living in Love

Now that we’ve covered how to love, all the time, despite the circumstances, it’s time to end the year by focusing on living in love, both now and in the future. I know so many people who aspire to this but then find themselves judging others harshly and immediately if they are in any way different from themselves. This is often so ingrained it can be very difficult to overcome. While you have some time off over the holidays, how about reading Teachings on Love by Thích Nhất Hạnh?

As described by Brian Bruya, Ph.D., “For venerated Vietnamese Zen master Thích Nhất Hạnh, love is more than an emotion. Drawing on millennia of Buddhist wisdom and his own therapeutic methods, Teachings on Love further develops his practical notion of interbeing in terms of love. If all things are interrelated, what could be more paramount to negotiating those relations than love? And more than just a way of relating, love is a way of living: ‘Love by the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you eat.’ Nhat Hanh supports his practical advice with numerous verses for enhancing mindfulness, prostrations for expressing reverence, and succinct formulas, such as the Five Awarenesses and the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The fifth mindfulness training exemplifies the broad scope of Nhất Hạnh love: ‘Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming.’ Thích Nhất Hạnh forever writes with reassuring warmth, from which readers may derive insight as well as comfort.”

Disclaimer: This blog is not designed to diagnose, treat, or prevent illnesses or trauma, and Dr. Emick is not responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. Furthermore, reading this blog does not create a doctor-patient relationship. The information contained within this blog is not intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate, or best care for any given physical or behavioral health issue, nor does it take into account the unique circumstances that define the health issues of the reader. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or illness, you should consult your personal health care professional. As always, consult with your personal health care professional before beginning or changing any fitness or nutrition program to make sure that it is appropriate for your needs. Dr. Emick reserves the right to modify her positions on a subject based upon new research or data as it presents.

Creating a Balanced Life: Learning to Love

‘Tis the season of love, or so they say. But shouldn’t you love in every season, not just the holiday season? Do you really know how to love on a daily basis? Not just the easy keepers, but everyone, including yourself?  Here are some age old suggestions taken from the Christian Bible, Quran and teachings of Buddha.

To you be your religion, and to me be mine.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

O My slaves who believe, be afraid of your Lord and keep your duty to Him. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world, and Allah’s earth is spacious!

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, Al-Masakin (the poor), and those who left their homes for Allah’s Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Surely He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if they intend to deceive thee, then surely Allah is sufficient for thee.

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.

A friend loves at all times.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

There is no compulsion in religion.

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

Allah forbids you not respecting those who fight you not for religion, nor drive you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly. Surely Allah loves the doers of justice. Allah forbids you only respecting those who fight you for religion, and drive you forth from your homes and help (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends of them; and whoever makes friends of them, these are the wrongdoers.

Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

If you do good, you do good for your own souls.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

The Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe and let him who please disbelieve

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?

We have truly shown him the way; he may be thankful or unthankful.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

And do not forget to do good to one another.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.

And feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, for love of Him (saying) : We feed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you…

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.

One who saved an innocent life is like he has saved the whole mankind

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.

You may fight in the cause of Gd against those who attack you but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Indeed, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness.

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.

Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order, and call upon Him in fear and hope.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

A guidance and a mercy for those who do good.

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

Those who believe and do good deeds — the Gracious God will create love in their hearts.

Consort with them in kindness; and if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing wherein Allah has placed much good.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

And him who seeks thy help, chide not.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Disclaimer: This blog is not designed to diagnose, treat, or prevent illnesses or trauma, and Dr. Emick is not responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. Furthermore, reading this blog does not create a doctor-patient relationship. The information contained within this blog is not intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate, or best care for any given physical or behavioral health issue, nor does it take into account the unique circumstances that define the health issues of the reader. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or illness, you should consult your personal health care professional. As always, consult with your personal health care professional before beginning or changing any fitness or nutrition program to make sure that it is appropriate for your needs. Dr. Emick reserves the right to modify her positions on a subject based upon new research or data as it presents.