ifeminists.com: A central gathering place and information center for individualist feminists.   -- explore the new feminism --
introduction | interaction | information

ifeminists.com > introduction > editorials

Be Happy - Choose Love
February 18, 2004
by Debbie Gisonni

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why am I here?" This is the question that has titillated the minds of historians, theologians, and the entire human race since the beginning of time. Often, we're looking for a very complicated, deep and mysterious answer, but after we peel away all the layers of social conditioning, peer pressure, religious dogma and media standards that we've been exposed to since birth, the answer becomes quite simple. It's LOVE! We're here to learn to give and receive love -- unconditionally.

There are many ways to show or feel love in life. For example, in my home growing up, love was expressed through food. My Italian parents had a hard time saying the words, "I love you," but I still felt loved (at least most of the time) in the way I was nurtured and comforted with delicious food. Even as an adult, when I came back home to visit, my mother always managed to have my favorite meal ready for me, despite the fact that she had become disabled. I knew how much effort it took for her to make that tray of eggplant parmesan, and I truly appreciated and enjoyed every bite of it!

With the plethora of self-help books and tapes available, we've all heard the expression: You must first learn to love yourself before you can love others. While most of us aren't ready to stand naked in front of a mirror admiring ourselves, it's important to start somewhere (maybe an earlobe), so that you can begin to love not only your physical attributes, but everything about you. The way you talk, act and feel -- imperfections and all. Self-love also means forgiving yourself for any misdeeds or harmful thoughts.

Once you start the process of loving yourself, you open the door of reverence to all life -- people, animal, plants, situations, nations, earth. You choose to replace hate and anger with love, because you know that harming another (emotionally or physically) is incongruent to life. Even if someone has harmed you, love allows you to forgive that person. There are true stories of people who have forgiven their attackers, sacrificed their life for the safety of another, given when they had nothing to give, or helped a stranger in need. All of these are acts of unconditional love.

Your collective thoughts, words, actions and emotions create the environment in which you live. If you choose love over hate, love is what you will bring into your life and into the world. You'll feel good about yourself and others and live a more happier, peaceful and meaningful life, knowing that love is all there is.

There is no power in the universe greater than the power of love.

Five ways to choose love in your life:

  • Find something, no matter how small, to love about yourself and tell yourself every day. Build this list with time.
  • Send loving thoughts to all people or situations you dislike.
  • Consider yourself and all human beings to be the children of God -- perfect in every way, no matter how we outwardly appear to be.
  • Vow never to harm another person -- emotionally or physically.
  • Extend all of the above to the animal and plant kingdom, and remember to be thankful for those that you consume.

Copyright © 2004 Debbie Gisonni, All Rights Reserved.

ifeminists.com > home | introduction | interaction | information | about

ifeminists.com is edited by Wendy McElroy; it is made possible by support from The Independent Institute and members like you.