Simple Steps to Love

Dahye - Irvine, California
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that in order to truly love others, we must not view them as objects of trust; rather, we should try to show unconditional love towards others in spite of the faults we all share.

It is through a recent painful experience of my own that I learned these lessons in understanding and forgiveness, and gained a greater insight into the nature of unconditional love with these four steps.

• First step – Be aware of expectations: Don’t fall into the trap of expectations perfection from others. We regularly expect others to act in accordance with their own personal biases. No human can ever live up to “perfection” because the word itself has no objective meaning. It should be replaced with understanding and love, which do not require perfection.

• Second step – Realize the need to be loved: One of my intimate friends, whom I trusted with my true heart, cheated me a few days ago. I had trusted her and she had betrayed our friendship. As I lay trembling with anger in my bed, I suddenly realized that people should not be viewed as objects of trust, but like us, as imperfect beings needing love.

• Third step – Try to be understanding: Suddenly, I perceived the problem from a new angle that allowed me to step back discreetly from my anger. I said this phrase once “People are objects of love.” and put myself in her shoes by imagining the situation that she might have been faced with. She must have felt that she had no choice but to tell lies, believing that she couldn’t risk appearing “imperfect,” because of the expectations placed on her by others. Her lies while painful to tolerate were not told with the intention of hurting me. As I meditated on this idea in this more loving mindset, my comprehension grew and I realized her faults were not as big.

• Forth step – Learn to forgive: As soon as I looked beyond her words in a more loving way, it was simple to be generous, to pardon her mistake, and to forgive her. I have heard repeatedly in America, the saying, “Everyone deserves a second chance.” Forgiveness is a personal “second chance.”

In conclusion, under the promise of unconditional love, people can exhibit a generous mindset toward others. In truth, we are all imperfect beings and make mistakes. By understanding our own imperfections, and the need we all have for forgiveness in our lives, we can learn to see others as deserving of our love, rather than meriting our trust. In the past, my expectations of perfection in others and my own trust in those expectations, allowed me to be easily hurt. Through understanding and forgiveness, I am now able to accept, enjoy, and love others just as they are.