Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How One Becomes A Loving Person

לזכות גילה שושונה בת נעכא גיטל
הרב אברהם יוסף בן ר' משה חיים 
יהושע מאיר בן רחל שרה
שרה לאה בת רבקה

The Torah says that we are commaned to love EVERY Jew as much as himself. How is it possible to reach this lofty level? Who loves every Jew? A person loves his family and maybe a few close friends - but EVERYBODY?

Here is a biiig yesod from Erich Fromm [The Art Of Loving]:

A person who is surrounded by love becomes filled with love and can then love others. A person who lacks love from the outside has none to share with the world. A child who has loving parents, loving siblings, loving teachers, loving relatives, loving neighbors etc. etc. is going to be FILLED with love which he with then distribute liberally to everyone around him. Such a person can potentially fulfill ואהבת לרעך כמוך. If a person is surrounded by criticism or anger, he will be filled with criticism and anger.

Surprise!! Notttt. 

But it is important to remind ourselves constantly. When we give someone love we are not only helping them and ourselves - we are helping all of society. For this person will reflect this love back to the world. 

When we criticize our children - we are harming society for he will reflect this back to the world. That is how he will relate to his wife and children in all likelihood. MOST abusers were themselves abused. They are filled with abuse so they spread it to the world.

We are not living in a loving world. People feel very uncomfortable even saying "I love you" to other people unless it is a spouse or their child. We have to keep our distance - so we shake hands. Why do we shake hands? Some historians believe that people used to shake hands to ensure that the person is not holding a weapon...

Ribbono Shel Olam - HUG THE GUY!! Tell him you love him. After shul at the kiddush we should be all hugs and kisses. But no - distant handshakes ["keep your distance - don't get too close"]. Shake hands with the Hispanic fix it man who did some work for you in your house - but a fellow Yid - he deserves an expression of your love. 

In Israel - I almost never see two frum people hugging. Why not? You hug your child because you love him so why not your friend?? 

From an article:

Hugging therapy is definitely a powerful way of healing. Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.

Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can benefit you in these ways:

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.

2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one's serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we're born our family's touch shows us that we're loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.

7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system - parasympathetic.

8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.

9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.

10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it's synergistic, which means the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.

There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Eight or more might seem quite high, but while researching and writing this article I asked my child, “How many hugs a day do you like?” She said, “I'm not going to tell you how many I like, but it's way more than eight.” That really made me smile and touched my heart. And, I realized how organic and deep the need for hugs is.

 So beloved friends!!!! 

Share your love! And if you don't feel it - fake it. It will come over time because a person who feels loved by you will love you back and it is difficult not to love someone who loves you. 

We need more love in the world. We have enough hatred and indifference. 

If we tap in to the G-dly part of ourselves we will find love for what is Hashem if not love. Let us listen to divrei kodsho of the Rav ztz"l.

"אני אוהב את הכל. איני יכול שלא לאהוב את כל הבריות, את כל העמים. רוצה אני בכל מעמקי לב בתפארת הכל, בתקנת הכל. אהבתי לישראל היא יותר נלהבה, יותר עמוקה, אבל החפץ הפנימי מתפשט הוא בעזוז אהבתו על הכל ממש.

אין לי כל צורך לכוף את רגש אהבה זה, הוא נובע ישר מעומק הקודש של החכמה של הנשמה האלוקית" (ערפלי טוהר).