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“Lovefulness”

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A lot is being said today about the counseling concept “mindfulness.” Mindfulness is one of the
main components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a type of talking therapy. Therapists
use DBT to teach their clients how to live in the moment, how to cope with stress, how to
regulate their emotions, and how to improve their relationships with others. When tackling
problems with people you’re in relationship with, being mindful of words used and actions taken
is crucial. Considering the consequences before words are said and being “mindful” of the
present situation can help prevent and resolve conflict. By initiating a conversation calmly and
respectfully, the person you are talking to is more likely to focus on the problem, rather than
who’s to blame when having a difficult conversation. Without a doubt, practicing mindfulness is
very beneficial.
But even more powerful than mindfulness, is something that can be described as “lovefulness” –
being intentionally loving to everyone around you. Let people around you know that you love
and care about them – spouses, children, parents, friends, colleagues, etc. In a world full of chaos,
conflict, indifference, mean-spiritedness and heartache, strive to be love-obsessed. Give someone
who is grieving the loving gift of your presence. Offer a listening ear to someone who just wants
to express their hurt to someone who will care. And love like Jesus – unconditionally love folks
while knowing that your love may not be reciprocated.

“Jesus looked at him, loved him,…” – Mark 10:21

Many people are longing to be seen and loved. And just like Jesus saw the rich younger ruler and
loved him, we must “see” people in their predicaments and express the love of Christ to them.
Choosing to see people as God sees them, will inspire hope within them. Our God-given mission
to share the Gospel begins with love. Leading people to Christ is a lot easier when we follow the
Lord’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” – Matthew 22:35-40. Following
Christ means we must especially reach out and love those who have been deprived of love and
feel unworthy of it.
To create such an environment of unconditional love, we must love ourselves first. Find big and
small ways to love yourself and those you love. Also, join a community or build one. Isolation
can be dangerous. It’s important to have connection and some form of community.
Love expressed through compassionate care is the bedrock of our mission.

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