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What is the very purpose and meaning of life? It is to be happy. If we are not happy, what is the point? There is only one way to be happy- through love! Love and respect for ourselves and for others. Misery comes from deep loneliness and isolation. As human beings we were made and created to love. Without it, we experience shallowness, void and despair. We NEED each other! People need people. The deeper and more affectionate our love, the deeper and greater our happiness.
Because of insecurity, shyness and lack of courage too many isolate themselves. They want to love and be loved, but find themselves alone. Their lives are often tortured with loneliness and secrecy. Too many are afraid to be honest, open and transparent with others- to be fully known. Because we are social beings too many assuage these feelings with fantasies and imaginations of love and connection. Too many are vulnerable to the emptiness of pornography. It gives them pleasure, but not satisfaction; lust but not love; objectification of the body but not commitment to the soul. Love is rich, satisfying, respectful, devoted and committed. Pornography is cheap, fleeting, isolated, shallow and superficial. One is real nourishment, the other is empty calories; with one we live, the other we starve.
It's interesting to note that in my treatment of sexual addiction, as my patients give and receive "real" love, they move away from pornography. If the expression of love is affection, then I say be abundantly affectionate- not out of selfish interest, but with a motive of true commitment and forging a bond with another person. When I was getting my Ph.D. one of my colleagues found in her research that the more a father loves his daughter the less likely he is to sexually abuse her. She found that love is a prevention and protection from using someone sexually for selfish pleasure.
Shouldn't we all develop within ourselves genuine and deep love- first, for those close to us, and then for everyone around us? The reward is our own deep happiness, respect and richness in life. "If you want to be good at something, what do you have to do?" I challenge all of us to develop and practice being loving, helpful, deeply committed to those around us and genuinely and abundantly affectionate to all. As we habitually care about others, serve others and love others, we become the beneficiaries of truly abundant living.