At one time or another, it’s safe to say that all of us have wondered about the secret to happiness. What is that one secret ingredient we all need? What can I do to be happier? Legitimate questions for sure. The answer is actually an easy one.
Love. That’s really it. The secret ingredient stems from love — and from love, we open up a waterfall of other, positive, good and healthy emotions that come together to make happiness a reality.
When we forgive and love others, it helps us to let go of the poisonous emotions that prevent us from having personal happiness. Toxic feelings, attitudes and emotions like bigotry, racism, hatred and jealousy, cause us to become closed off — even though we may subconsciously know that those toxic emotions are bad, we tend to let them fester and that is the problem. Festering negativity zaps the happiness right out of us. When we “hate” someone because of their race, religion, political affiliation or sexual orientation for example, that hatred takes over. When we feel anger, it can become all-consuming and that pushes love out of us and the unresolved anger fills the void.
A lot of people may struggle with the concept of love. “How can I love someone I barely know?” “Why should I love this person when he/she doesn’t care about me?” Of course, the type of love we’re taking about isn’t romantic love, so the answer is simple: just love everyone. Wish them well, bear them no ill will, want the best for them and care about their feelings. It’s really that simple. In fact, we can love people and not actually “like” them. That may sound contradictory, but it’s not. Loving others is about having no feelings of malice towards them and wanting them to be happy as well. We don’t have to hang out or associate with people to love them.
The concept of loving all may be hard to process, but with focus, determination and a passion to bring happiness to our self and others, it will come in time.
The Benefits of Loving Others
There are too many to list. But for starters, letting go of toxic emotions and embracing love, can help:
- Reduce stress
- Lead to better sleep
- Reduce risk of depression
- Lengthen life expectancy
- Improve self-esteem
- Foster healthier life-long relationships
and of course….
- Lead to a greater, more reliable state of happiness
And we also need to be willing to not just love others, but to also love nature and wildlife, because having a happy life includes loving and caring for our home — the earth and all of its inhabitants.
The secret ingredient to happiness really is love. It can be hard to let go of toxic emotions and equally difficult to lead from a place of love, but it can be done. If one truly desires peace and happiness, they can do what it takes to let love rule their hearts.
“Love of others and love of ourselves are not alternatives. On the contrary, an attitude of love towards themselves will be found in all those who are capable of loving others.” – Erich Fromm