This is a post about love. It’s a post about human nature, really, and using it to our advantage. It stems from something that I’ve noticed about myself, which I suspect most of you can relate to as well.
I’ve noticed that anytime I have a crush on someone, suddenly everything that person says or does seems to make them even more attractive to me. Things that might be obnoxious to others become adorable and endearing quirks. Their thoughts and passions are fascinating. My fondness for them grows every time I learn something new about their life, their past, their interests, their aspirations. It’s a strange phenomenon, and it often gets me in trouble (because I fall too hard too fast). Fortunately, I’ve realized one beneficial application of this habit.
I imagine that this tendency I’ve noticed is similar to the way that Charity works. Charity, which Moroni 7:47 defines as “the pure love of Christ,” is “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection” (Guide to the Scriptures: Charity). It is something that we all can and should aspire to foster in our lives.
In my semi-frequent, scattered attempts to develop Charity in my own life, I’ve found that the core of it really seems to be seeing others the way that Christ sees them. And I imagine that Christ sees us a little like the way I see my crushes—because He already loves us, everything about us makes Him love us more. Because He has already suffered every pain and affliction we will or ever have suffered, He connects with us on a very personal and intimate level. Our weaknesses, our frustrations, our passions…He loves us because of them (not in spite of them) because they draw us closer to Him.
So what’s the point? I have about 490 friends on Facebook. Let’s assume that means I have between 500 and 550 friends, family, or close acquaintances (which is a pretty generous statement, honestly). If I could learn to love each of them, with the same patience and understanding that I extend to my crushes, I would have a pretty good start on my path to developing Charity. Though it may not necessarily be easy, I think the course is actually pretty simple: I just need to learn to focus on the good that I find in others (because it’s always there if you just open your eyes to it), and let that define the way that I see them.
I am convinced that if we can learn to love others in this way, it will completely change the way we see the world. We will be happier, more positive, and we will be surprised at how easy it is to love even those that we don’t know yet!
Start small. Open your heart, and you’ll be amazed at your capacity to love. I already am.