In today's world full of the new Coronavirus variants, it might be sometimes difficult to find love and appreciation, to give it, and to receive it from others.
We are more stressed, more scared of what might happen to us, to our dear ones, to our relatives, and our friends in the future.
So, how do we make other people love us or like us in Covid times?
How do we replace anger and guilt feelings with harmony and love?
Here are 7 steps from Orthodox wisdom, to give you some practical tips.
"Smile though your heart is aking
Smile even though it's braking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by
If you smile"
Nat King Cole was so right, in his wonderful cult song "Smile", that for me has become the Lockdown lait-motive.
Smile always, it's totally free.
If you go somewhere where people are working hard and you sense they are very stressed, try to open your heart.
You smile, you say "hello, glad to meet you, hope you are well", people will smile at you back.
Remember forever that people are your mirrors: they reflect what they see in you, on your face and attitude.
" But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield." (Psalm 5, biblegateway)
The "weapon" of a kind face and a kind heart is the one thing that starts positive relations between us, good relations, and even, possibly, a friendship.
2. Give yourself to others
Sometimes we might want other people's love, affection, and appreciation, but we don't give anything to others.
We cannot want only to receive.
The truth is that we only receive if we give something.
Feel the other's need, as if it were your need.
3. Don't judge others. Don't haunt their mistakes. Try to help them instead
You must have a sincere desire to give yourself to others, and help them as best as you can.
Penetrate your neighbor's need, as today we don't care about other people as we should.
If your neighbor has a medical problem, try to actually help him, maybe find a good doctor, help him to buy medicines, and so on.
If you honestly try to help people in their needs, you will gain their admiration, their gratitude, friendship, and love.
Sometimes, in today's society, we haunt mistakes. When someone does a mistake, we are quick to judge and punish them.
Don't do that, as it causes hate, stress, a negative chain that never ends.
If you want to be loved by people, do not judge them.
Jesus Christ, the maximum role model that humanity has, said: " for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47, bible gateway).
You, who imitate as much as possible the example of Christ, should think like this: I didn't come in this world to judge people; I didn't come to save the entire world either; I came here so that people who are around me to be helped through me."
Isn't this a splendid teaching and wisdom?
When you constantly judge and criticize people around you, the love disappears. It goes away, the joy of seeing each other and being together.
Of course, sometimes it's impossible not to judge, but do it with love.
"Poor him, he did wrong; but maybe he had a reason."
When you judge, put some love in, and you will save a soul.
Remember the priest who saved Jean Valjean from Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables". He indeed saved a human's heart and that person also saved many people around him, taking example from that kind priest who gave him a hand when he had been accused of stealing bread.
4. Don't brag about your deeds. Don't think and talk about yourself as the center of the universe
You are not the center of the universe.
You sit in your place, be modest.
God loves modesty.
Don't talk only about your best possessions, houses, cars, lovers, etc. You will generate other's envy.
There is no worse way to bore someone than to speak about yourself all day long: you are always right, you always know everything, etc.
God sees and knows everything you do, anyways.
If you want to have a large group of friends, you must be part of the group, not the center of it.
5. Listen to people around you, and offer them honest solutions
Listen to people's pains, from the bottom of your heart.
This is why we need more and more priests and psychologists. They bring a huge relief to society, as everyone has problems and needs that must be heard by someone.
When you listen to someone, he can open up, and feels he has someone as a true friend, who has solutions for him.
Then, you will naturally gain your friends' love and appreciation.
6. Be a spiritual person
When you practice everyday spirituality, you are happy, open, and light-hearted.
As a result, everyone likes you. You bring them joy.
A spiritual person finds intelligent ways to create a positive state for others. It can be as simple as a joke.
7. Love God and You Shall Receive His Peace
People who are connected frequently to God, receive peace within, the stability of feelings.
People who don't pray and don't communicate with the Divine are lonelier and more scared; as a result, they are agitated, stressed, always nervous, and negative.
Get away from this state of agitation, fear, terror, stress.
Connect to God, give thanks to Him and leave everything in His hands, and He will resolve everything.
When you meet your friends, you will feed them with your peace, kindness, and love- all of these positive things come from your close relationship with God and your spiritual practice.