“We are all different. Fighting those differences is energy wasted, while accepting the other exactly as they are will allow your life together to flow smoothly.” Barbara J. Peters.
Can you learn to love the uniqueness of your neighbor, even the one you perceive as being weird or different? It’s easier than you might think, beginning with transforming your opinion or perspective. For example, think of your children, each being unique and different. You don’t judge them. Instead, you just love their differences. Apply this to others beyond your immediate family. Doing so will transform your opinion of them, and you’ll feel better about your relationship.
To expand on this concept and explore why it is so essential to you personally and the Universe as a whole, let's start by defining “your neighbor.” Neighbors aren’t just the people across the street. They include all of humankind, particularly those whose lives intertwine with our own. In essence, our community.
Over three decades ago, social psychologists McMillan & Chavis (1986) formed a theory wherein well-being is tied to a community of acceptance. “Sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to being together.” A huge component of developing a sense of community is feeling accepted despite any differences.
Husna Ibrahim of Huffington Post states that “We have so much to learn and so much love and understanding to share with one another. This is what our world needs.” Our differences shouldn’t be seen as defects. Each individual’s uniqueness should be appreciated and celebrated, and even explored to see what we can learn from them. It is not just your neighbors who are different, you too are unique and worthy of the same acceptance.
There is power in accepting people as they are and uniting in our diversity. Research shared in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology reveals that “When respecting difference is essential to everyday functioning, interpersonal competence and openness to others is promoted.” This is the key to equality and peace. If you conveyed acceptance to just one person each day, imagine how much kindness you would spread over a lifetime through Universal love.
Embrace your neighbors’ differences. Love them as they are. Let unserving thoughts not live in your mind or heart. Release them and replace them with positive thoughts and healing energy to support better relationships. Judgment and criticism are counterproductive to creating the Universe we seek. As Mother Teresa is widely quoted: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
For more personalized guidance on learning to love your neighbors, schedule a consultation with Rose.
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What To Remember:
Don’t judge your neighbor for being unique.
Instead, love their differences. Love your neighbor.
Transform your opinion, and you will raise the relationship to a better plane.
Geher, Glenn (June 23, 2011). Genuinely Embracing Individual Differences and Diversity. Retrieved from Psychology Today.
Ibrahim, Husna (August 11, 2017). Accepting Diversity In Our Lives. Retrieved from Huffington Post.
Groggins, Ashley and Ryan, Ann Marie (March 1, 2013).Embracing uniqueness: The underpinnings of a positive climate for diversity. Retrieved from Wiley Online Library.
- 10 Ways to Love Your Neighbor As Yourself. Retrieved from IBelieve.com.
- Mark 12:30-31. Retrieved from Biblegateway.com.
- Bernock, Danielle. (2018) What Does it Mean to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself? Retrieved from Crosswalk.com.
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