Spread Love: Five Ways to Live a Love-Filled Life

Can we all agree that there is too much hate, fear, and negativity in our culture? The media seems to thrive on it.

Want to be truly happy? To live in harmony with all people and the universe? Then learn to live and act with love, not hate or fear. Living a love-filled life has everything to do with your actions (and reactions) and very little to do with the societally-charged emotional version of what we think about love.

A love-filled life is one in which our actions demonstrate true love... in the form of selflessness, compassion, empathy, giving, and forgiveness. While love is more commonly thought of as an emotion, to accomplish a love-filled life you must ACT completely and selflessly -- demonstrating your love by what you do, not by what you say or feel.

When faced with a challenging situation, take a moment before responding and ask yourself: what would a response with love look like? Put aside your anger, fears, and insecurities and seek out the peaceful, loving response. How? Read on.

Five Ways to Live a Love-Filled Life

1. Love the person who hurts or disappoints you. It's likely that these people are hurting and simply acting out on you. Instead of responding with anger, show your love by being kind and compassionate.

2. Love is about putting others before yourself. While we may live in a very self-centered society, it does not mean that we cannot break free and remember that acts of kindness on others -- expecting nothing in return -- is perhaps the most rewarding.

3. Love is turning the other cheek, even showing empathy, when you have been wronged. Love is not about retaliation or vengeance; it is about peace and harmony. Furthermore, love is about not keeping score; it is about forgiveness.

4. Love rejoices in the good and the truth while diminishing evil and wickedness. Love gives you the power to stand tall with what is good and right while walking away from what is bad. Find the good in your life and stay close to it.

5. Love is about always adopting an attitude to see the best in people, rather than making assumptions about what they may be doing wrong. It is often easier to compose a scenario in which someone has done something wrong. Thus, rather than getting lost in made-up stories in your mind, focus on the good -- and wait for it to be confirmed.

Final Thoughts on a Love-Filled Life

Start each day with love. Say a quiet prayer of thanksgiving when you first get up... and share love while having your morning coffee or tea. Send someone a loving text or leave a loving note on social media; write a love note and slip it into your partner's or child's lunch box.

Choosing to live a love-filled life is a decision to change your actions so that you consider the needs of others before your own, that you give without expecting anything in return, that you seek to see the best in people, and that you forgive and forget when someone wrongs you. That decision may be difficult and it may be a long road until you get there, depending on your past experiences and hurts, as well as the depth of your self-centered desires (envy, jealousy, pride), but keep moving forward step-by-step, remembering to forgive both yourself and others -- and seek out like-minded people.

Let these words from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 sink in: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Special thanks to North Coast Church Pastor Larry Osborne's sermon titled, What are We Known For? that discussed the five categories of love -- and inspired this article.

The Four Agreements and a Love-Filled Life

Finally, we can further create happiness and love in our lives by following The Four Agreements, from best-selling author don Miguel Ruiz:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. Say what you mean, be true to your word, and don't spread gossip.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally. Forgive and forget people who treat you poorly or who try to force their opinions on you.

3. Don't Make Assumptions. Wait and seek answers to questions to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary drama.

4. Always Do Your Best. Strive to be your best self, and function at the highest levels, and you will avoid self-doubts and regrets.

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.