"Love cures people -- both the one who gives it
and the one who receives it."
- Karl Menninger, M.D.
Love begets love, hate begets hate, and beget begets beget.
Everything is contagious -- not just germs, but good vibes and bad vibes, too. Simply witness what happens when a person begins laughing hysterically, and watch how this action gets others to laugh or at least smile. Also witness what happens when someone is expressing hatred for another, and notice how those in the vicinity tighten their bodies, develop a defensive posture, and maybe clutch another's hand.
Loving and hating are not just emotional states -- both have direct physical effects on the body. Just as fear creates the fight-or-flight reaction, feelings of hate create an armoring of the body that tenses the musculature, raises blood pressure, shortens and speeds respiration, and creates a clear psychological distance between people.
Feelings of love, in contrast, reduce tension, decrease blood pressure, lengthen and slow breathing, and blur the distinction between one person and another. Not only does hate hurt others, it hurts the person feeling it, while love benefits both the giver and receiver.
Although most people do not know how to tell their body to heal itself, they do know how to love, and this can set the wheels of healing in motion. As Yale surgeon Bernie Siegel likes to remind people, "If I told patients to raise their blood levels of immune globulins or killer T-cells, no one would know how. But if I can teach them to love themselves and others fully, the same changes happen automatically. The truth is: Love heals."
Love Heals All Types of Pain
Love can heal physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. Love of self and love from or for others can soothe physical pain, enrich emotional life, and help connect one person with another. Although love has powerful side effects, they are all positive side effects. And when love doesn't heal completely, at least it makes the pain a lot easier to handle.
Learning to love is, however, a lot more difficult than it seems, especially for people who haven't received much love themselves. It is also problematic for those who have received what was called love, but it tended to smother more than soothe them. Perhaps the best place to start is by learning to love yourself.
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By being loving, a person makes him or herself more lovable. Through giving, a person receives. By being joyful, a person shares JOY with others. It seems so obvious, yet it is so elusive to too many people.
"As you sow, so shall you reap" is an old saying that reminds us that what is put into something is what is received from it. The hands that give away flowers retain the fragrance of the gift.
Bad Vibes and Good Vibes Are Contagious
Bad vibes can be just as contagious as good ones. The worst thing that an S.O.B. can do is turn you into an S.O.B. Anger, fear, and hate are all contagious, too, although each of us can learn to be more resistant to these "infections".
By expressing compassion, anger is dissipated. By seeking to understand the unknown, fear disappears. By loving, hate evaporates.
The price one pays for hating others is loving oneself less. Even worse, the body feels this emotion and expresses it as pain and disease.
Perhaps one day soon, more doctors will prescribe love for their patients. It may not cure them all, but it is a good place to start.
Article reprinted with permission of Hay House Inc.
www.hayhouse.com. ©1999. Dana Ullman.
The primary premise of this book is: If you take your disease lying down, you are apt to stay that way. This book consists of 22 steps to health, each of which are short, humorous essays that illuminate an underlying principle of the healing process. It helps us all understand and augment the inner doctor within us.
About the Author
DANA ULLMAN M.P.H. has been certified in classical homeopathy by the leading organization in the U.S. for professional homeopaths. He is the founder of Homeopathic Educational Services which has co-published over 35 books on homeopathy with North Atlantic Books. Dana writes a regular column for the huffingtonpost.com website. His numerous books are available for purchase on Amazon by clicking here.
Video/Interview with Dana Ullman