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by Mary Frances Hansen

We begin our journey in life as a baby wanting to be loved and nurtured. Love is so important in human lives for as we travel through our lives love has such an impact. Love is a very positive emotion and can be expressed in a variety of ways. Love is an incredible gift we have which binds us all together in perfect unity. Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu says, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deep gives you courage.”

The Greeks have four words to describe Love. The Greek word that refers to the Love of God is called Agape. This is an unconditional love for one another and this is how God loves us. We are to love one another unconditionally and even our enemies. This is the type of love we should strive to have for each other. Quote from Bible, 1 John 4:11-12,

“Beloved ,if God loved us, we are to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.” The second word for Love is Phileo which means brotherly Love. It's a tender, warm and platonic affection between friends. We need true friendships who will stand by us with loyalty and be emotionally connected. This is the kind of friend with whom you can share your deepest thoughts and feelings. The third Love is Eros. It's referred to as the Greek God of Love. It's an intense love that arouses romantic feelings. It's an emotional and sexual love for someone. The fourth Love is Storge. Also referred to as familial love, a Greek word for natural affection. This is a love that parents have for their children, family members have for each other, for your pets, friends etc.

Scientific studies have shown that love causes our body to release feel-good hormones and neuro-chemicals that trigger specific, positive reactions. Levels of dopamine and adrenaline increase when people are in love with other people. It helps reduce anxiety, worry, nervousness and lowers the chance of developing depression or another form of mental illness. People become healthier psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. We develop strong relationships and get fulfillment of living beyond ourselves!

Everyone needs to be valued, appreciated, and encouraged. We need to bring out the best in people. We are to encourage one another and build them up to be a positive influence in someone's life. Quote by Booker T. Washington, “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” It is most important to have healthy relationships with friends. Unhealthy relationships with friends can definitely have an impact on your health and mental well-being. Developing and maintaining good relationships takes effort. I love the quote by Albert Camus, “Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my true friend!”

A true friend is always there with helping hands, a shoulder you can lean on, and a heart that understands and not be judgmental. They can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. True friends are like angels adding blessings to your life! Beautiful quote by Mother Teresa “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier!”

Love is what makes the world go round. Can you image what the world would be like without love.??? We all need each other and we need love! Stay Strong, Stay Safe, and Keep the Faith!!!!

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