By Peter M. Kalellis

There are so many ways to apply love in our everyday lives, and somehow we do our very best in becoming loving and lovable. As mature adults and perceiving our need for love, we could start facing what is real and what is fantasy. Reality tells us that it is virtually impossible to feel and share the love if we do not first respect and love ourselves.

With an act of self-love, we can begin to educate ourselves and learn to take care of our bodies as well as keep our thoughts and feelings as positive and loving. Nurturing ourselves also teaches us how to nurture other people as we interact with them every day. Constant acts of forgiveness and kindness make our life happier. We realize our potential of being kind and loving can transform us into more content and satisfied people.

Such is the power we wield every moment of every day. The choice is ours to create a world of peace and goodwill. The power of love is held within each of us every moment. This wondrous energy when we choose to love one another transcends the lower personality perceptions and raises us to a higher truth.

Each of us desires to understand and realize this experience of true love. Just listen to the lyrics of romantic songs, for example, and you will quickly see how much the notion of love plays a part in our journey of life. Love is such a powerful force, especially when shared. We seek it in every aspect of our lives.

As with the concept of love, there are a large number of complexities in friendship—the longing and shyness, the easily bruised feelings, the guilt—even the boredom. This article intends to bring back the value of friendship/love among people, especially in critical times. Appropriating the combination of these two words will help to enlighten the human heart and provide inner peace.

It is said that when friends do good deeds but trip up once—they’re showing their true colors. Experience has taught me that this is never the case, especially when friends are genuinely sorry for their mistakes. And although there are always one or two things that just can’t be agreed on, differences can and do make friendship much stronger. As we accept the reality that we are human and vulnerable, we discover what our present-day world is all about.

True love—like friendship—is personal. It is a warm interaction. However, sometimes the feeling is lost when one of the friends becomes so successful in life; he/she is no longer available to nurture the friendship. The friendship becomes distant.

In an interview with Ted Turner, journalist Barbara Walters asked the multi-millionaire media giant, “What is it like to be so wealthy and powerful?” He replied, “It is an empty bag.” In five words, the implication stands out as a poignant reminder. Regardless of how much we may have attained, it can never be enough. The wealthy man could not fill his bag. He was not as happy as one would think.

Joyful living is not a station in life—it is not a result of rational thinking. It is a condition of the heart. It does not come from living up to some society-designed expectations and measures of performance. It is defined by what we expect from each other. When people change location, marital status, or political belief, that does not change their feelings, but the reality for them absorbs their attention to their issues. Consequently, feelings suffer or, sadly, may gradually fade out. Another fact of life is that we are humans, and as such, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world.

My intention in writing this article has been that you and many others that would read it will accept the necessity for the art and gift of love and friendship. It is truly a gift—enjoy it!