Mindset | Blog

God is About Love and So Can We!


Have you ever had an experience when you felt like God was literally giving you a hug? A feeling that was so intense you recognized that God is indeed aware of you? Perhaps that hug came from a loved one showing you how much they care about you no matter what you look or sound like, what you do, think or feel. Can you recall that experience? What shows up for you as you remember that moment of love?

When love is absent, we yearn for it because we were created to love and be loved.

When we struggle with mental, physical, emotional, social, or financial challenges, we may forget that there are people and a Supreme Being who greatly care about us.

The other day at my church services, a young man was speaking about his goals and dreams. One day he was inspired to ask himself this question,

“What is something I can do now that will matter in a thousand years?”

What is your answer?

Could the answer be, to love others and ourselves? Could the acts of love (for others and ourselves) greatly impact future generations in countless ways?

Most religions have a similar precept to Jesus Christ’s teachings: to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” However, most of the time, the “love thy neighbor” part is usually emphasized, but both parts are significant.

By the way, research is finally catching up with sacred teachings from all faith denominations taught for centuries.

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself: There is plenty of research1 confirming that charity brings lasting happiness. For example, in 2009, Arthur C. Brooks,2 then a professor of business and government policy at Syracuse University shared his research findings to the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. He said that charity brings happiness, and happiness brings success. He also said that people who take their faith seriously are the beneficiaries of giving. He stated that givers are happier, have better health, are better citizens, and the list goes on and on. Towards the end of his speech, he indicated, “I promise it really works. Either because of God in Heaven—or because of our neurochemistry. But it really works!”

My own conclusion is that when God created us, God gave us an amazing brain and mind. God created that neurochemistry in our brains, so that when we give, we also benefit.

God invites us to serve and love others. As we become God’s angels and spread God’s love, we also find God’s love within us! We find joy and vitality while doing so. Have you experienced that love enveloping you as you share love?

There may be times when we may not feel that love because we are lacking self-love and self-kindness.

Love thy neighbor as [You Love] Thyself: Oxytocin is commonly known as the love hormone. When released, it helps us create a bond and connection with others.

Oxytocin is also a stress hormone. When under stress, it motivates us to seek support from those we care about. However, as we get entangled with our thoughts and unpleasant emotions, we may usually withdraw from others.

Ironically, this is when we need our loved ones the most. Kelly McGonigal,3 a psychologist who conducted research on stress once said, “It is amazing that our stress response has a built-in mechanism for stress resilience, and that mechanism is human connection.” When we connect with others while they or we are under stress, it helps us create the “biology of courage.”

When our loved ones are suffering, the tug to connect and comfort them is strong as we wish to take their pain away by saying kind words and showing them simple acts of kindness by hugging them, embracing them, holding their hand, etc.

How do you usually treat yourself?

Just as we have empathy toward others when they are struggling, we also can have that empathy and compassion for ourselves. We can remember God’s love for us and know that the Creator has asked us to love ourselves (be kind and compassionate with ourselves like we would with our loved ones). Though it may feel like we are being selfish; that’s not the case!

Research4 shows that when people are self-compassionate, they recognize hardships as part of life and ruminate less on how things should be. Self-compassionate people see life from a perspective that helps improve their mental health. Self- compassion increases inner strength, courage, and resilience in the face of difficult situations. Self-compassionate people are more caring and supportive in their relationships.

When we start treating ourselves like we would a loved one who is struggling, we can find God’s love. We are God’s children and God’s love is within us.

Are you ready to start treating yourself with kindness, especially during difficult moments?

Now is the time to start!


  1. Aknin, L. B., Dunn, E. W., Whillans, A. V., Grant, A. M., Norton, M. I. (2013). Making a difference matters: Impact unlocks the emotional benefits of prosocial spending. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 88, 90-95, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2013.01.008; Yun, G., Yafan, C., Chienchung, H., Yuanfa, T., Congcong, Z. Shaoming, Z. (2022). Volunteering, Charitable Donation, and Psychological Well-Being of College Students in China. Frontiers in Psychology 12. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.790528, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.790528
  2. Brooks, A. C., “Why Giving Matters.” Marriott School of Business, (2009), Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgzBlr-kz9o
  3. McGonigal, K. (2013, June). How to make stress your friend. [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?language=en
  4. Neff, K. (2011). Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. New York: William Morrow.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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