More love!

Ah, a new year!

The new year!

Happy New Year!

I wonder if this year, like the last one, will be divided into 365 days, and seven days a week, and twelve months?

Har! Implied cynicism!

Always a winner.

And always (as cynicism must always be) a loser.

Anyway, I don’t like to give advice.

Well, I don’t like to give unsolicited advice. Of course I’m always honored when anyone writes to ask me for advice.

But to out of nowhere offer the same?

Pffft. Relationship fail.

So, by way of failing in my relationship with you, gentle reader (or, you know: with you, wrathfully disconsolate Christian fundie looking for yet another reason to bombard me with emails, the main message of which [alas!] is, “I haven’t quite yet grasped the basics of capitalization”), allow me to offer this bit o’ advice for the year of our Lord 2014.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Giveth thyself a break. Seriously.

Life is hard. It’s brutal. It’s relentless. It’s devastatingly confusing.

It never stops coming at you.

If you get one part of your life together, the rest of it goes to You Know What. If you focus on one thing, everything else … severely pixilates. If you try to do it all, you end up in a curled ball on your couch watching mucho episodes of Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad. (Both phenomenal choices, by the way. Good call!)

All of us are rejected from a (from the!) womb; all of us start out for years helplessly hopeless; all of us live our lives knowing that we are inescapably destined, probably miserably and painfully, to croaketh.

Whoo-hoo! Happy New Year!

So give yourself a break. It’s not supposed to be easy. And none of us is supposed to be perfect.

All we’re supposed to do is love, and be loved.

So … more love! Make it; get it; insist on it. That’s my main advice, pretty much always.

Feel as fully as possible the love you already feel for others—really sink down into that love: swim in it, revel in it, stay in it and go where it takes you. And as much as you are able, consider yourself as lovable as anyone else on the planet.

Because you most certainly are.

Own that truth! Or at least let others own it for you. That’s pretty much your best bet anyway. (For who among us actually feels lovable?)

And also, advice-wise, if I might: in this new year every so often close your eyes, take a deep breath or ten, and feel God/the divine/The Big Force moving into you.

Also: laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Remember that Le Funny is always there, waiting for you to find it, to lighten your load, to put anything and everything in God’s Own Context.

Humor never fails. It’s the defense against everything about life that isn’t funny at all.

To my fellow Christians: May this be the year that the spirit of God speaks to you more directly than ever.

To my non-Christian friends: May this be the year that everything you want comes to pass.

To all of us: More love, please. God knows we—all of us—deserve it.

 

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • charlesmaynes

    Love wins.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Every time.

    • http://www.setongod.com/ Joshua Tolan

      God is Love. God wins :)

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Hey John, what WERE you on when you wrote this? Seriously, Happy New Year to you and everyone here….and not here and love to….well, you get it. I want to give MORE.

    Wonder what became of that splendidly beautiful boy.

    • Alliecat04

      Oh, I know, I know! My husband and I watched Oliver! last year (mainly because I adore Oliver Reed) and had the same question and looked it up. Mark Lester (Oliver Twist) did not stay an actor, he became an osteopath, married an osteopath, is apparently happy and well and very normal-looking and lives in England. When my best friend and I were children we had the biggest crushes on him.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        Smart man, eh? As a gay man I’m sure I would have enjoyed seeing him in his 20′ or 30′s!! Or maybe even now in…what, his 40′s? He certainly had a great start at being super handsome. Whatever.
        Thanks for the update. And so sorry about your father. Maybe the snow was sent to make you feel beauty when you weren’t.

  • Alliecat04

    Timely advice for me. My father died day before yesterday, my family didn’t have Christmas at all this year, and at the moment everything pretty much sucks. Turns out my mother gets to keep getting 10% of my father’s pension, which is not enough to feed a bird. Really. I pay 15% in self-employment taxes on top of my other taxes. What the hell even is 10%? It’s like a sick joke.

    The exact moment we heard my father was dead it started snowing. Big, giant, fluffy soft silent flakes, falling from the sky, oh so gently. It was beautiful.

    • Jill

      Oh Allie, there are no words. I wish you peace, knowing it’s not enough. I”m just…sorry for your pain.

      • Alliecat04

        Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. It’s been a week since the funeral now and I’m starting to feel gradually more functional. Also, none of my half-siblings got into a fight at the funeral, which is nothing short of a miracle (the police were called because of their fighting when their mom was buried!)

        It’s weird, it’s been a year and a half that every single time the phone rang, I flinched and prayed it wasn’t someone calling to say my dad was dead. Now the worst has happened and apart from the money situation with my mom, which is unspeakable, it’s just over, and that’s good. No more watching him dwindle away a little every day, no more watching him cry because he couldn’t do something. I feel just completely empty. Gonna take it easy for a while.

        Y’all are good people. I’m glad to know you.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your father, Allie (not to mention the whole money thing, which sounds so awful). I know your father has not been well for a long time. Anyway, best to you during this difficult moment in your life.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      So sorry for you and your mom’s loss. I truly hope that things work out for her financially. You will be in my thoughts.

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Hey Allie. I remember your struggles with caring for your dad months ago. I’m so very sorry. Prayers.

    • harrisco

      Sending love to you and your family at this moment. I am sorry.

      I love the image of the snow… beautiful is right–and a moment you will never forget. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

    So encouraging and wonderful. Thank you, John! :D
    Also…did you mean “ervypay” in the title?

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I CHANGED the title! I didn’t realize unti this MORNING that I’d inadvertently yesterday published the WRONG version of this post; I just now (quickly, cuz I apparently lost the version I THOUGHT I’d published) rewrote the thing.

    • Matt

      I had a similar thought. Good to know that my Pig Latin hasn’t gotten rusty!

  • Worthless Beast

    Hmm. The curled up on the couch situation would be more likely to see me going through Puella Magi Madoka Magica again or every version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, only those things might make me more depressed. (Madoka, to its credit, at least has hope at the end). Good dark series for dark moods. Gotta remember us Japanese media lovers…

    I have been up and down in a big way over the last week or so. Little stupid things have been triggering my bipolar brain in a way that makes the happiness that I am getting something I’m suspicious of. I suppose I’m always looking over my shoulder, waiting for something to go wrong.

    Today, my guy and I, after several edits by myself and him spending a long (and sadly, continuing) period of unemployment productively by being my chief editor, have finally gotten something I wrote out into the ether, for sale, book-wise. (Just self-publishing on Kindle, whoopdedingledoo). I was about to put a link here, but worried that it would be rude to do so on a blog not my own, also it’s fantasy-fiction so I’m not sure there’d be much interest here. So far, the preview shows my illustrations coming out nicely (is it weird to be more happy about your illustrations than your text? Always an artist first, I guess)… So, NATURALLY, I’m waiting for Amazon to bork up my illustrations once people actually start buying the thing… If they do…

    I also had a really great Japanese / Chinese dinner from a fancy place we only get food from about once or twice a year. Why am I worried I’m going to get all phlemy and hurl it up in the morning?

    It’s just the week I’ve had. Good things come, then something bad happens, I get all triggered, and…whoop… spend a couple of days recovering from it. Go see a Hobbit-movie, get into a fight with my guy in the car and his (adult) nephew on the way home. Finally get my Christmas shopping for my guy *right* this year, have the shipping screw things up. Brain frazzles. I hate my brain.

    But at least now I’ve (self) published something, maybe I can finally die.

    Where was this post three days ago when I really needed to read it?

  • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

    Is it really about “me” being loved?

    Stepping out of that little box, Love is all there is.

  • http://www.setongod.com/ Joshua Tolan

    Very good post! I very much agree that people’s live need and deserve more love! I think that what gets in the way is that people think that they need to receive more love. But they truly need to give more love and then love will come their way.

    • lymis

      I agree. Secondary to that, but an additional option, is to become open to and aware of all the love around when one sees it in action, even when it is neither directed to or from ourselves. That lets us be aware of living in a loving world, which also helps us be open to giving and receiving it.

  • Terri

    More love is what we need, I agree, that is why my wife and I are in the process of training to be adoptive parents. There are so many children who don’t have homes and no one to love them, I hope that I am up able to show them all the love they need to grow into decent human beings that are able to show love.

  • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

    You’ll be waiting another two years for the 366th day, John!


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