Building Good Mental Health With Unconditional Love

Mental Health 

 Mental health has become a hot issue lately.

What can we do to build good mental health? Will unconditional love help?

What can be done to offset the development of depression, anxiety, and psychosis in our families and our communities?

What does it mean to be unconditionally loving? My definition is the ability to be accepting of people with all their warts. Everyone has annoying habits.

Often it’s the little things that drive us bonkers. What if your loved one opens toothpaste from the bottom instead of the right way, from the top? What if he puts the toilet paper on with the paper dropping to the back instead of the front? What if he sleeps on the right side of the bed instead of the left? These idiosyncrasies can be the straws that break the camel’s back.

Unconditional love enables us to shed light on the strengths, talents, and capabilities of those close to us. This alone can foster good mental health.

What if we endeavor to count someone’s strengths and to minimize his annoying characteristics? A strength based model is so much more powerful than nit picking at small annoyances. Good mental health builds on recognizing strengths and abilities.

The power of the positive is much stronger than the power of the negative. Recognizing abilities sets the groundwork for good relationships, fun interactions, solid marriages, and good mental health. Someone who feels loved by family members instead of criticized will flourish in that environment.  Constant picking and putting one down sets the stage for low self esteem and a drive to look for harmful actions to fill the empty void and heal the broken heart.

What if we set an intention to bring out the best in others instead of picking at them and criticizing? We can move others in the direction of good mental health just by recognizing their innate talents.

I was responsible for the care of an elderly aunt. This was a time of serious stress for me. By nature, I tend to overprotect Unfortunately, I frequently came down on the caretakers and failed to show appreciation for them. The agency that serviced my aunt got frequent phone calls about the caregivers. One of them stopped talking to me, making my visitation times with my aunt unbearable.

Instead of coming down on the caretaker more, I made the decision to see her in the best possible light.

After about a month of intolerable behavior from her, I went in for my daily visit to my aunt. The caretaker did a sudden turn around. She apologized to me and said she regretted treating me so badly. All I did was begin to think of her in complimentary terms.

Some behaviors cannot be overlooked. Actions that interfere with someone’s safety, for example, need to be challenged.

But most of us behave in ways that can be changed if we are given the gift of unconditional love. This fosters mental health.

Dear readers, feel free to share your thoughts on this matter.

 

 

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