Can you really love everyone?

Joey Garcia

I am usually pleasantly amazed each week at your insight into people’s problems, but the column about the “You are loved here” bumper stickers confused me. Are you saying that you unconditionally love everybody you meet? Does that include pedophiles, rapists, murderers and people who knowingly spread AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases? It’s a nice thought to say you love everyone, but it’s not very realistic.

Also, I believe religion is a pant-load. How a loving God can allow a small child to be kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed, and allow all the other atrocities that happen in this world is beyond me. I, like John Lennon, try to imagine a world with no religion and to envision a better place where I can treat my fellow man like I would like to be treated.

The confusion you express is just your neurotic ego trying to resist anything that would challenge your belief system. Can you see how your thoughts hurtled from one irrational interpretation of what I wrote to another? Your emotional charge is a signal that you are being called to change. Consider this: The term “unconditional love” does not appear in the column you address. By extrapolating, you simply reveal how terrified you are by the concept of unconditional love, which, curiously, John Lennon frequently advocated.

It appears that your understanding of evil is far greater than your comprehension of love or religion. Jesus once told his disciples that they must love everyone (agape) but that it was unlikely that they would like everyone. How’s that for realistic?

Many religions state that God made this world but gave it to us to manage. So, it’s very childish to blame God for the scenarios that you list. The concept of a parent God is one of the lowest rungs on the evolutionary ladder of spiritual or moral development. Take the risk to rise higher. See that all of us perpetuate a world that allows the horrors that you describe. That you have not devoted your life to stopping such atrocities is beyond me.

It’s time to stop imagining a better world. Take action to ensure dignity for all. Begin by sweeping your mind free of the drama that prohibits you from treating others as you expect to be treated. Instead of projecting your anger and fear onto others, process it in a journal or with a licensed psychotherapist or through Byron Katie’s process ( With dedication, you can heal the wounds that cause you to fear love.

I was best friends with the same woman from fourth grade to adulthood. She lied to her family and said that I gave her a black eye. Then she placed a restraining order against me. Before this, we were more than best friends; we were sisters. I searched the Internet and went to her last address but can’t find her or her husband. Any ideas?

Make a withdrawal from your memory bank. Keep the memory brief but relish it fully. When that moment is over, focus intently on the present. If your mind obsesses about reviving the relationship, mentally affirm your willingness to let go. You must do this because, despite your desire to restore the friendship, it is over. Dead. You must accept this reality. It doesn’t matter whether your friend lied to her family about the black eye or whether it is true. There are two versions of the story, and trying to contact her will not alter that. Remember, she placed a restraining order against you. If you care for her and if you respect yourself, you will honor the order to keep your distance. A desperate search for her will only fuel your tendency toward self-abandonment. Concentrate instead on establishing new friendships.

Meditation of the week
“There are mini-tsunamis every day in Africa,” said Thomas Awiapo of Catholic Relief Services in Ghana. “Every five days, 150,000 people in Africa die of starvation. That’s a tsunami.” What are you doing to stop the crisis?

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