Do we have the capacity to love everyone we encounter? It seems easy to love family members and friends, but what about other people that we encounter throughout life? What about the person who cut you off in traffic or who stabbed you in the back? Can we really love everyone unconditionally?

I say 'yes', and I also challenge you to see for yourself how it's not merely possible, but also quite doable. As with everything in life, love is also a choice. Therefore, choose to love and you are ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure.

"Love will immediately enter into any mind that truly wants it." - A Course in Miracles

Betsy Otter Thompson in her book "Walking Through Illusion" gives a beautiful explanation of how love is a choice we make. "Hearts are free to express from the depth to which they go. It means that each of us is free to love in the face of reasons not to. If we love, the heart goes deeper to reveal our true identity. If we don't love, more opportunities arrive through which to do so."

If you are ready to choose love, here are five simple steps you can take to quickly start loving everyone you encounter.

1. LOVE IN THEIR SHOES

Whenever you find it challenging to love someone, try walking in their shoes. Most likely, you've done the same thing yourself, or something similar.

To some degree or another, in our own minds we have all waged wars, killed ideas, wished that someone would die, judged people, and thought unspeakable things, just to name a few. If we could see a movie of our thoughts throughout life, we'd be astonished. We are not all that different, even though we may like to think so. :-)

2. LOVE WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS

A good rule of thumb to use when attempting to love without restrictions is to refrain from judging others. Who are we to judge which people we should love and which we should withhold love from?

I have a saying that always helps me remove all restrictions from loving others.

-- I don't know you, and I love you already. --

This means that we don't even need to know or meet the other person before we decide whether to love them. We have already laid out on the table that there are no restrictions to our love. The phrase simply states that our love is unconditional.

3. LOVE WITH ABANDON

When you surrender to love, you love others with abandon, and you allow them to love you back with the same openness. Some people think that love hurts, and this makes them afraid to let go. If that's what is holding you back, consider this:

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." -Mother Teresa

4. LOVE WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS

The best way to love someone (or everyone for that matter) is to not expect anything back. Just love for the sake of love or to create a more loving world. Love because it feels good and because you wish well to others. Love because you are love -- and because you can't help it.

Even though you are not expecting anything back, don't be surprised if the more you love others, the more love comes your way.

"The love that lasts the longest is the love that is never returned." - William Somerset Maugham

5. LOVE CONTINOUSLY

Love is the kindest gift that you can give yourself and others. Therefore, why not share this wonderful gift all the time? Develop the habit of sending love to everyone you encounter throughout the day. As you develop this habit, it will become easier and easier to love everyone.

"Laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live."

GIVE MEANING TO LOVE

By following the steps outlined here, you will be on your way to spreading love and contributing to a loving world. In the end, "love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning." Be the one to give meaning to love. Be the one to start loving, instead of waiting for others to love you first.

So now, how do you feel about loving everyone you encounter? Do you feel it's possible? Are you up for the challenge?

With you always in my heart,

Andrea

Author's Bio: 

Hi! I'm Andrea DeBell, a happiness expert, bliss consultant, blogger enthusiast, spiritual geek, personal growth fanatic, and lover of all things bright. My blog Britetalk is self-empowerment blog, a place for sharing how to live a happy, positive, passionate, peaceful life.