The way God created us, actions affect our feelings most.
For example, if you want to become more compassionate, thinking compassionate thoughts may be a start, but giving tzedaka (charity) will get you there.
Likewise, the best way to feel loving is to be loving ― and that means giving.
While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth (as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his famous discourse on loving kindness) is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love. When an enthusiastic handyman happily announces to his non- mechanically inclined wife, "Honey, wait till you see what I got you for your birthday ― a triple-decker toolbox! Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso.
Love is that feeling you get when you meet the right person." Every hand went up. Judaism actually idealizes this universal, unconditional love.
" "We're choosing to love him," her mother explained, "because love is a choice." There's no better wisdom Susan's mother could have imparted to her before marriage.
" she cooed.) But in her study of real-life successful marriages Judith Wallerstein reports that "the value these couples placed on the partner's moral qualities was an unexpected finding." To the Jewish mind, it isn't unexpected at all.
Now that you're feeling so warmly toward the entire human race, how can you deepen your love for someone?
Many years ago, I met a woman whom I found very unpleasant.
So I decided to try out the "giving leads to love" theory. A few days later I offered to help her with a personal problem. This is why your parents (who've given you more than you'll ever know) undoubtedly love you more than you love them, and you, in turn, will love your own children more than they'll love you.