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We can all fight ‘Heart Hunger’

While working on a project this past week, I have watched one whole season of ”Hoarders” and one whole season of “Intervention” on my Netflix. I’m sad. I’m very sad to see so many hurting, hopeless, empty people all searching for acceptance, love and belonging. I call it being “heart hungry.”

“Heart hunger” is a worldwide epidemic. Hungry hearts all over the planet are trying to fill the hole with things — belongings, drugs, alcohol, food, sex, etc. They try anything that will quiet the hunger and give the illusion of fullness.

What is “heart hunger?” It’s a lack of intimacy with other human beings. That kind of intimacy should exist in families and friendships. It doesn’t always. It is based on trust, faithfulness, compassion, forgiveness, understanding and acceptance.

It’s that feeling that someone has your back, is honest enough to tell you the hard stuff and will blow away the chaff while hanging on to the wheat of your life. It is not enough to find people like this. We must also be people like this.

I think that “heart hunger” has spread so quickly because we seem to have forgotten that our capacity to feel and love grows as we use it. When we hold on to our caring, which we often do because of fear, we gradually stop being able to care.

The scriptures refer to today as a time when “the love of man waxes cold.” Wow, that hits it right on the head, don’t you think? Friends, neighbors, relatives used to form a great support group in each others lives. And everyone needs that kind of support, but most do not have it.

Won’t you all join with me to fight “heart hunger?” Make a promise today to spread “love and good cheer.” Give smiles, compliments, gratitude to all around you, whether you know them or not. Be forgiving of intended and unintended hurts. Ask someone if you can help them. If you know someone is hurting, reach out; don’t run away.

Love, caring, compassion and understanding are the most powerful tools we have to dispel the darkness we see all around us. And the most amazing part is when we use these tools to help others who are hurting, our hurting is diminished. It’s a win-win! You can’t say that about too many things!

Kathy Shaw of Boardman, Ore., writes a column, “The View from My Side of the Street.”

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