I don’t watch football. But last night, I just had to. One of my bffs (somehow this juvenile abbreviation suits our friendship) is THE 12th [wo]man and her enthusiasm is quite infectious. Plus, she promised me a Seahawks jersey if they win, and I want that jersey. Why? Because my hubby is a Redskins fan and it should spice things up at home. So the game wasn’t a cliffhanger. The Seahawks played with so much heart, the end was almost a given. And unless you’re just waking up from a nap you took at 5:00 pm yesterday, you’ll know they did win. Infectious. Contagious. Contaminating. People take notice when they witness how much you love something. It could be a favorite book, a sport, a particular cuisine, a person, a band, a place, a cause–it doesn’t matter. It only matters how you act toward the object of your affection. So when hoping to influence others, don’t look at your audience. Begging people to love what you love doesn’t work. Love what you love, and people will be drawn to it. And to you. And when you talk to your children, don’t tell them what you stand against. Tell them what you stand for. Help them figure out what they love, not what they hate. So Instagram that picture you took at the train station. Post an update on the movie you watched, and the thoughts that were triggered by that particular scene. Blog about a recipe you perfected. Tweet about that cause you believe in. Too often we allow what we hate to define us. And even if that thing deserves it, the negativity that comes with the emotion is a sure-fire repellant. Trust me, I know. Finally, there are too many voices that worm their way into our hearts, giving rise to doubts and fears, stopping us from truly loving what brings us joy. I have learned that perfect love really casts out fear, and the pale reflection revealed by our attempts to love push out, one nudge at a time, those voices that keep us rooted in the pit.