There’s been lots of chatter about love this week – remember Valentine’s Day? It’s was only 4 days ago. I saw pictures of spouses, boyfriends, pets, kids and all sorts of special people splashed all over social media. There were captions lined with hearts and expressing strong, affectionate emotions.
I think recognition of those feelings towards those special people in our lives are important. For some people, sharing these thoughts with the world seems to validate them somehow, as if they might not be true if I don’t share a picture of the person I love. Or maybe you want to show off – if you found a keeper, good for you! I do think that’s worth shouting from the mountaintops! This is a judgement free post, please show love however suits you best!
I find it fairly easy to show love towards those people on my home (even if it isn’t my natural tendency to share about them on social media). I cook, clean and care for them on a regular basis, tuck them in at night and even whisper the words “I love you.”
However I’ve had shift in the past few years on how I think about love and how I can share that with people beyond my household. Love is a lot of things, the ways you can describe it are seemingly endless. But one way that seems to sticking with me lately is the selfless nature of love. Thinking beyond your own needs, wants and desires and putting others first. That is love.
Again I go back to my family, I can sacrifice my wants for my family. Yes, there are times that I put my needs first, but overall it’s a fairly easy concept. However, putting my wants/needs/desires on the back shelf for a stranger seems a little harder to grasp. If we’re going to show love to everyone, then it needs to happen.
I’ve noticed over the past couple years a desire to do this. I’ve wanted to “love my neighbor”, so to speak. To show love and kindness to random strangers, people who I might only call acquaintances and sometimes people I might never even meet. I once thought it had to be a grand gesture, giving them a brand new car or saving for weeks to donate to their GoFundMe campaign. These are all great things, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply putting someone else’s needs first.
Maybe I let other car have the closer parking space. Yes, it would have been nice not to have to walk that far, but I have strong legs and can manage just fine. Perhaps it’s letting someone go in front of me at the grocery store, I don’t feel like waiting in line a little extra, but I can. It’s can be as simple as not being aggressive towards bad drivers, not screaming at the bad customer service representative on the phone or not telling your girlfriend about your husband’s amazing new promotion and life upgrade while her life is in shambles and they’re on the brink of bankruptcy. All of those actions can be done out of love.
But wait, that just sounds like kindness, not love.
Kindness is love.
I have learned how to love my neighbor, among other things, I can just show a little extra kindness.
I have a million other thoughts on love but will leave you on this note, however if you’re looking for a good read, I recommend “A Love Worth Giving” by Max Lucado. It brings up so many important thoughts on the issue and I highly recommend it.0