It’s easy to show love when I feel loved. It’s also easy to show love when I’m full of love. But when my love-tank is on “E,” whether it’s because I’m stressed out and over-booked, work is crazy, or everyone in the family is tired and crabby, well, it’s just not as easy.
I know I am loved. And for this, I am so blessed and grateful. My husband is affectionate and a true partner. He knows the way to my heart is through acts of service — doing the dishes, picking up the house, or cleaning out the cars.
I feel loved by my kids, especially when I realize just how much they want to be around me. Even when they pull on my legs and whine when I leave in the morning… or cling to me the minute I come home.. or ask me to help them with things I know they are capable of doing independently. I realize it’s because they genuinely love me and enjoy my presence.
But how I am called to love others is also something incredibly important to me. And this doesn’t include my husband and kids, and the many ways I try to meet their needs. That’s the easy part.
I need to love others so my kids learn how this “love” thing works. To me, love is often translated into action by simply helping out. I am trying to show my kids the importance of loving and helping others regularly. That could be apologizing when I’ve hurt their feelings in a moment of impatience; bringing meals to the family of a coworker who passed away unexpectedly; volunteering at a food pantry; giving money to a homeless person; adopting a family for the holidays; praying together when an ambulance speeds by; or paying genuine compliments to others.
Growing up, my parents had a Norman Rockwell poster hanging in our house, just over the kitchen table. It showed people of all backgrounds and ethnicities huddled together and the beautiful text of the Golden Rule shining below. I remember it so clearly, and yet I forget it so often.
Showing love to all others, treating all others the way they’d like to be treated — isn’t that the kind of world we want our little ones to grow up in? Isn’t that the kind of world they deserve? I resolve to show more love towards others this holiday season and after. The world will be better because of it.
How will you #putonlove?