Since February is the month we talk most about love, I'd like to
share a column that I wrote previously and think you may enjoy it this
I bought a cute card for my then three-year old goddaughter. Her
birthday falls on Valentine's Day and the card jokingly said, "People
born on Valentine's Day are easier to love." It occurred to me, "Some
people really are easier to love, aren't they?" Why is that? I think it
is because some people are better at loving others. Because they
express love in healthy ways on a consistent basis, they also attract
love into their lives. It is a simple principle most of us have been
taught repeatedly: What you sow, you will also reap.
This week, I would like to serve as your loving reminder of what
it means to love someone. These are seven straightforward, at times
difficult, but always effective strategies for loving others - and
experiencing more love in your life. Saint Paul wrote them in the 13th
chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians. We often hear the
scripture recited at weddings. This week, meditate on these seven
principles. Find news ways to express love on a daily basis and
strengthen your daily interaction with others -- whether loved ones or
strangers, co-workers or neighbors. The greatest use of your life is to
love. When you apply this kind of love to a situation, it never fails:
1. LOVE IS PATIENT.
People won't always do
what you want when you want them to. Practice being patient - whether
with your children, your significant other or the grocery cashier who
takes too long to ring up your order. Everything happens for a reason -
and that includes the timing of when things happen. Be patient and
learn the lesson that comes in the process of enduring the wait.
Sometimes the lesson is simple: Slow down and enjoy life.
2. LOVE IS KIND.
Every single day, choose to
be kind. Ask yourself each morning, "How could I be a blessing to
someone today?" Whether it is a kind word, a loving gesture or helping
someone in need, seek ways to be kind daily. Not only will it be a
blessing to those you encounter, but it feels good to your soul.
3. LOVE DOES NOT ENVY.
There will always be
someone who appears to have "more" or to be doing better. Make a
decision not to be envious of others, but in every circumstance of life
to find a reason to be thankful. Jealousy poisons your attitude, builds
resentment and can ruin relationships. Rather than envying others,
learn from them. Even be inspired by them. And simultaneously, choose
to be content with what you have while you journey towards something
4. LOVE DOES NOT BOAST AND IS NOT PROUD.
the temptation to boast about yourself, your accomplishments or your
loved ones. It often only makes others feel "less than," which of
course, is not an expression of love. Practice humility. Allow your
accomplishments to speak for themselves. Others often notice your good
work and deeds, even without you having to make a big deal of them. In
fact, it is far more attractive to simply "be" great than to try to
convince others of your greatness.
5. LOVE IS NOT RUDE OR EASILY ANGERED.
all had our moments when our behavior has been less than considerate.
Next time you feel the urge to be rude, inconsiderate or to jump to
conclusions, stop yourself. Take a deep breath and ask, "What would be
a more loving response to this situation?" That doesn't mean that you
allow others to walk all over you. You can speak the truth to people in
a very matter of fact way, without being rude. Be considerate of others'
feelings and be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.
6. LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.
ever known someone who remembered every mistake you ever made or
everything you ever did wrong? As you have grown and become a better
person, all they can remember is the person you used to be. It is very
frustrating and you may even find yourself ready to distance yourself
from that person. Learn from the past behavior of others - and protect
yourself accordingly, when necessary - but resist the temptation to
continually bring up everything someone has done wrong. Love others by
encouraging them towards a better future, not defining them by their
7. LOVE REJOICES IN THE TRUTH.
So often, it
seems we are afraid of the truth. When something is wrong, we pretend
everything is OK. Often both parties will pretend even when both
parties know there is a problem. One of the most important love skills
you can learn is to be honest. Refuse to live lies or to accept lies as
truth. Have truthful conversations with yourself and others. It allows
you to get to the core of issues faster. It empowers others to trust
you. It relieves the stress of tiptoeing around the real issues. Learn
to speak the truth in a spirit of love and kindness, and your life will
be richer and more fulfilling.
My challenge to you this week:
In a situation
that is challenging or frustrating to you, find a way to express love.
Perhaps it's time to call a truce, forgive someone who has done you
wrong, tell the truth or be more patient. What could you do to be more
What makes the person
most important to you feel loved? What are three ways that you could
incorporate more of it into your interaction with this person? What
makes you feel loved? How could you communicate this in a loving way?
Until next time...