One of my favorite topics to write about is love. In part, it’s because I know that as humans, it is one of the commandments God has bestowed upon us. I also know that love is not a feeling or an emotion, but rather a choice. Love is part of our greater purpose for you and for me in how we relate to each other and the universe and the whole wide world.
It’s just that serious. Especially during the month of February. Trust me though, this post is about God’s love and a general love related to humankind. I am not talking romance…yet. Even though I truly believe it’s not too different because that kind of love is also a choice as well.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not talking about love as a feeling where we see everything in terms of hearts and romance and lilies and rose petals and Chicago-style pizza. I’m talking love as a verb. An action. A decision to wholeheartedly make someone’s life’s easier. A decision to speak up, to change things, to impact the world.
If the idea of impacting the world is a bit overwhelming (think Mother Teresa), I get it. One thing you can do today, though, that is equally as important as impacting the world is by impacting your friends with love.
It’s easy. It’s from the heart. It has no expectations for reciprocity. It’s authentic.
And according to the word of God, it’s what we should be doing all the time anyway.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
With all that in mind, it can be easy to say we intend to act in love, but we don’t really know where to begin. Start right here:
- Pray for someone (without telling them what you’re doing) every day until March 1. This a great for your friends because you may be able to things manifest in their lives that have been aided with your prayers. You can tell them afterward, but for right now, just let it be a little secret.
- Send them a $5 electronic gift card to Starbucks. Your note can read, “You mean a lot to me, so have a latte on me.”
- Write them a handwritten note expressing your appreciation for something they’ve done or just for them as a person.
- Offer to run an errand. Trust me here, if your friends are like some of mine, they will say “Thanks, but I don’t need anything.” That’s totally ok. The big action here is that your offer was genuine. Just in case they do accept it, run the errand and do the thing they need you to do. Even if you think it’s weird.
- Open when cards. This gift is by far always a hit. I did this on Valentine’s Day for my kids. Read about them here. Everyone I have ever given them too is amazed…and costs anywhere from $10-$20, if that.
- Give them a small container of kleenex, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and/ or hand lotion for their car. This really comes in handy during winter and cold and flu season. In the spring and summer, give them a small box of Zyrtec or Claritin just for the car so they will always be ready for allergy season.
- Select a recipe and buy all the groceries needed for that recipe. You can be a more personal own version of Hello Fresh. Remember though, the easier the recipe is to follow, the better it is.
- Be willing to listen. The key word here is “listen.” Listen just for the sake of listening. Listen for the sake of understanding. Stop listening to respond.
- Send them a link to a song or music video you both like
- Announce to them that they are your favorite <insert funny thing here.> A really good friend of mine and I call each other names like hamster and gerbil often. We send photos, emojis, and giphy images of rodents to each other all the time. While this little tradition started out as a replacement for a less than desirable term, it has now become an integral part of our friendship and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Inside jokes are everything. They really are. I had a boss once that would send her staff a text message during a meeting that says, “The phrase for the day is blue tomato. Use it during this meeting. It was quite funny to watch us engage in serious and official matters while secretly being silly at the same time. On the inside, we were all doing this:
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is absolutely necessary in this world, and more of it is needed daily. In all the things you do when you show love, don’t forget yourself! You can be of no use to your family or your friends if you are not loved. The only way can ensure that is to practice self-love daily.
What are your favorite ways to show love for yourself or for others?