Greetings, beautiful butterflies! I am so happy we are on this journey together and into (already!) the month of February. The month of Valentine’s Day and those three little words we all long to hear, “I love you.” We need to say these words and hear these words returned to us by lovers, spouses, friends, children, students, co-workers, and so many more. Long before and after “the day of love.” Love is what keeps us alive.
We’ve all heard love makes the world go round. But it is really the action of love that makes the world go round and those three little words we long to hear not just fall flat. I don’t think I am alone confessing there have been times I have said those words but not shown them. Or not even known if I have meant them. Love is showing up. So this week my tiny action for big change is to show up for love. To love-love not just for the noun it is but for the verb it must be.
The great poetess, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote her classic sonnet, “How do I love thee? Let me Count the Ways.”
I’m looking at doing a little counting myself. How do I really love thee? How do I both show and tell my love? I’m counting the ways and actions I might take. And the actions I might not take that also can end up being actions of great love.
Here’s my short list and I’d love to hear yours, too!
ACTIONS TO TAKE TO LOVE THEE
Bring a flower and a hug to my friend who could really use it today.
Prepare a new recipe for my family. (Add a dollop of gratitude.
Feed one extra person.
Give your man a neck massage.
Stay up with your sick child all night, if need be. Or a sick adult because it must be.
Shower up and show up.
Do somebody a good turn and don’t get found out.
Listen with eyes and heart wide open.
Give a compliment.
Accept a compliment.
Let my joyful heart boil over
And my angry thoughts first simmer.
AND A FEW ACTIONS NOT TO TAKE TO SHOW MY LOVE
Don’t buy another new rescuer suit. In the end none of them ever fit right.
Pass on being a psychic. Pass on predicting their future (especially the one in which you’re saying, “I told you so.”)
Love someone enough to stop expecting them to change for you.
Trust that if they change at all it will be for them. Not me.
Don’t deny your happiness for their success.
Don’t withhold compassion for their sorrow.
Don’t expect to do everything on my list this week or this month. Remember in the counting of love’s active ways, I must love me before I can truly love thee. In baby steps. Butterfly steps. Transformation is taking place. That’s God’s part and love in action.
With grace and gratitude,