- Love shows itself.
- Feed my sheep.
- Take out the trash.
- Clean up after yourself.
- Be punctual.
- Speak in a respectful manner.
Showing love goes hand-in-hand with the golden rule:
Respect is treating another as though you were the other person. Respect looks different to everyone. You know what respect looks like to your mate (child, boss, neighbor). Give what s/he wants not what you want in a similar situation.
Suppose your favorite dessert is chocolate cake and my favorite dessert is ice cream. Both of these delicacies are at my disposal but I choose to give you ice cream because I like ice cream with no regard to offering you chocolate cake.
One might protest. “So. What’s wrong with that?”
One might argue that I treated you the way I wanted to be treated.
But did I really? Or did my preference supersede your liking?
I’m not talking about splitting hairs on minor matter; it’s just that little things lead to bigger things. The way we do one thing is the way we do everything. When we get real honest with ourselves, our heart knows what that means even though our mind may play brain-games.
Showing love is being selfless while maintaining a healthy self-love. It is manners dressed up in its Sunday best, even on grungy Friday. It is deliberately giving of respect to the one with irritating qualities.
Emotions are fragile. Love, trust and respect are easily broken and difficult to repair.
Star, our outside cat, loves to spend her days in the storage shed. She has a cozy warm bed to curl up in and a window ledge from which to observe the world. She has food and fresh water at her disposal.
One day a stray cat wandered into her sanctuary and disrespected her territory. She fled. She spent her days hidden in the culvert and nights in the tree top. Our cajoling failed to satisfy Star that her abode was safe.
Frustrated, I said, “Okay, Miss Independence, have it your way.”
Immediately my spirit was checked. It is my own independent spirit that draws me to liking cats! Yes, Lord, teach me to show my love to you by keeping your commandments rather than rebelling or running away hiding or doing it my way.
Eventually Star returned to the storage shed and purrs loudly when we approach.
I’m still working on being secure enough to allow God’s love to give me grace to respect others in keeping with his commandments. It starts and stops with me loving me (or not).
Mona Dunkin, Solution Principles, Maximum People Development. Please remember us for your training needs. www.monadunkin.com firstname.lastname@example.org