Source: “Valentine’s Day Heart” by Claudia Bear
Franklin Convey once said it takes 26 days to make a habit. Child Development therapists tell us when disciplining our children to modify one behavior at a time. I decided to take their approach to my New Year’s resolutions. Rather than become overloaded by all I want to accomplish my quest this year is to pour my heart into one goal each month. In the flavor of “Love” this month my goal is to plant seeds of kindness and grow some love.
Many, many, many years ago I had a roommate I could not stand. In addition to a very long list of irritating habits, she had a deviated septum that made it difficult for her to breathe through her nose quietly. What I remember is that I really started to despise the girl. You have to understand I am a peacemaker. Born in July makes me a Cancer and so I tend to try my best to avoid confrontation. So I set out to seek advice from a wise old man on how to remedy my problem. I was told to love her. Yep, love her. How do you treat someone who grates on your nerves with kindness? Well I will tell you this, it was not easy. At first I made her bed every morning. Then I would grudgingly give her compliments. By the end of 6 weeks she and I became great friends.
It seems in relationships the first line of defense is to ignore the problem or enact revenge in the form of hurtful words or actions. Or in the case above with my friend I would have allowed negative feelings for someone I hardly knew ruin a potential long lasting friendship. I know sometimes we just want to wallow a little in our sorrows. It is ok to feel hurt, even anger and jealousy, but it is not ok to act out on those feelings. Move on. I know, easier said than done. The way I explain it to my five year old is like this; when we harbor negative feelings they begin to grow until they take over our bodies like the Dark Side did to Aniken Skywalker. We have to forgive ourselves, the person we wronged or the person who wronged us and move on so we do not turn to the Dark Side.
I really had to think about what I wanted to achieve by my Love Dare. There is always room to improve when it comes to expressing love but I did not want my goal to be too vague or corny. I had to narrow it down enough that I would remain interested and most of all see the results. The answer came to me the day I was filling out a “Get to Know You” questionnaire for our kindergartner. The last question asked “Name one thing my parents think is especially great about me.” Mason could not grasp what the question meant. More importantly I wondered how often we express to him the things we admire most about him. His answer was “I play with the baby to distract him.” How sad is that? I decided that not only is it important to tell our children daily how much we love them, we also need to help them see how great they really are. The same thought can be applied to all of our relationships, most especially our spouses.
Ways To Give More Love:
- Forgive and Forget: Accidents happen. Our mantra states “That’s ok!” All messes can be cleaned up. Some just take a little more work than others.
- Be positive: No one likes a sour-puss. Nothing is worse than being told you cannot accomplish something. Be supportive of others and their dreams even if you do not share their enthusiasm. If we dream hard enough we can touch the stars or at least feel confident it was a successful failure.
- No Nagging: Nagging is contention and contention creates nothing but negativity. Negativity can lead to animosity and the destruction of a soul. This can be a difficult feat to accomplish with kids. A kind warning and a strict consequence is easier on the ears than harsh criticisms for not following through.
- Compliments Galore: The way to a man’s heart is not food but compliments. It is like their energy source. Fill them up with superhero power and they will dazzle us. Our friends and family could use a good dose as a pick me up too.