Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finding the Positive - Feeling More Loved

I have a friend who is always telling me how her husband is amazing.  I have met him, and he seems like a nice guy, but amazing? Honestly I wasn't sure it was possible to be as great as she reports him to be.

When I thought about it a little more I realized she is always saying things like, "He did (fill in the blank with amazing action) because he loves me."  She recognizes and speaks this truth to everyone she meets.  She acknowledges his actions come from love.  In fact, I would not be surprised to hear her say, "He took out the trash because he loves me."

When was the last time you took a long look at the people around you and itemized the things they do because they love you?  When was the last time you verbalized those thoughts?

In the day to day monotony of life I know things can get a little routine.  We get out of bed in the morning and trudge through our day, happy to make it to the end where our fluffy pillow awaits. When someone picks up their clothes off the floor we are just relieved we don't have to do it.  I doubt we frequently take the time to look at the action and say, "He picked up his clothes because he loves me and knows I don't have the time today."  We more likely are thinking something along the lines of, "Wow! I am glad he finally noticed what a slob he is!"

As I thought more about my friend I noticed how much she adores her husband.  I compared her to other friends I have who don't see their spouses the same way.  The difference was amazing.  The people who take the time to recognize the efforts made are much happier than those who don't.

What impressed me from this little data gathering exercise is that the husbands are probably not that different.  I have met them all and they are nice guys.  They are funny/well groomed/polite and all seem to be great dads.  So why do some women see them as amazing and others see them as, well, not so amazing?

You may have heard the phrase, "Have and Attitude of Gratitude."  I think that is the difference.  The women who recognized their husbands actions as expressions of love felt more loved.  Those who didn't, didn't.  The husband's actions didn't change, just the way the wife felt.

Let's think about this for a moment.  I can choose to acknowledge things as expressions of love, and thus feel more loved, or I can ignore expressions of love and feel less loved.  This should not be a hard choice.

(By the way guys, this works both ways.)

I pledge as of today to see the things people do all around me as expressions of love and compassion.  I will attempt to verbalize these good deeds whenever possible.  I will stop viewing ordinary acts as unimpressive.  I will force myself to see good intentions in everyday actions.  I will chose to feel loved.

I think I feel more loved already.

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