A few months ago, I blogged about love in this post here, The Love Experiment .
The concept is that we can feel the love of the Lord in our daily life by learning to open our heart; allowing it to be full and being able to recognize when it is indeed open, and at the front of our chest cavity, verses closed and at the back of our chest.
Anyway, since doing this, I wanted to report a few things.
1) I already thought I was open and loving towards people. WRONG! Though I was "friendly" I found that I was a bit more critical of certain types of people, even if I did keep my thoughts to myself. Since this experiment I feel like I can actually learn to love all sorts of people. Reminds me of a song I learned in church as a child, "Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you." It is such a simple concept, and who couldn't use more love right?
a) I chose to practice this by smiling more at people, especially with those whom I do not know.
b) I will strike up conversations and/or small talk even more than before.
c) I hum when I feel like humming; sing when I feel like singing.
d) When I "people watch" I try to actually think about someones circumstance; perhaps ask myself WHY they are the way they are.
~pause for story~ Recently, while in Tar-Jay, a young, and sort of "scraggly" mother was in front of me. Her language was a bit abrasive, and she looked a little rough around the edges herself. She had two small children in the cart, both of whom could have used a good face washing, and both of whom were not happy to be there. They were probably about ages 2 and 3; a brother and sister. While the mom is struggling to get her billfold, and questioning the clerk about the price of one of the items, the little girl slaps the little boy across the face. A sibling/toddler fight ensues and appears that it is something of an all-too-familiar scene at their house. I could tell the mom was about to have a come apart. I walked over to the cart, and after asking the mom if I could give them each a roll of Smarties from my purse (she looked at me like I was crazy!) I tried to help calm them down. I asked if they were tired, and told them that shopping can be a lot of hard work and that I just know their mom is so happy when they are good inside the stores. The little boy was still crying from the slap of his sister, so I rubbed his back a little and assured him that it would only be a few more minutes before his mom would be done. I told them my name was Emma and that I also had children. I told them that sometimes my children fight in the store too. By then the mom was done and looked at me with knowing eyes. I said, "I think it's good to see other kids act up a bit. It helps me feel better about mine acting up." She said thanks and was on her way. I felt like crying.
Not because I thought I was a do-gooder, but because I totally could relate. There have been times wherein I thought I would lose it in a store because it seemed that everything was going wrong that day had; and fighting children were just the icing on the cake. Plus, I saw this mom in a new light; as just a mom. I no longer saw her as the "scraggly", rough-around-the-edges mom. It was like at that moment we were on the same team, in the same club. Plus, for all I know, they could have been moving, or gardening, or something.
2) I feel more loved. Since doing this "experiment" , or implementing this concept rather, I have come to be more aware of the everyday little things in my life that affirm that people do love me, and more importantly perhaps that I love them.
3) I LOVE YOU!!! It's true. I feel I can love easier since this whole thing began. True, I am still a little guarded in some aspects. But I just find myself feeling love towards others on a whole new lever, and at a much quicker pace.
I am loving all of the new things I am learning or re-learning about love, and I love the rewards even more.
Simply put, I love Loving...