As I was writing my post last week on creating a happy file I really wanted to find ways to capture that feel good feeling I have when I look through my file. So I did a little experiment. I asked all of the “men” in my life to tell me something nice about myself. Yes, I know it seems self-serving but I needed a little ego boost. Maybe when they have spouses of their own they will know how to speak words of affirmation to them? The answers I received I know I will remember for the rest of my life. But for me it is not just the spoken words that show love, it is also through actions. Last week my middle son learned to play the song “Blackbird” by The Beatles on his guitar and he came to my room and played it for me as I was falling asleep. The fact that he is 16 and had taught himself to play the song and he wanted to play it to me was a great gift in love. Just last night my youngest son wanted to read next to me as I was starting to fall asleep. That is a gift. My oldest had a solo in a concert last week playing his viola, it was beautiful and such a gift!
I come from a family of stoic German folk where we didn’t show affection and say things like “I love you.” But even though those are just words, depending on who is saying them can make a difference. Maybe it is publicly writing to my mom “I love you”, knowing that these words are going to published in the state’s largest paper on Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day mom…I love you!). Maybe it is making sure before I hang up the phone or say good bye to someone I love, to make sure I say the words, “I love you”or give a great hug. My friend Laura calls a true hug one in which our hearts physically touch as we embrace. That is a gift.
You see, we all give and receive love in different ways. I don’t need the blue Tiffany’s box. But take time out of your busy work schedule and spend an afternoon with me, that is a gift that has no price. You can give a gift by picking up the phone and calling or texting the person to let them know that you were thinking of them. Love could be opening the car door for someone unexpectedly. My kids love for me to bake cookies for them so even though I don’t have the time to make them, I find the time to do it as I know how much it means to them. I use to think my husband liked coming home to a clean house but when the kids were little he told me, just spend time playing and reading to them, the house can be messy. That was the best gift of love he ever could have given our boys.
Maybe you are struggling with trying to have the picture perfect home out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Guess what? Nobody lives like that. If that is something for you to strive towards, that is great but make sure that you are not sacrificing anything in the meantime. Make sure that you have created a house where you can have last minute company over. Make sure you have a home where your friends and family want to come and take shelter from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Don’t apologize for the dust bunnies as long as you are living a full life and enjoying every minute. A gift doesn’t have to come wrapped in a box and have a hefty price tag in order to show that you love someone. Think of ways to show love that don’t cost a dime and don’t add to clutter but is still beyond priceless.
To find out more about how people give and receive love I have found Gary Chapman’s and Ross Campbell’s book “The Five Love Languages of Children” to be very helpful.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/
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