I’ve been trying to come up with a clever introduction for this post. I’ve also spent time considering the tone of the post and how I can make the topic more reader friendly, more optimistic. I decided that the idea needed a more direct approach.
What you say is important.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking to yourself while addressing a golf ball on the fifth hole.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking about your spouse to coworkers.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking on social media.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking about people you don’t even know, like actors or athletes.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking to your kids.
It doesn’t matter when, who, or what you are talking about. What you say is important.
Words are powerful. They create emotions. They create community. They create works of art. They can build or destroy a relationship, a team, and even a nation.
Words create the way we see the world around us. I could give a thousand examples, but the message would be the same. What you say has power. It is your responsibility to handle that power. What do you say?
And I mean all aspects of love; romantic, sibling, friendship, and humanity. I have written about the power of love before (Why Love Series), but this post is centered on three ideas that make love a foundation to a great life.
First, love is action.
Second, love is showing a person that their life matters to you.
Finally, love is a choice.
All three work together to create a powerful life. Before I dive into the aspects I just mentioned, I want you to know that I also know that there is a magical aspect to love, an unexplainable power that no blog post can express. There is an emotional aspect of love, a crazy stirring in our hearts when we gaze into the eyes of our partner. Or a joyful pain in our chest when our children hug us. But the power of love is not just in those magical moments. Love is a factor in our lives when we choose to act so that another person knows they matter.
Action is important. Yes, saying that you love someone is important but love is expressed through action. A date night. Playing My Little Pony on the living room floor. Taking a walk. Watching a movie (without a phone). Dancing in the kitchen. All relationships need action to grow. This is the most powerful way you show someone they matter to you; spend time together.
Action isn’t the only way that you can show someone you care about them… how you talk is important, too. How you talk to a person and how you talk about them with other people makes a difference in the relationship. I’m learning that how you talk about a person to others is a factor that builds or destroys a relationship over time. A powerful factor. If you tear down a person to others, if you bring up all their faults, just vent to others, that negativity will filter into your view of that person. You’ll soon find that negativity move into the way you talk in the relationship. That’s not love.
We are not perfect. We all have flaws. We all are works in progress. Our words either build or destroy people. That includes text or social media. The way you speak shows people how much they matter to you. Your words are one example of how we choose to love.
The most important factor is to be honest about how much of love is a choice. You decide to open your heart. You decide to be respectful. You decide if you are going to love someone. There is an emotional aspect to love, but those emotions can be generated by the actions you take. It doesn’t matter what type of love or relationship it is.
Want your relationship with your partner to be more romantic? Do something to generate those emotions, like buy flowers, or dance in the kitchen. Want to have a better relationship with a friend? Do something. Send them a handwritten note or go out for coffee.
It sounds simple because it is. Love is choosing to act in a loving way to the people who matter to you. And that is part of a great life of a great relationships.
Below are a few media recommendations that correlate with this blog post.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is a must read for so many different reasons. But at the heart of the book is the idea of how important love is in all relationships.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a great book to consider how the people in your life view actions as a way of understanding love. The book will equip you with ways to express love to people.
Hoosiers is more than a basketball movie. The movie deals with the idea of forgiveness, family, and why it matters to do the right thing in relationships.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a great movie that highlights the importance of action in life. Now, I don’t endorse missing school, but can’t deny the message about friendship and living life.
I was going to write a post that just ranted about life. About student apathy. About the cruelty of social media. About drivers that run red lights. About how parents abuse their children. I was going to rant about everything. As I made muffins this morning, I was in a sour mood for a number of reasons.
But as the timer went off on the oven and I pulled the muffin tins out, I had to smile as the warm aroma of blueberries and chocolate chip muffins filled the kitchen. I returned to cooking the scrambled eggs wishing everyone could have a Sunday morning breakfast like ours. My youngest daughter came bouncing into the room, “Is it muffin day?”
“Yes, little one. It is muffin day.”
She curled up on the couch in a blanket, then started to ask me 5 year-old questions.
To be honest, I still want to rant. But I realize that my rant won’t change the unfairness in this world. Or stop somebody from writing a hurtful comment on social media. My rant would not save a child’s life today.
Sadly, I know that this post won’t do that either. But instead of ranting, I choose….
I choose to believe that education is about growing as a person, not a grade.
I choose to read more books instead of looking at a screen.
I choose to listen instead of talk.
I choose to believe in sunsets and sunrises because you can see them from anywhere.
I choose to write poetry, blogs, and stories so that someone reads a message that they need.
I choose to post crazy photos on Instagram.
I choose to tell dad jokes to everyone.
I choose longer hugs and holding hands with my wife.
But most important, I choose to love, no matter how much the world keeps trying to hurt me.