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L.O.V.E.: 4 unique ways to express your love

 

express love(

"They do not love that do not show their love."

William Shakespeare



As the month of love begins and Valentine's Day approaches, I've been giving a lot of thought to love. (It's hard to avoid thinking about it when stores' shelves are stocked with all things red and pink and heart-shaped!) It's complex, fascinating term that can many so many things to so many people. It brings people the greatest joy and the deepest pain. It's hard to describe but undeniable when you experience it. It's something that can bring the biggest smile to your face or create a puddle of tears in your pillow. Love is pretty amazing. And, for that reason, I'm going to be celebrating a month of love here at Positively Present. For the month of February, I'm going to be writing all about love -- and not just romantic love, either. I'm going to be writing, as I always do, about life, but this month I'm going to be incorporating a whole lot of love into those posts.

As I've been thinking a lot about love recently, I've given some thought to how we can show love. It sounds easy -- kindness, gratitude, flowers, cards, gifts, hugs, kisses, sex -- but is it really all that easy? When you love someone, how often do you really, truly show your love? It can be hard, especially when you've gotten past the deliriously magical first stage of your relationship, to show others just how much you love them. It's easy not only to take lovers for granted, but our friends and family too. How often to you tell your parents, your best friends, your siblings how much you love them? I know I don't say those words nearly often enough. And so I got to thinking about how I show love in my own way, without those actual words "I love you." Those words, mind you, are wonderful and hearing them from the mouth of someone you love can be the most amazing, comforting, and exhilarating feeling in the world. I don't discount those words. But I also know that sometimes those words aren't possible and, sadly, sometimes those words are not enough. 

But there is more to love -- as so many of us know -- than words. There are somany ways to show love, but four came to mind that really impact me on a daily basis. I've thought of four ways that I've either spread love to others or that others have spread love to me that have actually made a big difference in my life. Okay, to be fair, these are mostly things people have given me, things that people have shared with me in order to show me how much they love me. These four things (and not only these four!) have stuck with me in my mind, reminding me always that love exists and that, even when I've been in a heartbroken place, that there are still reasons to believe in the magical, mystical thing that is love. So here are four somewhat unconventional ways you can express your love to others...


L

 

Laughter.
You're probably reading this one and thinking, "Laughter? Really? What does that have to do with love?" Well, in my opinion, it has a ton to do with love. Just think about it. If you can't laugh with someone -- whether it be a friend, a family member, a spouse, or a significant other -- how can you really open up and be close to that person? Laughter is a very positive form of release; when you experience it, you feel good. When you hear other people laughing, you also feel good (unless, of course, it's at your expense, but we'll save that topic for another post...). Laughter generally makes us very happy, and it makes those around us happy too. When I think about laughing with the ones I love, I realize just how important it is in each and every relationship I have. I love being able to laugh and I love to share laughs with those around me. It's one of the great ways to spread love and to share in something positive with other people.


O

 

Opportunity.
People that have truly loved me over the years have given me so many opportunities. It seems almost like a boring way of putting love, but, in reality, this is one of the greatest ways you can show your love. It's certainly one of the greatest ways people have shown love to me. An opportunity can transform someone; it can change his or her whole life. Opportunities can be big or small, but they're always a way to open up your heart and show others that you care. One such way to do this is giving someone the simple opportunity to get to know you. That might sound arrogant or petty, but a lot of people have trouble letting people in (I know I do!) so it can be a huge opportunity just to let someone love you. Other opportunities could be things like sacrificing your spending so your children can go to great schools (thanks, Mom and Dad!) or offering someone the chance to excel at something they're great at by giving him or her a job. There are so many ways to show love through opportunities and, though we may not always think of this in the traditional way we think of love, giving opportunities to others really is one of the most loving things you can do.


V

 

Validation.
In many ways, we're all seeking this. We want to know that we matter, that our lives count. We want to be able to look around and see that who we are and what we're doing is important, if not to the world, at least to someone who loves us. Therefore, validating someone's actions -- and even his or her existence -- is one of the greatest ways to show love. It can be in the form of those three little words -- "I love you" -- or it can be in a tangible way, like providing an opportunity or sharing your loved one's abilities with others. Validation comes in many forms and not all of them are verbal (though it's always great to hear that you're doing a great job or that you really are loved by someone!). This can be a small thing or a grand one, but either way, when you validate the life or life's work of someone you love, you really are loving that person at a deeper level. You're saying, "You matter. You count. Your life is important." And who doesn't feel loved when they hear that? I know I do. Every time I hear I love you or every time I'm told that what I'm doing with my life (mainly, this blog) is important, I feel loved. That feeling will stay with me all day -- and sometimes for weeks and months. It's hard to replicate that wonderful, joyful feeling that comes over you when someone tells you your life is worthwhile.


E

 

Enlightenment. Yes, I know, this word can sound a like like "bullshit" under the right circumstances, but what I'm trying to get at here is this: You can share what you know about the world with those you love and that can be a tremendous act of love. This is especially true when it comes to the love between children and parents. We're all struggling, trying to make it through this life and figure everything out, and how great is it when we get just a little bit of information that helps to light up our path, to see the way a little bit more clearly? I know that every time I've learned something from my parents -- or from a friend or a colleague or a even complete stranger who has written a wonderful book that ultimately taught me something -- I feel loved. It's a different kind of love -- a learning kind of love -- but it is an amazing thing that somehow makes my life easier. And isn't making someone's life easier a great way to show love? It's something we try to do (or should try to do) on a daily basis for ones we love when it comes to little things like cooking dinner or doing laundry, but if you think about it on the scale of sharing knowledge, it can become a truly great act of love. We can make the lives of others easier (or, at the very least, more interesting!) by sharing what we know. Sure, our words may fall sometimes on deaf ears, but there will be those time when your words have the power to transform a life by changing the way someone else views the world.

  

Of course there are many, many ways you can give love. Some of them are very specific and wouldn't apply to anyone but you and those you love. Some of them are so general and wonderful that almost anyone who loves someone would want to share them -- a hug, a kiss, a kind word. The world, amidst all of the sorrow and heartache and pain, is filled with so many ways to love, some of them so astounding that we write about them and read about them and watch them in awe. It is amazing some of the grand gestures people will make in the name of love. It's a powerful (and sometimes scary!) thing, but when we feel it -- truly feel it -- it's best that we share that feeling with those we love. There are so many ways to show love, but all of them are important. All of them are essential, in fact, to making the world a better place. So, go on, show some love today!


What are some of your favorite ways to show love?
How to do plan to show love TODAY?

Comments

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Man, I love these acronyms :). The first one, laughter, really got my attention. It's a simple way to generate positive energy and create an upward spiral of positivity.

Eduard

I LOVE this post Dani. You focus right on the essence of true love here - laughter and joy, and the things we can do to help others feel loved and fulfilled. There is a quote from The Prophet that keeps buzzing in my head: 'work is love made visible.' I'm trying to remind myself of it when I get bored or resentful doing everyday tasks - that anything done to create and sustain life is an expression of love.

This is a great reminder about what love is all about... I should know... like a lot of people, I could use reminders all the time! It's so easy to get caught up with the Valentines Day fiasco, so much that we end up losing sight of the intentions. And as a single person, it's so easy to get angry about Valentines Day when in fact this is an Opportunity (as you've put it) to express it even more... and it doesn't have to be limited to a significant other or even someone you personally know.
Thanks so much, Dani... I am truly, positively inspired by this!

Eduard - Thank you! I'm glad you liked the post and it makes me happy to know that laughter stuck out to you. It's really important and some people don't think about it enough.

Catherine - Thanks so much! That's a great quote. You've brought up a great point about how important all of our actions are. In essence everything we do can be an act of love.

Valerie - I think we can all use reminders about the true meaning of love from time to time. It can definitely be frustrating to think about love around this time of the year when the emphasis is on the romantic kind of love, but love is really so much more than romance and there are so many ways we can share it with others (and even with ourselves!).

Those area really great examples. Different. Get you thinking, sort of expressions of love. I like the idea of opportunities. I think that there are opportunities around us every day. Often we lack the self-courage to see those chances for what they really are. Sometimes it takes someone close to us, someone who loves us, to show us the way to those opportunities, or maybe kick us in the pants to get going on them! I never thought of it that way. I will be looking forward to seeing all that you have to share about LOVE, Dani. Enjoy the day!
Erin

Erin - Thanks! I'm glad you liked the examples. Love comes in all different forms and, therefore, can be expressed in so many different ways. Opportunities are definitely so important and it's important that we show love to others and to ourselves by looking for and giving others opportunities. Hope your day is filled with love!

This post is absolutely amazing, Dani. Thank you so much for this. It is exactly what I needed to read today.

Ellecubed - Thank you so much! :) I'm so glad this post hit home for you today and that it was what you needed. I think I needed to write it so it makes me happy that someone else got so much from it too.

Hi Dani,
Timely post for this month.. got me thinking about the very subject as well...
Here's me thinking out loud :-0)

love is when the world looks way better and everything is happier even if your life kinda sucks... that one person can make EVERYTHING look possible and everything seems way too perfect. love makes you a happier & better person, you try to be better for someone else. and that one person might not be perfect but you see them perfectly and nothing, not one thing is wrong with them...

Love means treating others well.. Love means caring => Emotional Investment

cheers
Persha

Hi! Love the blog! Love the post about love. Love the title of your blog!!!! Its got me thinking...wouldnt our world be a great place if we tried to be more positively present? Personally, I am so tired of reading all the negative, violent news, seeing horrible images, destructive television, its just refreshing to take in content like yours!!! Its inspiring and thought-provoking. Last month, I started writing www.goodoodles.com. Its part of my walk down life's path and I sincerely hope, like you are beautifully doing, that my writing sends little ripples of positive out onto our seemingly disturbed waters. Or is it that the media just takes photos of those waters when they are disturbed? Cheers and happy Tues!

Perhsa - I'm glad this post got you thinking! Love is definitely something that makes the world better -- and it doesn't just have to be romantic love (though that's pretty wonderful too!). I really agree with what you wrote about love being an emotional investment. That's definitely what it is and that's one of the reasons it can be so hard sometimes.

April - Thank you!! I'm so glad that you found Positively Present! I was tired of my own negative view of the world, which is why, about a year ago, I started this blog and it's really helped me to look for and focus on the positive things in my life. Being positive about life has, in turn, helped me to stay more in the moment. I'm looking forward checking out your site. Keep spreading positivity! :)

Great post. Love all your posts. This post on love made my day. You always have the best advice.

I hate to have to ask but I sort of don't know what else to do, I was wondering if I could get your advice on something?
I've noticed my sister heading down the wrong path and making poor choices and it's starting to get much worse.
She goes out a lot and is involved in the 'party scene' and I know she has been on pills.
I've known a lot of people who do pills when they go out so I thought maybe she would get over the faze like the rest had but I think she's become addicted and she's getting into even harder drugs.
I found out that on new years she tried this new drug (I can't remember the name) but it's as bad as ice. So I'm really worried about her, she seems to think it's cool but I just don't know what to do about it. I don't want to have her hate me, she doesn't know that I know about it. I'm just confused and I'm worried. Would you have any idea what I could do? Sorry to have to ask, even if you just give a link to a website or something

Thanks xx

Very pretty post! I think one of the most important things to remember is that love comes in all shapes and forms - it isn't just a feeling between two human beings, but an expression of life as a whole.

Julia - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked this post and the posts on Positively Present. :) As far as your sister goes, it sounds like she's heading down a bad path. She needs to seek help either through a treatment program or through a therapist who is familiar with drug-related issues. Unfortunately, it really comes down to this basic fact: people can only get help if they want help. I know that there were periods of time in my life when other people really wanted to help me, but I didn't want to be helped. If I were in your shoes, I would go to a professional therapist and ask for advice on how to handle your sister's situation. Drug abuse is a very hard thing to deal with and it can be very frustrating for you if she doesn't want to get help. I'm no expert but I know therapy has helped me a lot in terms of dealing with my own issues as well as dealing with the issues concerning those I love. It's important to have a professional who can really help you sort through things.

Steven - Thanks! :) Love really does come in all different forms and sometimes (especially around this time of year) we limit ourselves by thinking of it in terms of romantic love. Love is, as you put so nicely, expression of life as a whole -- so much more than just a relationship between two people.

I like this quote: "Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
-St. Augustine

Syd - That is an amazing quote! Thank you so, so much for sharing that here. It really fits well with the post and has given me a lot to think about in terms of love. Thanks!

I made a vow to myself long ago that I was not going to "perform" my love for anyone (i.e. say it because I was asked to say it, amp things up to 110% when I didn't feel like it). It's not that I am a minimalist when it comes to love. I love to love. I love when it bubbles up by itself and feels amazing.

It is because of this that I have attracted those around me who appreciate this emotional honesty. If you feel it, you feel it. If you don't, then you are feeling something else -- something just as legitimate. Love is not the only feeling or expression that acts as a meeting place. People often bond more readily over pain, and boom! suddenly feel loved and loving.

The only way to be positively present (it seems to me) is to ALLOW oneself to be as one is. This love is free. This love comes at no price. This love has no rules to keep it in place. If we let go of it being necessary, then it is naturally there.

We do not make love. Love makes us. We are love. We are part of its design. If we stop trying to direct it or manage it, then it is there with no effort. Love is what this all is.

Benjamin - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I agree that it's so important to be as you are and not to force yourself to be someone else. Love should be a free (not forced) feeling that comes naturally. Great comment. Thank you!

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