Give More, Receive More
Originally published on 12-30-13
It’s the day before your birthday, it’s the big 30! You’re wondering if anybody is going to remember. You know that if it weren’t for the friendly FB reminder (thanks Zuckerberg), your Mom and Dad would be the only folks who remember. No birthday plans, maybe even not even the obligatory cake at work. You prepare for the darkness of tomorrow. You decide to not care. Who needs birthdays anyway? As you intentionally hurry through your birthday you think, Gosh…who was the last person I went all out for on their birthday? No answer comes to mind.
A few months later, it’s Thanksgiving Day and you’re feeling blue. You just went through a break up so you’re wishful romantic holiday is now filled with your hum drum aunts and uncles. You’d give anything to feel loved by someone other than people bound by blood. You think, a few personal Happy Thanksgiving texts would really do the trick, but by 2pm…null, niente, nada. It’s early. Around 6pm you glance over at your phone and…goose egg! Doesn’t anybody care about me today? Those mass texts seem more appealing by the minute.
If we’re thirsty, we’re already dehydrated. If we’re looking for love, there’s already a deficit in our giving.
It has been my experience that if we’re waiting for love and care to show up at our doorstep, we have been stingy with love and care (maybe even toward ourselves). We can’t wish love (of all kinds) to appear like a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon. The only way to receive love and care is to dole it out. We should pass it out like hot waffles! Like Timberlake says, what goes around comes around.
Compare the aforementioned to:
It’s late July. You’re running from errand to errand, your gas gauge is gracing the letter E…no stop light, no stop light…please just make it…It’s so hot you’re thinking of packing talcum powder around your unmentionables, you forgot to get cash for the parking garage where you’ll park for your meeting that you’re hopefully going to be on time for. Hair from your recently groomed dogs is flying around like flurries of snow, and your once crisp black pant suit is now questionably business casual and then…bing…you look at your phone dreading your boss’ “I need you at work early,” text when you hurriedly glance at your phone and read…“Hey, just thinking about you, hope you’re having a good day! Love ya!”
You read the message; it makes you smirk if not smile. You’ve always loved your friend and you love her more at this moment. All of a sudden, a deep breath comes out of nowhere and it settles in that everything is going to in fact be ok. Not only did someone think of you, they thought about you enough to send well wishes! You feel loved because you are.
It’s just a text, Catia. Give me a break, that’s not love. It may not be romantic love, but you can bet it’s a form of love. Someone thinking about someone other than themselves (you in this case) says…Hey, I’m holding heart space for you. And folks, holding heart space for someone equals love.
There are a million ways we can dole out love. We can give tight hugs, smile at the person in the elevator, and we can learn the janitors name at work and befriend him. To show love and care we can send our friends and family random texts when they cross our minds, we can step out of our own life and care about someone else, and we can volunteer at a local children’s hospital. To show we hold heart space for someone we can pray for someone’s well-being, and we can do something as simple as lending a shoulder to lean on. The possibilities are endless.
Right before Guapo and I got married, my friend, Laura, was right there every step of the way, at least it felt like it. Laura was uber busy finishing her last semester of graduate school in Dallas, she was loaded with homework, projects and an internship! She couldn’t have been any busier and yet her sweet and simple calls and messages in the weeks leading up to our wedding changed my entire experience! Laura would call or text a few times a week just to say, Hey…I’m right here with you and I’m happy for you! Her gestures were so incredibly thoughtful and they made me feel loved.
We cannot orchestrate when love will find its way to us. All sorts of love is floating around ready to make its way to us. If we want more love and care in our lives we should stop searching and take action. Love will fill our lives after we’ve been willing to give it in generous amounts. Really care about people and prove it. If you think you’re loving a lot, ratchet it up a notch. Love more.