Treat Loved Ones Lovingly
An important ‘aha!’ moment explodes into our consciousness when we realize that we may have started treating mere acquaintances and other people we don’t particularly care about more lovingly, more gently, more sensitively, more patiently, more kindly, than the people we profess to love. How does this happen? How do we start treating the checkout guy better than the intimates in our lives?
For many the ridiculousness of the situation spurs immediate action. Because acting in a more loving, more gentle, more sensitive, more patient, more kind way is something that can be implemented immediately. After all, we are clearly capable of exhibiting these pro-relationship behaviors as we employ them easily and effortlessly in our more informal relationships.
We have to understand that love is not some theoretical construct but rather a way of being, a set of concrete, observable behaviors. The sentiment ‘love’ is all well and good but it is not love, rather simply one of its many imposters, when the sentiment isn’t backed up by myriad loving actions. We have often written that love is a verb, not a noun.
The key then is to become determined to start treating the intimates in our lives the most lovingly not the least lovingly out of all our various relationships, to get back to treating our loved ones lovingly. How can we profess to love someone if we spend a lot of time putting that person down, or ignoring that person, or becoming impatient with that person, or hurting that person? The key revelation here is to show the best of ourselves not just to acquaintances but also and especially to intimates. Even if we can’t eliminate all the destructive behaviors, we are human after all, when the conscious intention changes many behaviors follow suit. Start consciously doing this, decide you’re going to put a lot of effort into being loving towards your loved one and, as Thich Nhat Hanh would say, watch this person open up and bloom like a beautiful flower.