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Friday, March 6, 2009

How Do You Recognize Real Love?

Does your friend or partner walk around with a sticker on their head to tell you they're in a loving or in a non-loving mood? Do you walk around with a badge on your chest that says "Please love me, I need it NOW!"
So what does real love look like? How do you know when you've given it or when you've received it?

It sounds so obvious but it's not. Let's check that out. Make a mental list of your answers to the following questions.

Who have you loved today? (List them in your mind - maybe your boss, a colleague, a customer, a friend, your parents or your children, your spouse or family?)

How do YOU know that you loved them. How can you be sure it was love? (Was it love in your attitude towards them? Was it perhaps caring choices that you made towards them? Was it a tender touch or a kind word that you communicated? What did you do?)

You may have sent love, but did they get it? Did they see it as loving? This is the tough part, because we have little or no control over other people's reactions to our love deeds.

It is so easy to presume that because we loved, they automatically felt loved. You may even feel that they now owe it to love you back, but perhaps they didn't even notice your loving. Have you ever felt that your loving was ignored, as though you were invisible. That no-one notices how loving you are - especially if you are a mom!

If at the end of your day you can list who it was that you loved and how - you are fortunate. For most of us one day just blends into the next, and we are hardly aware of when loving is happening or when it is not, simply because we live without feedback about how we are doing with our loving.

I want to challenge you to change this by taking some constructive action!

For the next five nights, starting tonight, I want you to do three things to help you review your loving. You'll be amazed how this feedback will take your loving to a new level.

Firstly, take a piece of paper and on it list all the people you tried to love today, leaving some space between them for comments.

Secondly Next to each name note what you did to love them, whether it be an action, a prayer, your attitude, your words, your touch, your gifts or your time.

Thirdly next to each one list how you think they received your loving, and what makes you think that - for example what they said, their body language, how they reacted. Then pray for them that they will feel loved and blessed by your loving.

Do that for the next five nights and you'll suddenly recognize love in places and ways you have never seen it before.

Remember that much of the impact of your love is lost, if your loved ones do not FEEL loved by your loving actions. If in doubt, why not ask them whether they felt loved or not by what you did, and try new ways to communicate your love to them.