For many of us, when we think of Love, of falling in Love, of Loving someone, we think of the feelings we experience: the highs and lows, ecstasy and despair, passion and desperation. Love is heady and often unrealistically presented in songs, movies and poetry. When we don’t feel these feelings, we believe we’ve fallen out of Love, or we’re not in Love, or, perhaps, we’re unworthy of Love.
What if we shift our perspective and consider Love as an action verb? Verbs describe a state of being, an occurrance or an action. What happens when we shift from feeling to action?
Think about someone you Love. What first comes to mind? Probably a feeling: “I Love my kids and feel warm inside when I think of them.” How Loving, as a feeling, were you to him/her/them today? “Well, I got frustrated they took so long and made me late for work.” How did you Love, as an action, him/her/them today? “Well I fed them, made their lunches and got them to school.”
I believe it was Steven Covey who first planted this seed of Love As An Action Verb in my head. When I think of acting Love, even if it means acting “as if,” I soften and become aware of things I can do that are kind and appreciative. When I Love my pets, I attend to them; I feed them, clean up after them, pet them and play with them. When I Love my family or friends, I spend time with them, engage with them, converse with them, do kind things for them. When I Love my colleagues and clients, I support them in doing their best work. When I Love myself, I am kind to myself and do things for myself that are life-affirming. The list of Love in our lives can continue to infinity.
We’re heading into Valentine’s Day, a difficult holiday when we’re not feeling Love. When we’re acting Love, the brittleness of the holiday–and our hearts–can melt away like ice in the warmth of the sun. If we’re fortunate enough this Valentine’s Day to feel Love, we can also act Love and experience the results.
I encourage you, whether you feel Love this coming Tuesday or not, to use the day to act Love. I’d Love to know what happens.