Friday, October 5, 2012

day 5: a choice

When I first formulated my mission statement, and much more recently the topic for this series, I was not thinking of myself.  Okay, well kinda, because deep down I knew that the only real way to enhance my own life was to be an enhancement in the lives of those I meet.  And let's be for real here, everyone we know and love in our lives was, at one time, a stranger.  So yes, strangers are included in this.

We have nothing if we have no one to share the ins and outs, ups and downs of our lives with, and while it's super important that we surround ourselves with people who genuinely care about our lives, we have to genuinely care about theirs as well.  And sometimes genuinely caring about someone feels downright uncomfortable.

A seriously foundational book for me, one that I've reread several times, is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  In it he outlines the five ways people give and receive love by suggesting that love is not only a verb, but also, and probably more importantly, a choice to learn and give love in the way others are uniquely built to receive it.  The most important message: it's your job to find out what makes the people you love feel loved.

Because being sweet has a lot to do with getting out of our own heads and loving people {especially our loved ones}, it's important that we actively remember that what makes us feel loved will not automatically make someone else feel the same.

So let's put the last two days into perspective here:  we cannot be sweet to people if we don't see {physically and figuratively} them because we are too busy walking around in our own drama and even then, if we fail to take genuine interest in what makes them unique because we are still in our own drama or do it solely as a means of getting attention, then we have done nothing more than allowed the important people {and we've already established how strangers fit into this} to become physical objects that stand to be manipulated or avoided.  What I've learned so far in this process is how unbelievably scary, amazing, and so precious it is when I shut my mouth and invite another person to share their world with me, even if just briefly in a passing conversation or exchange of hello's.

Being genuinely sweet is mindful choice to put our own desires, needs, and insecurities aside for the benefit of someone else.  It means sweetly reminding ourselves that there is greater joy in doing for others.  Today, I challenge you to put it all together and make the choice to be sweet for someone else's gain, for the sole purpose of letting them feel uniquely special.  Then, please, let me know how it goes.

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