17.2.14

52 Lists, Week 6 // List the Ways In Which You Can Love Others



2013:
In honor of Valentines Day, I though today's list should be all about love.  Now, when it comes to Valentines Day, I feel like most people tend to focus on the ME aspect of it.  "My last Valentines Day sucked because..." "I wonder what my boyfriend is getting me for Valentines Day" and so on.  We all have our Valentines Day sob stories.  And we all have memories of feeling really loved by someone because of something they gave us, did for us or said to us, be it on Valentines Day or not.  So why not, for this Valentines Day, focus on what you can do for someone else rather than getting preoccupied with what you want for Valentines Day?

This week, I decided the list prompt should be, "List the ways in which you can love others."  Now this isn't just a list of things you have already done for others.  It's a list in which you can list EVERYTHING you can think of that you think would bring love to someone else, plus ways in which you are good at loving others.  I know for myself that I tend to be someone who tries to give love through words of affirmation and through gift giving.  Those feel like the most natural ways for me to communicate love to others.  But not everyone feels like they have received love through words or through physical gifts.  Some people just need a hug, or quiet quality time spent with someone they care about.  Some people need to feel taken care of through acts of service to feel fulfilled in love.  I think it is a really important challenge to try to step out of your comfort zone with how you communicate love to others every so often.  Sometimes fulfilling a challenge can be so rewarding.  And when it is connected to showing love towards someone else, they get the benefit of receiving love and you get to feel how special it is to fully give to someone, bringing them happiness and honest love.

Ways in Which I Feel Comfortable & Challenged In Communicating Love:
  • I can leave responses to everyone who posts a comment on my blog.  (thank you kind commenters!)
  • I can respond to every person that tweets at me.  (thank you for your tweets!)
  • I can make packages to send to my friends and family far away.
  • I can hug my friends and loved ones.
  • I can buy people presents.
  • I can give my friends and strangers compliments.
  • I can put loving energy into each pieces of jewelry I make & sent out.
  • I can accept love from others.
  • I can leave love notes for my boyfriend.
  • I can pay off someone's layaway plan. - Inspired by Yes & Yes
  • I can spend quality time one on one with those I love.
  • I can send good energy and prayers to others.
  • I can always be gracious and say thank you.
  • I can apologize.
  • I can listen quietly.
  • I can give advice when it is warranted.
  • I can take interest in others.
  • I can be a source of comfort.
  • I can be a shoulder to cry on.
  • I can send a care package to a soldier.
  • I can be honest with those around me.
  • I can give a back rub or massage.
  • I can give space when it is needed.
  • I can remember something that someone liked and then buy it for them later, secretly.
  • I can be thoughtful.
  • I can simply spend time with someone doing whatever we or they like.
  • I can ask someone HOW they appreciate being loved.
  • I can tell others that I appreciate them and why I appreciate them.
  • I can tell other why I admire them and how I have learned from them.
  • I can forgive others.
  • I can seek to accept decisions made by others that I may not agree with.
  • I can be kind despite differences in opinions or beliefs.
  • I can think before I speak.
  • I can write nice Yelp reviews of businesses I love.  - Inspired by Yes & Yes.
  • I can practice patience.
  • I can accept invitations to hangout with others.
  • I can treat my friends to dinner or drinks.
  • I can pay for a strangers coffee.
  • I can buy a homeless person food, or a blanket, or coffee.
  • I can be kind EVEN to those who are rude or mean.
  • I can tell others "I love you."
  • I can give without expecting anything in return.
  • I can give someone a call.
  • I can send someone a sweet text message.
  • I can smile.
  • I can write letters saying thank you to those who have helped me or mentored me.
  • I can send gifts & write letters to kids and people I have mentored.
  • I can visit & thank the most influential teachers and professors I had in my life.
  • I can write letters to someone in prison.  - Inspired by Yes & Yes
  • I can may a strangers bill at a restaurant.
  • I can keep mentoring others.
  • I can keep seeking out mentorship.
  • I can accept differences.
  • I can allow my opinions to be changed.
  • I can be open with others about my experiences.
  • I can seek to trust others more.
2014:
I hope that you all had a great Valentines Day, that you treated others with love and gave lots of love to yourself as well!  It's really fun for me to reflect back on the list I made last year about ways that I can love more.  There are always ways in which I fail at loving others.  I say plenty of crappy and judgmental things that I regret immediately.  I can be selfish and only focused on my own goals, afraid to trust others, and all around worrisome.  Just like every other human, I can totally suck sometimes.  But those are not the things that define me.  Those are the moments that I lacked in making an effort to be my best self.  And I have the choice to acknowledge my moments of sucking so that I can make the mental choice to go the opposite direction. What matters most are moments when effort is made, when the right choices are formed and acted out.  

Loving fully requires attentiveness, thoughtfulness, decision making, and sacrifice just as much as it needs honesty, compassion, reflection, and a willingness to give.  Love takes effort!  And we are not going to be superstars at loving always.  But the more that we are mindful about making an effort to love, the more natural it becomes to live a life of love honestly and effortlessly.  I know for myself that just 5 years ago, I was a much more self centered person and more concerned about the love I wanted to receive than the love I was willing to give.  The more and more I practiced being excited to see people, to hug them and encourage them, the more and more I became genuinely excited about people in general.  The more and more I focused less on looking in the mirror searching for my own beauty, the more time I had to tell friends and strangers how beautiful they are.  And with that practice, I started feeling more secure in my beauty because my heart was becoming more vibrant than any outward appearance could be.

Fear is the greatest deterrent of love, the fear of being judged if you reach out in love, the fear of rejection, the fear of appearing to be someone you are not.  Take this week to say screw you to fear!  Live out love as if you weren't afraid of what could happen.  Love others deeply, love yourself deeply, and see the ways that your self love expands by being unafraid to be open, compassionate and loving towards others.  I know your confidence will grow as your heart expands.  Check out my friend Kate's blog Scathingly Brilliant for her wonderful focus on Kindness this year.  Throughout the year she lists prompts for acting out kindness and shares wonderful stores about kindness that she has found.  She is a treasure.


If you are looking for another blogger who will inspire you to find more positivity in your life and who is abounding with kindness for others, you need to check out Yes & Yes right now!  A few of my ways in which I want to love others from 2013 were inspired by Sarah's project 9 Days of Nice.  She is such a good hearted person and when there are the occasional not so nice folks on the internet, her blog is one that I turn to when I am having an off day and need a little encouragement or inspiration.
And one thing to note about my list.  Do you see how I wrote "I CAN" at the beginning of each sentence?  Sometimes it is really really helpful for me to cut the crap, aka darting around really committing to something and instead just say I CAN.  Instead of writing "I could" which is more of a passive way of contemplating an idea, write "I can" to push yourself to really pursue that act of love.  You can do it!


PARTICIPATE:
Download and print out Week 6's list above or write out your list however you may like.  Then leave a link to your Week 6 list in the comments so we can all check out each others lists!  If you post your list on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, use the hashtag: #52lists and be sure to include @mooreaseal so I can be sure to come say hello :)  Happy listing!

You're welcome to join in the 52 Lists project at anytime.  Visit the 52 Lists page to check out all the lists!

8 comments:

Bakary said...

Week 6 // http://bakarycafe.co.uk/?p=2544

Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com said...

Let me be the first to say that you're the very best at being kind EVEN to those who are rude or mean. I think the world of you, Moorea, & my outlook & actions have truly been positively influenced by the kindness you showed me during a dark, mean time. I think about it regularly, & it compels me to be nicer & better, & I thank you for it. Don't ever think the things you name in this list go unnoticed or unappreciated!

Miriam Schulman said...

you have such a wonderful blog. so inspiring. I think I am a week ahead and I did this list instead: http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2014/02/what-makes-your-feel-healthy-mind-body.html wll have to do this list as well....

Hannah B. said...

Here's my link for the week! I loved this prompt. It was great.

http://ellieenen.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/the-ways-in-which-i-can-love-others/

Bakary said...

Week 6 // http://bakarycafe.co.uk/?p=2544

Amanda Kruse said...

http://thejazzyolive.blogspot.com/2014/02/52-lists-weeks-5-and-6.html

Bakary said...

Week 6 // http://bakarycafe.co.uk/?p=2544

Karolina said...

I love those lists :)
My Lists 5 & 6: http://pastelowegroszki.blogspot.com/2014/02/52-lists-project-weeks-5-6-wyzwanie-52.html :)