This year I had many lovely cards for Christmas and the majority were from my neighbours, giving their names and house numbers. This really touched my heart, because it was a gesture of welcome and introduction. I also had cards from friends of old. One card particularly struck me as it sent love from someone I hadn’t heard from in a long time.
This got me thinking. When we write love, what do we mean? I think the nature of love is interesting. There is romantic love but also filial or friendship love. So let us have a look at that.
How do we show love in our friendships? Well my feeling is that it is through availability. Actions do indeed speak louder than words. Do we call text or write? Do we show through our actions that we are keeping another in mind? Being available means sometimes putting ourselves out. A text asking how I am makes me feel good and shows the person is keeping me in mind.
Secondly, I think being congruent is very important. By this I mean demonstrating that we care for our friends. Reaching out to them and also understanding their needs. We are all different. My neighbours touched me through their lovely cards and this small gesture made my Christmas, I think being congruent means our actions match our words. If we say we care then we show it. This may be in small gestures but people certainly feel love and friendship.
I think generosity is also very important. Being generous with our time is equally as valuable as giving gifts. And not expecting anything in return. Unconditional love for another human is a huge gift and one that is really needed in our present society.
And finally love is not negative. It always affirms and believes the best of others. Where do we start with this? By loving ourselves, because from that place we can reach out and love other people. Self-care and boundaries are very important too and I will write about that another way.
Here are my suggestions on practical ways of showing love
- write a positive message either in a card or text
- offer to do something to help someone, for example do some shopping for someone
- Ring someone to check they are ok
- Buy a gift
- go for a walk with a friend
What do you think? How have you experienced friendship, both good and bad? In these testing times, humans need other humans more than ever. Let’s be there for one another.