Non-Romantic Love ConnectionsApr 10, 2022
In my never-ending quest for self-improvement, I chose "living with love enhances my quality of life," as my mantra this year. I realize that love manifests itself in so many ways. When I live in love, I stay in a state of joy and experience an improved quality of life. I am specifically sharing these thoughts today for my single friends who I hear saying, "That's great Toni, and if I had a partner, I would _______________ ". Today, let's look at a few ways to live with love that do not involve a romantic partner.
Love manifests itself in how we relate to strangers. It is common to walk into a shopping center and avoid interacting with someone collecting money outside the store. But even when we have no money, the universe presents us an opportunity to respond with kindness. I find that many of my fellow Americans from Northeast urban areas have been taught to be harsh to others when approached on the street by strangers.
I still find going out into restaurants, markets, and other crowded places difficult after two years of Covid Carefulness. I feel like I've been on a long isolated journey to another world, and now returning to my home shores. When I am in public, I find myself shocked to be in the middle of noise, commotion, traffic, and grimaces on people's faces, like something terrible happened while I was away. I try to avoid shunning another person and have appreciated impromptu conversations with clerks, nurses, and others. I realize we are all connected, and I make the decision to show kindness from a place of love.
A second way to live with love, is to send loving thoughts and positive comments to someone who offends you. I know, this sounds crazy to some folks. In 2022, half of my fellow Americans have a completely different political philosophy, and our culture has become toxic in the way we communicate with one another about those ideas. Many of my friends have turned off social media and cable television because they are offended and saddened by uncivil exchanges. We are left with three choices: 1) to get upset, 2) avoid others and live in a bubble, or 3) learn how to cope and create the world we want to live in.
When someone offends me, instead of getting upset, I let them know that regardless of the situation, I still admire their positive traits. This approach immediately allows the other person to see the mistake in the manner they were communicating. I believe I show love by pointing out a person’s strengths to them. I am certainly not perfect, and this is an area I continue to work on. This past weekend, one of my nieces offended me and I chose to not engage and let her speak her mind. Her mother (my sister) is very ill, and my niece needs my support right now. However, if this same political conversation comes up after my sister leaves the hospital, we will have a long, positive conversation. I want to model civil communication exchange for her and agree to disagree. I truly believe we all don't have to agree. We are family, and love must come before politics, religion, or other controversial issues.
A third way to live with love is to show affection. I have never realized how much physical touch meant to me as I do now during the pandemic. When the situation presents itself, I use every opportunity to hug someone. However, during this period of Covid Carefulness, I have also had to find imaginative ways to show love over the internet! From emojis, gifs, personal emails, to Zoom coffee dates, it has been a positive challenge for me to find ways to outwardly express my love for a friend whom I am not in a romantic relationship.
I have noticed my efforts to live with love have made my heart feel so light when I give love to others! Fewer things affect me negatively. I work towards maintaining that light-heartedness. I like how I feel when I give love to others. I feel positive energy coming back to me when I show love and kindness to those around me.
Enjoying the blog? Check out the Voyager's Club Inner Circle to find others who are also interested in similar topics, meeting monthly, and working to live their magic.
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