I ran into a friend awhile back and we were talking about an old co-worker that left her job on bad terms. It was kind of sudden and a lot of people were caught off guard. But we weren’t dwelling on that, we were talking about the time she worked there, the influence we had on her, the love we poured into her life. “That’s why you just need to love hard as much as you can while you have the chance” (or something close to that. I loved her words and told myself I’d write them down and then.. well.) The point is, you never know how long someone will be in your life or how much time you will have to show them love. So you just need to love hard every chance you get (or something close to that).
Sometimes I get tired of loving. I get tired and make excuses as to why it’s okay to stop loving. Worst of all, sometimes I am just selfish and convince myself that other people should be loving me. It’s my turn to feel loved. As if my life is lacking love and I need someone to reassure me that’s not true.
Loving others is simple. As simple as putting your phone away in the checkout line and showing appreciation to the cashier. As simple as looking in your husband’s eyes when he gets home, smiling, and saying “hi.” As simple as making a meal for someone who may not appreciate it as much as they need it… Those examples sound so easy and doable when you’re reading them, don’t they? Try and do it now.
Try and put your phone down so you can have a conversation with that cashier. Make an extra meal for someone—when you’re making dinner for your family anyways. And one of the hardest for me: try to show acknowledgement for your husband when he gets home. If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting all day until he walks in the door. You have a sense of excitement and relief when you hear his car pull up (or see it, because it’s an electric car. Silence.) You tell the kids, “daddy’s here!” So they can run to the door and tell him all the things he missed during the day, so they can treat him the way you want to treat him but, are just too tired. And instead you just stare into the pan on the stove while you’re making dinner.
I’ve seen this quote on social media a few times that says, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first”. And it rubs me the wrong way (speaking of quotes and sayings.. that’s a weird one). While I agree you can’t pour from an empty cup, I also believe if everyone was pouring into each others cups, if we were loving and caring for each other, then our cups would be overflowing.
Maybe the problem is that we’re trying to take care of ourselves instead of others. I’m sure people mean well by this quote, but to me it can also become another excuse. If someone’s cup is empty is that their own fault, or someone else’s? There are definitely days I feel “done” way before the day is actually done. It’s important to know when to ask for help. But there are also days when I spend my time making excuses instead of spending that time to love.
Go love someone. Talk to someone you don’t feel like talking to. Say yes to the friend asking for help on your day off. Send a card. Pick up the piece of trash you walk by, or the grocery item that the elderly person knocked over in a store and is struggling to pick up.. just love.
**This post was written two years ago. There may possibly be a Part 2 in the future. Also, possibly not.**