Monday, May 13, 2013

One Word 2013 - Month 4

I actually thought a lot about my one word for the year, Love, this past month. Thinking about Love and what Love is, has made me notice something that about the way I treat those I love versus those I don't know as well.  A very well known passage in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a , states:

"Love is patient, love is kind, it does
not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
always perseveres.

Love never fails."

I think we would all like the love we show and receive to look like this, but too many times it doesn't. In fact I have found I am more likely to demonstrate this love to people I have just met or only know in a professional sense. After all there is no point in wasting my emotions on those I don't have a deep relationship with, or at least that is how I have always seen it. Most people never see my good or bad side, but just my neutral, polite side. 

When people get into deeper relationships they show more of themselves to the other person, both good and bad.  So why is it that it seems they only get the bad? Why do I treat people I barely know nicer then those I know well? I think it is a fairly common occurrence, but I don't think that is really how it should be. I realize we feel safer around those we love and those who love us. We don't have to be concerned (as much) with offending them because they will likely forgive us. But really they deserve to be treated just as well as those we meet in public or in a professional sense. We should actively try not to be offended and to give them the benefit of the doubt when they say something we could misunderstand.  Likewise, we should try not to offend them. We should always try to use common courtesy and not take them for granted. We should look for ways to improve their life rather then our own.

For me it is really just selfishness that leads me to act in any different way. Emotions are hard on me and dealing with people is generally exhausting. At home I really just want things to be the way I want, orderly and calm rather then chaotic. I want time to work on the things I want to do without interruption. I want others to recognize what I do more and appreciate me. I think these are all things we all need from time to time, but with three kids under 5, I shouldn't expect it as much as with older kids or before we had kids. I should be treating those I love the same way I would clients at work. I should always be meeting their needs first!

This is not an easy thing for me, and honestly since I started thinking about it, it has gotten harder. Way harder. But I took on this journey for a reason, to learn to love those around me, and I intend to keep trying because they are worth it!

The rest of the one Word Journey 2013:

One Word
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3