February is the month of love. February is also American Heart Month; a designation approved by Congress in 1963. From all the research I have done on both topics, one has nothing to do with the other. Yet, both have to do with the heart and are recognized in the same month. It is the “love” part of February I want to speak to today.
Recently I found myself in a situation whereby Webster’s Dictionary was pulled out, referred to and actually used to define some very simple and common every day words. I’m talking about words such as “shall” and “all”. Everyone thinks they know what these words mean, but evidently their meanings are still open for debate and interpretation in some arenas. The word “love” is used all the time and yet, many of us don’t really think about what it means either.
In a recent post I made a statement that I firmly believe to be true about the word “love”. In my post, Cleaning The Mirror, I said, “Love is the most important verb in the English language.” Now most of us think of the word “love” as a noun. Here’s the definition found in Webster’s Dictionary for the word “love” used as a verb:
To hold dear; to like or desire actively; to take pleasure in
There’s a reason why in my post, Cleaning The Mirror I referred to the word “love “as a verb. I personally don’t think most of us participate in it enough. I know I don’t. Clearly, verbs are action words. To use this word as an action word, it requires you to do something. So, what I want to impress upon you is to use the word “love” this month as a verb. Actively participate in giving love this month- each and everyday to everyone in your HOME – be it your personal homespace, your workspace or your earthspace – after all, these are all parts that make up your HOME. Get creative in the ways you go about this. You will amaze yourself with what you come up with. Simple acts of love such as bringing your loved one a cup of steaming hot coffee in the morning, reading an extra book to your child even though you are exhausted and ready for quiet time yourself, wrapping your child in a warm towel after a bath, calling a shut-in and saying hello, keeping your thoughts to yourself when someone annoys you, offering to take out the trash, closing the lid on the toilet, turning off the TV to talk to your partner, saying hello to people on the street, bringing cookies to work for your co-workers, complimenting someone you see, calling an old friend you haven’t touched base with in years, resisting the urge to get the last word in, smiling often, giving the waiter or waitress an extra tip, treating someone to an ice cream cone, texting someone that you love them, saying positive things to others, picking up litter, asking someone to go for a walk, etc., etc., etc. The sky’s the limit on creative ways to actively participate in giving love to others!
Last year I embarked on a yearlong exercise in personal growth. In early January of 2011 I assigned myself a focus word for each month. My intention was to carefully study and use that particular word each day of that month in some form. For the month of February I assigned myself the word “Affection”. Obviously I thought it was the perfect word to coincide with both Heart Month and Valentine’s Day. It was wonderful to actively participate in using this word somehow each day. But, the most rewarding way for me was when I assigned a person’s name to each day of the month. I actually wrote each person’s name on my desk calendar and highlighted it with a marker so that I visually saw their name all day long. Then I wrote a personal letter of affection to each person on that day. (Hand written and mailed.) It was like giving out Valentine’s cards and letters each day of the month. Sure, it required a lot of time and effort. But, it was incredibly powerful for me to do it. I have no idea how or if my letter(s) touched many of the people I wrote to because I asked them not to feel the need to ever respond. The gift of affection was from me with nothing expected in return. (By the way I am doing this again this year with a new set of names and a new set of letters and cards to send each day!) Try this yourself and see what happens. It might just start a domino chain reaction – kind of like a “Love Train” if you will!
“People all over the world join hands
Start a love train, love train…
Don’t you know that it’s time to get on board…
Please don’t miss the train at the station
‘Cause if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you”
Lyrics by The O’Jays
To actively loving…
Please check out Living in Perfect Harmony’s Facebook Fanpage each day this month for more on Love.