It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely. –Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia
As we are quickly entering what is usually referred to as ‘the love month’, it is my desire that we mamas start spreading some L-O-V-E. Social media has a way of magnifying the negative; it can be emotionally draining. I’ve had many friends take a break from social media lately. You probably know some as well! Stay with me— I’m not saying to hide our heads in the sand and pretend like everything is just roses.
What I’m proposing: A Love Revolution!
What if we mamas started our own Love Revolution? What if we decided we weren’t going to focus so much on the negativity and on all of our differences, and made a conscious decision and effort to share more love? Love and kindness start at home, with our families and children. And there are so many places we can spread it from there…
What that means: Love over all
1. Celebrate our differences.
What if we decided that, instead of being a negative thing, our differences are actually a positive? The truth is, we are all so very different. We are different ages, we are in different seasons of life, we look different, we have different opinions on raising our kids, discipline, nursing, schooling, our values, etc. I would love to see us celebrating our differences, not bashing them or seeing them as a negative. Can you imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same?!
2. Choose empathy over anger.
When people are choose to be angry at someone, we lose the ability to see all the wonderful and unique qualities about that person. I would love to see us practice the art of empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. We can only have empathy for one another when we stop judging, and start trying to see other people and their thoughts or actions as unique and valued.
When I see a person being rude or ugly, instead of just writing that person off, I try to remember that there is a reason why this person is reacting this way. Maybe he or she has been hurt, maybe they have wounds that cause them to respond the way they do. I don’t know. But thinking this way helps me to be kind and loving instead of hateful or hurtful back. It helps me to have compassion instead of bitterness.
3. Assume everyone is doing their best, always.
I read a book by Brené Brown titled ‘Rising Strong.’ During one of Ms. Brown’s counseling appointments, she confessed that she had struggled with a few people in her life recently. She was angry at their actions and their words. Her therapist asked her, “Do you think people are doing the best they can?” To which she replied, “Absolutely not!” It’s so hard to love someone when we feel like they don’t understand us, or if they have offended us in some way. And to give them the benefit of the doubt feels like you’re letting them off the hook. Sometimes when I’m feeling hurt or rejected by someone or my spouse, I don’t want to assume that they are doing the best they can. It’s just not in my human nature.
4. Give each other grace.
Later, when Brené got home, she asked her husband if he thought people are really doing the best they can. I love his response. “I don’t know. I really don’t. All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” The reality is many of us are going through or have gone through our share of struggles— from divorce, broken homes, death in our family, a painful situation, or some sort of brokenness, and we will all need someone to give us grace at some point in our lives. True?
I want to be someone that can offer that grace to other people, whether they offer it to me or not. Maybe that older parent that is stressing you out is doing the best they can. Maybe that child that continues to have anxieties at bedtime is doing the best they can. Maybe that friend who you feel like doesn’t call you enough, is doing the best they can. Maybe that spouse that doesn’t quite know how to meet all of your needs is doing the best they can.
What would happen in our relationships and with those we interact with on social media, if we responded with this kind of grace? Grace, by definition, is undeserved favor.
My encouragement and challenge to all of us:
Instead of slinging hate, let’s sling love and grace. Let’s sling it around like it’s confetti! Instead of judging other moms for their differences, we should offer acceptance. Instead pointing a critical finger at other moms because their child is out of control, let’s offer compassion and grace.
See, sometimes it’s so easy to point a finger and criticize. But we are not enemies— we are all mamas trying to raise our kids to the best of our abilities. We are not perfect and we all make our share of mistakes, but I have come to the realization that we are stronger together.
Let’s put aside our differences, give each other the grace that we are all doing the best we can, stop comparing and competing with each other, and truly learn to love one another. Let’s start a Love Revolution!
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.