As you know, one of my biggest passions and a main focus of this blog is helping others. I hope to inspire you to do this more and to get your children and families involved and passionate about it as well. My goal with this post is to let you in on what exactly I am talking about when I say, “helping others.” I’d like to rephrase that if I may. Let’s focus on loving others instead, and what loving others really looks like in everyday life.
There are so many ways to love the people around you. This can certainly include helping them, but I don’t want to limit our view by using the word helping, which only touches on one way to love them. Let’s take a look at a few different areas of our lives where there are people just waiting for our love, and in what ways we can actively love them!
Loving Others At Home
There are tons of ways to love the people in our own home. I will mostly cover these topics under the Family Life category (which you can find in the navigation bar above under “Categories”), but some posts may find their way into the Loving Others category instead.
Usually, it is easiest for us to love the people in our own homes because, well, we actually do really love them! But sometimes, home can be the hardest place to act on loving others. We feel the safest around the people we love the most, and unfortunately that means they are the ones most likely to see the side of us that we conceal from the rest of the world – anger, frustration, pain, hurt feelings. In my opinion, people tend to release their negative emotions where they feel most secure, even if we don’t mean or want to. We also spend the most time with our families and value their opinions the most, meaning there are more likely to be frustrations and hurt feelings.
Ten ways you can show your family how much you love them:
- Prioritize them
- Take care of your home and yourself (and help them do the same)
- Be the best parent & teacher you can be
- Set aside time to spend as a family
- Handle your responsibilities joyfully
- Be slow to anger – have patience
- Consider their feelings
- Include everyone in important family decisions (including children where applicable)
- Create Traditions
Loving Others Outside of the Home
Loving others outside of the home can break down into two general categories – people you know and people you don’t know. I’m going to break down a few different groups here: friends, strangers, and enemies. I feel that acquaintances could place within the friends or strangers categories, depending on the relationship, so I chose not to make a separate category for the purpose of this post. Obviously, many of the points I make for each category can easily be extended to the others. There are plenty of ways you can help and love each group! What I have included is a snapshot of different ways (many of which can be implemented quickly and effortlessly starting now)!
This is another area where loving others can be super easy. I think people have this idea that helping others has to be this big thing. The little things that make a relationship so special are often overlooked. Here are some really simple ways to show love to friends:
- Let them know their worth to you
- Give the gift of your time
- Celebrate and Mourn with them
- Willingly lend a hand
- Go out of your way to do something nice
- Be thoughtful
- Be there in times of hardship
- Check in to see how they are doing
- Make or buy them a thoughtful gift
- Encourage and compliment them
When people think of “helping others” I feel like this is what comes to mind for most people. This list is comprised of some more extravagant things than the other lists include. I think that is what draws people to this category most. The bigger projects seem to bring more sense of purpose and fulfillment, because you are doing something for others without expectation of getting something in return. Here are a few general ways to practicing loving others you haven’t met yet:
- Donate to charity
- Community service
- Random acts of kindness
- Choose a service project to work on
- Go on a missions trip
And finally, we have reached the area where loving others is most difficult. It is absolutely the hardest of all to love your enemies. To be vulnerable in this way and to offer a part of yourself to someone you are at odds with is extremely uncomfortable. Someone who may be actively slandering or causing you pain. Here are some ways to practice loving them instead of retaliating:
- Forgive them
- Refrain from gossiping about them
- Try to make amends
- Empathize – try to see the situation from their perspective
- Do something nice for them
More Elaboration to Come
Clearly these are very nondescript and general suggestions. The purpose of this post is to give you a few quick ideas on what else you can expect from me moving forward. I hope highlight and expand many, if not all, of these points in the future. My goal through all of this is to inspire you with new ideas to go out and throw yourself into loving others!
Let me know your thoughts! Which area are you most excited to explore? Which area do you most excel in, and in which could you use more practice? I’d love to hear your ideas and your strengths or weaknesses in this area! Comment below or shoot me an email.