Linda: When my husband says he loves me, I sometimes say, “Give me the details.” I like it when he’s specific. I think we all desire more or less to be recognized for our strengths. It is a source of greatest happiness in our lives to both give and receive love. All the most successful relationships enjoy an abundant flow of love on a daily basis. In our fast-paced society with its constant distractions, we’re challenged to be intentional about showing the love we feel in our hearts to those that are most important to us. Our loving actions make life all the sweeter.
Our relationship becomes an art form. We are not making unhealthy sacrifices for the sake of the relationship. We have an awareness of our own personal limits. We don’t give and give with no limits at all. We are generous in the way and to the degree to which we give. We give our good will. We give the benefit of the doubt. We give our concern and support. And we hold the well-being of our partner no higher than our own, nor lower than our own, but equal to our own. Here are some ways we can show our generosity.
- By making a conscious choice to see the magnificence of our partner, we are not in denial of their flaws. It is a simple matter of taking responsibility to focus on their greatness rather than their faults.
- Bringing our strengths, talents, life experience, and skillsets to our partner to make their life easier and more enjoyable.
- Generosity sometimes literally means opening up our wallet to spend money. We share our possessions and our cash.
- We give our time and full attention.
- We are generous when we give freely without strings attached. We know the difference between investing and real giving. When we are investing, we’re giving to get. To become truly generous means letting go of our accounting system of relationship as business.
- Having an orientation of abundance rather than scarcity. When we affirm that we have plenty of energy, time and understanding, it is easier to give more than the bare minimum and lavish our partner with what will bring them joy.
When we experience a high degree of fulfillment, our happiness inevitably spills over, overflowing into the lives of others in our immediate as well as distant surroundings. Our relationship is an insufficient container to hold all the love and we naturally extend the area of our concerns to others. We begin to perceive “family and family members” as being inclusive of others beyond blood relatives, seeing family as being inclusive of “all of my relations.” This concern extends beyond even the human family, and is inclusive of all living beings.
When appreciation and gratitude is expressed with specifics it means more. There is a depth and breath that satisfies. The general statement of “I love you,” is a nice start, but if you really want the to feel the full force of your love, think about the specifics and lay it on them. The depth of pleasure and satisfaction is amplified, not only for the receiver, but for the giver. By searching out the particulars, we as givers become more observant and discerning. We have the satisfaction of knowing we have taken the time to be thorough. And the happy receiver of our appreciation feels delight in our sincere and thorough effort.
Relationships can quickly turn sour when partners take each other for granted. So many things go into making a household go smoothly, buying groceries, making meals, cleaning pots and dishes, providing clean laundry, paying bills, making a living to have the money to pay those bills, changing the oil in the car, taking the kids to soccer practice feeding the dog, and the list goes on and on with the hundreds of times that make up our routine of life. Each time that our partner handles one of these items, they spare us of having to handle it, and makes our life just a bit easier. It is tempting to slide into taking it for granted that they will continue to carry out their tasks and in all likelihood, they will continue to do so.
But the opportunity exists to notice those details and thank the person for their effort. Every single one of those small acts that make up a day has potential to add sweetness to our relationship or not. Those bits of trivia one after another all day every day, can provide for a mundane existence, a feeling of drudgery, burden or emptiness or the trivia that makes up our day can be a grand celebration of being alive and having someone to share it with. The choice is ours to make.
Linda and Charlie Bloom are excited to announce the release of their third book, Happily Ever After . . . and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams.
“Love experts Linda and Charlie shine a bright light, busting the most common myths about relationships. Using real-life examples, they skillfully, provide effective strategies and tools to create and grow a deeply loving and fulfilling long-term connection.” – Arielle Ford, author of Turn You Mate into Your Soulmate