I've increasingly noticed my interest in wanting to know more about the people I do life with. Whether it be a friend or family member, I've had greater interest to know how they want to be loved, know their purpose or even know what they don't like.
I don’t want to love them how I think they want to be loved, I want to love them in how they appreciate acts of love. For example, I don’t want to shower my little brother with gifts if I know his love language is quality time. I'd rather go to as many games as I can, help with homework or watch a movie with him and love him how he receives love. I’m not saying every effort of love and support doesn't count, because they do. However, being specific is best. Knowing how to cater to my mom when she’s overwhelmed. Or how to encourage my sister on a bad day. It really is the extra mile that makes the difference.
My lack of knowing these things in the past revealed to me that I really didn’t know them like I thought. I’m not saying you have to know these things in order to actually love them, I believe love transcends that and my family and ones close to me know that I love them. However, I do believe that it matters to know how each person receives it and to love them in that way. It shows we care. It shows we notice. For example……
I had a boyfriend years ago that I thought knew me pretty well. I found out later he knew facts about me like my age, where I’m from, etc., but not so much in depth. One birthday, his gift to me was a gift card to a place I never shop. Then he said "I was going to get you the new J's (Jordans)..." but proceeds to tell me why it didn't work out. In that moment I remember thoroughly noticing that this person DID NOT know me lol I am and have been for years, a girl who pretty much wears anything but tennis shoes. I usually only wear them to work out or if I am not able to wear heels, boots, sandals or flats to an occasion. But after alllllllll the quality time I spend with people, and after allllllll the acts of service I do with others to say to yourself "I think she wants J's" is a little out of character lol Was it a good act of kindness, yes. Would I have taken them and worn them, yes. It just had nothing to do with what I actually liked. I know he meant well but brotha, you loved me how you received it. Letting me further know you don't pay attention to me lol
That's a funny example, but it happens all the time at school, family, work and church. We tell our friends to go on mission trips to places around the world when they are called to disciple inner city youth. We tell our kids they should be engineers when they love the arts. We tell our family to have secret santas when we would like to watch a movie together and just chill. Get to know your people. It saves money, it increases awareness and it gives another level of support. So, cheers to loving differently!
Until Next Time,