The first Christmas my boyfriend and I were dating he got me expensive jewelry. The next Christmas he got me ceramic popcorn bowls, headphones & a dry erase board. I don’t make the comparison to show the quantity of gifts, but to show the quality difference. The jewelry made me happy & I wear it often, but those popcorn bowls made me gush. I love jewelry, but I’ve never been the girl to need it on holidays. I’m simple, I’m addicted to popcorn, I break headphones often and I love sharing my thoughts, and in that year my boyfriend definitely learned all of these things.
Okay so last night I had a pretty interesting dream that was, you guessed it, about Hallmark’s favorite four-letter word: l o v e. The person I dreamt about made me realize something important: love is an overused word and an underused action.
In the dream they said even if someone tells them they love them, if that love isn’t shown and isn’t felt by the one receiving it, how do they know it’s true.
That person is right meaning that the literary concept “show don’t tell” need not be applied to writing alone, but to love as well. While there’s power in saying the words “I love you” or “Jesus loves you” or “you’re loved,” there’s even more power in showing love.
Showing love is probably one of the hardest things to do. An act of love to one person may mean nothing to someone else and vice versa. So how do we show people love? I’m gonna be honest, I’ve been staring at this screen for a while trying to think of an answer and a few decent ones have crossed my mind, but I’m only writing about the one I think is best.
You show someone you love them by learning about them.
I believe this is the best way to show someone you love them because when you decide to learn about someone you decide to shatter the exterior that they present to the world. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or significant other the implications are the same. You sacrifice time, energy, even money to really understand who they are. In doing this you acknowledge that the good parts and the bad parts about them aren’t sold separately, so you study both.
You study both because you want to pass the tests– their tests. No I don’t mean they’re going to test you to see if you love them. I mean the tests and trials that life brings them. So that when they’re upset you know what part of their past is weighing them down. So that when they’re in trouble you know how to help. So that when they’re mad you know what will bring them peace. So that when they tell you “it’s okay” when their face says it’s not, you’ll know how to comfort them. So that when they feel alone you can tell them they’re not because you’re by their side. Not just standing next to them, but walking with them and holding their hand when they don’t know which way to go.
Now there are of course many more action ways to show someone you love them and trust me when I say I considered making a list of them. I didn’t because I believe that before you can get into the action ways of showing love, you need to delve into this aspect of it. If you try to answer questions on a test without learning the material you’re going to fail. If you try to show someone love without learning about them first, you’re going to fall short.