Root Your Love in These 3 Resolutions
Are You Loving Your Family With Intention?
How do you define love? Is it a feeling, an intention, an action? Or is it a choice?
While love comes in many forms, intentional love means moving beyond your inner feelings of affection and turning those feelings into action. It means learning to speak your family members’ love languages and meeting them on their terms.
Everyone gives and receives love differently, but most people share some basic emotional needs. So below are a few fundamental strategies to help you love intentionally:
1. Practice Unconditional Love
Love unconditionally—no rules, reasons, excuses or exceptions. Love means complete and total acceptance of the entire person—in all stages of growth, despite all mistakes, throughout all circumstances.
But please don't misunderstand; unconditional love does not equal unconditional tolerance. Don’t allow anyone to disrespect, threaten, abuse or control you simply because you love them. This kind of treatment is never an expression of love, no matter how much the perpetrator may try to convince you it is.
While they shouldn’t have to earn or deserve your love, they do need to prove that they deserve a relationship with you. You need to feel safe, respected and valued in order to sustain that relationship.
2. Validate Feelings
One of the primary components of a healthy relationship is that both parties feel heard and validated. Feelings of invalidation slowly erode any relationship, no matter the level of love. Be it your spouse, children or other family members, everyone has this basic need.
But remember that validation means acceptance, not agreement. You don't need to agree with your loved one’s point of view. You just need to hear what they’re saying, acknowledge how they feel and respect their right to feel that way.
3. Hone Your Skill
Love requires skill, and skill take practice. Love isn't perfect; you won't always get it right. But intentionality will challenge your preconceptions of what love is and how it should work. Be willing to rethink your methods.
If you feel that love is waning in your home, take inventory of how you define, express and receive love. You may discover some areas in need of adjustment. Sometimes you have to go back to basics before you can advance to more intimate displays of affection.
Make a promise to yourself to love unconditionally, validate feelings and hone your love-skill. Then ask for the same in return. Root your love in these three resolutions, and watch your relationships flourish like never before.