It never occurred to me that some people don’t kiss or hug each other goodbye when they leave the house. It’s just something we do, and I don’t remember when we started it but we don’t leave the house or each other without doing it. There’s always a goodbye, I love you, and a kiss and hug.
But we could do more, we could always do better. There could always be more love in our lives.
I want my daughter to grow up seeing love in our house and understanding how easy it is to show it. When I was a child I don’t remember being hugged or kissed or told that I was loved. I don’t want my household to be that way, I want love to be around always.
I want to be that old couple that you see in the park holding hands, I want that to be my husband and myself.
Maybe they are just holding hands so they don’t break a hip but at least they aren’t arguing about the correct way to load the dishwasher. I want my daughter to see that this is the kind of love she deserves when it’s time for her to find someone for a lifetime. I want her to see that it is easier to say something kind rather than mean spirited simply because we are having a bad day. For some this comes easy, for the others, we must make a little more of an effort. That is why I decided to create habits of love.
The one that has been successful for us is always saying goodbye. Before you or anyone leaves the house you have to say goodbye to everyone.
Hugs and kisses are great, saying I love you feels wonderful, looking into each other’s eyes is even better, doing it all with meaning is the best.
When you are trying to rush out the door the few minutes it takes to show you care will be worth it in the long run. And the amazing feeling you will get from the love you give and get will make your day better and lower your stress. Of course, when you say goodbye you have to remember to also say hello when someone gets home. Greet them at the door if you can.
Saying I appreciate you
Sitting down at the dinner table is another time we can start a habit of love. What is this sitting down at the dinner table thing, you ask. If you don’t eat dinner together as a family then you can start there, even if you are just a family of two. Dinner table means a table and chairs where you preferable face each other, all distractions are off, no phones, no TV, just you, the people you love, and food. Once you’ve got that down you can start by going around the table and sharing something that you love or appreciate about someone else sitting at the table. Just one person will do.
All you have to do is give a compliment.
It’s not hard to find the time when you are all together as a family. No matter how large or small your family is you will find that this tiny act will bring you closer together. And what better feeling than getting compliments!
My husband and I were finishing dinner and our daughter had already finished eating and was playing in the other room when I tried this for the first time. I pushed everything aside and grabbed both of his hands, he looked at me with a nervous smile. When I told him how much I appreciate his hard work so I could stay home and take care of our daughter he nearly cried. He was shocked to hear it and I realized I didn't say thank you enough. The next day he said thank you for saying thank you.
It had worked, the habit of love was reproducing itself.
The last part of starting a habit of love is saying goodnight before bed. This is a simple one if you have kids, you tuck them in, read them a story, hug and kiss them, and tell them you love them. It becomes a little more difficult if you have a significant other who goes to bed at a different time than you or if you drift off without even realizing it while they are staying up next to you watching TV. This is forgivable, this is inevitable, just say goodnight before you fall asleep if you are feeling extra drowsy.
Make sure and take the time to look into each other’s eyes and share your love for each other for a moment any time before you go to bed.
A moment may turn into a few more moments especially after you’ve done the steps above.
There are many other habits you can start, this is just the beginning. You could send a text of love every day during your break at work. You could write a little note every day and put it on your loved one’s car dashboard before you leave for the day.
By doing the same thing every day you start a habit, habits are hard to break but when it’s something this good, that rewards you well, you won’t want to break it.
Once your habits of love become second nature you may see that more love and affection just shows up on its own.
What do you think? Do you have any habits of love already? Are there any that you would like to start?