Signs of True Love
Gary Chapman has shed powerful light on loving relationships with his books on the Five Love Languages. In Love as a Way of Life he shares a fabulous concept... bringing love into your life everyday, everywhere!
If you question 'what is love' and wonder how to love yourself and others, this book is a great primer.
Gary delves into his explanation of the 7 characteristics or signs of true love. At the end of chapters he has a section called "Making it Personal".
Here he provides exercises so you can practice cultivating loving characteristics in your own life on a daily basis.
Most of the book is delivered with a focus on intimate loving relationships... married people or long term relationships. However he did make a point of introducing the concept of how these principles can be practiced on a daily basis with anyone and everyone.
Of course as you go through the book yourself, and do the exercises, it's easy enough to always be looking at how you can apply it anywhere.In speaking about the 7 characteristics of a loving person, Chapman made a few particular distinctions about expressing love that I particularly appreciated.
These were in regard to courtesy and generosity:
He pointed out that being courteous entails treating everyone with recognition that they have value. If you are in recognition that a person has value and keep that as a focal point in your life, then it is natural to treat people with courtesy. This is an easy 'self-check mechanism' I find. I do know on the deepest level that everyone has value, yet when I'm perhaps not as courteous in traffic as I could be for example, this is now a great reminder for me to stop, affirm their value, and act with courtesy.
Gary Chapman said that he found when people are acting out of interest for another person, rather than for themselves, then they work better together as a team. This obviously has great value in leadership and team building.
A second point he made about generosity was in relation to generosity of our time. We often get caught up with our own 'to do' lists, and it might sometimes be to the point that we don't think we have time for another person. In this regard he quoted Augustine of Hippo:
"Nothing worth doing can be accomplished in ones lifetime."
Put in the words of Gary Chapman:
"When our long term perspective carries more weight than our short term checklist, generosity is often simpler than we realize."
So... you may as well just slow down and do something helpful rather than rush to get through your checklist!
The other 5 indispensable signs of true love are identified as:
Gary's overview of the signs of true love in 'Love as a Way of Life' held a few gems of info for me. And chances are it will for you too.
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