you heard, “I love you,” or “will you marry me,” or “I choose YOU.” The feeling of being loved and valued, even cherished, changes us. You might even say it completes us.
Conversely, feeling unloved and unwanted changes us too. The feeling of being
unloved may be the worst emotion a person can feel. It makes you feel empty, like a big part of you is missing. Actually, it is. Humans need love. We need to receive it, and just as importantly, we need to give it. When we feel loved, we feel safe enough to be our true selves. Our authentic personalities emerge, and we (and everyone within our influence) finds out that we’re actually pretty awesome in our own unique way.
When we are loved and feel safe enough to be ourselves, that’s when living gets really fun because we can step out and try to reach for our biggest, most audacious dreams. Being loved doesn’t eliminate the fear of failure, but it provides a safety net that even in the event that we fall short of achieving our big, bold goals, we’ll fall softly into
the presence of someone who loves us regardless of our accomplishments, someone who knows our faults and failures and loves us anyway, someone who consoles us and celebrates our willingness to reach for the stars regardless of results.
We all know that love is much more than mere words. In fact, we’ve nearly worn out the word, “love.” We love ice cream, we love our new job, we love where we live. In our language and culture, we use this same word to describe how we feel about the people we care most about. We love our families, our children, our best friends, and so on. Anyone who’s ever been betrayed by someone they loved will tell you that real love is much more than words.
When someone says that they love us, we check to see if their actions match their words before we believe them. We all know that when a person says they love us but then puts us down, talks badly about us to others, lies to us, betrays us, or otherwise mistreats us, we question the sincerely of their words. We know that those words that we all long to hear, spoken by a “bad actor” are meaningless. We also know that the person who is always there for us, treats us with respect, and shows their concern in a meaningful, measurable way may not ever say the actual words, “I love you,” but their actions communicate volumes.
It’s always nice to hear, “I love you,” but if those words are not backed up by well- intended actions, the words are empty. If given the choice to hear the words, unaccompanied by sincere acts of loving kindness, or receiving the acts of kindness and love without the spoken words, we’d always choose the actions. The words are important, but the loving actions are the substance that changes people and situations.
Love is more than words.
Starting today, let’s be the ones to show others how to put our love into action. Let’s start with those closest to us. Let’s decide not to assume that other people know how we feel about them. Let’s make the effort to show them. By being the first to back our words with acts of kindness, mercy, and love, we will be improving our lives, the lives of those within our influence, and we will be modeling for others how to do the same. In this way, putting our love in action can have a ripple effect—hopefully one that never ends.
This world is a crazy and sometimes painful place. You never know what someone is dealing with, or when your words or actions will give the encouragement needed to make it through the day. Never underestimate your influence in the lives of others.
The new book, Love Is Action— Change Your World With Love, is full of rich wisdom and practical tips that will lift your spirits, give you hope, and stir you into action. By the end of this book, you’ll have many new ideas for improving your world by living a life full of kindness, generosity, and love. Some of the simplest acts of inviting someone to join you in whatever you are doing, offering to help someone with whatever they are faced with, or asking the powerful question, “what do you hope to accomplish between now and the day you leave this life?”
Love is best expressed through actions, and sometimes the most powerful acts of love are found in the simplest of actions. Regardless of where you are in life, what you have, or who you know, if you will put your love into action as you read through this book, you will enrich your life in ways you might never have considered.
Rhonda Sciortino, author of Love Is Action—How To Change The World With Love, used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to create two successful businesses that specialized in insurance and risk management of child welfare organizations. Rhonda is a National Spokesperson for Safe Families For Children, Chairperson of the Successful Survivors Foundation, and National Champion of the Love Is Action Community Initiative.