3 Ways to Love Louder Through the Holidays & Beyond
Earlier this year, I was feeling challenged with a few different things. I could tell my focus was off, but not sure how to change it. I felt that even if I was doing a lot in areas important to me, it still wasn't enough.I felt worn down by things outside of my control.
In a conversation with my life partner, Bob, he suggested perhaps I could focus more on love. It's a common theme with us as we know that most things get better if we can lean into love - for another human, ourselves, a learning we can't yet see. However, when he said it, I could feel resistance right away.
I knew that more love wasn't what would help me.
I knew this because I realized that it was the love that was getting in the way.
I was feeling so much love that it was draining me; I was overwhelmed by the love.
I could feel the love so much that sometimes my heart hurt.
I could feel the love so much that it caused me to forget that others have their own paths on the journey and it's not my job to fix it for them or even make it easier.
As we talked more, a new invitation surfaced:
What if I didn't love more, but instead I focused on Loving Louder?
This immediately felt right to me. It wasn't about feeling more or even doing more, but it was shifting it in some way.
I know now that it's one of the main things I'm taking with me into the next year. It feels like our world needs more love, but it also feels like perhaps we can love louder.
As the holidays can be full, loving, challenging and more, I thought it was perfect timing to share these 3 ways I'm exploring Loving Louder:
This seems very obvious. Sometimes there seem to be 2 camps here. Those that tell everyone they love them - even people they hardly know. And those who use the words sparingly.
Whichever camp you're in, how might you love louder with your words? Is it telling more people how much they mean to you?
Is there perhaps something else that you could share with someone - acknowledgement, understanding, compassion - that would allow them to feel more understood, more seen?
If you were loving louder with your words, what might change for others? What might change for you?
is a true act of Love. To be fully present with someone and listen with compassion and curiosity is broadcasting your Love loud and clear. You are not there to judge or change anything.
You are there simply to be with another.
Sometimes in my coaching, even after 14 years of doing it, I can get trapped in the "How can I help this person move forward?" Of course it's great when I can support them in a way that allows for this.
But that's not always up to me and certainly not always what happens.
And time after time, when I have a last session with a client and they reflect on the biggest learnings, it is almost always this message, in a nutshell, that the client expresses: I learned that I need space to reflect and explore and your questions and presence allowed that to happen.
How might you show up for others in the weeks ahead being more present?
Listen with Curiosity
One of the things that can keep us from loving louder is judgement. When you/re sure we have the answer for a situation and/or another person, there is a constricted feeling.
When you're ready to love louder, Curiosity is a great tool to lean into. Curiosity establishes an openness - a willingness to at least hear where another person is coming from or what another solution could be for a problem.
These days it can be so easy to see all the ways we might be different from someone else. We can see all the things that separate us. And what if you went into a conversation being curious about what you could find that was similar or something that you shared with another?
The 3 ways above are all things I'm exploring. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I don't. And I try to come back to Self Compassion: it's a process and every tiny little shift is a step.
Also, loving louder doesn't just have to do with the external world. It also pertains to ourselves. Here are a few questions to reflect on when you feel like you need to love yourself a little louder:
- What message am I telling myself right now? If I were my dearest friend, how would I change that message?
- How do I need to show up for myself today, right now?
- If I were just being curious about the things I could do differently and not judging myself for those things, what would I do next?
As usual, I have lots of questions for you.
You're invited to find one or two that resonate with you and reflect on those. Remember this is your journey. Remember that by loving louder you have the opportunity to affect the world around you as well as yourself.