I have been thinking a lot about matters of the heart lately. Not the one that beats in our chest each minute but the one that warms our existence each day.
The other day, I was in a meeting at work with the guy who wrote Getting Ahead in a Getting By World. His name is Phil Devol and he has been doing research about poverty with people in poverty for many years. This is quite a feat in itself but that is not what struck me yesterday.
At the start of the meeting, he humbly indicated that he would need to leave at a certain time to rendezvous with his wife. He explained that they had special time planned together and he would need to forgo lunch plans with us; they had an Indian restaurant picked out. What was interesting was not only that they planned to be together, but that he was so looking forward to it and was willing to share his excitement with us (boring work people).
The night before, this same guy joined in at our weekly support meeting and participated in an activity about "what gifts we bring through our head, heart and hands". His answer was not unusual or outrageous, but it was telling. He indicated that he has the gift of massage and that he gives a foot rub to his wife each morning. Both of the moments he shared brought a clear image that he loved his wife. It was also clear that he loves loving his wife.
Some thoughts that came to me when I heard Phil's loving words:
- I know fortunate people when I see them.
- Who wouldn't desire the fun he expressed in his simple words? Ah, to look forward to special time.
- I believe we all want to experience the gift of receiving love and giving love.
- Being able to freely give love and act in love toward another person may be one of the greatest gifts one can give to themselves.
- Being open and taking the true risk to act with love seems to be key to the process- even if love may not be returned.
- Yet, what a sweet and special thing when love is welcomed and returned.
A good friend of mine named Lou, introduced me to the concept of the 5 love languages. I shared this with Phil after being a witness to his expression of love. If you are interested in finding out how you express and want to receive love, check out this website here. It also covers how you dish out and best receive apologies.
Love and apologies- just those two words say volumes. I think there may be something about lasting relationships in these words- acting with love, intentionally, every day and knowing when and how to apologize when you screw up. I am sure there is a bunch more wisdom to lasting relationships beyond these two words and I am on the road to find out. (By the way, I have also come to believe that I will always be on the road to find out).