Don’t Retire, ReFire: The faces of love

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By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

There are many types of love and many ways to express love. There’s the love between parent and child, husband and wife, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends, new friends. Although each relationship is expressed differently, how that expression of love makes us feel sends the same message.

Recognizing that love is all around is something we often lose sight of because we get so wrapped up in our own day to day grind that time passes to the point where love can fade and slip away, if we’re not careful.

We need to make a conscious effort to show our love, gratitude and appreciation, with the urgency of knowing that we are only certain of this moment, which we can never get back.

Here are a few simple ways to show your love each and every day to get back in the rhythm of love.

  1. Take just two seconds! I don’t think there are too many of us who would have trouble listing how much time they waste, in a day. Take a few seconds of that valuable time that would otherwise be wasted, to look into your loved ones eyes. Smile, touch their hand, give them a hug, have a laugh. These are all things that take little time and effort but could make a huge impact and add up to lasting rewards.
  2. If you don’t have time for a phone call, text the one you’re thinking of, to let them know that you’re thinking of them. Simple as that. Even simpler would be a mere “xoxoxo”. Short, sweet, yet sending a clear message of love.
  3. Look for ways to show love and kindness to your fellow human beings, as you move through your day. If you see someone in need, help, if you can. For example, if you see someone at the supermarket reaching for an item that is just out of their reach, yet the item is within your reach, reach for it. Watch for the thankful smile. The bonus is how much joy it will give you, knowing that you helped someone.

I conclude with my message about love and life, which I learned decades ago. Don’t take life for granted. Appreciate the life you’ve been given and the gifts that each one of us has to share with the world. I mean to truly share, not someday, but now, today. To let your love ones know how much they mean to you. Show your love and cherish them every chance you get.

I see and hear so many people say, “Hey, we really need to get together.” My experience has been that if a date and time isn’t set, putting it on your calendar, right then and there, time will slip by and have little chance of happening. So don’t just say it. Follow through with it.

When you have the opportunity to pay someone a compliment, to boost someone’s spirits, to tell someone how much you value them, take that opportunity. It might be the very thing that they need.

None of us should underestimate the power of a kind word or action. Something as simple as a smile could change someone’s life.
Above all, love yourself first and greater love will flow from there. That wasn’t something that was instilled in me as a child, only because back then, in the 50’s and 60’s, it wasn’t something that was commonly discussed, at least that’s the way it was for me.

Thankfully, today’s practice is to promote and instill the importance of loving the you that you authentically and uniquely are. To know your value. To share your God-given gifts that only you possess.

Know that each day holds endless possibilities. There are no limitations. The only limitations are those we put on ourselves.
Life is short. We don’t know how long we have here on earth.

When you have the chance to tell someone what they mean to you, don’t let that moment pass you by. You have nothing to lose and you’ll always regret it if you don’t take that chance.

Embrace life in all of its wonder and as often as possible, let your family and friends know how much you love them, value them, cherish them.
Make everyday Valentine’s Day.

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