Commentary – Spread love and joy to everyone

Richard Froese

Many people enjoyed times to celebrate family and love last weekend. Families and communities gathered at special events to celebrate Family Day on Feb. 17.

Many couples and special friends got together around Feb. 14 to mark Valentine’s Day.

Celebrate family and love all year round.

Everyone wants and needs to be loved, valued and appreciated.

If more people loved more people, think how it would build marriages, families, communities, our nation and our world.

By definition, the word love has many levels of showing passion, respect and desire for somebody else or something.

You love what you value. You value the time to be in the presence of somebody.

Even in disputes we can still show love to others when done in healthy ways.

I learned several steps to take to build relationships and love and respect for others in a three-week evening workshop Building Better Community in my home church in High Prairie. The leader guided the workshop based on a book Building Better Communities – 12 Exercises to Strengthen Your Relational Muscles written by Tom Anthony.

Overall, the workshop presented 12 simple steps or actions to nurture a stronger positive mind to build healthier relationships.

A great place to practise and use those exercises is at home with your spouse and children and others in the family.

Here are some of the basic and useful steps.

  • Create Appreciation:
    Build relational joy. When you are present with others, tell each person individually, “I’m so happy to be with you,” followed by their name.
    When you hear your name from another person, you feel special. Say the other person’s name and make them feel special. That statement and a smile can go a long way to build love and respect.
    When we say, “I’m happy to see you,” you simply just want to look at the person.
  • Quiet Your Soul:
    Practise sitting quietly with eyes closed, shoulders relaxed and hands on your lap. Take deep slow breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth, for 3-5 minutes each morning and evening.
    *Practise Gratitude:
    At the end of each day, spend time to express thanks. Writing it down is a great way to remember over time. Share your thanks with family or even a small group is even better.
    “Thank you, God, for…” Be specific.
    For those not of the faith, simply says “I’m thankful for…”
    Name at least five things that made your day. Focus more on blessings than problems.
  • Think of Joy Memories:
    Think of moments in the day or past week where you experienced laughter or comfort or smiles or joy with someone. Focus more on joy memories than bad memories.
  • Move from Anger to Relational Joy:
    Respond in a healthy way when you are angry with another person. Be angry, identify it.
    Be slow to act on anger. Shift your focus. Focus on a joyful connection. Focus on relationship. The other person is more important than the problem.
    “Even though I’m angry, I’m still glad to be with you.”
    Practise it with others when you feel angry.
  • Pursue Harmony:
    Connect emotionally; expressing and sharing emotion is essential.
    Practising those action steps is bound to bring more joy in your life and grow your love and respect for other people.

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