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  • SuePattonThoele

Being Generous With Expressions of Love

A little saying I try to live by is “Nice wears well.” When younger and motivated mostly by fear, I used to cringe when someone called me nice or sweet because those two descriptors felt like polite alternatives for weak and wussy. In reality, my only weakness when acting nice was the fear and consternation I felt if I received a negative response or no response at all. Although genuine, my niceness really needed a positive response and, therefore, was not a gift but a bit of pleasant bartering. To be authentically nice and sweet, I needed to be comfortable enough in my own skin to give up wanting any kind of response and express love, endearments, and appreciations simply because it brought me joy.

As fear of offending anyone gave up its grip and the art of being myself became more natural, my heart opened and I found myself having a lot of fun generously expressing love and delight in people. It helps that I am literally a little ol’ lady in tennis shoes because enjoying tremendous leeway in terms of behavior is one of the perks of Elderdom.

Once after expressing a now-forgotten bit of love or appreciation, the little ditty “Stop expecting tit for tat. Love just because that’s where it’s at” danced through my mind. It was so silly and sassy, the bad grammar didn’t even bug me. That little rhyme totally nailed why I felt the freedom to express as I did. Tit for tat was not an issue anymore. I was just having a grand time expressing feelings in the moment, and no response was needed.

For the most part, people love being the recipient of any kind of positive regard, yet out of fear, we can be very guarded with our words and actions. I encourage you to open up your heart spigot and give yourself permission to become more generous with expressions of love and positivity. I wish I’d had the strength and wisdom to shower compliments, gold stars, and way-to-gos much earlier. But, truly, it’s never too late nor too soon. Go for it; you’ll love it. And so will most of the recipients, I bet.

During your day...

  • Allow yourself a little more freedom of expression.

  • If it feels right to you, give yourself the challenge of

  • Say “I love you” more often. Choose at least one new

Expressing love and appreciation helps you feel more of each.

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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