The most important gift we can give our loved ones is the gift of our own happiness.
Be the light. Be the change. A breath of fresh air. It’s easier than you think. Everyone won’t want to hear it, but you can influence people simply by how you live your life. Teach by example and let your life be your message. Those who don’t like it will probably find a way to separate themselves from you. Let them go. Don’t dim your light for anyone.
Think of it this way. You don’t go through things just so that you can learn to be strong for yourself. Resilience and growth give you a broader perspective so you can be kinder to yourself and to others.
Don’t we all need that person? The ones who understand that everything has a light and a dark side? The ones who talk us off the ledge, telling us that everything is going to be okay? The ones who sprinkle love dust on us when we need it most?
I not only need those people in my life — I need to be one of those people. It’s almost like a religion to me. I think that Rosetta uses the term ‘extreme encourager’. I used to hatefully call myself a people-pleaser, but now I know that I’m just passionate about helping people see life and all of its mysteries in a positive way. When you have something really really good, an endless supply of it, you feel compelled to share it as much as you can.
So here are eight ways that you can sprinkle your endless supply of lovedust on the people you care about.
Be the voice of reason. When things get tough, someone needs to keep a balanced perspective to avoid things being blown out of proportion. Yes, things can seem like they can’t get any worse, but remind yourself and those around you that stormy and sunny days come and go and we need to make peace with them both.
Be mindful of your body language. Just the simple act of smiling will boost not only your own mood but those around you. I’m a big advocate for hugging, too. There’s nothing like a bear hug to remind you that you are loved and everything is going to be okay. Also, when someone is talking to you, take the time to look them in the eye and nod and show them that you’re present and engaged and that they matter.
Focus on the present. For many of us, it’s extremely difficult to move on from the past and not worry about the future. But what about what’s happening right now? When you remind others of all there is to be thankful for in the present moment, they may not want to hear it, but at least you are planting a seed that will hopefully grow within them. If the present moment is not so great, remind them that they do have people who love and care about them to help them get through it.
Point out the silver lining. Whether we are able to see it or not, there is a reason and a season for everything. Teach your loved ones to look beyond the obvious and find the lesson. For some of us this comes more naturally than others, so use your voice to help the people you care about from focusing on all the negatives.
Avoid extremes. We all have good and bad days. But you know how some people are like Jekyll and Hyde and you never know what attitude you’re going to get? Yeah, don’t be one of those people. Stay to yourself when you’re feeling under the weather. Likewise, be tolerant and understanding of others when they’re in a bad mood. When you can’t stay to yourself, try to self-soothe through whatever outlet works for you. It also helps to feed off of the energy of people who are uplifting and give off positive vibes.
Make observations without criticism. When people ask you for your opinion about their situation, it’s important to practice honesty with compassion. Be constructive. The truth hurts enough all by itself. Yes, they want your honest perspective but most of us are already harder on ourselves than anyone else ever could be.
Be forgiving. With relationships – romantic, family, and friendships – things go down. People don’t see eye to eye. Harsh words are said. Promises are broken. Betrayal occurs. And yet holding on to all of the resulting negative feelings simply prolongs all of it. Let go. Don’t play any part in keeping old grudges alive.
Be generous without expecting anything in return. We all like to be appreciated, but some people crave it to the point where they essentially take on a victim mentality. Or they become resentful when they feel unacknowledged. When you sense this in your loved ones, remind them that the gift is in the giving.