(This post was originally published 5-18-09).
This post is about my personal experience with The Love Dare. If you would like to learn more about The Love Dare, go here.
Day Two: Love is kind. In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness. What discoveries about love did you make today? What specifically did you do in this dare? How did you show kindness?
From The Love Dare book:
¤¤¤ Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive. These two sides of love are the cornerstones on which many of the attributes we will discuss are built.
Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likable. When you’re kind, people want to be around you. They see you as being good to them and good for them.
Wasn’t kindness one of the key things that drew you and your spouse together in the first place? When you married, weren’t you expecting to enjoy his/her kindness for the rest of your life? Didn’t your mate feel the same way about you? Even though the years can take the edge off that desire, your enjoyment in marriage is still linked to the daily level of kindness expressed.
It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.¤¤¤
Again, this was an easy one for me. I’ve learned to slow down and listen to my husband when he needs me. I’ve also trained myself to be aware of his moods and what’s going on in his life outside the home.
For example: He has a pretty important meeting at work today. It’s the annual Board of Directors’ meeting and as CFO, he’ll be expected to stand up and give a speech to a room full of investors on the financial state of the company.
As you can imagine, they will be very interested in hearing what he has to say. And if what he has to say doesn’t meet their expectations, then the situation could become … uncomfortable.
So he’s nervous. He practiced his speech several times over the weekend and I pray it goes well for him today. But in the interim, I knew how he was feeling and I went out of my way to be extra nice to him – I cleaned house (because it calms him to have a clean house), I made sure me and the boys stayed out of his way when he shut himself off in a room to practice. I put his needs in front of my own and made sure that he was comfortable and relaxed.
I consciously shelved any irritations I might have had and made a special effort to be agreeable – the man didn’t need any extra stress from me.
If he wanted to watch a specific show on TV, I simply went along with it even though I had no interest in learning about the pyramids of Egypt. When he started getting hungry, I got off my butt and started dinner early so he would have time to relax and decompress before bedtime.
But most importantly, I stopped what I was doing and listened to him when he needed to talk. I didn’t criticize him or cut him off – I simply gave him my undivided attention while he talked out his fears with me.
I am constantly doing things to show him I’m thinking about him – I put little notes in his lunch along with special treats – cookies, Twinkies, etc.
Since Dude’s car is now sitting in our garage and he is allowing Dude to use that garage door opener, Kevin has to park his truck outside and use the door to get in when he gets home.
Instead of encountering a locked door, I make a special effort to unlock the door and meet him when he comes home. (He really likes when I do this because it makes him feel loved – he told me this).
I drop off, and pick up, his dry cleaning. I make sure the mail is sitting in his spot and ready for him when he gets home from work. I always give him a smile and a kiss when he gets home (whether I feel like being all lovey-dovey or not).
None of these things are very substantial, but they are enough to show Kevin that I love him and that I’m thinking about him. I’m putting his needs ahead of my own, even when it inconveniences me and especially when I don’t feel like making the effort.
Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step. It doesn’t sit around waiting to be prompted or coerced before getting off the couch. The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. They don’t require the other to get his/her act together before showing love. When acting from kindness, you see the need, then make your move. First.