In our attempts to be the best spouse we can be, lets try filling ourselves up with love first. Love then won’t be able to help itself oozing all over those around us.
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In marriage we can often feel so consumed in feeling like our marital progress is being impeded by our SPOUSE.
Filling our thoughts with fears and concerns about what our spouse is or isn’t doing for the betterment of our marriage is an extremely backwards and ineffective way to progress.
You are responsible for what YOU can do. I am responsible for what I can do.
That’s it. You are not responsible for what your spouse does or doesn’t do.
With this in mind, one of the very best ways to improve your marriage is simply to fill yourself up with love.
Fill yourself up with love to the brim, to overflowing. Fill yourself up with love so much that love unconsciously oozes out of you. The people around you will feel that. Its real.
How do you fill yourself up with love?
That’s a great question. I think it is different for everyone. I do not know the most effective methods for you. But you know them. Or can discover them with some practice and exploration.
I can tell you what helps me fill up with love. Here are a few tried and true practices for me:
- Meditation. Such a fan of meditation. I need to be alone breathing with all my feelings everyday. It fills me up. Particularly when coupled with prayer.
- Listening to soul-fulfilling music. Sometimes that means hymns. Sometimes that means Hamilton. Whatever, my soul knows what it wants.
- Reading good books. I love books that fill me up with love. I checked a short, simple book out at the library last week called The World According to Mister Rogers. Its a quote book and it is fantastic at filling me up with love even if I only pick it up for a minute.
- Seeing people. This is so momentary and fleeting a thing for me- it only lasts a second, but sometimes I look around and see the people around me with my “love lenses” on and I am filled with love at what beautiful people are around me.
- Anticipation, savoring and reflection. Gretchen Rubin says in order to glean the most happiness from an event, you should look forward to it before, savor it during and remember it after.
- Spending one-on-one time with my kids. Doesn’t happen often enough, but consciously focusing my love and attention on one kid always makes me feel better.
- Relaxing. Taking time for myself when I plan it out always leaves me feeling more energized. Whether it is some guilt-free time watching Gilmore Girls or a trip to the library by myself, a little self-care goes a long way.
When I try to fill up on love ALL day long, I’m always disappointed. I get distracted, selfish, tired. I can never keep up good feelings all day. These little love fill ups are often so fleeting and short that if I don’t catch them and let them fill me up, they just leave forgotten.
Its a constant battle for me to not focus on the busy, all the stuff I have to do, all the tasks left undone that weigh me down.
I think one of Christ’s greatest gifts is His gift of taking the weight of these stressors off my shoulders. The tasks are still there, but the weight can be gone. Christ’s gifts relieve me of guilt and allow me to be filled with love in order to spread that love to others.
When I am weighed down, it is hard for me to fill him up with love. When I allow Christ to take the weights of my worries, I am free to fill myself up with love and let that love spill over to my children, my friends and my husband.
How do YOU fill up with love?