Aging and adult relationships:
6 steps to loving ourselves and others
As we age, it becomes even more important to honor and to show daily love to those special ones we cherish -- so that each person in our inner circle knows that we "have their back" and fully support them in every way.
Time together is so precious now. I don't want to waste a minute of it having arguments or feeling stressed, angry, or frustrated and ruminating on the things in my relationships that are displeasing. Instead, I want to enjoy relationships even more and show even more love daily to my husband Greg (we've been married for 41 years) and those around us. I have coined the term, "act on love," which means to start now and show love to yourself and those all around you.
How to "act on love"
- Make a list of what you value or appreciate about yourself and other significant people in your life.
- Write a "love letter" to yourself, honoring and vividly describing the qualities that you like and love about you. Pretend you are writing this to your best friend or your partner.
- Write and send this same-styled love letter to each person with whom you want to share your warm feelings of closeness, admiration, respect and gratitude.
- Arrange an outing with your partner, family or friends to enjoy simple pleasures: A good meal and companionship; sitting together talking and enjoying a sunset; taking a ride to the mountains and reveling in the scenery; walking together; playing a fun game; or snuggling together in front of the fireplace or while watching the television.
- Show labors of love by helping with a chore or voluntarily performing an action that would be much appreciated by your loved one, such as washing the car or taking out the garbage. Simply going to work each day to help support the household is certainly a daily act of love. Be sure to let your partner or family know how much you appreciate the hard work and dedication and what this means to you.
- Show verbal and physical affection every day. Hug, kiss, hold hands and allow yourself to bask in the tenderness and passion of love.
May you and your loved ones know how precious and appreciated you are!
VitaJournal September 2013, Mamiko Odegard, Ph.D., best-selling author of "Daily Affirmations for Love: 365 Days of Love in Thought and Action." A former psychologist and college instructor, Dr. Odegard is known as "The Relationship Mentor." She is based in Scottsdale, AZ.