I attended a women’s conference with my mom a few weeks ago and I was inspired by one of the speakers who talked about “loving at arms-length.” It was actually Dawn Armstrong, the mother of the missionary from the movie, “Meet the Mormons.” She talked about how she has a lot of love for so many people; sometimes people who randomly come along. Her love for people grew ten fold when she stopped loving at arms-length, and instead pulled them in tight and gave them a hug.
One of the things I love about people, is being able to relate to them; find commonalities, and create a friendship of some sort. However, I do think I’ve stuck my arm out a little more the past year. I’ve obviously noticed it, and have been after myself about it! I think we all have times where it’s easier to say to ourselves, “I’m sorry that’s happening to them, but I’m too busy right now to help.” When you have your own family it becomes even more of a toss-up because you also want to put your family first, but I wonder what the world might be like if our arms came out in an inviting embrace instead of a stiff-arm. We all know someone who always seems to be there when you need it, with whatever you need. Isn’t that a beautiful, comfortable feeling? Wouldn’t that be lovely if we could all feel that consistently? :)
Focus on the Commonalities
Since moving to a family neighborhood, we’ve experienced that “minority” feeling by being one of the few couples without children (haha). That made me hesitant to get to know people because we were in different stages in our lives, and I thought that would make it difficult for us to relate to one another. I was so focused on the differences that I forgot the other thousand things we are sure to have in common. What Dawn said at the conference ignited a fire in me to widen my circle of people I care about, and also serve and support them more so that my love can grow further for them.
I remember one of my professors saying, “We are all hard-wired to connect.” We all love to relate to each other, and the best part: we all have AT LEAST one thing in common :) I’ve spread my wings the past month or so and made a bunch of new friends whom I can already say I love. I’ve been so happy with that feeling. Giving service is not always convenient, as I’ve learned throughout my years, especially now being married, but I think we can always make time for a hug :)
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” – Herman Melville
Just a Sunday thought!