As young children, we enjoyed the simple and were thrilled with the beautiful. Everything was an adventure and we squealed with delight when our senses (and our bellies) were tickled. We “oohed” and “awed” at the newness of each experience and sleep was something we passionately tried to avoid because the days were just not long enough. We told our teachers that we loved them and held their hands, played with our friends’ long hair, hugged with no restraint and unashamedly recognized beauty in a person (love, patience, goofiness, joy, thoughtfulness, etc.)
It was easy to be kind. Like someone recently wrote, “We threw kindness around like confetti.” Saying kind words to our “best ever” friends felt right. We encouraged one another and I don’t ever remember feeling competitive or jealous. (Actually, that’s not true – I distinctly remember feeling jealous about Patti Dean’s go-go boots) at one point but generally speaking, my friends and I played well and loved deeply.
Life has a way of wearing us down and out, compliments become difficult to give and even more difficult to receive.
Something shifts with age.
As adults, why are we so hesitant in expressing our appreciation for people’s beauty and why are we awkward in accepting compliments? We are quick to speak negatively about a person’s looks or actions but we pull back from expressing simple words of love.
Perhaps it is our insecurity that speaks loudly when we say nothing.
Or perhaps it is our perceived insignificance that makes us cower.
Whatever the problem, our feelings tell us about ourselves and a deeper look at our actions/reactions requires courage.
When we love ourselves, we are free to love others and speak openly about it.
There is beauty in all of us . . .
. . . and love is of God.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4.7,8