The other night I was with a number of dear friends for a birthday party. The birthday girl had a lovely idea of having each of us share something (bring for show and tell or just the tell part) that has helped us to feel loved.
There were many lovely things spoken about. How one feels when complimented by a loved one; or when someone brings home gifts that are thoughtful. Some spoke of how their spirituality helps them feel loved, by reading the scriptures or feeling the Holy Ghost, or even by recognizing the 'tender mercies' of the Lord. All these things are beautiful and have helped me to feel love. One friend even mentioned her 'happy skirt' and how it makes her feel good when she wears it.
What I shared was a scrapbook I made (nothing like the scrapbooking they do now...literally a scrapbook that I stuck things in) MANY years ago. I filled it with cards, letters, notes, etc from people who said nice things to and about me. Someone was at my place of work once and wrote a note on the desk calendar...just to say hi...I have kept that for over 20 years. It was a show of love.
In thinking about what I would share with my friends, I came to realize there is a difference between knowing you are loved to 'feeling' you are loved.
I have always known I was/am loved. But that doesn't mean I always FELT loved. I have had times of loneliness that makes me ache. I've had times of hurt where I have wished for the end to come. I think many of us have felt like that, if only for a short a time. If you haven't....well lucky you.
Early in my married life when I was away from all that I had loved, all my family and friends, I was the loneliest I've ever been. A dish of loneliness and newlywed 'bliss'(?) and all the difficulty that can come from discovering the faults in each other. So I was not 'feeling' loved. I would often sit and look through my scrapbook to remind me that I was loved and I could actually 'feel' it too. I would cry...sometimes sob like a baby. It's so good to feel loved.
I got to a point that I didn't need to look at the book as often and when someone would say anything unkind to me I was able to say "It doesn't matter what you say. You can't make me feel bad! I'm a good person and people love me!" Ok it wasn't quite like that but in essence that's what I was saying.
It's easy enough to be loved and not 'feel' loved when our lives are filled with trials and unkindness. We may even have times where friends are few and far between or we are just too busy to enjoy them. I think we need to have something that we can bring to memory that reminds us of the feeling that comes with knowing you are loved. Whether it's a 'happy skirt', a post it note, a scrapbook of cards and notes or some other way.
Here's some songs and a story with a great message. I love them.
Max Lucado writes beautiful stories with wonderful messages. This one is called "You are special"
Book being read.
Cute little play by kids.
Michael McLean has some beautiful songs that are uplifting and inspiring. Just a couple of my favourites are:
You're not alone. (sorry...I could only find them on a facebook page/application. So if you don't have facebook I'm sorry)
If only you believe in yourself.
This song is by Hilary Weeks. She seems to capture just what a woman is feeling...the loneliness, the pull to be Wonder Mum or Super Girl, she gets it and she writes about it in her music.
He'll carry you.
And this one is another one by Michael McLean. I just found it. I hadn't heard it before. It's beautiful. It speaks of the struggles we have that aren't always seen by others and how we need to pull together.
I would hope that during those times we are in need of a 'safe harbor' and need to feel loved, that we remember that we ARE loved.