Spiritual Growth: Better Loving Daily

“Please tell me how I can love you better.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Recently I chose to dive into the invitation issued by Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, to ask my loved ones the question, “How can I love you better?”  I received my first answer from my niece, Alisha, and began to earnestly pay attention to what she had requested. I noticed how, if and when I could do it, and also, under what circumstances I felt I couldn’t.  I loved having the focus of a specific act that felt good to her and that I could offer her.

Conscious relationship, spiritual growth of better loving daily

It tickles me to visually record the death and rebirth in my neighborhood – part of my spiritual growth of loving me better!

And, then I realized I had started looking outward prematurely.  Just as it is on a plane, it’s best for me to put my oxygen mask on first and then help Alisha or anyone else who needs help, it is also best to ask myself ( and answer) the question first.

So, I have begun asking myself each day, “Ann, how can I love you better today?”  I have been surprised and delighted by the variety of answers.  

“Refrain from a certain automatic response with one of my more challenging friends.” “Take a longer walk today.” “Play my new music.” “Get out in the sun.”  “Take some pictures.”

And, of course, as I fill my own cup a bit more, then I have more love to give!  What a fun easy way to fill my cup a bit more each day, “Ann, how can I love you better today?”  Ask. Listen.  Take the loving action.

And, then go ask someone else, “How can I love you better?” Ask. Listen.  Take the loving action.

Repeat as needed . . .

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Ann Strong, founder of Strong from Within and Thriving Coaches.

Author of Thriving Work.


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