When visiting Mom, I try to include a weekend so I can go to church with her. It’s the church where Dad retired as a pastor and where we celebrated his life and returned his soul to God. On a recent visit I learned that the Bible verse of the week was: Let all that you do be done with love (1 Corinthians 16:14, King James). I don’t typically quote from the Bible, but this verse merits repeating. It’s one of my soapbox topics that I’ve recently tried to practice with intention.
To get that practice, I apply it in odd situations such as emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry, tasks that you wouldn’t normally associate with love. That doesn’t mean I caress the dishes or fondle the sheets. While my normal mode might be to just get the dang dishwasher unloaded and move on to the next one of a million things to get done, I try to handle each dish with care or fold the sheets as if I had nothing else to do. In other words, I try to slow down, be thankful for these things I have, and take care of them because they serve my needs.
It’s not easy, this doing things with love. Especially when endless household matters pile up, family interactions get challenging, and our jobs call for all we got to give, as if we live to work. Wouldn’t it be nice to run away to a retreat for some me time? Yes! But here’s a secret I learned, having run away many times to retreat for short and long stays: The busyness doesn’t go away; it just gets put on hold. Here’s something else I am currently experiencing: Practicing doing all things with love actually makes it easier to do what needs to be done. That’s because love removes the have to and replaces it with a want to, or at the very least a gratitude.
We’re Airbnb hosts, so laundry is definitely one of those have-to-dos. It takes up more of my time than I care for. But our guests add significant extra income, and we get to meet some pretty nice people from all over the world. Therefore, I try to turn laundry on its head by doing it with love. Okay, that’s a stretch most times, but at least I try to do it with a grateful heart, which is sort of the same thing. I wouldn’t have laundry without the guests, and without the guests there would be no extra income. Folding the sheets and towels is easier when done from this perspective.
Yes, I have a long way to go. I still rush around trying to get everything done under the illusion that that’s actually possible. But maybe the more I talk and write about doing all things with love, the better chance the concept has of becoming ingrained in me until it becomes second nature. At the very least, it’s just one more way I can practice self-care when going on a retreat isn’t possible for getting break.
That’s right. Doing things with love is a form of self-care. Rather than acting from a place of resentment, act with love. Not only does this benefit the people in your orbit, it benefits you by calming your mind and releasing toxic thoughts. Think about that next time you tackle mountains of laundry or dishes.
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