Those 3 words were Climbing the Sycamore, and it was the original title of my first novel. My husband had written an album, based on my book, with the same title, and I no longer wanted the two projects connected.
So I changed my title to Hello Loved Ones, which is an “endearment “ used casually by the father of my narrator when he comes home drunk after long unexplained absences. The novel raises the question of whether love is determined by blood or by choice.
I’ve thought a lot about the words ‘hello loved ones,’ and I’m so happy that it’s evolved to be not only a more fitting title for my novel, but also to include you, my readers.
A Course in Miracles says, “The past is gone, and all that remains is a blessing.” Thank you for making the choice to be a loved one and to be part of my blessing.
In return I’d like to share a few pieces of advice I’ve collected about what it takes to be a loved one:
- Empower others. I saw this quote on Facebook recently: “Angry people want you to see how powerful they are. Loving people want you to see how powerful you are.” –Chief Red Eagle. Beautiful.
- Listen as much as (or more than) you speak. Resist the urge to insert yourself. At our most basic level, we all want to be heard. Give someone the gift of listening and you’ll feel the love.
- Take nothing personally. This is one of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements and it’s a powerful way to release suffering and be more present to love.
- Act like a VIP. Don’t downplay how the importance you have in someone else’s life, whether it’s a family member, a neighbor, or the barista who returns your smile everyday. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually so you can be the love that someone in your life needs you to be.
- Save the drama for your mama. Actually, spare her too. Mom’s have enough to deal with.
- Recognize oneness. We’re all in this together, and like the saying goes, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Remember this the next time you feel your back go up or your claws come out.
- Be more loving. No kidding. It’s as straightforward as that. Smile, hug, praise, share. Repeat often.
And, the biggest secret to becoming a loved one?
Knowing you already are.
(What would you add to this list? Please share your tips for being a loved one!)