Love Is a Verb: Don't Just Say It, Show It

11/04/2010 08:53 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"Words! Words! Words!
I'm so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you!
Is that all you blighters can do?"

Sometimes I know exactly how Eliza Doolittle felt when she sang those lyrics in "My Fair Lady." How appropriate the song's title, "Show Me," is.

How is it possible that some people's actions can seem to be so out of alignment with their words? I'll think that and then I'll remember that I am not here to judge anyone else but to live my life in alignment with what I believe to be true.

Since I began writing my blog, many people have been asking me what I mean when I talk about love. I see love as a verb. For me, that means making sure my actions match not only my intentions but also, to the best of my ability, what I say. For example, I just returned from a trip abroad. While I was gone, I let a friend of mine, who himself is in the love arena, house-sit. Yesterday, my housekeeper told me (rather sheepishly) that my guest had left what she considered a very inconsiderate mess for her to handle. I won't go into the details, but for me, love takes other people into consideration, no matter what their station in life.

It's pretty interesting that I had just relearned that lesson for myself. On my trip, we visited several different foreign countries and saw many different cultures. At first, I found myself wanting to apply my standards to the people in a third-world country where my idea of cleanliness was challenged. But I soon realized that my behavior was putting a block between me and the people I met. When I acknowledged my arrogance and let go of my righteousness, I found my love flowing again, despite cleanliness levels, smells or hygiene.

The truth be told, at times it was very hard to stomach, if you know what I mean, but I had made a commitment to myself to make nothing more important than loving..

I continued my learning that love is not static but rather an action to be taken. Sometimes the action is limiting, like how loving myself precludes me from eating this fried doughnut right now. And sometimes love is expanding, like understanding when someone you care about deeply is working through an issue that doesn't have anything to do with you and needs space to sort out his life. If you really love him, you need give him all the space he needs, no matter how difficult that may be for you. But by taking care and loving yourself, you can create an overflow of that love so there isn't anything lacking in your life.

As I watch all of the doom, gloom and puffery during this political season, I understand that it's my responsibility to do all I can in my world to make it as loving as possible and to demonstrate that loving through action. It is my job to be kind to those in my sphere and to take care of those who come into my line of sight (if it is for their benefit and doesn't hurt me to do so). I remind myself to keep a higher perspective, knowing that right now, people are hurting, afraid and in reaction.

At the very least, I can offer myself as a safe place, a sounding board that does not make them feel wrong or bad or stupid but may be able to shine a light on more effective ways for them to get what they are looking for, or a place of just comfort and understanding.

Everyone needs to know that they are loved and listened to, no matter who they are or what their circumstance.

As Eliza sang, "Don't talk of love. Show me!"