The idea floats in softly at first, like a feather carried on the wind. I could write about loving my neighbor – could join thousands of other writers and bloggers who craft articles each of the 31 days of October.
And then I laugh just enough to blow the feather away.
I have a husband still healing from a fractured ankle, the weight of a big project at work and a personal attitude problem that seems so comfortable with me that it’s having its mail forwarded to my house.
I can’t write about loving my neighbors, I tell God. I don’t have time and I don’t even like myself right now, much less other people.
I start with the mental list of things I’m upset about, things that I wish I could change about me. For starters, I don’t share well. I even argued with a librarian once about returning a book I wasn’t quite finished with – and sharing is kind of the whole point there.
Then, there’s the constant nagging I do at home and the complaining I do when my plans get interrupted. Plus, my need to control and my need to worry when I’m not in control. I’m about to start page three of my grievances against myself when another thought comes along.
Start with your own self.
I suppose if I did want to love my neighbors, I would have to start with me. I’d need to evict my I’m-not-worth-anything attitude, and I’d need to forgive myself in order to move forward.
I might even need to take better care of my introverted self. Maybe treat myself to a nice, peaceful walk so I’m in a better frame of mind, a better frame of soul, to love others. Maybe spend more time reading scripture and praying to the one who never runs out of love for me – or for my neighbors. Maybe then I’ll hand out grace and understanding in larger doses.
Maybe this idea to write for 31 days straight? Maybe I’m the one who needs it most. And maybe I need it now more than ever.
Would you like to spend the month discovering how to love your neighbor, too? If so, check in here throughout October – and we’ll get better at this together.
Day 2: Learning to love yourself again
Day 3: Finding time to love your neighbor
Day 4: Hospitality for introverts
Day 5: For when you need to pray to be more loving
Day 6: What to do when your neighbors live with you
Day 7: Loving far away friends and family
Day 8: Answers for loving your in-laws
Day 9: 8 ways to share love with your family this month
Day 10: Teaching children how to love their neighbors
Day 11: A tiny (natural) gift for your neighbors
Day 12: A prayer for my family — and yours
Day 13: A chance to win a gift for you or a neighbor
Day 14: Because prayer is important
Day 15: A free printable prayer journal to help you love others
Day 16: What we can learn from a turquoise table
Day 17: Learning to love others by accepting love
Day 18: A prayer for my neighborhood
Day 19: Loving your neighbors — on a budget
Day 20:The day I struggle to love my neighbor
Day 21: Loving your online neighbor
Day 22: Showing love with a smaile — AmazonSmile
Day 23: Loving someone enough to connect the dots