A person who demands his own way, who tramples on others’ rights for the sake of upholding his own, or who insists on having his due is not showing love. Love is considerate of others, always. The one who loves is willing to forgo recognition and lay down his rights for the sake of the loved one. [What does it mean that love is not self-seeking?]
A close relative remarked, in response to my latest email to her, that “it must be great to be able to work together to get things done.” As isolated as I like to believe that I am, living in the midst of a large city with people all around me at every hour of the day and night, I recognize that the purpose of life is to facilitate the lives of others. Not a lot of avenues are open to me because of frequent fatigue, chemical sensitivities, and difficulties in communicating clearly. A point that was made in the answering of the given question is that self-love is a starting point…a basic…a given for each of us. The challenge is to bring the level of caring, love, esteem and effort that one expends on others to the same level that one devotes to one’s self. [I expect that as an extreme introvert, my tendency is toward solipsism.]
As for example, in marriage one seeks out the little things, as well as greater tasks, that one can undertake on behalf of the other. When making a meal or a snack for myself, I could offer to include other family members. If I get a cup of coffee or tea, I can offer to bring a beverage of preference to my husband also. When making a shopping list, I can check to see if my husband’s supply of preferred indulgences runs low and, if so, add them to the list. Or, I can ask if they should be added or if he is trying to avoid any particular temptation or if he’d prefer any changes to his regular choices. While I cannot, when I am not feeling well, help as much as I used to with the physically demanding chores, but I still can volunteer to help as I may with parts of the task at hand.
I also can be careful to ensure that I apportion my time and strength and attention so that I can seek to express as much love and concern, or more, for those in my immediate sphere as I do for those who are more distant and thus less risky to give to.