As we continue our countdown to a productive new year, this week we consider how love can help us manage our lives to maximize not only productivity, but also our own joy and peace.
Walking in love can help us manage our lives in a way that lets us be truly productive
During December we’ve been counting down to the new year, with each episode focused on a different aspect of what I see as the mission of this podcast. December is a busy time for many of us, with holiday gatherings, school programs for the kids, end-of-year rush at work, and more. But if you are using part of your time to listen to this podcast, I invite you to use it as an opportunity to pause, look ahead to the holiday and the coming new year, and give some thought to what you want out of the holiday season and the year.
TPW’s purpose is to help you to give you the tools and encouragement you need to manage four things: your time, your life, your stress, and your stuff. As part of our countdown look at those four areas, we considered, indirectly, managing our stress by looking for ways to find joy in our day-to-day lives, and last week how to manage our time and (to some extent, our space) by following peace.
This week I want to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of managing our lives by walking in love.
What does it mean to manage your life?
To me, managing your life means keeping the big picture in mind: Who do you want to be in the world? What kind of life do you want to live (and why)? What matters most to you? Where do you want to end up?
Living with purpose means acting intentionally to ensure that your day-to-day life is consistent with your most treasured values. To that end, we’ve talked about managing stress through cultivating joy and managing time and space by following peace. Another element of this purposeful, intentional living is walking in love.
What does that mean to walk in love? I first heard the phrase decades ago when a pastor taught on a verse from the Bible--chapter 5 of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, in which he urged these early believers to imitate God and “walk in love”. In the decades since I’ve often felt that this might be the hardest thing for us--or at least for me--to do as a human being
This podcast episode is not a religious teaching, though. Regardless of your faith tradition, or even if you have none, I believe this admonition to walk in love can provide all of us guidance in how to manage our lives -- how to be productive women who order their lives in such a manner as to maximize our positive impact on the world around us.
So what does it mean to walk in love?
First, we need to consider what love is. Looking at dictionaries, we find definitions such as:
* “An intense feeling of deep affection; a great interest and pleasure in something”
* “Warm attachment, devotion, or admiration; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another, such as the fatherly concern of God for humankind or a brotherly concern for others” [Merriam-Webster]
* “A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.” [Dictionary.com]
The ancient Greeks had many different words for love, summarized by Wikipedia as follows:
* Agape, which means, especially, brotherly love, charity; Thomas Aquina explained this type of love as meaning “to will the good of another”
* Eros, which is mostly tied to sexual passion
* Philia, which means affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals
* Philautia, which means self-love--to love oneself or “regard for...