Time is Love

October 13, 2012

By Sara DeHoff

If you want a calmer, richer, more peaceful relationship with your children, learn to see that time is love.

In this society, we’ve blindly accepted the adage “time is money” without seeing how destructive it can be. I found myself racing through tasks to get as much done as possible, always trying to get on to the next task. Then the next one. I finally stopped one day and realized that all I was producing was a sense of anxiety – there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Then I remembered ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s words, “When there is love, there is never a problem and there is always time.” For the first time in a long time, I spent the evening snuggling in a chair with my daughter. We tickled each other and laughed and talked. No agenda, no objective, just time together. By bedtime, we both felt fed.

I’m also discovering what a profound effect this concept of “time is love” is having on other areas of my life. When I choose the most important thing on my list and I take the time to do it well, it has an influence on me that goes far beyond the 30 minutes I spend on that task. My whole life is calmer. I see more clearly what is important. But I also learn more about what it means to do something well. It means not just using my mind, but engaging my heart. And it feeds my spirit. The rest of my life seems more possible. It’s ironic, but I feel like I can do more because I’m not trying to do everything. I’m just trying to do this one thing to the best of my ability and the rest seems to shift itself naturally into an order of importance. I know what to work on next. And I have the energy to tackle it. Not just the physical energy, but the spirit energy, the heart energy too.

So how do you learn to see time as love?

  1. Once a day, stop and take a breath. Just look around you. Appreciate what you see.
  2. Each morning, look at your list of things to do. Choose the most important thing and do it well. Then move on to the other things.
  3. Look your child in the eye and tell him what you appreciate about him. Listen to how her day was.
  4. With each child, find something you both like to do and do it together. It could be as simple and spontaneous as chasing a butterfly or admiring a flower. Often it’s the little things that matter most.
  5. Be present when your child (or spouse!) talks. One of the most precious gifts we can give is our undivided attention. Amazingly, it calms us down too.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all saw time as love? We would be able to heal this fast-paced, frenetic world of ours. And our children would feel heard.

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