On The Avenue: Spreading The Love

This week, On The Avenue, we’re sharing the love. Valentine’s day was on Wednesday and our team member Lauren Barnes, published her 3rd article in Belle Meade Living Magazine talking about all the ways you can love your neighbors.

It’s been so exciting for us here to watch Lauren grow into her writing skills and share her pieces with her community.  Now Belle Meade and more can see/read the talent that Lauren shares with us here On The Avenue every day.

You can read her new piece “Love Thy Neighbor” below or in February’s addition of Belle Meade Living!

“With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought I would reflect on all the ways that love is in the air. There are so many different expressions of the word “LOVE.” Here are a few examples of love that I cherish in my everyday life: When my mom calls me “Sweet Bee;” going to church and to work and receiving tons of hugs; feeling the warmth of my pup crawling up into bed with me for snuggles; asking my kitty for “mommy kisses” and getting random texts from loved ones, friends, and coworkers showing me how much I am loved and cared for; and last but never least, joking around in the most loving and funny ways with all of those mentioned above.

For those of us who live in Belle Meade, however, the most important type of love is “loving thy neighbor.” With the holidays in our rearview mirror, it can be easy to fall into the routine of our everyday lives. But don’t, trust me, you’re only hurting yourself. This Valentines Day, instead of shopping in the Hallmark aisle, make your community a better place. Don’t sit around and waiting for the world to change. Be the change and go out and show your neighbors, friends, and your loved ones just how special they really are.

Loving on your neighbors can be as simple as you want it to be. Consider asking a neighbor who you haven’t seen for a while over for coffee or tea. Offer to take a shut-in to the grocery store or mall. For myself, I love movies, so I would either ask someone over to watch a movie or I would see if they wanted to go to the Regal with me to see a Tyler Perry movie. All people are different, sometimes just calling an elderly neighbor to check up on them can make their day. Though some people you know might want physical contact and just need a hug or to just be able to sit and visit with you.

Loving your neighbor might be showing love by offering a cup of sugar or even giving a stranger a few bucks because you can see they are struggling. Just because the word “neighbor” is in the title doesn’t actually mean we walk next door and do something for that person (though it’s a good thing if you do). A stranger can be just as much your neighbor as your ACTUAL neighbor. And oftentimes it’s the people we don’t know that we help the most. I have a theory about love and it’s that we don’t have to like everyone, but we should love everyone with a full heart.”

-Lauren Barnes


Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week On The Avenue. Happy Valentines day!

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