We’re all in love with love
Ah, February. Smack dab in the middle you hit us with Valentine’s Day. We’ve had a week to digest and have some thoughts on, well, love in this day in age. Regardless of where you stand on the “L” word, it’s safe to say we’ve all gained some perspective and clarity over this past year of pandemic living, and given the massive social impact, it’s shone a light on how important non-romantic love is. We took for granted how easy it was to give and receive love. Maybe we didn’t even recognize it as love because we’ve been conditioned to view love in a limited way.
“There are all kinds of love in this world…” F. Scott Fitzgerald
Love is vast and varied. It isn’t one size-fits all, and it’s not tied only to romance. We miss our family, friends, co-workers, classmates, your favorite barista, and even strangers on our morning commute, because we miss the love that we shared. Yes, the love. Expressions of love are truly limitless. Love can be a smile, a joke, a helping hand, a compliment, a shoulder to cry on, a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted macaroni necklace, an inspirational sticky note passed around the office, etc. An important and wholesome takeaway is the value placed on effort. These expressions of love can be done poorly yet are still effective. A joke that flops, a helping hand that’s maybe not so helpful, again, the one-of-a-kind hand-crafted macaroni necklace, are all still valid and meaningful expressions of love. When it comes down to it, interpersonal love is a combination of communication, effort, and kindness.
“In the case of an emergency, an oxygen mask will drop from the overhead area. Please put your mask on first before assisting others.”
We all know the metaphor, yet we continue to not put our mask on first. Self-love is the real “Let’s put a pin in it” type of love and it’s important to not let it take the back seat for too long. Oftentimes we are standing in our own way of self-love by thinking that we just don’t have the time for self-care. Dedicate time for self-care on a regular basis, make a routine, and stick to it. Self-care can look wildly different from one person to another, but the concept remains the same. Pay attention to how you’re feeling physically and mentally and apply the self-care that suit your needs. For some people it’s reading, exercising, binging the latest true crime docuseries, a round of golf, treating yourself to an at-home spa day, the list goes on. What’s important is that you’re setting time aside for you. But, there’s more to self-love than making time to do the things you enjoy. Mindfulness and self-awareness are key components to your overall well-being. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Love and kindness go hand in hand, and it’s important to be kind to yourself just as you would be to others.
Love for every season
Valentine’s Day may be over, but meaningful connection should be part of our everyday life. Expressing love shouldn’t be limited to special holidays. Practice expressing love and kindness to yourself and others every day. Expressions of love don’t have to be extravagant or grand gestures, and they don’t have to cost a penny. Love and kindness are affordable on any budget.