It’s the most vibrant three words you can hear that will completely altar your mood: “I Love You.”
If meant, those words can resonate throughout someone’s entire day, ushering in an unforgettable feeling of purpose, service, and warmth. It’s the perfect cohesion of embrace and sacrifice, the constant reminder that someone is here with and for you. It’s also an instant embrace of yourself, taking someone else’s emotions into your accountability, and sacrificing your life for them. The only thing better than feeling loved is the feeling of loving others.
Penn State researchers discovered that love is about small gestures. Love is about the collection of those little things that show that you care and making someone feel warm with them. According to their recent study, love is about actions and not words. Hearing ‘I Love You’ can sing the most beautiful hymn to your soul but feeling it can decorate it with an unfathomable grace. The study’s lead researcher, Zita Oravecz states, “It is possible for people to feel loved in simple, everyday scenarios, It doesn’t have to be over-the-top gestures.” Something that we forget all too often, might I add.
This Valentine’s Day, remember that no gift trumps the gift of true love and the warmth that you should radiate to those whom you care about. Here’s what I want to practice as I age:
- Listening: Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like listening to someone. Too often my peers and I are quick to speak over those that we love as opposed to listening. Actively listening can heal so deep.
- Selflessness: Be careful. You don’t have to be selfish to not be selfless. Give your best to those you consider your best and watch the best version of love bring out the best in your life.
- Self-Love: I know, “right after selflessness?” Yes. I spent much of the last decade trying to pour from an empty pitcher into everyone’s cup around me. While the gesture was cute and thoughtful, their cups were still empty. I forgot to love myself enough to love others.
- Privatize Love: Live within your ‘love bubble’ not with secrecy but with focus; with protection. Your love without walls is a city bound for invasion.
- Faith: You’ve got to believe in it. We have got to believe in the power of true love around us. Once we begin to believe and taste what it can offer, we know how important it is to have loved ones around us. We begin to watch our circles and those close to us, being mindful of who we let into our bubble. We believe in what love can do and place our lives in the hands of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, cherish these moments with pace and grace.