Following Valentine’s Day, I thought it perfect timing to reflect on Love and our currency of love. And perhaps each day’s gift is one or more moments when we experience moments of love and joy.
Love in its essence is pure, simple, and one of the most powerful healing forces in life. Often though, it gets distorted with our own very human fears, egos, learned behaviors, traumas, and beliefs about what it “should” be. Our families, society, and childhood friendships all significantly shape our concept and understanding of what Love is, and what a loving relationship looks like. We each have what I like to call a “currency” of love which we’ve learned from our family dynamics growing up. For some, that currency is always “doing” for others or “being available to listen and give emotional support” as a way to get some positive attention and care from family members. For others, it’s being the ‘strong one” or the family “caregiver” – always tending to others’ needs and problems to receive some attention and love in return. Others may have served as the family jokester, troublemaker, or peacekeeper. Take a moment, and notice if any of the roles or patterns above resonate. Consider which one or two you may have taken on in your family. This takes some courage ????
Identifying our currency is helpful because often times we continue this into our relationships in young adulthood and throughout our lives if we’re not aware. However, once we identify this, it’s both empowering and freeing to get to choose how we want to Be and Relate to others in our adult life. We can then determine for our Selves what Loving and “to love” means to us in a more conscious and intentional way.
Reflections on Loving
What does loving look like for you in relation to those closest to you? How do you most often express it – through words, actions, gestures of affection, or doing for? Do others in your life experience your love for them…do they feel loved by you? If so, wonderful! If not, ask your Self what factors may be getting in the way. Consider identifying each other’s love language to express love in ways that are received the way you intend ????
Notice how your ways of loving feel for You. Are the loving behaviors and expressions most often given freely and genuinely? Do they feel nourishing, uplifting, and perhaps heart-warming for you? Or are there more often feelings of resentment and frustration with a sense of obligation and shoulding? Are your relationships in general reciprocal with a sense of balance, so you feel you are also often receiving love and care? This is an important aspect of a healthy relationship.
And last, but definitely not least ???? is a Loving relationship with your Self. In what ways do you show love and kindness to your Self? Notice how you talk, behave, and think about your Self – your abilities, personal qualities, intelligence, humor, body, past decisions, etc. What are some stories you often share with others about your Self? Do they lean more positive or negative?
This week, observe your Self showing Love to others and see if you can identify your key currency of love. Notice how engaging in this currency feels for you. If it feels free, by choice, and nourishing then happily continue it. If it feels somehow too familiar, restricting or some frustration is present, then just let your Self Be in that moment…without that currency… in whatever way feels nurturing to you. Watch the wonders that often come when we do!
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