Valentine’s Day (February 2019)

Will you be my Valentine?

***

When I was young, all the kids in my class would craft little Valentine’s notes.Sometimes I’d make a special one for the boy I had a crush on (and practice writing me + him forever). And I’d also write Valentines for my family. 

***

In a way, I was beginning to map out everyone in my life, how they filled me with love and satisfied different needs in my life. 

My best friend Amy was the one I talked about my hopes and dreams. My neighbor Judy was my confidant about things that seemed too intimate to share at school. My sisters were my partners in crime and my parents were my boosters who made me believe I could do anything.

Why did so many of us stop thinking about love in this broad way when we became old enough to date?

We don’t necessarily need to write Valentine’s notes with pink and red construction paper or share our sweetheart candies once a year – in fact, small notes of love on an ongoing basis can deepen relationships and provide important opportunities for expression and connection. 

***

Having spent many years searching to find a few people in my life who could support me on a holistic level, I began to notice that when one dear person fell short on some level, another picked up the slack on that need. 

And as I mapped out all of the areas in my life where I wanted to feel love – it wasn’t just sexual and romantic intimacy I was seeking, but people with whom I could share in the many areas of my life where depth of connection is a different expression of love.  

I realized that none of the core people in my tribe were covering every base. But, as individuals, we were lovingly connected on some of the many areas where our depth of connection make us each feel seen, heard, and loved.

Here’s a little diagram I mapped out to show how some of the areas (listed around my avatar) where I want to feel love and connection are covered by a range of people in my life (represented by letters):

With that, let’s shift our focus today from romantic love into how our circles love us and enrich our lives. Having a few people in our circles who meet different needs and with whom we can feel meaning and closeness can perhaps result  in us feeling less alone.

***

Make everyday Valentine’s Day with one small action that gives someone else a connection and makes them feel seen. 

Here’s how to start:

  • Map out the different needs in your life.
  • List your inner circle: friends, family, colleagues. Pull them together to see who fills what emotional need.
  • Send them a virtual (or in person, if you can swing it) Valentine’s Day card asking how they are, with no agenda. Try something like: “Hey, I was thinking about you today. I hope you know on Valentine’s Day, and every day, that you enrich my life. How are you doing today and will you be my Valentine?”

Share it with me: I’m building a collection of these small actions that turn out to have real value and meaning for others. I hope you will share who fills your world with love (and why) by replying to this email.
Share it small: if you want more of an intimate connection, connect directly with friends, family, or colleagues via email/text/phone.
Share it big: tell the world who gives you love and what #OneSmallThing(s) they did to make you feel so special by sharing it on social media.