Hi Daily Feelers,
I hope your month is off to a joyous start. Our theme on The Daily Feels is LOVE. Big shocker, huh? Meh. Typical. I know. However, if you read a few of the blogs thus far this month, you’d notice a pattern. There’s a lot of people questioning the traditional meaning of “love” these days, and I can’t really blame them.
Today’s worldwide chaos has put all we know of love into a blender and hit spin. Just for “shits and giggles” as we say in the south. What’s in that “love” smoothie? Meh, little of this. Lots of that. Hell, after the last few years, people are spread so thin, we’ve been throwing everything we can at love trying to keep feeding that beast. There could be some downright rotten ingredients that slipped in that blender. Now, that smoothie has tainted the entire “love” experience. Who knows anymore? Whatever happened to love, I want it fixed ASAP.
For the longest time, I loved this Bob Marley quote that said this:
I still love it but there’s this sadness to the quote that hits me differently as I age. It made me realize that as I grow in love one trait seemed to be the most important to me right now…
You thought I was going to share it? Oh no. No, no. That’s not the point of this article. The point is for YOUR partner, your tribe, your team, whomever YOU claim to “love” to be a support system of people who already give you little bits of what fills your cup. Do they know what is most important to you? Do you, in turn, know this about them as well? Is this a reciprocal relationship? If things have gone awry, may be time to show a little….dare I say it? Show them some love.
The tricky part about love is that it’s not one size fits all. How you love the people in your life is contingent upon their place in your world. Friends, with them it’s about hanging out maybe? Family, it’s about phone calls and never missing a holiday meal. Again, showing up. But each “love” of your life is unique and it’s all ever-changing. So, what can we do to sustain our loving relationships? Circle back. Revisit. Check in.
If you don’t know where you stand with your loved ones, or maybe you aren’t sure you know…ask them. Try it. Ask “what do you need to feel loved?” It’s a serious conversation. I get that. People tell me I can be too serious at times. Others will tell you I’m the first to be spontaneous and go for it. A perspective can shift. So does love. If you have one style that covers all the people in your circle, you are my new hero. Can I come study this genius? I. Need. To know. Everything.
I’m a nerd. I know. What can I say? I studied love languages in college and it mesmerized me. It opened my eyes to so much. Took me years to truly understand how to use that information, but that’s neither here nor there now.
Now, at 38 with the dreaded “divorced single mom” label slapped on my forehead, I get it. It’s OUR job to love more and more transparently as we age. Turns out, when we change/grow, it’s not always so obvious to those around us as we might think. Turns out, our family/friends need insight to our changes to properly support our growth. Apparently, it shows vulnerability. It shows empathy. It gives us a chance to fall short and redeem ourselves. It allows others to give us grace while doing so. It makes it crystal clear to those you value who you are and what you need. Mind. Blown. Again.
Before I go on, here’s the cliff notes version of Love Languages just in case:
As I’ve aged, my love language has also aged. I’m thankful for it. Who I was at 24 is not the woman I am at 38. That I know. Ask my friends who’ve known me for 20 years. They will tell you as many tall tales as you got time for about “the ole Jenn/JB”. Not because they are juicy stories or tragic, but because I have always lived with arms wide open. I love adventure. Nature. Travel. Connection. Meeting new people AND keeping in touch with them is my biggest love of all! I have such a kind, diverse, and understanding tribe. It blows my mind when I think of how many people, I know who’ve touched my heart in one lifetime.
So, back to that blender I mentioned earlier…
The last few years, we can all agree have been hell. Pure. Hell. And most of us are still in triage recovery mode. So, this is the time in the “loving” relationships where we have been leaning on grace. To those that had some grace to throw my way, trust I felt it. I needed it. And it worked.
2022 is going to be a good year to revisit your take on love. We all need love in our life. Love fuels ambition and creativity. Love drives us to do good. It makes bad days better. It makes nothing feel like something. I hope it inspires you to chase dreams. Most of all, I pray there’s just enough love in your heart to keep the door cracked. Then little by little, I hope you meet people you fall so deeply in love with that they swing your door wide open once again.
Just one side note: While you may need love from others, you have an infinite source in you as well. Find your tribe. Spread your light. Let love grow, and it will every time.
Nothing but Love,