Message for St. Valentine’s Day
Each year on the 14th of February, the ritual (developed by commercial institutions) is to tell the people in your life that you love them.
I believe this tradition was started for commercial reasons to stimulate purchasing, but it had a beautiful side effect: People show love to each other. In this stressful world where we rush from one responsibility to another, it is good to stop for a few minutes, take a breath, and tell someone, “I love you”.
I have been thinking about how we show love — truly, not just with a bouquet of flowers, or even an expensive diamond ring. Is it enough?
To me, love must be experiential. Do not talk about it; show love in your actions. This is the (P) way of loving. It is very masculine: Take care of your woman, protect her, give her what she needs and wants. Happy wife, happy life.
But there is a feminine way of expressing love, too. It is subtle. It might look like it is nothing, but it is everything. It is expressed by dedicating to our loved ones the most important, scarcest asset we humans have: time.
To express your love in this feminine way, take a day off on St. Valentine’s Day and spend it with each other. No phones. No appointments. Nothing but being together. Go hiking. Go to a park, a botanical garden, a museum. Go visit art galleries. Go to the best restaurant in town. Just the two of you, no one else.
What does the partner who prefers (P) expressions of love get out of showing love this way? That his partner is happy. That is love: to feel the reward in making others happy.
Life is give and take. Love is when the taking is in the giving. In giving, we get the reward. It is instantaneous.
Think of your children: When you give them something, and they are so happy, how do you feel? It fills your heart to see them giggle and jump with joy, to see them laugh and clap their hands in appreciation.
To love is to do loving things. And what should you do? Give your undivided attention. Give that which is increasingly becoming extremely scarce and thus extremely valuable: time.
In writing this blog, I just did that: I gave you my time.