I’ve never really liked the month of February, because “love” has always been a tricky concept for me. It’s kind of like the word happy? Every time someone asks “are you happy?” I want to throttle them. Happy is a relative word – hard to quantify. What is happy to you may not be the same to me. Love is similar.
So, February has always hit me the wrong way, made me feel less than for not really understanding or feeling the love concept like I should. The word can feel obligatory… sometimes even fake.
“You gotta love people.” Um, why?
“You gotta love your neighbor.” What if I don’t know my neighbor?
“You gotta send love to those who are mean to you.” Seriously?
“You gotta love your co-workers.” Um, no.
“You gotta love yourself.” Huh? That’s a really tough one for me. What's that mean?
The “gottas” get to me. I’ve often questioned whether I actually loved someone and then the guilt would come.
Then I heard (on one of my hundreds of motivational tapes – I have an obsession) that love is really just gratitude. Ahhh, I can grasp that. I can handle that one! I can always find something to be grateful for… even about that co-worker who ticks me off. Even about myself.
The good news, gratitude is also one of the 12 most rigorously researched happiness boosts, "offering a profound impact upon multiple aspects of well-being." IE: gratitude will make you happier (there’s that pesky happiness concept).
So, if you can’t quite grasp the love concept, if it makes you go running in another direction, focus on gratitude this month.
So, today, February 1st, let’s start the month with love-bombing or gratitude bombing. Starting today, send a daily text to your son or daughter telling them what you love about them, what’s great about them or what you are grateful for about them. Or post a heart on their door each morning. Don’t think you can do it for 28-days? Do it for 14, leading up to Valentine’s day.
I cannot tell you how much your child will appreciate these words. I’ve done this for the past two years with my kiddos. The first year, I texted. Second year, I posted hearts. Honestly, at times while doing it, I wondered if it even meant a thing to them, but I loved doing it – most of the time. (Have to admit, there were days I struggled not to repeat something.) But it DID mean something, and you can see the response from my daughter below. My son is the quiet one… I never really knew if he liked it. But in my “heart,” I know he did 😉.
Think about this. We often tell our kids we love them. When was the last time you told them thank you? When was the last time you told them why you are grateful for them, what is it about them that makes your life better or the world better?
No children? Then gratitude or love-bomb someone else or even yourself. Send an email to yourself each morning with one thing you are grateful for about yourself. I know it sounds silly, but no one will know but you. Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend.
This month, focus on gratitude… who knows, we may start to “love” February.