A Love Affair with Life

Tis the season of hearts and flowers, rainbows and butterflies, chocolates, kisses and candles.
I used to think Valentine’s Day was just another Hallmark holiday for the purpose of selling stuff to folks who feel obligated to offer tangible evidence of their love and devotion.
But loving is not limited to one day of the year.
In his book, Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman describes the diversity of how each of us expresses our love to others. Some give gifts, others offer acts of kindness or physical touch. Words of encouragement and affirmation are another approach, along with spending quality time together. I suspect we all use some of each, but we tend to have a favorite.
I’m a big card person, and I especially love sending Valentines. There was a day when sitting down with my doilies, markers and glue sticks brought a song to my heart. I have gotten a little lazy in my old age, but do invest time searching for cards with just the right words and visual appeal. That in itself can be a challenge, which is why I made my own for years.
Understanding and recognizing love languages is a fine art, indicative of a commitment to communicating on a deep emotional level. Realizing that others express themselves to us in ways that we may not even recognize is crucial to long-term relationship success.
‘Bids for affection’ are also an interesting phenomenon in couple’s communication. Coined by a prominent psychologist, he claims he can predict the potential success of specific relationships with extreme accuracy by simply observing these bids. Research reveals that we make many of them daily, and the degree to which they are acknowledged and reciprocated is crucial to long term love. They range from something as simple as asking ‘how was your day’ to intimate interaction and everything in between. Reciprocity in relationships is a cornerstone of long-term commitment and when bids go unanswered, relationships suffer.
It is not just whom you love, but what you love, and how you love that keeps your heart happy.
Love is elusive for many, and defined differently by everyone. We learn what we live, which manifests in our choices and our behavior. How do you express love for your life?
How often to you make bids for affection in it?
Where do you go, what do you do, and who do you surround yourself with in your quest for happiness? As my favorite sign in my collection says: remember, very little is needed to have a happy life.
Engage in a love affair with your life. Embrace every moment for what it is, realizing that all experiences are opportunities for learning and growth. After all, it is not having what you want, but wanting what you have that makes for a happy life.

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