Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Author: Mel Robbins
This Valentines Day....let's talk about Love. Mel Robbins, one of my favorite life coaches, wrote this article.
What is love, anyway? If you look in the dictionary, it’s described as a “feeling of affection.” That’s not my definition. In my book, love is a verb. It’s an action. It’s something you demonstrate when you make people know they matter to you. Telling someone “I love you” is the easy part. Demonstrating it is what matters most.
One of my favorite talks of all time is Professor Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. It’s based on a lecture he gave at Carnegie Mellon University summarizing his life’s lessons while he was dying of pancreatic cancer. It’s been viewed more than 19 million times since his death and it has so many incredible nuggets (bring the Kleenex). He touches on love a lot in his talk and one piece of advice he got from a colleague about dating is powerful and true: It’s really simple. Ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.
Another video about love that I love is from the Tony award-winning creator ofHamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda. His incredibly moving Tony Award acceptance speech in 2016 was written as a sonnet and included these words... Love is Love is Love is Love is Love is Love, a tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting that left 50 people of the LGBTQIA community dead just hours before he accepted his Tony Award. Such a powerful reminder that love is love is love and it shouldn’t matter who you love; what matters is how you love.
And while we’re on the topic of video love advice, I have to bring up a famous line from a movie that I absolutely hate. It makes me cringe every time I hear it. If you ever saw the movie Jerry Maguire, you probably know exactly which line I mean. It happens near the end, when the main character, played by Tom Cruise, realizes maybe he shouldn’t have been such a jerk to the woman who supported him from the start. During his emotional plea to Dorothy, played by Renée Zellweger, he stares longingly at her and says, “You complete me.” Then she swoons, “You had me at hello.” BARF
I know, I know, so many of you loved that cinematic moment. But I couldn’t stand it. Why? Because it suggests that we are not completely whole unless we have a partner in our lives.
I’m here to tell you right now that it’s not true. You are NOT a puzzle with pieces missing that can only be filled by having an intimate partner.
And if you are wanting to find your soulmate, remember this. It’s the essence of a quote posted by Arlan Hamilton: Always be YOURSELF. That way the people who are looking for YOU can find you.
Then, I want you to do this for me: take inventory of all the people in your life who love you.
LOVE is what matters. All kinds of love from all kinds of people. Both the love you receive but most especially, the love you give.
So for Valentine’s Day, create the experience of love by giving a little love. I know it’s a manufactured holiday, but anything that makes us all love a little more is a good thing in my book.
Today, be deliberate. Do something on purpose to make someone feel that they matter to you. Not because you feel obligated to, but because you want to.
How about you send something to a friend who’s fighting an illness? “Just a reminder, you won’t have to face this alone.”
How about you write a love letter to one of your parents, siblings, or friends? Maybe this is the time you apologize for all those times you tried to change them. Loving someone means accepting them for who they are and for who they are not!
It doesn’t have to be complicated. How about you simply text someone to let them know you’re thinking of them?
If you’re a chocolate lover like me (my fave chocolates are from Hu Kitchen and those red truffle balls from Lindt), give some of that love to someone who makes your life easier but you may usually take for granted.
Don’t know who? What about the person who sits at the front desk of your office building. Or the person delivering your packages, the janitor at your child’s school, the bus driver, or the police officer waving through traffic in the cold and all the teachers in your life. Every single day, you have the power to brighten someone else’s by showing someone “I see you and I appreciate you.”