Valentine's Day is celebrated every February in many regions of the world. The holiday is associated with romantic love, which is one type of love.
LUV in LRN LAF LUV LIV is a much broader and deeper concept of love and applies to all aspects of your life. LUV is about valuing yourself and nurturing others.
Be Your Own Valentine and Value Yourself
When you LUV inward, you do actions to value yourself. Valuing yourself means believing that you matter, that you have a purpose, and that you can make a positive difference in this world. You recognize that you are valuable to the world because of the goodness you have within you and that you share with others.
Valuing yourself also means taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You want to take proper care of your welfare to fulfill your purpose.
It is not an egotistical self-love. It is a love of self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-respect, goodness, and purpose. It is a love that gives you the ability and thoughtfulness to nurture, care for, and love others in a sustainable way.
So let Valentine's Day prompt you to give a generous gift of goodness to yourself. Do things that keep your mind, body, heart, and soul healthy. Exercise. Meditate. Relax. Eat healthy. Appreciate the goodness within you and the goodness you give to yourself and others. Know with your goodness that you are valuable in this world.
Nurture Others with the 5 Love Languages
When you LUV outward, you do actions to nurture goodness in others. Nurturing means loving, caring for, and supporting others so they may see and value the goodness in themselves. Nurturing means showing kindness, tolerance, and respectfulness.
There are several ways to give LUV to others. The effectiveness of the actions you do depends on the type of nurturing that would be helpful, the receptiveness of the recipient, and how the recipient likes to be loved. You may give love or try to help someone, but the other person may not accept the love or the help. It is the goodness of your intent and your actions that matter.
Dr. Gary Chapman identified five ways (which he calls "love languages") we express emotional love. He describes them in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Dr. Chapman's overall message is that the giver of love should "speak the primary love language" of the recipient to be most effective. It is important for spouses to communicate and understand each other's primary love language because spouses rarely have the same one.
The five love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation. Some people feel love when receiving positive comments, such as "I love you", "Thank you for making the bed, it makes my day so much easier", and "I appreciate you thinking of me and calling me on your lunch break."
- Acts of Service. Some people feel love by having good things done for them, such as washing the dishes, taking out the trash, making the bed, and opening the car door.
- Receiving Gifts. Some people feel love by receiving gifts and material items.
- Quality Time. Some people feel love when they have "together" time with the other person.
- Physical Touch. Some people feel love when they receive physical touch, such as hand-holding, hugging, cuddling, kissing, and sex.
While Chapman wrote his seminal book for spouses, the same five categories of love languages apply to LUV outward, whether it be your partner, your parents, your friend, your child, your colleague, or a stranger. You can use these categories as you identify actions to care for and support others.
For example, if a friend is ill, you can provide supportive and encouraging conversation (words of affirmation), cook for your friend (acts of service), bring flowers (receiving gifts), spend time in the room with your friend playing their favorite game (quality time), and holding your friend's hand (physical touch). Determine the most effective ways to nurture others by understanding the recipient's primary love language.
So keep these five love languages in mind as you LUV outward.
And have a happy LUV day, for yourself and for others.