Booking under: Nicole
Before I relay my thoughts on Remember Love this month, let me first wish you and your family a happy and prosperous year of the Monkey!
The title “Remember Love” looks interesting to me when I first saw Gretchen use the word “Remember”. I always thought love is an integral part of my life and this is something I will never forget. But then when I think about it, the title starts to make sense as she reminds me not to forget my top priorities and always bear in mind what matters the most to me in my life. It is really as simple as that: Remember Love.
Below are four key messages that strike me the most in this chapter:
1. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while
I found myself nodding in agreement as I read this Gretchen’s Secret of Adulthood. This quote can be applied to a wide array of life circumstances such as exercising, praying and of course love matters too. As she wrote, “small, frequent gestures of thoughtfulness were more important than flowers on Valentine’s Day”. Daily routines, instead of occasional experiences, are what define us. I am thankful that my relationship with Keith is built upon honest and open communication and we do not wait until a certain day to express our love and admiration towards each other which I think is the key to a thriving relationship. Checking in and saying the three powerful words may appear trivial but these are one of the most straight forward ways to show affection and I say it with genuineness that lives deep in my heart. As such, I will continue to show my appreciation and gratitude through small and thoughtful gestures regularly.
2. Don’t expect praise or appreciation
We all like to receive words of encouragement or compliment, don’t we? Every now and then, it is always nice to hear praises after winning the gold stars back in college or now at work that makes us feel like a rock star. However, I am always mindful to remain humble and not to obsess over the results whenever I do something. My take is that I do something because I think it is the right thing to do (for a good cause) instead of dwelling on evaluating whether I will be praised after doing that. Reflecting on my relationship with Keith, I do things not because I want to gain myself the best girlfriend triumph but simply because I love and care about him. Love is both give and take. It is all about attaining the right balance. With that in mind, I am committing to be true to myself whenever I do something, focus on the cause itself and do not expect praise in return. When one loves, one does not calculate.
3. Fight right
This one actually reminds me of a common question asked by our friends after we travelled to Europe that if we ever fought (well verbally, not physically) during the trip. The answer “No” apparently surprised them a bit. Looking back, of course we have disagreements inevitably. While some people may find it an intimidating topic to talk about, we are happy to embrace disagreements since they are more than normal and also healthy to foster our relationship. As Gretchen precisely pointed out, “how a couple fights matters more than how much they fight”. When disagreements arise, I focus to resolve the current issues and not to worsen the situation by saying anything blameful or rehashing the past mistakes. Tapping from the past just won’t help tackle the current problem but fuel the anger in the heat of the moment. Winning any argument at the expense of hurting the people I love also never appeals to me. Hence, I will learn to be a respectful listener to hear their perspectives out, address the current issues and remain calm and reasonable in conflicts.
4. Give proofs of love
Flowery words are easy to throw around. People can only make their words credible by backing it up with constancy of actions and behavior. At the end of the day, what ones does holds much more significance than what one says. This notion coincides with a remark attributed to Pierre Reverdy: “There is no love. There are only proofs of love.” There is no rocket science to “prove” love. It can only be felt and experienced by heart. While things are easier to be said than done, my commitment here is to live up to my words and always be trustful, truthful and supportive to the people I love, especially Keith.
Now that I am adding a new list of resolutions for February, I will also ensure myself to keep up with the ones from last month. My four committed actions in this fab Feb are:
1. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while – keep it up
2. Don’t expect praise or appreciation – be true to the cause
3. Fight right – don’t raise your voice, open your ears instead
4. Give proofs of love – let words and actions coincide
That’s it for me this month. Come back next week to see how Keith did on his commitments. If you have resonance with my sharing or hold a different perspective, we would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before I close, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day with your loved one. Enjoy and stay sweet.