It’s the morning of the big day and you prepare yourself for the wonderful experiences that you know will happen. Imagining just how much fun is in store, you’re impatience is driving you crazy. Why is it taking sooooo long to get there? The sweettarts and snickers bars are just waiting for you! The excitement is all consuming as your imagination runs wild with lip-smacking anticipation of treat paradise. 🙂
When you finally do arrive at school, your teacher informs you that you will need to build a sturdy and safe place to store your treasures! So, you create a makeshift mailbox for the soul (sic :)) purpose of holding on to those sentiments and the sweets that touched your heart and palate.
Once the box is complete, you and your classmates would deliver mail to the various mailboxes in the classroom. But you weren’t finished yet! Then the real fun began. You would get to eat treats and play games. Near the end of the day, you would share and compare your haul of goodies with your classmates.
On that day, reciprocity and inclusion were mandatory, and because of that, you and I felt like we belonged.
So, I’m wondering whether your last Valentine’s Day experience delivered the goods? Was it full of joy, fun and anticipation? Or was there one or more of those components missing?
Could it be true that as we aged out of mandatory reciprocity and inclusion, we aged into exclusion, loneliness, and frequent disappointment brought on by a structure and a system of interaction that can, sometimes, make us feel invisible?
If so, what would happen, then, if we employed the same system that existed in elementary school to our lives now? In essence, applying these four rules:
- Treat others like you want to be treated.
- Include others in your activities.
- If someone does something nice for you, you do something nice for them.
- If you can’t say something nice, keep it to yourself.
It seems too simplistic, doesn’t it? Reciprocity, kindness, speaking with good intention, and inclusion. Almost antiquated and pedestrian, right? However, if you employed these four intentions on a consistent basis, you would improve the conditions that create the feelings of love and belonging. Sometimes, the simplest things to do are the very things that work the best and are the easiest things to overlook.
When we feel seen, heard, and valued, we feel energized and satisfied.
And that doesn’t just have to happen on a scripted day like Valentine’s day. That can happen every single day of your life.
As we aged out of mandatory reciprocity and inclusion, did we age into exclusion, loneliness, and frequent disappointment brought on by a structure and a system of interaction that can make us feel invisible?
My point is that whether you have that special someone or not or whether you got the gifts that you wanted or not is irrelevant. What matters is the intention of our social exchanges, and that intention, makes the difference in the quality of my life and yours.
Inclusion, kindness, speaking with good intent, and reciprocity. It’s that simple.
I would like to offer up the radical idea that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to happen once a year – it can happen every single day of your life, because it isn’t just a date, it is an attitude.
You and I can choose to live our lives with thoughtful intention instead of reactive neglect.
How are your systems and structures serving you? Are you inadvertently setting up the conditions for your own disappointment and loneliness?
If the answer is yes or maybe, then give the rules above a try. I have a feeling that with the right intention, life could be a whole lot sweeter and a whole lot better for you and those you care about.
If you feel that you may need help with developing a better mindset, help with your communication skills, or help with better habits, please click here to Learn more about coaching. I only take a few clients throughout the year, so if this is something that speaks to you, reach out. I’d love to explore working with you.
As always, leave a comment, ask a question, I’m here to help.
Thank you so much for reading and until next time, make the most out of the time you have!
With love and respect,