It was in junior high that my son declared Valentine’s Day a “Hallmark holiday.” But before he felt manipulated by advertising, my Valentine’s Days were filled with hearts of love.
During the early years, his Valentine’s Day cards for me were homemade. When he was four I received the sweetest-ever audio message in a talking photo frame that he’d recorded with help from his dad. Otherwise, he gave me valentine cards, drawings or booklets that he’d made himself. I kept them all.
And while my son doesn’t send me valentines anymore, he often emails me links he finds interesting, fun or educational. How fitting for today that love was the topic of a CNN piece he sent recently, titled “10 things you might not know about love.”
The article opened my mind and challenged my beliefs – two things my son has done his whole life! I learned, according to author and psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, that love is not what you think it is. Describing love in the terms our bodies experience it, she says it’s “a micro-moment of connection shared with another.” And we can share those micro-moments of connection with anyone.
A key component for that connection is making eye contact. And the result of those micro-moments is a healthier life. And that, in turn, gives us a greater capacity for love. Sounds like a pretty sweet cycle, don’t you think?
This Valentine’s weekend – and everyday after – I wish you lots of love and connection with humanity.
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