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So the Sandbox topic for this week is: What makes you feel loved? I didn’t expect this to be a hard post for me, but I seem to be stumbling all over myself trying to write it. I’m wondering if that’s because actually laying it out there makes me feel vulnerable. You know, once you say the words they can’t be unsaid. Kind of like fishing for compliments from your spouse when you say “Notice anything different today, honey?” after you had your hair turned bright pink and he’s oblivious. Then when he says “Oh yes, dear, what a lovely color,” you get upset because his comment wasn’t spontaneous. (What? Am I the only one that does that???)

A few people have mentioned different kinds of love from different people: spouse, kids, family, friends… I look at it a little differently. It doesn’t matter to me which of these groups of folks I’m talking about, my needs within each group are always the same. There are three of them.

I’ve had a life-long love affair with words, be it in books, music, movies, or conversation. Words are the greatest currency in my life. It’s easy to translate that into how I feel loved. I need WORDS from others. But not just ANY words. I need words of AFFIRMATION. I need to know through someone else’s words that I am important to them. It could be for any reason. Because I cook them dinner every night. Because I did an exceptional job putting together workshop material. Because I’m always there to listen to them. Because I make them feel loved and special.

Hm… I guess what I’m saying is, I need to feel I have value in someone’s eyes. When I feel that way, especially when they use words to tell me, I feel safe, secure, and cared about. Unfortunately for me, I’m a bit of a black hole when it comes to words. My insecurities get in the way and it takes a damn lot of them to convince me you mean what you say. Just ask Lord Drollery. But that kind of communication goes a long, long way toward making me feel loved. There are other ways as well.

I feel loved and cared about when someone wants to spend time with me. Quality time, not necessarily quantity time. A friend can call on the spur of the moment and say, “Haven’t seen you for awhile. Are you up for a quick cup of coffee?” and though we may only get to chat for half an hour, I get the warm fuzzies all over. (Of course that could very well be the anticipation of the raspberry-mocha frappucino at Starbucks! 😀 ) This is especially true with family. It’s so easy to take each other for granted. We think that person will always be there, we can tell them what’s going on in our life another day. But I’m at that age now where I know there’s no such thing as counting on another day. Spending time with those you love is important. For me it makes me feel like I’m worth their setting that time aside. And that makes me feel loved.

I guess the third way I feel loved is through physical affirmation. A hug, a hand squeezing my shoulder, Drollery brushing my hair out of my eyes or cutting my toenails, and all the other big AND little intimacies that are common with your partner. (What? You’ve never had someone cut your toenails??? LOL I’m not only diabetic, I’m blind as a bat! I don’t cut my own toenails for fear of cutting myself. Don’t want to lose a toe to an infection. His lordship is great about seeing they’re done safely.) When someone takes the time to affirm me in a physical way, I feel like that’s a gift of themselves to me. It makes me feel I’m important enough to them to go out of their way to do that. It makes me feel loved.

I couldn’t help but notice that all three of the things I wrote about had one thing in common. They all said to me that I was important, worthy, valued. So I guess when it comes to feeling loved there are probably beaucoup ways of doing that for me. Maybe it all boils down to just knowing I’m wanted in someone’s life.

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In response to The Sandbox Writing Challenge 12 — What makes you feel loved?