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On Love & Affection

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Unfiltrd Team decided to answer our own little Sound Off question. The topic: love and affection, of course. We know that this day can mean different things for everyone but we think it’s a good time to think about the role that love and affection play in your life and how you can be more attentive and intentional with those in your life.

Let us know in the comments below: What role does love and affection play in your life?

To me, love is everything. If you don’t have love in your life, fear may have taken its place in any one of its various forms – anger, jealousy, grief, greed, aggression, regret. Love is peace, forgiveness, kindness, joy, charity, abundance, and support.  In my life, I’ve try to make the conscious decision to live in love. When shit hits the fan, I ask ‘What is this here to teach me?’ When people hurt me, I try to find the good in what they brought to my life in the time that they were there. Most importantly, love is an endless gesture that I show myself by following through on the things that make me happy. I love telling people I love them in a birthday card, random thank you note, or at this time of the year – a valentine. I love my morning ritual of tea with extra honey and my evening ritual of taking in a few deep healing breaths before nodding off. I love pushing myself into this world of uncertainty by pursuing a career that has been a dream for most of my life. It’s not to say that I’m never angry or jealous but I don’t let fear take any more space than it needs to and the lease is always short. Instead, I let love move in and ask, ‘What comes next?’

Self love means a lot of things but mostly it means putting yourself first every once in a while. In the next month or so you’ll hear about people saying self love is getting a massage and rosé all day. Scrap that. In this day and age where you are reachable 24/7, it means turning the phone off and choosing not to check your work email for 3 hrs on a weekend. A lot of us work 9 to 5 jobs and take everyone’s problems all day and night without thinking about ourselves and our dreams.

In this mass marketed month of love, you should stand your ground and speak your truth.As you are the one taking the anxiety and stress home,  don’t be a doormat and take care of your mental health.

I throw around the word love a lot. My husband and I exchange ‘I love yous’ each night before bed but I don’t just love my husband: I’m attracted to him, I laugh with him, I delight in his cooking and the joy it brings him, my heart warms that he loves our cat so much, and some time soon I hope to see my love grow for him as we expand our family. He laughs at me when I exclaim, “I love rosé.” I don’t just enjoy rosé or like the taste of it. It brings me intense joy to look at and taste but also it brings so many great memories of drinking a great rosé on a summer day or on our honeymoon in Provence. I don’t want to change how much I throw around the word love or to name a few: how much I love sweet potato sushi, my microfiber cleaning cloths, my dear friends Charlotte and Kellie, and where I work. To answer most clearly, love brings so much sentimentality with it. I most often don’t love things before I have a memory attached with it, but once that memory is attached with a little ball a la Inside Out, it’s in for life.

Love is sharing the details of your day – the positive, the stressful, and the less-than-ideal. Love is downtime in front of the TV, reading books on the floor as a family, and reading books side-by-side on the couch. Love is talking about the future and the present moment, it’s about communicating and talking through issues, and also knowing when to be silent. Love is watching movies on the couch on a chilly day, playing with puzzles and blocks, dancing to silly songs, and being a shoulder to cry on. Love is offering support when you can, and if you can’t provide what the other person needs, it’s just about being there – being present, following through, and being a safe haven. It’s when someone believes in your dreams and goals, and supports you in making them a reality. Love is spontaneity and daily routines – it’s finding joy in the small things together, celebrating milestones, and laughing and crying together through stressful times. Love is family, friendship, pets, self-care, and neighbors — it’s feeling someone’s presence even when they are hundreds of miles away. It’s being there, and showing up, and also knowing when someone needs space. Love is seen in the quiet moments, and in the hug after a long day. Love is chatting over a quiet cup of coffee first thing in the morning, and over a glass of wine at night.

Published by Kristian Gist

Kristian is the founder of Unfiltrd and mother to the best little boy around. She's currently teaching herself sign language and probably off reading a good book somewhere and thinking about pizza. You can find her on Instagram @kristianologist.

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