A few years ago, I listened to an interview where the person being interviewed explained how love requires three very important things – all of which begin with the letter “A.”
ATTENTION. AFFECTION. APPRECIATION.
I was amazed and enlightened as I heard this interviewee speak about these three simple ways to express not only love to another person but also to show them how important they are. After that interview, I started to become more mindful in my relationships by expressing all of the three “A’s” to my loved ones. I thought it was such a valuable lesson how these three simple acts of attention, affection, and appreciation can go a long way in service of making others feel loved and valued. Let’s look at each of these individual actions to understand why they are so meaningful to those we love.
Anyone that’s been around kids knows that one of the things they crave the most from the adults around them is attention. Remarkably, this need doesn’t diminish as we age. We still need to have our loved ones’ attention in order to feel seen, heard, and validated. Having someone’s undivided attention makes us feel like what we are saying, doing, or thinking is valued. As we apply mindfulness to so many facets of our life, I think it’s important to mindfully give our attention to those we love. That means putting down our phones, clearing our minds of chatter, making eye contact, and being still and present in the moment with that person.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of affection is, “a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something,” but in practice, showing affection can look like different things to different people. Some of our loved ones may prefer physical affection while others may prefer words or actions. Because the ways in which we show our affection for our loved ones require us to be in tune with their personalities and preferences, it can be a very powerful and personalized way to show our love. When we show our affection in a way that resonates with the person we care for, not only does it make that person feel loved, but it also makes them feel safe, respected, and understood.
Letting our loved ones know exactly how much we appreciate the light they bring to our lives is not difficult, but oftentimes this simple acknowledgment gets overlooked. Sometimes we take for granted that the special people in our lives know how much we love and appreciate them, and sometimes we just forget. Showing appreciation to loved ones can be as easy as listening to them, treating them to a cup of coffee, or simply saying, “Thank you.” Even the smallest token of appreciation can have a profound, meaningful, and long-lasting effect. No matter how we go about showing our appreciation, it’s important that we do so freely and frequently. The more we reinforce our appreciation for a person, the stronger our bonds of love will become.
It’s fitting that each year during this month of love, Mala and Mantra gets to celebrate our anniversary. This year marks nine years since we first began our mission to empower the world through wellness. It has been our privilege to work with our fair trade cooperative of women artisans and to have had the opportunity to connect with so many of you. We want you to know that we love and appreciate you for sharing our vision and our values. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.