I just keep hearing the chorus of that Beetles song, “Hey, you’ve got to hide your love awayyyy…” repeating over and over in my head.
I think this is such a common thing that we unconsciously do – or even consciously do, in some cases. We feel a surge of love, admiration, inspiration, pride, excitement, joy, or [insert positive emotion here], triggered by someone else, and instead of showing our appreciation we say nothing at all (or maybe we even get the impulse to say something negative) – packing up all of that love confetti we could have showered with them with in a box and shoving it into a dark corner of the basement.
Why is it so hard for some of us to celebrate others?
Does the vulnerability that comes with showing authentic appreciation for someone else scare the shit out of us?
Does admitting out loud that we appreciate someone make us feel less-than, or maybe even in competition with them?
For a little real-world context, lets explore some common examples I’ve witnessed:
- Not congratulating someone on a big life event, i.e. graduation, promotion, accomplishing a goal, getting married/engaged, etc.
- Withholding gratitude when people do nice things for you, i.e. your partner cleans the house and you say nothing, or even get a little passive-aggressive and say something like, Finally…
- Neglecting to acknowledge and appreciate the professionals we see regularly in everyday life, i.e. barista, waitress, manicurist, cashier, taxi driver, etc.
- Withholding compliments when you admire something about someone
- Not showing love on social media posts that resonate with you
Thinking back to when I’ve had the inclination to withhold my love for others in the past, every example I can think of stems from a place of insecurity.
Like, Oh, if I tell them I think they’re incredible at this, it will show weakness in me. – as if someone’s strengths could take away from my own.
Or, If I thank them for doing that nice thing for me, maybe they’ll feel like they don’t want to do nice things in the future. – like people have some kind of quota around doing good deeds and I’m afraid if I acknowledge them they’ll reach quota and stop doing random nice things altogether.
Or, Even though this person’s social media post inspires me on every level, I’m just gonna breeze right by without liking or commenting, because they’ve got enough of those already. Also, I’m sure they wouldn’t even have noticed if I liked/commented anyway. – as if people only deserve so much love, and what’s the point of showing appreciation if I likely won’t be acknowledged for it anyway?
The ego is a sneaky little bastard. It wraps up all of these fear-based thoughts in rationalizations that are designed to keep us safe from harm (i.e. vulnerability), but do the opposite because they cause us to withhold SO. MUCH. LOVE. – which in turn causes us to miss out on huge amounts of the beauty that can be found in everyday life (and even contribute to a less-loving world).
Has someone showing you appreciation ever caused you to think less of them?
Has someone thanking you for something you did ever made you feel like you were done doing nice things for them?
Have you ever felt discouraged by someone’s support on a post that you thoughtfully created and shared with your community?
HELLS to the NO!
These are the simple ways we LIFT people up. The little ways we reflect their LIGHT back to them. The small things that encourage them to keep sharing their GIFTS with the world.
These are the ways we continue to encourage more love (and less fear) . The ways we cast our vote with words and actions for the type of world we want to live in – and the type of energy we want more of in our lives.
Every time we choose to not withhold our love from others, we’re creating a loved-up ripple effect whether we realize it or not. When you give love away freely, you’re freely attracting more love into your life.
I’ve fallen in love with challenging myself to not withhold my love whenever one of those creepy, fear-based thoughts creeps in my brain telling me I’d better keep to myself. The joy of celebrating others trumps people celebrating me, every single time. It’s such an incredible feeling.
So, the next time you get the inclination to withhold love and not let someone know how effing rad they are – that’s your cue to excitedly drag that big box o’ confetti outta the dark corner of your basement and dump it over their head.
Confetti begets confetti, and can you imagine how fun and beautiful and joyous life would be if we casted our vote for the type of world we want to live in by automatically showering peeps with (metaphorical) confetti whenever they did something awesome?
There’s no such thing as too much confetti, and there’s certainly no such thing as too much love – so let’s MAKE IT RAIN ❤️ .