Love is the energy that connects us.
It is one of those words that we use so loosely. As we finish up our phone calls or as we prepare to part ways with someone we care about we often blurt out, “love you!” But we often utter those words without really thinking about what it all means.
Not everyone has the same definition of love. Yes – it can take on many shapes and sizes. But when love is truly present it is undeniable. A few days ago my youngest daughter came up to me and just wrapped her arms around me really tightly and said “I love you, Mama.” It was a sweet moment. The connection between a mother and child goes beyond words. The feeling is palpable.
But what about as we get older? I was brought to tears last year when my 12 year old surprised me with a mason jar that was labeled “100 Things I Love About You.” As you could imagine, inside of the glass jar were 100 strips of things she loved about me. The little paper notes were sweet. But the amount of time and thought that went into it – the depth of what she wrote – was moving and touching.
I am often amazed at the things that I see in my little ones. My eldest, who is 17, is such an emotionally aware young woman that she often can tell how I’m “really” feeling. I cherish all three of my daughters, and my adoration for them moves me to really help them understand what healthy love is. It is an important part of what we need as we grow (at every age). It is too important to settle for the artificial versions.
Everyone has a language of their heart – a language that speaks to them intensely and clearly. For some of us, we feel loved when someone gives us a gift. For some, it is when a friend goes the extra mile to serve us. For others, it is when someone offers us a kind word at the right time, or when someone gives you a warm hug right when you needed it the most. And many of us value quality time with a dear friend. For more on these languages make sure to check out the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I would like to add one more language to that list: having someone cook a loving meal for you. This gesture has so much meaning and even when I was quite little, I saw how my love affair with food and my curiosity for connection came together perfectly in the kitchen.
All of my closest relatives were so talented in the art of cooking and the main ingredient always included in abundance was love. How do I know that? Because I was asked, as were other relatives, each taking turns, what they would love to eat. Subsequently, the family members in charge of the kitchen would make note of the responses and would create meals designed to make us happy (and healthy). Often, we cooked as a family and usually to encourage at least one specific individual. The team would put much thought and care and effort into the dishes being prepared. Everyone was valued from the prep toddler to the matriarch chef, and we all shared in the celebration.
I have learned that in love one must value and be valued. From that place comes the best expressions of true affection. I enjoy expressing my love for people through cooking and feeding them, and bringing people together. This is by far my favorite way to spend time with my family.
What is your favorite way to express your feelings for the ones you care about most? What is your favorite way to receive affection from others? Have you ever thought about it? We’re all different so it is ok that your “love language” is unique to you. The important thing to always remember is that the energy of giving underneath those gestures will forever be what connects us.
As you look for fresh ways to say “I love you,” here are some actionable ways to show love:
- Show your loyalty. Clearly those around you know that you care for them unconditionally.
- Be honest - with oneself and others.
- Give your time. Presence is more valuable than presents.
- Understand each other's communication styles. (We all have our own styles.)
- Be vulnerable. If we are not completely open we can never fully love or be loved.
- Be a good friend.
- Show empathy. Get used to being in the other person's shoes.
- Always show respect - in every aspect.
Easy Peasy Scallops
- 12 large scallops
- 4 Tbsp of avocado Oil
- a splash of sherry
- 4 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 1 1/2 lbs. spinach (chopped roughly)
- 2 tbsp ginger (chopped, fresh)
- 3 cloves of garlic (chopped, fresh)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tsp Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala (divided)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste, fresh ground)
In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil over medium heat.
Next, add in cumin and stir for about 15 seconds.
Add in garlic, onion and ginger and cook until brown.
Add in turmeric, salt, cayenne and 2 teaspoons of garam masala.
Add in a splash of sherry.
Next, add in spinach a handful at a time until bright green and wilted.
Simmer on low heat for 6-8 minutes.
Season both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil.
When the oil begins to simmer, add in scallops.
Cook until golden.
Add in heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala to the spinach.
Turn off the heat.
Serve scallops on a bed of spinach.