I’m a big fan of the movie Love Actually. I had to watch it several times to count the number of intertwining story lines. The fact is was based in Britain with all those great accents made it even more enjoyable. There were so many ways that love was shared between people in the movie. There were language barriers, class barriers, location barriers but love overcame all of that. Love finds a way.
In the book Love Story there is a line that goes “Love is never having to say your sorry.” I initially believed the meaning of that statement was that if you were so in love you would not do anything to hurt the one you loved. As I grew in my experience in love I understood that this could mean that being hurt or misunderstandings were discussed and didn’t escalate to the point of having to ask for forgiveness. Now I don’t know how to read into that powerful statement in such a popular book and movie. I know there are times in my life of love where an apology could have helped a lot.
What I’ve realized recently is we all need love given in different ways. We have a dominate way that we learn maybe from our parents (maybe from television!). Andy Andrews in his book The Noticer defined how we receive love is like an animal. There are four ways we need to receive love:
The Dog – A dog responds to praise, “good boy” or “that’s a boy” (are there no girl dogs??). Dogs receive love audibly. Do you cherish the words “I love you” or appreciate hearing how much you mean to someone. No doubt you are a dog for love.
The Cat – A cat responds to touch. I’ve recently learned they just jump up when they want your attention and stand on your keyboard or paw you in the face. Cats receive love by touch. Do you require hugs, hand holding, back rubs, or to be in someone’s arms or have someone in your arms? You would be a cat about love.
The Bird – A Bird responds to your presence. They will sing to you, you can talk to them and they pretend to listen, they just want you to be there. I heard that some birds need to be babysat or have day care when their owners travel. Birds receive love by your presence. If you just want to be with someone, if you can’t sit alone or not chat or post your status to Facebook or need to see another’s status to feel connected and cared for you are a bird for love.
The Fish – A fish responds to what you can do for them. While a fish is with you it’s only when yo are with them really as they aren’t mobile. Fish need you to clean the tank, feed them, put the castle upright, and make sure the bubbly thing is working. Fish receive love through the actions done for them. Do you enjoy gifts, meals cooked for you, doors opened for you or other nice surprises. You would be a fish about love.
When I asked myself what I needed to feel loved, what kind of animal was I; I had to really think. We all need a little bit of it all. When it comes down to it though we crave a certain type of action to feel loved.
I am a bird. I used to think I was a dog because I loved to hear and believe some one loved me. What I learned is that I want to be with someone, I want time more than to hear any words. As chatty as I am I would sit in silence next to someone to feel love rather than to hear it in words.
I enjoy a very heartfelt gift like a fish but I can live without them. I do have to say I enjoy being touched but if I just held hands when I’m 80 and could be in the presence of the person I loved that would be enough.
I love like a bird. Just be with me.
How do you need your love?
Best – Michelle