The strength of the month for February is Love. This is what VIA says about Love, “If Love is your top strength you value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.” With Valentine’s Day approaching a lot of us are thinking about Love. Love to me is more of an action than an emotion. Love is really a verb. When you care for and value relationship with others it plays out in actions.
I first took the VIA survey two and a half years ago, and Love was my top strength. Mayerson Academy staff took the VIA survey again several months ago and love fell off my top five strengths. This was not surprising to me as I was and still am going through major life transitions that have periodically caused me to feel isolated. So, it made total sense to me that Love was no longer ranked in my top strengths. I needed to pull more on other strengths to get through these difficult times. It is interesting that our strengths can change over time with circumstantial and environmental changes. It’s not that Love is no longer an important strength to me– I just need to rely on my others strengths more in order to carry me through recent, challenging circumstances.
If you are looking to boost your Love strength here are a few things that VIA suggests:
- Convey love at work by making an effort to understand who you’re working with, finding out what is important to them and engaging with them on the topic regularly.
- Engage in a favorite activity with a loved one (e.g., hiking, going to an amusement park, biking, walking in the park, swimming, camping, jogging).
We all want to feel and experience being loved and loving others. It is cyclical–you get what you give (mostly), but there are exceptions when sometimes you or others have to dole out extra helpings of love. This past year I have experienced gut wrenching heart ache amidst major life changes and transitions that felt chaotic, isolating, and extremely stressful. One of the most significant things I have discovered about Love over the past year is that those I am close to have expressed love in such grand ways that it has reignited this core strength of mine in a totally new way. It is like a wild fire. Realizing how loved I am has brought me back to life. People’s expressions of “Love through action” have made me crawl out of this hole of isolation and back into the light of the world where I can begin to be open to give and receive love anew.
Love is a powerful gift! When harnessed, used, and cultivated it can make the most difficult situations that seem impossible, become possible. Love melts icy hearts. It breaks down walls. It is understanding. It is patient and kind. Love doesn’t just happen on its own, though. It is a mindful choice to take action that expresses love for someone. Love is power.
Join us as we take the month of February to further explore the strength of Love.
For more information on VIA Institute on Character or to take the free survey visit: http://www.viacharacter.org