I have been a part of quite a few Secret Sister soirees. The name of the game is to bless someone’s socks off with gifts that are to their taste, and all done in a sneaky, under the radar manner. A list is made by the giftee…. I like such and such; chocolate, flower, color, etc, names on secret ballots are exchanged, and then the secret woman gifting begins. The name of the game is to get the encouraging gift to your person stealthily, each month, until the big end of the year reveal. This is such a fun activity, and the giving is really the best part. You would think you could just listen up for details of your friend’s liking but then they would know it was you, right? A lot of thought goes into this little plan. Maybe the best part is that no one knows it’s you, until they do. I loved participating and getting to the heart of that secret friend.
But then, there is the bitter reality that everyone is not so skilled at following through. Many have been on the end of accidental gift giving duds who’s lives get busy, and next thing you know you are feeling unloved and forgotten about while others around you are finding joy.
At the end of one of one of these seasons, that turned out more stressful than fun, I jokingly (and maybe a bit bitterly) stated that we should do Blatant Out Loud Sisters. And, to this day, one of my friends says, “I love you out loud,” when we are chatting.
That started these thoughts in me: Why are we uncomfortable to love our friends out loud? And, the flip side of that… Why are we uncomfortable to accept loving gestures?
I feel like the source of all this is cultural conditioning. The take care of yourself attitudes, and the mind your own business statements. I for one am tired of people minding their own business. I am all for respect of the individual but we have forgotten how to live out some community mindedness.
We are all scared to death of our bared souls being rejected and if someone does cross boundaries to love us well, we are then suspicious of perceived ulterior motives. Why can’t we just show love for the sake that we love and appreciate one another!
If you see a mug that speaks of your bestie, get it for them! If you see a friend deeply struggling, send a card, old school, just to let them know you are there if they need you. If you love your tribe, let them in. Say what you mean. Tell them they are beautifully strong people. Believe them when they tell you that you are doing awesome at being you. If you hear that your friend loves a certain maker, surprise them with your good intent. Why not spread a little creative and visual love? It lasts way beyond the gesture every time they see that item.
My favorite gifts are the ones given for no reason but that someone wanted to encourage me or was even just thinking kindly of me. That is not an arrogant statement either, we all need to know someone has got our backs. We all need to know someone can hear our hearts too. Don’t doubt your intuition. Be brave enough to be that weird friend that pushes societal norms. Rebel nerds are cool nowadays anyways.
So, a challenge for you all…. Think of your confidants, your mentors, your family, your besterfields (as I sometimes call them), your loves, and your gem of a friend, and love them out loud this week. Rototill the bonds of friendship. Happy Spring!
About the Author
Hi! I am Tara Serene, mother of four, a wife to one. Welcome to my inner thoughts. Enjoy and be ever encouraged forward.
Hey guys! I am Sarah, Owner and Designer at Shindig Shop. I'm so happy to get to know you all a bit more and help to facilitate stories and celebrations of friendship.