Donna Kim-Brand

Statistics show that in countries where Valentine’s Day is celebrated, the custom is to demonstrate your love (or else 53 % of women would end the relationship…) by sending cards- a female thing, buying flowers- a guy thing, and by-the-way red roses, please, chocolates, or romantic dinner outings. The average spend is nearly $120 US per person.

What has become a cultural custom is based on the fact that what most people really seek in a love relationship is ‘intimacy’; a kind of relationship connection that allows you to be loved for who you are, as you are…to really be seen warts and all, and still be loved. I heard this description somewhere and love it- that true ‘intimacy’ really means ‘Into Me See’.

While holed up in a hotel this week, I happened to stumble upon an old episode of “Sex and the City”, one in which seductive Samantha Jones is grappling with both having cancer and surviving the immediate after-effects of chemotherapy. The theme of hair loss grabbed my attention, along with several stunning examples of love in action.

As a rather vain woman in uber-image conscious Los Angeles, she is struggling to deal with her hair falling out, and has a hard time revealing it to her handsome actor boyfriend, Smith Jerrod. In desperation, she sneaks into the bathroom to shave her hair when he bursts in and discovers her. When she confesses her anguish with losing her hair, he grabs the shaver and begins to shave off his award-winning Adonis locks the day of his movie premiere and red-carpet appearance. This spontaneous act of ‘we’re in this together’ empathy exemplifies supreme love, the type most of us hanker after.

Later in the show, Samantha is delivering a speech at a gathering of cancer cause supporters and blathers her way through her scripted lines. It’s only when she decides to go with her heart and open up about her own hair loss reality by publically whisking off her wig, that she gains the trust and adoration of the audience. They, in turn, one by one, stand up and yank off their wigs, to wild applause; the applause of recognition of a shared reality, and appreciation of Samantha’s willingness to bare her hard truth. Even the hardest, or most wounded, of hearts in that fake TV scene as well as in home viewer’s living rooms… or hotel rooms… were melted in that moment.

Both incidents exemplify love experienced through intimacy, as Samantha reveals her vulnerability over hair loss and is loved all the more for it in her personal and professional relationships. She allowed them to ‘see into her’- insecurities, hair loss, and all. And what came back was the kind of love that no amount of flowers or chocolates can buy. Even if we still would appreciate those, too!
Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day, however you play it!

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