“This is my family. I found it all on my own.”

February 22, 2023 | Vickie Wu

Photo: On Feb. 17, residents and their friends gathered for Palentines Day — a day to celebrate love of all kinds in community, put on by our house’s Spiritual and Community Life committee. Photo credit: Vickie Wu

One core aspect of my personality is that I really love Disney. One of my favorite movies is Lilo & Stitch, because the aliens and action ultimately take a backseat to the family dynamics. That movie also has a lot to say about love, and finding your chosen family. Stitch (the alien character) says my favorite line: “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah. Still Good.”

I love conceptions of love that are wider than romantic love, and that’s part of my deep appreciation for Beacon Hill Friends House and our community here. I have been on staff at BHFH for nearly 6 years now, and one of my favorite parts of my job is how my life is full of love.

My former housemate and colleague, Emily Savin, once shared with me a quote from Isaac Penington, an early Quaker, that states, “Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand, if there has been any slip or fall…”

One of the things I like about this quote is that it’s not just about the feeling of love but the actions that express it. This past Friday, we had our annual “Palentines Day” (sometimes also called “housietines day”), where we celebrate our love for each other and those in our lives and the ways that we express that love.

A core part of my job here is to cook meals for Housies and guests Sunday through Thursday, and feeding people is a part of how I express my love for others. The philosophical preface of our chore handbook talks about chores as an expression of love for each other. At Palentines day, we talked about other love languages, such as words of affirmation or acts of service.

How do you express your love for the people in your life?

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