Boxes of chocolates, heart-shaped cards, and all the other festive forms of endearment this Valentine’s Day conjure up images of love. But just what is love? Take some time to think about what love means to you as we approach the holiday. The role of love in your life is much broader and bigger than you may think…
Of course, one definition of love – and there are many – is the partnership between two people, manifest as the joy that is created from bonding and connection. Is love measured by the success, or failure, of a relationship? Does it spring from happiness, but fade away when we are alone? I’d like you to think about love as a constant in your life, neither dependent on another person, place or thing. It comes from you, no matter your current status or situation. If you love yourself, you will know how to love others.
Self-love may seem elusive, hard to understand and/or maintain, but without it, you cannot truly love another human being. Love for your mate, your children, your family and friends, and even your pets, depends on how you feel about yourself. The elements that make a relationship loving are very similar, whether between two people, with your own identity, or your connection and contribution to the world. Openness, compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude are qualities to apply to EVERY person and thing you interact with, and most importantly, to YOU.
Whether you have a partner in your life currently, or are seeking someone, true love begins in the mirror. Look in one and say, “I love you,” no matter if it makes you uncomfortable! While you’re picking up your Valentine’s gifts for others, give yourself a card and a small box of chocolates (no, not a giant one to gobble-up on your own!) Spend some time writing some positive meditations and affirmations on love. Sit with yourself, in quiet and stillness, and push away the past, the hurt, and the hesitation that may be there. Reach inside your heart and feel the love that lives in there, each and every day of your life.
As you’re considering what gifts to give to your Valentine, consider the gift that keeps on giving! A donation to a great cause on behalf of another is truly a gesture of love that reaches countless others!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!