I love flowers. Chocolate with caramel, oh yeah, I love that too. Celebrating love? I’m okay with that too, but Valentine’s Day? I’ve never really been a fan of it. Perhaps it is the blatant push of sugar, pressure to commit to a relationship one might not be ready for, or that it is used as a money making premise primarily.
Not to be the Scrooge of February but what if we said bah humbug to the pressure of purchasing and explore the possibility that love can be expressed without product? What if we did something radical like told people how much we care about them? What if we taught kids that every holiday on the calendar is not to a reason to buy their love?
And what if, just what if, we took the time spent on thinking and purchasing of the “supposed to” gift and used it to cultivate love in the world? Start in your small part of the world and allow it to go out exponentially.
Some ways that you could do this is;
- Bring kindness and attention to whatever you are doing. Be it dishes, speaking with someone, driving, listening to the children in your life.
- Practice compassion the next time you feel your temper rising. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to consider where they may be seeing the situation from.
- The next time someone is talking with you,listen. Really listen. Don’t just wait to respond. Listen to their voice, their words, their energy and what may be communicating beyond language.
- Pay attention to the thoughts that come up during the day. Love yourself enough to do this. Stop and listen. You’d be amazed at the love that can show up in that moment and maybe the compassion from the previous step.
- Be still. Five minutes. Start with five minutes of stillness. Hear that sound? It may be your brain protesting because you don’t normally take the time. Take another breath here. It is so worth getting under the chatter and hearing what your heart and soul want to say.
- Give yourself the permission to move away from any relationship that has negative language, substance abuse, control issues and of course any physical abuse. Admitting it may be one of the most difficult things to do, but you aren’t helping anyone by ignoring it. Love yourself enough to be loved.
- Along those lines, surround yourself with those that support you and you can support authentically. Relationships, and you, deserve that.
However you feel about the 14th of February, I hope you practice some, or all, of these each and everyday so that love becomes a daily occurance. That is where the joy of life really begins to show up.