Valentine's Day has me thinking about love, but not in the way you might think. Love can be confusing, messy and complicated. Love has been used for centuries as tool to control and manipulate people and has become a commodity. Disney taught us as young girls to aspire to an unattainable level of romantic love. Stories of perverse physical love are common in the books we read and the movies we watch. But none of that is what love, pure love is about. I have worked in cards shops and flower shops for over 25 years, and I can tell you,that these industries have made our expressions of love something to be bought and sold. I remember the excitement of Valentines Day in grade school. Decorating a box to put on our desk so that our classmates could go around depositing the corny little valentines we had bought at the store. And then the anticipation of opening that box to see who was sweet on us.
We as a society are so focused on romantic love, and sexual love. But for me, none of this is what love is about. Regardless of what religion you believe or not, we are here to love. We are here to give love and to be loved. This is the meaning of life. Love is the one thing we all, as humans, have to give freely and yet we choose to withhold love from ourselves and others everyday. Love can change our life and can change the world.
As a healer, I believe love is vital. We need to love ourselves first and foremost. When we love our self, we allow our self to release all the crap we are holding onto, all the crap that is weighing us down, all the crap that is getting in our way of healing our life. Somewhere, along the way society decided that we have a limited amount of love to give and that giving our self love first was selfish. Love is infinite. Our heart is a muscle and like every other muscle in our body it needs to be used, to be exercised. Falling in love with our self does not limit the love we have, instead it allows our heart to swell and grow, producing even more love. When we love our self, we take better care of our body and soul, we re-evaluate our boundaries and enforce those boundaries, and place love in every situation. Self love and respect go hand in hand and can be life changing. We all know people who don't love or even like themselves. These are people who we see being used and abused by others who coincidentally don't love themselves either. Being told we are not lovable is hurtful and the damage can be with us for a lifetime unless we learn to love our self. Self love begins when we let go of the judgement and criticism offered by others and choose to accept our self as we are, scars and all. We all carry baggage, but we can choose to put those bags down, and be gentle with our heart, our soul. Giving yourself the love you so freely give to others is a tremendous gift that we all deserve.
So say we have taken the time to give our self love and our life starts to fill up with joy and love, then what? Then it is time to give that love to others. This is pure love. This is the love that transforms our life and the lives of those we give love to unconditionally. But how? How do I open my heart and share that love? There are lots of different ways. One of my favourite ways to share love is through meditation. Now I know there are many if you saying, " I can't meditate" Let's not make it complicated. It can be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your soul's heart or your energetic heart. Allow any walls to come down, or locks to be opened. Then allow the light of your heart space to shine. Envision the light growing and shining brightly. Filling your whole being with this light is the next step. Giving ourselves all our love is a wonderful feeling and so beneficial. We then want to watch that light grow so that it expands beyond us, filling the space around us totally and completely. Keep encouraging the love light to grow and expand. From there you can send the love to a person, place or even fill the world with your love. This practice is very powerful when you do this in a group. There are people around the world that organize this kind of meditation sending love all over the world. It is all about intention. Even though this sounds simple, it can make a difference.
Other ways to share our love can be equally as simple and is something we can do everyday. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger. We live our lives insulated from human interaction today. We use technology to communicate and as a result we can become isolated. I was in the grocery store the other day and it was crazy busy. The cashiers were swamped and people were getting crabby. So I decided to share some love and make the experience better for all of us. I started to chat with the gentleman behind me. We had a little laugh and you could see others in the line up behind us reacting. People started to connect and smile. When it was my turn I sent some love to my cashier, human to human. You could see her shoulders lower and we smiled at each other chatting as she processed my order. It was subtle, but it made her day better and made everyone else behind me a little kinder and less stressed by the whole situation. We never know what has gone on during the day or what pain or grief strangers are carrying with them. A little love in the form of a smile maybe all they need to help them get through their day. And when they smile back, well that is just such a lovely feeling.
So for Valentine's Day I would like to suggest an experiment. How about we give love to our self and to those around us. And let us do this for more than just February 14th. Let us try it for the week or the rest of the month. Do something nice for yourself each day. Maybe you need to by yourself a flower or two, or take a couple of flowers to a friend or co-worker who needs some love. Paying for a stranger's coffee in the drive through or taking a coffee to someone who you appreciate is a loving action. Send a card in the mail or pick up the phone and talk to a friend who you miss, or better still, call your parents. Holding the door for the person behind you and smiling at people you meet along your day does make a difference. See how many people you can touch with your heart. And see how giving that love freely, without a single expectation transforms your day, week, your life. The best part is that they will be touched by your kindness and they will most likely pass the love along to someone else. Love is free, love is easy and we all need more love in our life.
So, I send you much love today and hope that you will Bee my Valentine.