Let’s face it. . . life would be pretty dismal, dark, and depressing without love. In fact, it’s pretty essential to life. Valentine’s Day is not just a heart-filled holiday, celebrating romantic love, but also serves as an important reminder of the essential nature of unconditional love.
Love is not just a fashionable fad – here one season and gone the next – but, instead, is a universal season as we make connections and build and maintain relationships. The Beatles sang it, “Love Is All We Need.”
This Valentine’s Day is an ideal opportunity to remember how vital love is and to be grateful for all the love we have as we learn to give love and let it grow. Sure, love is not always easy and can sometimes encompass hurt and damaging break ups, but love is worth it, and so are you.
Whatever your specific definition and interpretation of love, unconditional love never dies and is the glue that keeps real real-ationships together. Love goes on forever, flowing beyond boundaries and past limitations with the capacity to make us whole and healed.
As imperfect humans, our love may also be imperfect, but the more we cultivate and express love, even towards those we like least, the better off we will be. And, as a positive result, our relationships – both long and short-term – will become stronger, more meaningful, and more rewarding.
Focusing on becoming a more loving individual has a greater impact than we may realize. Like ripples in the water, we are intricately connected to one another in our personal network of family and friends and the impact often extends far beyond to others we don’t even know. Just one person can have a tremendous influence on the lives of many, not just locally within a community, but also regionally, nationally, and even internationally.
Good news: being heartful, kind, and loving doesn’t always mean wearing your heart on your sleeve. You can think, feel, and act from the heart without putting yourself in a vulnerable position and without risk of being hurt. Letting love light your life and sharing it with others – even strangers – can benefit your life bountifully.
Love and compassion go hand-in-hand, or shall we say go from heart-to-heart? Negative feelings like frustration, jealousy, anger, and resentment are easily conjured and can be harmful to our health and well-being on multiple levels. Many of these pessimistic feelings stem from misperceptions and misunderstandings. The more we can understand and relate to someone who is going through their own difficulties, the better we can avoid attracting their toxic emotions that may have been entirely unintended.
Take road rage for example. If you knew how much the person in the car behind you had been through, it might be easier to forgive the tail-gating. Just imagine how different it would be if you had met that same driver in a different setting, sitting down and sharing about each other’s rough days over a cuppa coffee. So, try not to jump to conclusions. Don’t take it personally, cut them some slack, and give them some extra personal space. In return, this person’s reaction will probably be less abrasive and angry.
Instead of getting annoyed or hating on the negative characteristics, flaws, or imperfections of others, try making peace with them. Remember, a coin has two sides. You may not like or agree with certain aspects, but the act of accepting is the most gracious aspect of loving in an unconditional way. Don’t try to force someone else to change. Be as patient as possible, because change is a process.
In the musical romance Moulin Rouge, Christian has it right when he says, “Above all things, I believe in love. Love is like oxygen, love is a many-splendored thing, love lifts us up where we belong! All you need is love!”
Love wins! So choose to love yourself and others. Make this Valentine’s a truly heart-full holiday by living with a full heart.