So here's my take on Valentines Day. Unless someone is in a brand new relationship and needs a specific day to share their feelings of love and appreciation, here is yet another opportunity for society to have us spend three times the amount for flowers, chocolates and other gifts of acknowledgment. Anxiety abounds as each of us hopes that whatever we purchased was exemplary enough to demonstrate our appreciation and our love to our “main squeeze.”
The research of loving relationships teaches us that from the December holiday season through Valentine's Day represents the greatest percentage of breakups! After all, it is the New Year and we have been conditioned to finally take some time to introspect and reconsider our choices and habits going forward.
If you have followed my blogs, there is a deep, consistent and almost redundant plea to work on ourselves.
It is only through reflection that we can begin to see vividly and listen to the “whispers of our hearts”–our truth.
So on this Valentine's Day, may I make this recommendation? Along with honoring those you love, spend a little time acknowledging yourself.
What does this look like?
Like it or not, we all have endless dialogues internally. For once in your life, STOP! Take a closer look at your self-talk. Yes, that incessant perpetual loop of conversation that is often self-deprecating, self-loathing and always self-depleting.
I for one sincerely believe that staying “conscious” to observing your self-talk will be enlightening, eye opening and potentially, the most proactive step you can take to eliminating this horrific act of self-abuse.
My understanding is that you cannot stop “self talk,” however; our awareness of it will both reduce its volume, as well as become the action to transform it to words of encouragement.
Lastly, print out this question on paper.
What am I doing or thinking of this very moment?
Yes, your willingness to take this question and paste it to your computer monitor, your dashboard of your car, the mirror in your bathroom or anywhere that you will confront and see it often is critical. This will help you ask the question over and over and eventually lead you to become unconsciously competent in staying present to your internal dialogue.
Bringing “awareness” to you through this deliberate act will help you escape your automatic, negative and self-demeaning thought patterns.
So on this Valentine's Day, focus on the “greatest love of all”- SELF LOVE .
Appreciate, honor and stay mindful of your internal compass, your values and your gifts. This one action step can be your buoy, yes your life preserver, to hold onto when crisis abounds, partnerships erode and when life’s tsunamis strike. And strike they will.
Finally, you may ask, why even bother?
You cannot love another until you honestly love yourself. The more loving we can be, the more that love comes back to us. Our willingness to give without any need to receive is the blessing of what we call “A TRUTH.”
Love for the sake of loving, give for the sake of giving and serve for the sake of serving. Wow! What a concept, yet so far removed from the ethics of our culture.
As a society, most of us have been reared with the philosophy of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?).
It is very freeing to live the life where we give without any expectation. In my studies, most depression often comes about as a result of “UNMET expectations.”
Yes, each of us is unfortunately saddled with an ego. It is so easy to be disillusioned, broken hearted and disappointed. However, with a deepened understanding of self-love and loving others with no expectation, you simply live a life with less suffering.
On a personal note, if we really love, care and respect those in our life, we are given this opportunity every day that we are alive. So rather than sounding like Scrooge or a guy who doesn't enjoy holidays, I leave you with a note on a 3 x 5 card that I have on my refrigerator that I authored.
“It’s not how much we give each other, rather it's
how much we give of one another.”
Each of us sees life through our own lenses as a result of our life experiences, our upbringing, our triumphs and our heartaches. I hope this message reaches both your mind and your heart and brings both of them closer to your own truth.