Love is in the air, so go ahead and send yourself a Valentine. Now, I don’t mean go out and buy red construction paper, doilies and stamps. But if you do splurge, and decide to send yourself flowers, send your favorite kind, roses or not. For me, tulips will do the trick, especially ice cream tulips. Can it be any better than flowers that look pretty enough to eat? Really though, I want you to take a moment, a love YOU moment, and do this Valentine’s Day exercise with me.
Are you loveable? I don’t mean do you feel loved. I want to know if you see yourself as lovable. When I was young, a friend told me that I was too talkative, too bubbly. Now as far as I knew, I had only been told this by a few clearly irrational teachers. Could this trait possibly make me unlovable? I pondered this new-found personality ‘weakness’, but only briefly. I recalled conversations, one on one and in groups lining the school hallways, and certainly there were worse Chatty Cathy’s than I. So, I decided this was my friend’s problem, not mine. After all, this is how I had been for as long as I could remember, and I had plenty of friends who enjoyed my company. When you feel unlovable, it is usually because someone along your life’s journey has made you feel that way and you believed it. Maybe you still do. Or, and this is a strong possibility, you might be your own worst enemy. When we focus on deficiencies in ourselves, they often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Check your attitude. Do you want to be more lovable? My advice is to STOP and GO. Stop dodging others. Go be friendly. Stop avoiding eye contact. Go make people feel warm and welcome. Stop and try to see yourself as others see you. Then, go fix the things you don’t like. Finally and most importantly, stop and know that you are uniquely and wonderfully made. You are special. Now go love someone today because, it is when we love others that we feel the most lovable.
Do you create love? Be grateful for where you are right now. When you embrace a feeling of gratitude, you open yourself up to creating your own love. You begin to delight in the moment and see the beauty in simple pleasures such as sunsets and smiles, birds and babies, friends and flowers. Gratitude is not often in the forefront of our minds, but is usually aroused when we encounter a pleasant outcome to a stressful situation. At my doctor’s office recently, I waited among ten or so other women in fashionable blue gowns for my annual mammogram. With big red stars on my chart, and not because I am an”A” patient but, because I am an “Alert”, or an “Alarm” to the mammography technician based on my family history. You see, I get to remain in my lovely flowing gown for about four hours, enduring steps A through Z, while others are on the abbreviated agenda. This year I passed. Once again, I am grateful. Don’t let overcoming life’s biggest obstacles be the only time you feel thankful.
Do you give love? When we give love, we create more love in us. And when love is expressed, it is more readily received. How do you show your love for family and friends? Do you express it only when you feel like it or do you make an effort to be consistent with your love acts and words? My children have known since the first time I held them in my arms that they are loved. Rocking them as infants, I sang about my love for them. As children and teenagers, I told them I loved them before they started each day, and all along I expressed my love for them through affection and kind deeds. I have no regrets of unexpressed love in words or actions. Don’t let fear or awkwardness keep you from expressing your love for others. Tell them. Share sweet, kind words and make their hearts happy. Hug them and help them. Your acts will refresh them and cheer them. When we cultivate love for others in these ways, we are greatly enriched.
So, how well did you fare in our Valentine’s Day quiz? Are you as loveable as you can be? Do you make time to create love? Do you give love openly and freely? We can all be better at love, so please feel free to share your comments and suggestions. Until then, I plan to sit and enjoy a box of chocolates beside my vase of tulips. Happy Valentine’s Day my friends!