Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. A day where we celebrate LOVE. Love between partners, friends, family, even school friends. A day where we share with each other gifts in different forms. Unfortunately it has been taken to the extreme in this day and age with consumerism at its speak, so for so many out there, there is a lost sense of meaning of this holiday. What is love?
Love is Letting Our Violence End - in my definition. No more violence on many levels between people - between states, between religions and between nations. Violence is not only physcial it is verbal, it is emotional, it is sexual - and instead of focusing on showing our love by purchasing items, let us try to focus on changing our attitudes, actions and thoughts towards one another.
They say that you cannot truly love another person unless you have truly begun to love yourself. And if we are able to begin the process of loving ourselves and showing ourselves the same compassion, kindness, thoughtfulness, fearlessness, boldness, passion, truthfulness, selfnessness that we exhibit towards our loved ones, then we are on the way to the right path. We give so much of ourselves in a relationship - any relationship - as a parent think of how selfless our actions are on a constant basis - thinking of only our kids and when they grow up and don't need us as much any more we begin to feel empty. Then we don't know what to do with ourselves anymore.
As intimate partners, instead of it being a two way process of giving and taking, sometimes there is always one person in the relationship that gives so much of his/herself that they really don't take the time for them. When we are constantly giving, giving, giving -how are we going to fill that well? How do we nourish ourself? At some point we are going to be exhausted, irritable, frustrated, bored, depressed, and those are signs that our relationship is not healthy. But if we dont' look at what it is that we need to begin loving ourselves, the pattern will continue.
A child that has grown up witnessing violence, a child that has grown up being deprived of love from his parents, a child that has grown up being separated from his parents at a young age, a child that has no sense of security grows ups as an adult with very little love for himself. There are habits, addictions, behaviors, and a rejection of himself that is internalized and as a result makes it very difficult to really love fully. He may choose to love with the best of intentions, but if he has a negative image of himself on a subconscious level, there will be certain areas in his life that will continue to suffer. Therefore, as an adult, it is important to become aware of these issues so that the internal transformation can begin and so that you can begin to have healthy relationships. And for us as parents, it is so important to be aware of how we can have a major impact on how our children view themselves.
And it starts with us. It starts with us loving ourselves. Self Love is the basis of being able to truly love. We need to teach ourselves and our kids from a very young age about the idea of self-love. And by learning to love ourselves, we are able to treat others how we would like to be treated. So on this Valentines Day, love yourself a little extra - you and no body else deserves it more than you, because you are unique like no one else. I always tell my son - there is no one like you - like there is no one like me - God made us all unique and we each came with our own beautiful strengths. They are there within us, we just need to be open to receiving them.
A journaling Exercise for you: Write a Love letter to your self: And take it one step further. Let yourself write back to you.
Another Exercise: Take your favorite love quotes and paste them on heart cut outs and put them in your home-on the window, hanging from the ceiling, on the fridge - and even at work. Love spreads...it really does.
Happy Valentines' Day & Happy Journaling!