To You, With Love

Saying I love you is a gift. A gift we give to others and a gift we often forget to give ourselves.

Love.

It is the most powerful of emotions. It evokes: honesty, joy, inspiration, motivation, peace compassion, empathy, courage, vulnerability, creativity, happiness, abundance, gratitude, confidence, faith, hope, grace, freedom, serenity, tenderness.

It can overcome: hatred, anger, jealousy, war, strife, greed, grief, anxiety, sadness, insecurity, fear, perfectionism, shame, rejection, resentment.

Love can save the world.

Love can change everything.

A friend of mine talks about truths as big T truths and little t truths.

I think of love in that way. The little l is when you say, “I love this outfit, or I love this book, or I love this restaurant.” The big L is when you stop on your way home from the restaurant and go back in with the homeless guy and order him dinner, too. It’s when you stop to help the stranded stranger; it’s when you change your plans because your friend needs you; it’s when you hold your beloved’s hand as he takes his last breath.

I’m declaring it Love Month. I’ve decided to devote an entire month this year, instead of just one day.

For the month of November, I journaled daily one thing for which I’m grateful. For the month of February, I’m journaling daily one thing I love about myself. Not because I want to feed my ego, but because self-love often is the love we all forget to remember and practice. I’m always with me. Wherever I go, there I am. No one else is there all the time for every experience. I want to go through life loving my one permanent companion - me, myself and I.

Poet, Geoffrey Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day, which we celebrate on February 14. A poet - what a shock, right. In 1375, he links courtly love with the feast of St. Valentine in his poem “Parliament of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

Letting those in our life know how we feel about them is an important part of nurturing any kind of loving relationship - this is true for yourself, too. You can give yourself the strongest, best part of love - the unconditional kind.

This might be difficult because often we find it easy to believe our critical voice and difficult to believe and accept our magnificence. It’s ok, I give you permission, give yourself the permission - you don’t have to show anyone what you write - this is not a time for modesty. It’s a month of daily love - using heaping helpings of love on yourself. You deserve it.

We’ve all heard what psychologist Erich Fromm says about love - you have to be able to love yourself before you can truly love another. Fromm suggests loving yourself means caring about yourself, taking responsibility for yourself and your actions and respecting yourself.

Spend February nurturing yourself. Get enough rest, eat healthy, exercise and feed your soul.

To honor ourselves with love and acceptance is to honor the One who created us. Self-love is about realizing our strengths and accepting our flaws. It is not about being self-centered, self-absorbed, which is based on insecurity. When you love yourself you are able to more freely offer love to friends, family, community, even people we don’t know.

Just as in November, daily gratefulness proved to be somewhat of a challenge due to a busy life, not always feeling grateful and not wanting to write about frivolous gratefulness. I”m sure my daily love journaling will be challenging. But I’m in for all 28 days. How about you? You in? Try it, you might be lovingly surprised with yourself.

XOXO