let’s put the heart in valentine’s day!

for years now i’ve been talking about valentine’s day
being about all kindsa love. and how it’s a great
chance to spread love all around us.
i have believed that and practiced that.

but this year i really want to do something about it.
i want to do more than just mention it to someone here
and there. i want to get us all thinking about it –

REALLY thinking about it.
and i want to encourage us to take the holiday back.

seriously.

i was thinking about it this morning,
without any effort, several different heart breaking
stories came to mind. i thought of one couple that was
experiencing the fallout of betrayal. i thought of another
woman who’s husband just died recently. i thought of another
woman who just squeaked thru the holiday season, just barely,
having come close to committing suicide.

these all came to mind immediately, without me having
to sit down and say ‘let’s see, who can i list that’s gonna
hurt really bad on valentine’s day?’

imagine if i sat down and made a list?

there are so many rough stories because life is filled
with pain. and it’s filled with good stuff. and it’s filled
with silly stuff and awful stuff. it’s all of it.

but when we pretend that it’s all beautiful and that it all
is a happily ever after – we’re creating pain for ourselves.
and there’s enough of that already. let’s not add to it.

when we can be real about it all, we make space for healing.
we make space for love.

i jumped right in thinking ‘self love’ was the place to start.
but you know, there’s a lotta people who struggle with
‘self hatred.’ so that makes the whole self love place a tough
place to begin.

so does that mean we don’t try?
no.
it means we get real about it and acknowledge it –

some of us are so far from self love that this seems impossible.

okay….so i vote we use the word ‘compassion’ and start
seeing if we can muster up compassion for ourselves if we struggle
with the love stuff. let’s start somewhere.

compassion seems good.

and we start thinking of those around us who are struggling
and we think about reaching out to them and offering some form
of love – even if it’s as simple as offering someone a cup of coffee.

so then i think back of the three stories i began with –
the couple experiencing fallout from betrayal. how on earth could
valentine’s day be anything good for them? maybe if it was also
a day for self compassion, it would be so helpful to take some time
and wrap themselves in that. to find some gentleness in acknowledging
the pain.

maybe the woman who lost her husband could make some sort of space
to think of the love they had. to honor the beauty of that. and if
that’s too hard, maybe her friends could wrap her in love and let her
know she isn’t alone.

same for the woman who didn’t commit suicide. who is still here
struggling wondering if it’s worth the struggle. what if someone
told her she mattered and reminded her that her presence was valuable?

what if it was a day filled with this kinda stuff?

why couldn’t it be?

it’s entirely up to us what we make of it.

to get us started, i’ve got a page of self love (self compassion)
valentines that we discounted. i wanted to encourage you to get
yourself a valentine this year. for you. to show you that you matter.
for you. from you. to you. you can find that here.

and i’m going to keep thinking and keep talking about this.
because i think we can change our worlds for the better.
i think we can make more and more space for real love.
and for the healing that real love brings.
if only we start.

let’s put the heart back in valentine’s day!

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