My inbox is overflowing with Valentine’s day messages and promotions. It’s wonderful!
Love is in the air.
I can’t help but wonder, in a holiday filled with hearts and messages of love, how many of us feel lonely or a tinge of sadness.
On the outside, you’d never know it. We are blowing and going with a full schedule, a smile and a wave. But on the inside, we’re a little bit lonely. Lonely for a thriving relationship. Lonely for friendship. Sad for the loss of one we loved.
I wish I had a magic fix, a “3 Step Guide to Feeling More Love by Saturday” to share with you. I don’t. I do have an idea though.
Let it go.
I’m not talking about the cliché kind of letting go, like Elsa. (Even though I’m first in line to do a mean Elsa impersonation with ice castle dancing in full swing, to the extreme horror of my little boys.)
I’m talking about the kind of letting go that allows you to love and accept yourself right where you are. Letting go of the expectations you have for yourself on this cupid-filled holiday. Especially the one that says you should keep your head held high and be just thankful for what you have.
I realize I’m skating on thin ice with this one.
I’m the last person on the planet who would tell you to sulk, feel sorry for yourself or complain. What I’m talking about is different.
It’s that sometimes, we need to notice how we’re feeling on the inside. We need to sit with it for a minute and let it be real.
Yes, I know you want to be positive and tell yourself that everything will be alright. I get that. I really get that, because I’m that person. I believe that a positive attitude will give you a positive life. All of that. But what if you just cut yourself a little slack and allowed yourself to feel what you’re feeling instead of pushing it down further today?
It might be a broken relationship, a desired relationship, a loved one who has passed, or a simple longing to love life more that’s on your heart today. If you allow yourself to notice it and feel it, you give yourself a chance to heal it.
It’s ok to long for more love in your life. Be gentle with yourself. Even if it’s just for the weekend, try to let go of the impossible standard to always be so strong. It might hurt a little more at first, but if you let it, it will free you to love more. Being honest about the hurt in your own heart will open you up to more empathy for others, if you let it.
You don’t have to pretend. Acknowledge to yourself that you feel sad and love anyway. It’s even better if you can tell a close friend. Let her know that’s it’s tough for you this weekend. Sharing your true feelings with another is a beautiful form of love. It gives them a chance to love you well.
When you’re honest with yourself about where you are, you’ll suddenly see loneliness and sadness in others who are trying to push it down. You will see hurt that most people simply pass by. It seems crazy, but showing empathy for yourself, increases your capacity to have empathy and love for others.
When you sit honestly with your own feelings, you’ll have more love to let go.
And then, make a conscious effort this weekend to show more love to others. Give a hug instead of a handshake. Smile at a stranger instead of looking away. Give a kiss instead of a pat on the back. Show compassion.
Be the one who let’s more love go this Valentine’s Day, even if it hurts a little. Hold a special place for yourself in your heart and let that place give you new eyes to see and love the rest of the world.
This Valentine’s day, love yourself and then let love go.
To more love,