I know that, for some, Valentine’s day might not be the most pleasant holiday. It may serve as a reminder that you’re single, far away from your loved ones, or it may just intensify the feeling of general loneliness. And regardless of what it is, it’s not easy. Anything that forces you to face something you’d rather leave alone is not pleasant. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.
Something I’ve realized recently is that whenever you’re feeling down-getting in your own head about god-knows-what- continuing to give it attention only makes the issue worse. We feel the weight of the world on our shoulders, so we turn inward. But how does turning inward help the weight of the world lighten? …it doesn’t. To lift that weight off our shoulders, we have to be willing to give that same gift to others- because we’re all connected. Unburdening another helps us to unburden ourselves. Giving brings joy and creates a domino effect that spreads to others.
So, this Valentine’s Day, instead of getting caught up in your mind about that loneliness you may be feeling, try sharing some love with the world instead. I think it’s safe to say it’ll do a hell of a lot more good than crying at chick flicks or stuffing your face with chocolate. The best part? It doesn’t have to be anything big. Small gestures do just fine- here’s 3 ways to share the love this Valentine’s Day (and any day, really):
1. Donate to your favorite charity
If you have a little extra cash to spend, consider giving it to a cause that means a lot to you. This is an easy and effective way to make a positive difference, and it won’t just be those on the receiving end who feel good about it- you will too. If you’re unsure where you’d like to give, Cuddly is one of my personal favorites. They help shelters around the world rehabilitate and re-home our precious fur babies.
2. Let someone know you love them
Send a card, text it, phone it in- no one will be mad at “how” you told them.. they’ll be too consumed with happiness over the fact that you did. Plus, telling them how much you love them will automatically bring those feelings up for you, too. And you never know what others are going through- telling them you love them may just make their day at a time you never knew they really needed it.
3. Make (or order) a yummy meal
Sharing the love applies to you too, and I put this suggestion on here as a placeholder for whatever it is that makes you feel loved. For me, I love eating delicious food that’s (ideally) also good for me. I look forward to it all day, pick a show (and maybe a drink) to enjoy it with- I want the whole experience. Whatever experience does that for you, do it! The more loved you feel, the more love you have to share with others.
I think if we all chose to spend Valentine’s day in one of these ways, as a way to appreciate those we love (including ourselves), instead of focusing on the toxic and commercialized version we’ve been hit over the head with since the moment we gained consciousness, the world would be a much happier place. And it doesn’t just have to be Valentine’s Day that we do these things. If we aimed to do one nice thing for someone each day, each week, each month… can you imagine the world we’d live in? How those nice things would all add up to more nice things and so on and so on? And the difference that would make?
If you’re feeling lonely today, my guess is that it’s not just Valentine’s Day that you’ve felt this. And if you’re feeling it, imagine how many others are, too. And while it is part of the human experience, it doesn’t mean we can’t try to make it less so. Valentine’s Day is a reminder that love is all around us- and not just in the form of pink heart balloons and red roses, but in family, friends, and within ourselves. You have so much love to give- and what better way to share it than with as many people (and animals!) as possible. Not just today, but everyday.
Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day. May ALL your days be filled with love, so that you can love it all right back.
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