When it comes to Valentine's Day it can be very easy to get caught up in your relationship status, on the content of your relationship or what you are going to do to make sure everyone else know you are loved. It can end up making a lot of us feel like we are not enough. The day seems to prompt such feelings of deep inadequacy. We never seem to measure up to what we think we should be. Maybe you're not in a relationship, or the relationship might not look how you think it should, or maybe you have a great relationship but just feel like somehow you are not good enough for it or don't deserve it. The day brings so many conflicting emotions, none of them stemming from love. And so we miss the entire point. Whether you love or hate it, whether it makes you feel great or rubbish, Valentine's Day is an excellent reminder of something we all need, and all have, and that is love. So instead of allowing Valentine's Day to become competitive, awkward or pressurized let's use it as an excuse to be more loving. To spread more love in our own lives and in the world. This way everyone wins.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to spread more love this Valentine's Day.
Reach out to people you rarely see and tell them you love them -- If you can send an actual card, or love letter in the post. Make a phone call, or even better meet up with them in person. Many of us are lucky to have large families and we rarely tell them how much we love them. Use this as an excuse and as a reminder.
Help someone else out -- One of the best ways to spread more love is to help someone else out. It can be anyone, a friend, a charity, a stranger with their shopping, a colleague with some work. Make someone's day that bit easier, lend your effort and your time, all of this turns into love.
Be more thoughtful -- Kindness it turns out is one of the best ways to spread love in the world. Sometimes though kindness can feel a bit abstract and we are not quite sure what this means in terms of practical actions. This is why I often turn to thoughtfulness. Because thoughtfulness is undoubtedly practical. So this Valentine's Day decided to be more thoughtful of those around you, let others go first in a queue, hold open the door, get an extra coffee and give it to someone.
Surprise people -- Nothing says love like surprises. So send flowers to your mum, leave a note in your partners bag or your child's lunch box, have a special meal on a different day, blowup a balloon and tie it to your friends front door, bake a cake and take it in to work, not for Valentine's Day but on a random other day. Do this because you can.
Smile, to yourself in the morning, in the mirror, to the people you pass on the street, to the people you see everyday, to your friends, to your family, to your children, to your partner. To everyone. Smile with your heart, your eyes and your beautiful mouth. There is no love lighter.
With those few simple action steps you can create a wave of love that will continue to grow. Choose to cultivate more love this Valentine's Day, because you can, and that is something to be very grateful for.