“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.” Khalil GibranIn the United States alone, this year, an estimated 20 billion dollars will be spent on Valentine’s Day, along with 145 million cards that will also be given away. That is a lot of hard-earned money spent on saying I love you. But there is another side of the coin. The world needs love. As much love as possible. And, quite frankly, I’m for any day that wants to celebrate love. However, this does not mean we can’t bring more meaning into the day. We can and we should. It is my hope that this year we will all look for new ways to transform Valentine’s Day into a celebration that becomes an expression of what love really is. The truth is, we can make Valentine’s Day anything we want. We can continue to make the day about what we buy from a store (and there’s nothing wrong with that by itself) or we can make it about what we choose to give from our heart. It’s our choice. But, before we decide, we should remind ourselves that while flowers may wilt and candy may be eaten, the love that comes from our heart—from the deepest part of who we are—will last forever. And it will also spread beyond our small corner of the earth and then boomerang back to where it belongs—into our own hearts. As Paul McCartney once sang, “The love we take is equal to the love we make.” We will never know love until we give it away. Let’s challenge ourselves to make this Valentine’s Day a golden opportunity to open our hearts and spread love wherever it needs to go. We must trust that love will find its home. And, yes, this might be romantic love for a mate, but it’s also love for a child, our family, and friends. It’s love for the work we do, the passions we follow, the joys we discover. It’s love for the earth and the sky and the ocean. It’s love for our planet, our consciousness, and our divinity. It’s love for each other. And above all, it’s love for ourselves. As you celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember that you can never love someone else more than you love yourself. So, if you want to send flowers, start by sending them to yourself. Treat yourself to a massage. A warm bath. A trip away for the weekend. And while you’re at it, write yourself your own Valentine’s Day card—tell yourself how grateful you are to be alive, to breathe, to enjoy, to love. Remind yourself that the more you love yourself, the more love you will have to give the world. The Beatles were right, “All You Need Is Love.” Real love! Unconditional Love. Love given freely and without expectation, from one beautiful soul to another. That’s what I call a more loving Valentine’s Day.
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