Highlights for Let Love Rule
- Two very different views on Valentine’s Day (0:35)
- The opposite of Love is… (2:50)
- The many problems with fear (3:45)
- Where our thinking comes in (4:55)
- Showing love for yourself and others (6:55)
Let Love Rule
Now that we’ve all survived January’s diet commercials and weight loss pressure, it’s time to move on to bigger and better things – LOVE!
One of my favorite holidays is Valentine’s Day! I know it’s not a “real” holiday, but I love the meaning behind it.
And it’s simply: Love!
Two Very Different Views on Valentine’s Day
If you’re like my husband Dan, you might be cussing under your breath, because he loathes Valentine’s Day and all its commercialism these days. He likes to sing, “Every kiss begins with … fuck youuuu” Maybe you’ll recognize the lyrics – he sings it to the tune of a popular jewelry store commercial.
He’s made up a story in his head that Valentine’s Day was only about men buying women expensive gifts and women expecting lavish experiences, as Valentine’s Day is portrayed on TV. But I grew up with a very different experience…
Valentine’s Day was a celebrated day in my house. My mom would get us small heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, my sister’s birthday parties usually had some kind of heart theme, and my grandma would make us a Valentine’s heart or make us something with whatever craft supplies we had laying around the house. My dad would put cute “Love Notes” in the Washington Post for me! It was AWESOME!
For me, Valentine’s Day has always been about sharing love, celebrating love, and having fun. I loved the parties at school, I looked forward to writing valentines to my classmates, making my Valentine’s box and yes, the candy was a big bonus, but it was more about the feeling of love! The simple, pure happiness.
And all before I knew anything about the pressures our culture puts on Valentine’s Day – candy, flowers, jewelry, lingerie, surprises, cards, perfect gifts … it’s a lot. The mental image it paints for me is like a few days after it snows, when all the clean snow has become dark and dirty. YUCK!
I still prefer to think about Valentine’s Day the same way I think about snow – it’s pretty, and it’s fun!
When I was single, I loved going out with my girlfriends and celebrating Valentine’s Day together. Friendship is love! We had so much fun together … being in a relationship didn’t define us. We had drinks, ate some food, and laughed until our sides hurt. We made memories!
If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
The Opposite of Love Is…
All too often, we get preoccupied with the opposite of love, and we don’t even realize it.
Everyone has a different perspective on what the opposite of love might be. Some will say hate is love’s opposite, but I’ll suggest it’s something more diabolical – Fear!
I think hate is BORN from fear, and fear is far more dangerous, in my opinion. We spend so much time being fearful of almost everything that love can get lost.
We are afraid of being seen, of not being liked, of saying the wrong thing, of becoming fat, of being called stupid or selfish, of making a mistake, of not knowing how to move forward, of not being loved, of dying alone, of not having enough money, of what kind of kindergarten class our child will get in – the list goes on and on…
The Many Problems with Fear
The problem is that fear is unnecessary in the way we live with it today. Fear wasn’t meant to be a CONSTANT companion. No! It was meant to alert us if a large animal was about to eat us or if someone was coming to kill us. Fear was meant for survival. Fight-or-flight was not meant for everyday, non-life-threatening worries.
The more we live in fear, the more it grows. Fear changes our focus from positive to negative. It creates anxiety, and that comes with a whole host of issues from increased blood pressure and cortisol levels that quite literally make fear palpable. Anxiety can cause sleepless nights, panic attacks, irritability, overeating, and increased drug and alcohol use.
Nothing is gained by living in fear.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt nailed it when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Where Our Thinking Comes In
That’s where our thinking comes in … we create thoughts, conversations, and beliefs in our minds about what we see, what we think, what we should be, what others should be – you get my point.
These thoughts can be helpful or harmful. What we believe directly affects how we feel – our thoughts create feelings.
In Dan’s case of hating Valentine’s Day, he had a belief that he was expected to spend a ton of money on an imaginary entitled woman. No wonder he was so jaded about Valentine’s Day! His belief caused him to feel irritated, and that’s how we got this “every kiss begins with fuck youuuu” song. When he’s irritated, he creates funny songs. Funny to me but, evidently, not funny to him.
Now, clearly, I am not said imaginary entitled woman, so I was surprised at his continued rabid hatred well after I’d proved I was not expecting some Brink’s truck to back up to our house and unload the Hope Diamond.
Every time he sings that song, it takes him back to his old thinking. I’ve talked him through this thought pattern and reminded him that I have no expectations other than that he love me.
Falling back into old thinking is like muscle memory; it requires work to climb out of the old thinking ditch. It’s not a one-and-done thing; it requires practice and vigilance.
So, every time he gets angry about the jewelry commercials, I gently remind him to choose another thought, as his old thought isn’t helpful, and it doesn’t make him feel good. It is a practice for sure. The season is upon us, and we are in full practice mode 😊
Now we laugh about his song and his previous hatred of a made-up holiday, and he can see how happy Valentine’s Day makes me. We don’t do anything fancy or extravagant; we just do what works for us and what makes us happy.
Showing Love for Yourself and Others
So, what feels like love?
Like Lenny Kravitz sang, Let Love Rule this Valentine’s week!
Show love for yourself. This means practicing exquisite self-care. Be good to yourself. Practice kind thoughts and words. Feed your soul, nourish your body, activate your mind, and manage your thinking. Don’t let your thoughts manage you.
Show love to others. They can be significant others, parents, children, nieces and nephews, friends, neighbors, coworkers … whoever you want! Do something kind. Hold the door, help someone carry in their groceries, pick up something on the floor for someone who’s having trouble.
There are a million small, loving gestures you can do to make someone’s day brighter. You may never know your impact, but I can guarantee you are making one.
Let Love Rule!
Happy Valentine’s Day!