February Inspiration: Love You

February is nearly here and you know what that means… Mushy couples being mushy and a bunch of singles talking about being single. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

Valentine’s Day is a pointless holiday that was made into a huge deal by the retail industry. (Thank you Hallmark!)

I love a good Valentine’s Day celebration as much as the next gal, but I don’t believe that the holiday should carry THIS MUCH weight on it for everyone. Why should LOVE be a holiday? Love is an ACTION that we should repeat EVERY SINGLE DAY, not one day a year where people feel obligated to say or do something society considers special. I think it’s predictable and takes the fun out things. Not to mention, LOVE isn’t just for couples. This part is for those of you who get all mopey on Valentine’s Day. Find your love… not on Valentine’s day… not necessarily a significant other… Find it in your family, your friends, your passion, your job… FIND IT. That’s the beautiful thing about love – IT IS INFINITE. There’s no end to the amount of love you can have or give. So here are a few ways to find love (and keep it) this year…

1. Begin with accepting your flaws and learning to appreciate your assets. Whether it’s your ability to crack a good joke at the right time, your hair do, your open mindedness, fashion sense or anything else, learn to LOVE YOU. I know that doesn’t always come easy, but start small and work your way up. Learning to love yourself is the first step in accepting all kinds of true love.

2. Appreciate the people in your life who love you unconditionally. Love them back! Be generous with your love. I watched a video recently about gratitude and how showing gratitude positively affects your level of happiness. Show your mom how much you appreciate her making you dinner. Tell your dad he’s a great role model. Give your brother or sister a hug. Take your BFFs out to dinner to thank them for being there for you. The more love you GIVE, the happier you will be and the more love you will get in return. But first, give without expectation.

3. Find yourself. Try new hobbies, take classes in different subjects that may interest you, travel. Find your passion. This should be an ONGOING task. Start now. This is something people ask me about really often and I’ve been wanting to write a little tidbit about it for a while. People often ask me for advice regarding finding a career, and while I think it’s important to have a mentor and ask for advice, I also think that should come much later. Most of the people who ask me for career advice are in high school or early years of college. Most people don’t know what they want to do in high school or even in college. Hell, a lot of adults don’t even figure out what they want to do with their lives until much later on. Find passions. Don’t worry about your career. That will come in time. Even when you’re down to the wire and need to figure out what to major in in college, just pick something general if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. Majors don’t matter unless you’re trying to be a doctor, nurse, lawyer, etc. Back to the point – explore yourself and find passions in life. It’s unbelievably helpful in so many ways. For example, one of my passions outside of work is horseback riding. It’s such a stress reliever. Find something that gives you focus and takes your mind off the stresses of life. Be yourself and strive to be the best YOU you can be.

4. If you are in a relationship, sure – celebrate Valentine’s Day if you want. Take advantage of those awesome restaurant menus and chocolate souffles… but don’t save all of your romanticism up for one day of the year. If you truly care about each other, you should be expressing your love every day. Make your partner a priority all year – not just on one holiday.

5. Don’t compare yourself to those around you. It doesn’t matter that your best friend has a cool boyfriend and an idea of what she wants to do in life. That’s not you. Everyone is on their own journey in life and every time something doesn’t go your way (or does!), it’s shaping you into the person you’re supposed to be. You can help this along by not comparing your journey to others. Take the good with the bad and continue to build yourself into the original YOU you want to be. Recognize that there are so many people who are worse off than you, no matter how bad your day has been. Try to put the bad into perspective and magnify the good.

So there you have it, lovers. Now go tell somebody you love them! 🙂