Valentine’s Day has just passed. Probably the most controversial holiday in the western world. How ironic, that a holiday representing love should be the source of so much angst and guilt and ire. But then, that is the human way. We love to make things complicated.
I’m not defending a day that has become a retail shrine. But in the spirit of the concept of sharing love, I wanted to offer a variation moving forward. Love is something to be shared and celebrated every day, and its best when it starts at home.
If we love ourselves, we are much more keen to step out and offer love to others. It’s a perpetual motion kind of thing, like those balls on strings in a rack – you move with your own force of enthusiasm, and that is transmitted along until the one at the other end received that force and they move too.
We encouraged our little Girl Guide Sparks to showcase their love this week in our meeting. Each of the girls decorated a canvas with a face on it, adorning it with words and phrases that they felt represented their character. It was a way to show 5 and 6 year-olds the concept of self-esteem. They rocked it.
The exercise reminded me that we all need to practice a bit of self-reflection and a few pats on the back now and then. We are all worth it, and we need to hear it out loud, see the love in our smile and others’ pride in us.
Bernard Callebaut, the chocolatier, was a friend when I lived in Calgary and he told me once that he sold much more chocolate on February 15th than on Valentine’s Day, because people felt guilty for missing the holiday and so they spent more. But money doesn’t buy love.
Remember this at home, and at work too. Don’t ever think that you’ve told someone enough times how smart or funny or beautiful they are, or what a good job they did or how their contribution mattered.
Everyone has the potential to be great, to offer something unique and special to the world. Let’s all meet at the top of the world and share the glory, instead of wishing we could be better or different.