Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope this finds you with love bursting in your heart for the life you have designed for yourself!  I hope you feel an abundant warmth of love for the person you are, and the one you are growing into.  To me, that is the greatest celebration of love that we have; the one we are creating for ourselves and thus celebrating with others.

Love – it’s quite a word, isn’t it?  It holds so many different meanings, and even more so if we consider the context in which it is being used.  Let’s drill it down a bit to self-love.  What does it mean to hold self-love?  I’ve been pondering this lately, and what I’ve come up with is: Self love means we choose to love ourselves above our sense of suffe   ring.  What I mean by that is, when we want to victimize ourselves for a mistake, or an action; or we want to beat ourselves up for the food we’ve consumed, or the chores we didn’t accomplish, or whatever it is that causes you to create internal suffering, that we stand in the spotlight of our own self-love and offer ourselves compassion.  We offer ourselves the love we would likely freely offer another if this were a situation they replayed within themselves to shame and hurt themselves.  We choose to serve as our greatest advocate.  Consider this – when has abuse, of any kind, ever served to heal someone?  So, if we choose suffering, or self-loathing, or abusive self-criticism, all we are really doing is pushing our love down.  We push down our love for life, for others, and dare I say, most importantly, our love for ourselves.

So, when you feel yourself begin an internal downward spiral, I want you to pop the question to yourself.  No, not the marriage question, but rather – I want to offer you a question to break, or interrupt, your patterns of thinking.  You see, the language we use, both internally and externally, are defining our experiences and thus magnifying our emotions around them.  So, if we can interrupt your negative word patterns, or heighten your joyous ones, we can impact your experience and choose the emotions and thoughts that we allow within ourselves.  The question is:  What else could this mean?

Often we get ourselves worked into a frenzy over our assumptions.  We tend to jump to conclusions of what other’s words or actions mean.  We tend to hold strong opinions or judgments about others.  We tend to replay the same harsh internal dialogue to abuse our own selves.  So, what if we interrupted these word patterns with a new perspective?  Let’s say I have a colleague who seems to be judging my every move.  They seem rude or short with me, and I can’t understand what I’ve done to make them treat me that way.  Instead of immediately jumping into my internal dialogue about how people are unkind, or corporate America is a breeding ground for this type of treatment, or expounding that this is simply how people truly are, or questioning my every action and interaction; what if I stopped that dialogue in its tracks and forced myself to search for a new perspective by asking:  What else could this mean?

You see, when we insist that we look on life from a new perspective, we are also forced to utilize new words to capitulate those ideas within ourselves.  We will feel new sensations from those new words; new emotions will result, and thus a straying from our old, habitual habits of words, thoughts, and emotions.  Essentially, we are carving out a whole new path within ourselves.

Perhaps our co-worker has significant low-back pain and they have not had proper rest, making their thoughts and reactions dulled or unclear.  Perhaps our co-worker is struggling with a recent loss, or a disgruntled teenaged child, or an ill family member, or an unexpected expense, or… Maybe their actions toward you have absolutely nothing to do with you.  You see, it doesn’t actually matter what the truth is; what matters is that we no longer have cued up the tape of our old dialogue to victimize or minimize ourselves.  We’ve let their actions be theirs and not ours.  As the Dalai Lama would say, “Don’t let the actions of others destroy your inner peace.”  Quite frankly, I find this one of the most profound and robust concepts ever uttered: as it truly forces us to hold a perspective of self-love.

So, this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to pop the question!  Reveal that deep inner love that awaits new words to describe the beauty that resides within you and your life.

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