By now, most of you know that Love in all its many colors is near and dear to my heart. And to have a day dedicated to love makes my heart sing. Of course, in my world every day is a day of love, and ideally, each day love is embraced, embodied and celebrated. After all, it is the foundation of who we are.
Our journey on Earth is to experience love in all its splendor.
Two of the many ways we practice love are in receiving and in giving. As I thought about how to extra-celebrate love this month, giving came to mind. I hope that you have had the joy and deep satisfaction of this act of love —that feeling when your heart is full as you see the delight on someone’s face or know you have done something to help. And that seems especially important now, as we are still coming out of the isolation mindset and the intense energetic growth we’ve been in since September.
Let’s talk about giving beyond chocolate, cards and flowers. By the way, I love those but let’s stretch a little more.
Each of us have people and organizations that we particularly care about and give to. These are important as they depend on your donation. But, what about giving to someone or something new? Maybe an organization or person that, in the past, you might have been a bit put off by or afraid of?
Why not stretch your wings and open your heart a little bit more this year? You can expand your understanding and compassion of the world by giving outside your comfort zone. You help yourself along your Spiritual path as you help the world.
If you’re a city person, why not give to something rural based? For example, Heifer International has some great options. If you’re a country person, why not give to an inner-city organization? If you hate heights, why not give to a mountain rescue nonprofit? You get the drift. Most organizations now give you updates and insights on how your gift is being spent. That can give you a sense of pride.
If you are able to help and want to give in a more personal way, look for something or someone that could benefit from your physical presence even if you think you don’t have much to offer. We all bring more to every situation than we ever realize. And honestly, sometimes being fully present is just the right amount.
We know that the elderly, children and even animals like to be read to, listened to, sung to or simply sat with. In other words, when you open your heart and really spend a little time with someone, it shows that you care. That is giving.
Perhaps you can join a clean-up crew for an area that you complain about or run an errand for a neighbor with whom you rarely speak. Knock on their door and ask. You may be warmed by a smile.
It is amazing how good we feel (love) when we accomplish something for someone without the expectation of something in return. This is unconditional love and it heals the heart. Our world is very goal and externally oriented. Unconditional love allows you to release the external reward and experience the internal reward – the power and deep joy of giving.
Animals need our love, respect and kindness. If you’re afraid of dogs, ask a dog-loving friend to accompany you to an animal shelter. Together, look for a dog that feels safe and spend some time with him or her. Have your friend teach you how to approach a dog and be with this dog of need. Then perhaps, even take it to a playroom or outdoor play yard. You’ll be surprised by how very healing it is for everyone involved.
Here is another way of giving that is incredibly powerful and healing. Ask someone to teach you something about their interests. Perhaps your partner or a friend has a hobby that has never interested you. Ask then to show and tell you about it. It may be knitting, HO trains, making fishing lures, decorating cakes or something else.
Showing interest in that person’s hobby is giving love. Their eyes will light up and your relationship will deepen.
We are so much more than we realize or allow ourselves to experience. When we give and allow ourselves to be in the experience of giving, we expand our sense of self and become more of who we truly are. We heal old wounds and release unconscious limitations. We grow. We become. We walk taller, stronger and freer on our path of enlightenment. We embody love.
Happy Valentines’ Day and Month! I am “greatful” for all of you. I wish you all joy, peace, growth and that you may experience and celebrate love in its many colors.