Thursday, February 11, 2016

If you need help surviving Valentine's Day, part 2

If you need help surviving Valentine's Day, part 2 by Steven Barnes

start part 2:
EVERYONE HAS EXPERIENCED LOVE. If you think not, you are lying to yourself. Un-nurtured, human infants die. Period. No argument, no exceptions. You may have to “drill down” to a pre-verbal self to find these memories and emotions, but once you have, you can tap into them every day of your life. That core, once exposed, can burn away the negative emotions, but you have to do the work every day to tap into it. Once you have, it can power the actions that drive your healing/growing process. And there is nothing more attractive than a person who is “becoming”, who loves herself. Who respects herself enough to demand the best of herself...and the world. Such a person can give freely, because she is noticing who gives in return, and surrounds herself with a tribe with the same values: people who enjoy giving. And never lets anyone hurt her twice.

Find a hundred different ways to make yourself smile. Take yourself to the zoo. Write yourself a love letter. Have a mix CD of favorite songs. Take yourself shopping in the 99 cent store for toys...and then give them to the first children you pass. Go see a silly movie. KNOW HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY.

Five times a day, once every three hours, stop and take sixty seconds of deep belly breathing. Connect with your “Ancient Child”--the child within, and the “Ancient” you will one day be. Haven’t you ever seen the sacred connection between grandparents and grandchildren? It is simple love, absent the stress of the parent-child connection. You can experience this for yourself in your morning meditation, and once achieved can trigger it five times a day to remind yourself you are loved, you are loving, you are joyous...that while you are no more than an ant, you are also no less than the stars. Feel that connection between the child just starting the journey, and the Elder nearing completion. Touch your heart, go deep.

Make a study of being happy, remembering that happiness is probably as close to a one-word “meaning of life” that can be spoken aloud. All one then needs do is align happiness with your conscious values: giving, growing, loving, contribution, whatever. Do them to be happy. Give without expectation of receiving. Take your attention off your emotions by giving Valentines at a homeless shelter or a retirement home. Adopt a pet. Remember the good times with a departed love. Embrace the totality of your emotions, even the sadness, with love.

Never, ever, ever forget that sadness and happiness flow in cycles. On Valentine’s Day, commit to at least five moments of joy, faith, and gratitude. Just five. For sixty seconds each. You will have planted seeds that will grow all year.

Make someone smile. And take joy from it. A stranger. A child. A cat’s purr, the wag of a dog’s tail. Find beauty in small things. Remember happy times.

Be kind to yourself. Remember that you have been, are, and will always be loved.


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