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All We Need Is Love….and Chocolate…and Dogs

Does anyone else think that Valentine’s Day can be a bit overwhelming at times? I’m talking about the pressure to buy a card, get flowers, lingerie, wax every inch of yourself and attempt to make a spectacular dinner that pretty much negates the need for the waxing and lingerie. (Just saying…) We put ourselves under so much pressure to have this one perfect day that is all about love, but isn’t every day about love? I spend my time with people (and puppies) that I show love every day. Recognizing that love and accepting it is sometimes the hard part. I was raised in a family where I knew love. My first “loves” were my parents and my big brother. From what I can remember of my childhood, I recall that sense of being loved and the safety that comes from that knowledge. I was raised in a family that is very affectionate. I have always been hugged or kissed by my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. That’s just how it was for me. I also recognize that there are a lot of people who have not had this growing up. A few of my close friends have told me that they don’t usually hug or kiss their family on the cheek when greeting them. It just isn’t done. Though this is foreign to me, I know each person has their own comfort level surrounding affection and expressing love. I can name a hundred reasons why I love someone, but at times I have struggled to name one thing that I love about myself. Why is that?! For me it was various reasons, some outside of my control and some very much tied to a lack of self-awareness and acceptance. I have said this before, but I strongly believe that loving yourself is the only way to get you to a place where you can genuinely love others. Love isn’t always romantic. Nor does it mean that you completely agree with someone’s ideas or views. To me it means really seeing another and appreciating all that they are, all that they offer and caring enough to watch and assist them flourish. I used to think that if I wasn’t in a relationship that I was unlovable. That the men I had dated must be right somehow and that perhaps I was not “worthy enough.” The thing is, not every relationship turns into love. Not every friendship lasts forever. But I have learned that you are no less for having put yourself out there and remaining open to love in all its forms. You cannot expect someone to love you, faults, and all, if you don’t see what is lovable about yourself. I remember making a list of what I found lovable about myself in one of my journals years ago and it was very small. I was trying to sort out what I could see in myself that made me worth loving. My list now would, I am sure, be very different. Not because I have changed entirely, but because I place importance on different things now and having had a bit more insight into myself and how I am in my relationships, I see that there are far more important things to me now. My list of lovable qualities I have would look something like this:

· Funny · Smart · Kind · Compassionate · Affectionate · Good Listener · Loves children and dogs. · Great eyes, boobs, and legs · Strong family values. · Honest, to a fault. · Empathetic · Open to new ideas and experiences. · Okay cook. · Undefeated leg wrestling champion · Thoughtful · Silly at times, but only usually when appropriate. · Fiercely loyal

Okay, that is enough, but you see what I mean. If we all walked around not being able to recognize what is lovable about ourselves, how can we let someone truly know us? Take a minute and think about all the things you love about your best friend or partner. I bet the list is never-ending. What about yourself? Is it just as easy for you to name a few things that you love about yourself? I really hope so.

I know that today can seem like it is only for lovers and romantics, but it can be so much more. I choose to believe that Valentine’s Day is for taking that few minutes to recognize the love we have had in the past, the love we have now, the love we may want, and the love we deserve. So, if today is that day you feel helps to remind you to tell those people you love them, then do it. Call. Write. Text. Sky write it. Do whatever you can to let your loved ones know they are important to you.

I wish for you love, chocolate and puppies, which is what I would consider close to perfect.

Much Love

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