We were discussing love and Valentine’s Day with our good friend Dr. Amy Bloch, our favorite expert on managing uncertainty whose website Unlearned Happiness, Twitter and Facebook pages provide deep insights into these topics, especially as they concern the lessons she’s learned from her mentally handicapped daughter Emily. One of the greatest lessons that Dr. Amy has learned from her daughter is that the power of love takes fear out uncertainty. (We totally suggest that you sign up for her posts — they are really insightful and helpful! )
“Despite its commercialism, Valentine’s Day is a day for love. It reminds us — love lives within us, always, unconditionally. Love is our inheritance.” she said. “Valentine’s Day also brings up emotions of fear, stress and anxiety. So what can we do about these feelings?”
Dr. Bloch’s own experiences have brought her a deeper understanding of how personal uncertainties create almost impenetrable walls of stress, anxiety and especially fear. Almost impenetrable. However each crack in those walls allows love in, to widen them and eventually break them down, if it’s allowed. “I was terribly frightened when Emily was born. The more I tried to remedy her cognitive problems, the worse I felt. Nothing was improving. Then one day, I decided to take a pause from our “program,” to just be together. No effort, no goals, no purpose. In that instant I noticed Emily’s sweet uneven smile, her soft head, her baby smell, her squeaky coos. There was Emily, exactly as she had been, but entirely changed. Nothing had changed in Emily, but everything had changed in me. I felt a huge surge of love for my baby, and the fear just evaporated.”
Dr. Bloch continued, “Fear cannot coexist with love. That would be like trying to hold your breath while you’re singing. You can only do one thing at a time, so loving, dropping down to your heart, and thinking with love is the antidote to fear and stress. Unlike all those other emotions, love is not temporary.”
So we were wondering how to best face these fears and release the love that lies within all of us, Dr. Bloch. advises, “Even if the situation doesn’t change, you can. As soon as you drop into your heart and locate your love, you will see it everywhere.”
“Once you know you’re the source of the love you see, it shows up in many unexpected places.”
On Valentines Day, here some places to spark your love.
If you like animals visit a no-kill animal shelter and volunteer to play with the companion animals seeking their permanent home. You may find the unconditional love you are seeking in the eyes of a puppy, kitten or older pet that in turn will open up your heart.
Or instead of bemoaning the fact that you are ‘alone: Invite some friends to share the day with you. These are the people that you love. Why not share a Valentine’s feast and remind yourself what love is really all about? It’s not candy, or jewelry(although those are fun) ; it’s about connections and making that count.
Feeling blue? Color the town red, with a good friend, or live stream chat and share time and affection with those far away from you. Reach out and trust yourself to feel the love that is all around.
Release the delete fear . Don’t be afraid of being alone, or if your relationship is forever, or if you’re just scared of life. Reread a favorite book from childhood and recall why you loved it so.
Pamper yourself with a spa day or even a long bath, and realize that you deserve to appreciate and love yourself.
Or as Dr. Amy tells us:
“Valentine’s Day is a gentle reminder that you are the love you’ve been searching for. Nothing has to change in your life for everything to change. There’s nothing you need to learn, improve, fix. Simply giving a gentle nod to your heart, to its presence, its stirrings, and its power is enough to transform each next moment.”
Originally published at medium.com