For many, the chill of February offers a snowy bastion in which we find ourselves taking shelter. Sometimes, it feels like we are stuck. The silence of winter can be unbearable in a society that insists that productivity is what makes us who we are. Here is a reminder that we have the power to make the pause welcome in our lives. Here is a chance to reflect, and with February being a month of our most widely-celebrated romantic holiday, why not focus on love? It just takes one step to start a snowball effect of growth and love. You only need to ask yourself: Who do you love?
Whose guidance, influence, and love have you valued in your life?
Think of people – or pets, or stuffed animals, or cartoon characters (no judgments!)- who have made an impact in your life: entities who have been by your side, lifted you up, carried you through, helped you make decisions.
Who gives you strength, keeps you calm?
In your mind, can you quickly conjure five names?
For example, I know that my list would include certain family members, (including my incredibly wise and compassionate daughters,) my sixth-grade teacher, a special teddy bear, many cats, possibly even the Hallmark channel, and Yoga with Adrienne.
Visualize the entities on your list.
Pause a moment to mentally embrace them with your gratitude and love.
And now, this is important:
Review those names.
Would you add yourself to your list if you had another moment to consider?
Don’t worry: I would not have been on my own list either.
In the big scheme of things, from birth until this moment, and the next moment, and even the next, who is always there with you? Who will always be there for you?
When your friends, family, teachers, Guinea pig, teddy bear, or literary hero help you conquer a challenge, make you smile, or inspire you, what is the common denominator?
You have drawn these extraordinary people (etc) into your life! In the same moment that they make an impact on you, you give them the incredible joy of knowing that they were able to positively impact you!
Although it is incredibly difficult for many, self-love is worth the journey.
With it comes empowerment, generosity, love, and forgiveness for others, freedom, and exponential joy!
Start the journey, if you haven’t already. Begin with giving your own name a place of honor on your list. Include yourself in your gratitude, and allow the resulting positivity to build and perpetuate!
Raised in the D.C. area, H.S. has a formal B.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in Education, experience in personal improvement seminar leadership, and an entire long lifetime of learning from the people and creatures around her.
EmilyFebruary 18, 2020
That line, “are you on your own list?” Really hit home. Wow. Just reading this without even doing the exercise was inspiring. Thank you so much for putting this out into the world.