Living life with a grateful heart.
Today is Valentines and I’m not even sure how to begin to share the last few days of drama with you. In a nutshell my lovely husband broke his wrist playing sport. We spent all night and the wee hours of the morning post-full-moon in a very busy emergency ward. He was given a bed at 1.30 am and told he needed further scans and possible surgery.
Meanwhile at home the pooch had a blood clot that the vet has assumed to have re-adsorbed into his ear come back with a vengeance. These (called aural hematomaes) need surgery. Monday didn’t work for dog surgery but hubby was told he would be getting sorted. He wasn’t. So my Valentine’s Day ended up being dog and hubby surgery day. Then my car died. All this was going on while I was working and pretending to look like a functioning adult. Which lead to this post about approaching life with a grateful heart.
Valentine’s Day is about courage, love, vulnerability and a little bit of rebellion.
For some reason people get ‘bah-humbug’ about Valentines and call it commercial or an exploitation of love. The legendary story behind the day is far from being a commercial venture. Valentine was a rebel (if you believe the day came from the story of the ancient roman Saint Valentine) who at a time when single men were being sent off to fight in wars as soldiers, was secretly joining service men and their lovers in holy matrimony. When Valentines love-fuelled-war-avoiding-plot was discovered he was sentenced to death. His final letter to his lady (the daughter of his jailer) was signed ‘from your Valentine’. Valentine’s Day is about love, but it’s also about standing up for what you believe to be right and living with an attitude of gratitude.
The Five Languages of Love.
Yes- this is the bit where I talk about a relationship self help book. Not just any relationship book either! Five Langages of Love by Gary Chapman is a best seller and a life changer for many folks. You will be hard pressed to come by a ‘CEO’, ‘boss lady’, or mover and shaker who doesn’t refer to this book in some way. It’s a book on relationship communication types. There are five:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
You will note that of the five only one believes that gifting or receiving gifts is a sign of love. I’m sure the rest (myself included) are ok with gifts, they just aren’t seen as a confirmation that the giver is mad-keen on you (sometime it’s just awesome to get a new handbag… not a sign of undying love). The reason I bring this up is to show that only one fifth of our communication types really ‘need’ gifts. The rest are probably happy with a date, a hug, the floor mopped, or being told they are awesome. Which means that Valentines doesn’t actually have to be expensive or commercial to be special. Investigate this resource further if you are interested!
Understanding yourself so you can radiate love.
When you have an understating of who you are (be it through self enquiry, reading books like the one mentioned above, or trekking solo through the desert) you can start to selflessly radiate love to the world. A nice way to fast track this experience is to practice gratitude mediation. I would go as far as saying that without this ritual I would likely be curled up in a ball under my doona trying to hide from my shitty day.
Practicing gratitude is as easy as setting a timer (2-5 minutes is a good start), closing your eyes and breathing in and out with a focus on your heart centre. With every breath try to focus on something you are grateful for. It can be one thing or a series of things. When the timer sounds you can write down one (or all) of the things you felt gratitude for during your meditation. Then when you feel down (or your loved ones go into surgery on the same day) you have something positive to reflect on.
*Note 16.2.17* Sorry for all the spelling and grammatical errors… I think I’ve fixed most of them. It was kind of obvious I wrote this post with very little sleep 😉