Publisher - February 2018
"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back!"
— Arthur Rubinstein -
I know. It’s February, the month of love. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you are a Miss, Mrs., or Ms., February can be a tough month to get through. There are so many expectations surrounding Valentine’s Day that many begin to compare their relationships, or lack of relationships, to the unrealistic romantic fiction coming out of Hollywood, or to the love birds who constantly post their never ending happiness on Facebook.
Here’s the good news: This month doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many aspects of love to celebrate and way more to the whole love thing than just being in a relationship. This year, whether you are involved a great love affair or not, celebrate love for all it can be.
Loving yourself is the first and most important step on the ladder of living a full, juicy wonderful life. I know it’s hard because we tend to be our own worst critics. However, it is only when you can look within and like what you see, that you can start to not only fully love others, but also fully receive love, too.
Let me clarify a little on this loving yourself concept: No one likes everything about herself and that’s OK. Where loving yourself comes into action is how you handle the parts you don’t like. How do you treat yourself? Here is how I want to treat myself: Tender. Sometimes I’m not so good at it.
I spent years criticizing myself for any and all of my shortcomings, expecting way more from myself than from others. With maturity, I discovered I was never going to be perfect and became cool with it. I actually like some of my faults—they make up who I am as much as my good parts and some of them are just plain funny. I encourage you to start where you are. Even if you are not convinced, just start being kind to yourself. Soon, you will be on the way to a torrid love affair with someone that’s with you everywhere you go…YOU!
Love Your Choices
So many people go through every day of their life completely miserable. Others, aren’t miserable, but aren’t so happy either. As a society, we have become so stuck in doing things one way, we tend to forget we have choices in everything we do. The beauty of being a creature created with the gift of free-will is we can choose to live, be, or act differently anytime we get ready. It may sound simple, or maybe super hard, but I had a huge revelation when a friend once looked deep into my eyes and adamantly stated, “Elizabeth, you don’t HAVE to do anything.” That stirred my soul. It was freeing. Your life is a series of choices, and the choices are yours. You might as well make as many of your choices ones you love.
Love Your Surroundings
We are so fortunate to live in a gorgeous part of the US. Our outdoor surroundings are naturally breathtaking, but it’s important to also love your indoor surroundings. Author Sandra Magsamen says in her book Living Artfully, “It doesn’t require a lot of money to make a home; it takes a lot of love.” I encourage you to surround yourself with colors, art and things that you love. When you look around your home, apartment, or even your workspace or cubicle, ask yourself if it’s a representation of who you are and what you love. If it’s not, choose to make it your own and adore it! I have been having so much fun making my newly renovated house a home again. It looks nothing like it did before and even has completely different energy. It’s completely me, and I absolutely cherish it!
When you love yourself, love your choices and love your surroundings, your passions can truly begin to blossom. Passion is what a full life is built upon, and we all deserve to live a full life. We only get one. Passion refuses to co-exist with the mundane. Who wants their eulogy to read, “She lead a truly mundane life?” You can be the woman you want to be, be the woman you know you are, be the woman that’s right inside of you. You can be that today!
This year take a leap of love right in direct fire of cupid’s arrow. Allow love to flourish within you so much that it coats your insides and overflows in the form of a big smile, a twinkle in your eye, extra pep in your step, compassion in your heart and laughter…lots and lots of laughter. Dr. Love (Leo Buscaglia) himself once said, “Love is life. If you miss love, you miss life.”
Don’t miss it.
Elizabeth Skenes Millen