By Becky Prater
In 1972, Leo Buscaglia, an author and man I deeply admire, published a small book called Love. In 1984, I read Love, my first self-help book, and have lived by Buscaglia's ideas of love ever since.
He writes, "It is possible for me, and not unreasonable, to love everyone with equal intensity and still have all the love energy I have ever had. There are a lot of miracles to being a human being, but this is one of the greatest miracles." (Love, 1972). Meaning, you can love all people and never run out of love or the capacity to love.
February is the month to show people that you appreciate them and that they are special in some way. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that without spending much money: Beckon Yoga Clothing Hearts of Wool
1. Make 3-D hearts out of old clothing. My super talented intern, Maggie Aldworth, created these hearts from old clothes headed for the Goodwill, which she plans to give to each of her friends at school. You can fill them with lavender to be used as a sachet. These will help their high school backpacks smell great.
2. Write a note to someone special that is about the love of or importance of their friendship or support. Remind them how wonderful they are and thank them for their positive, supportive attitude. People do not send cards or letters in the mail much these days. Sending a note via snail mail will have a significant impact.
3. As in the first photo, find a rock (it does not have to be in the shape of a heart) and on it write "you rock," using a Sharpie. Place the rock somewhere your loved one will find it on Valentine's Day morning. If you are going to mail it, just use a flat rock. Who wouldn't love to get that in the mail?
4. Celebrate by putting a chocolate heart (a wee bit materialistic) on your child's pillow so that they find it when they go to bed that night or in the mailboxes or on desks at work. Teachers do this stuff all the time. I can assure you there is not a place of business where people wouldn't be thrilled to receive the tiniest reminder that they are special.
5. On a piece of notebook paper, hand write:
You are special because . . . (fill in this blank).
That's it. You do not even need to include your name. Just make someone's day by acknowledging them in this small, personal, thoughtful way. Even those people who might not be your favorite in the workplace have some redeeming quality you can celebrate on this special day.
"I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy," states Buscaglia (Love, 1972.) It seems like we are apathetic about others because we are so busy all the time. A simple act of kindness will remind people that we are grateful they are in our lives.
"What good is love that is not freely given? Love is always an active sharing. If one has love to give, he may impart it to all in the world and he will still have the same love he started with. We never lose anything by sharing it, for nothing is ever solely ours to start with. In fact, love acquires meaning only if it is shared." (Love, 1972)
Does this seem impossible to you or very unlikely that you will reach out to people in this way? When times are tough and we get frustrated with our lives, this may be the last thing we want to do. However, by sharing love with others we tend to feel much better ourselves. Just do this for one person in your life and see what happens.