This Valentine’s Day, don’t get so lost in the fluff that you forget the substance. Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to pay attention to those you love, treat them well and realize how blessed you are to have loved ones in your life. Although boxes of candy, flowers and romantic nights out are great—when your overall relationship is great—they are only supplements. If your relationship isn’t great, then all the candy and gifts in the world could never make up for daily indifference, emotional aloofness or hurtful treatment.
Love is meant to be endearing, kind and -well—loving. This Valentine’s Day, make the decision to be loving everyday. Hug your lover just because; compliment your spouse often; listen to your loved one’s stories, opinions, worries and upsets; and be kind always. Realize how blessed you are to have someone to love—regardless of whether that person is a child, parent, spouse, lover or friend. If you have the privilege of being in another person’s inner circle–honor that privilege by treating them well always. Our loved ones deserve to have us be the safest, most loving people in their lives (and vice versa). Ensure that you are this safe haven for others and that others are the same for you.
This Valentine’s Day, take an honest inventory of your relationships. Love those in your life with all you have and know you deserve the same. Life’s too short to be with someone who doesn’t treat you well. It’s also too short for anyone to stay with someone who doesn’t treat them well. Raise the bar and allow each Valentine’s Day to be a reminder to you that love is in the doing.
Challenge: Give the gift of kindness this holiday—to others and yourself. Refuse to take your loved ones for granted. Treat them well always and surround yourself with those who treat you well, too. Let go of those who don’t.