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I can’t say I have ever been much of a fan of Valentine’s Day. I associate this day of hearts, flowers and chocolate with cheesy Hallmark greeting cards, bouquets of flowers delivered to the popular girls in high school, and red flannel pajamas from my dad (which I looked forward to receiving every year). Romantic love doesn’t figure in my association with the holiday.

The word “love” has lost its meaning as it is so frequently tossed about in conversation in reference to any number of things: “I love Johnny Depp,” or “I love when I find what I was looking for at 50% off,” or “Oh, I just love him,” with love, in the last example, said with an extended ‘o’ as in looooove. You understand what I mean. Bottom line is that I am out of love with the word love.

What I do love, however (see, I am guilty of it myself!), is pausing for a moment to clarify the real meaning in what I wish to communicate. Instead of falling into the trap of grabbing that accessible, ubiquitous word, love, I am practicing being more mindful in my speech by selecting words and phrases that better express my intent.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Love as a verb can be translated to:

  • Am passionate
  • Covet
  • Desire
  • Am satisfied
  • Am thrilled
  • Feel affection
  • Adore
  • Embrace
  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Am faithful

Thoughtful use of these and other words can fill our conversation with so much more meaning. We know that words are very powerful. Simply uttering a word sends a vibration into the world that once expressed cannot be retracted. If we treat our words like jewels, than we should scatter only the most beautiful ones for others to catch.

On this Valentine’s Day I wish you the truest love of all, the complete acceptance and honoring of yourself so you can shine in your life.

Now, can we break open that box of chocolates?

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