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It’s February. Therefore, it’s hard to avoid the buzz around Valentine’s Day. I was always amazed at the attention this day receives every year, trying to understand why we have to have only one day devoted officially to love. Of course, I do realize that this is also a huge commercial day of the year as many gifts are bought to celebrate love. But, is this how we should celebrate love? To me, every day should be a day we live with love, for love, and in service of love. Love is something you cannot touch to measure its importance but it is the most crucial feeling in the world, capable of changing the most difficult circumstances; no other emotion has this kind of power.
One of the most influential people in this world, Mother Teresa, is known for incredible acts of love and also her inspirational sayings about love. Her love, incredible sacrifice, and beauty touch me every time I think of her. In one saying, she said that in order for love to be real, it must empty us of self. Let’s repeat this: For love to be real, it must empty us of self. I couldn’t agree with this statement more, and this applies to any kind of love: to our spouse, to a boyfriend or girlfriend, to a child, to regular people we should love every day, and of course to incredible animals that God gave us to cherish and take care for. What does it mean to you to empty love of your self? To me, it means that the happiness of someone I love is something I always need to consider in my thoughts. I have my own idea about my happiness as well, but when I think of the bond I have with everyone around me whom I love, I must consider their happiness and their idea of happiness as well. Selfishness and love do not go together in any way.
Mother Teresa also said that if we judge people, that means we don’t really have the time to love them. Of course, it’s very hard to avoid judgement. We judge people every day, every time we interact with them. But I have discovered over time that when I diminish my judgement, I enter a certain liberation zone that helps me love people more, the way they are, and appreciate every bit of brilliance they do all have. It is then also when I realize how lucky I am to be alive to have the chance to love everybody who crosses my path.
Finally, let’s think about what we can do every day to show more love around us, and especially to animals and children who need us. You don’t have to make revolutionary changes in your life, but just with a simple addition, you may contribute to love as being more pronounced in the world. Think about what you might do. I chose dog therapy to show my love for many children but you did not have to. It can be anything else. You can even try a simple and thoughtful activity. When you encounter a difficult situation in life and the situation will involve other people, just ask yourself: What would love do in the situation? Just like that.
From our dog therapy team to you with love,
Barb and Carmel