Hey, did you hear it's Valentine's Day? Fun fact: I once talked my dad into sending me flowers in college on Valentine's Day. Fun fact number two: I was once seeing a guy and he hung out with someone else on Valentine's Day. So, maybe we weren't dating?
Relationships can be confusing and having a day that capitalizes on our emotions can just feel like the worst, so, naturally I want to discuss spirituality. Why? Because I think the overall quality of our relationships is directly proportional to the state of our spirit.
I used to struggle with the concept of spirituality because I didn't know what it meant, but I now understand it as a state of inner peace and I keep my understanding of this simple. As humans, our spirituality and, thus, inner peace is defined by three things: the relationship we have with others, the relationship we have with something bigger than ourselves, and the relationship we have with ourselves. So many of us spend Valentine's Day and dozens of other days each year feeling empty and lonely, even people with partners, but there is an easier, softer way to spend this day.
There are a couple of sayings in the recovery community: hurt people hurt people and you can't love someone else until you learn to love yourself. Of those three things I listed earlier, we sometimes spend a disproportionate amount of time focused on our relationships with other people and even then, we may only be focusing on one relationship with one person. Our spirit cannot thrive this way and inner peace will remain fleeting or illusive if we don't begin considering these other areas.
When was the last time you considered, "how's my relationship with myself?" Do I express gratitude and engage in self-love or am I hyper-critical and unforgiving of my mistakes? Accepting our humanness and flaws while celebrating our talents and achievements is essential if we're seeking inner peace.
What about your relationship with something bigger than us? For some of us, this may be God and for others this may be nature, the universe, a support group, or music. Having a secure relationship with something bigger than ourselves provides us with a sense of safety and hope while also serving as a means to connect us with others.
Lastly, we cannot forget those who are there for us when romantic love isn't - our friends and family. Do you treat these relationships as a gift? Or have you learned to take for granted these special relationships? We're social creatures and need people we can count on to be there for us and to do so, we have to be there for our people too.
I believe we all want a piece of the inner peace pie. Take a slice - you deserve it.