Welcome to February, the month of love. February is the perfect time to reflect on all types of love – from romantic love, to family love, to self-love – all forms are important to living a full and connected life. It’s also astonishing to see how important these forms of love are when it comes to our health. Everything is interconnected after all, and as you’ll see, how we love ourselves affects how we love others. When we love our bodies through self-care, our bodies function better and allow us to share even more love with those around us. When we share love with our family members and friends, it inspires them to treat themselves better and to pass the love on. Once love gets going, it tends to blossom and grow exponentially.
It makes sense that our most important organ, the heart is
the universal symbol of love. The heart, after all is a sort of caregiver or provider to the rest of the body’s organs. But it couldn’t accomplish this daunting job without a little love from us. That means feeding our bodies healthy foods to make the heart’s job a bit easier. It means being patient with ourselves, in these tumultuous times and then extending that allowance and patience outward onto others. It means not getting frustrated about a broken heart or persistent emotional wounds and allowing our hearts to heal in time. It even means responding to a hateful and angry world with love rather more of the hate and anger we don’t want to spread.
Life has been a rollercoaster as of late, and it’s easy to feel attacked or less than based on nothing more than the color of our skin. As women of color, we need to stand together more than ever to overcome the lack of love we might see around us. As a community, we need to cultivate love and share that message far and wide. The anger and distress might not be our fault, but we have the power to change the world’s mood by bringing in more of what we want, and that’s love. We’ve got the voices and the connections to make love more contagious than COVID. And so I say, why not?
So let’s let our hearts get big this month. Let’s allow our love to swell and expand in all directions so that it cannot be missed or overlooked. As nurses, we know firsthand that love is often more powerful than any medicine. So let’s approach our lives heart-first, spreading love before we stop to scold, or judge or blame. Do an act of kindness, say an encouraging word or offer a hand when you can. One thing we can’t do right now is smile at each other while we are out in our day, but don’t let that compulsion disappear into thin air. Instead let the people around you know somehow that no matter what the world throws at us, we are all still connected in spirit and through our ability to relate and to love.
Our bodies will thank us with less anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure and increased oxytocin. And hopefully, the world will respond with reciprocation. There’s nothing to lose, and when you’re full of love, the lower energies somehow tend to fall away. So cozy up with a cup of tea and some soft slippers, and read what our contributors have to say about the power of love.
FROM THE DESK OF THE
Michelle G. Rhodes, MHS, RN, CMCN
Certified Executive Coach